The three-year-old year is often called the magical year because of the beginnings of pretend play and the onset of socialization. During this year of life, the “baby look” disappears and the child resembles one who is maturing. So much to learn by the three year old! The three-year-old . . .
- will enjoy determining what to wear
- will pick up on your emotions and feelings
- will want to move and adjust his play with new skills being developed
- will enjoy relationships with others, though still learning to navigate the feelings and needs of others
- will like to “strike-a-deal” (“If I do _______, will you do ______ for me?”)
As the children’s Sunday School teacher, you will have the joy of investing in their lives. Look at each child differently; they are not all alike. Each has a preference for learning. Some will enjoy block play while others will sit back and watch. Some will engage in art, while others will want to work puzzles. Some will be more intense in their play, while others are quick to move on to another activity.
Below are some teaching tips to help you be more intentional as you teach on Sunday mornings.
- Encourage the child who is trying something for the first time.
- Give praise to the child when he does something to help another child.
- Sing frequently and include the name of the child in a song.
- Reassure the child who is anxious for her parents.
- Use Bible conversation to reinforce Bible learning and help the child apply what he has learned to his life.
- Share the Bible story while you engage the child in play in a learning center–homeliving, puzzles, blocks, books, nature or art.
- Use prayer when appropriate, such as: “Thank You, God, for John’s hands. He can build with blocks. God loves John.”
- Encourage the child as he plays with others.
- Use your Bible when teaching. Open the Bible to the verse for the day or place the Bible story picture near the Bible.
Learn to observe each child’s play and see what catches her attention. Try to provide activities that fit each child’s preference for learning, active or quiet play.
How wonderful that God made us all different. We can see more of His creative nature when we see the gifts and value in each child.