Tell it like you mean it
Tell your Bible Story with conviction. These are the best stories and we have the privilege of sharing them. Tell them in such a way that your listeners know that the Bible is important to you. Tell them in such a way that your listeners will know that Jesus is important.
Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’John 14:6
Keep your adult listeners busy
When telling a Bible Story to toddlers it helps to keep their adults involved. Encourage everyone to join in with a variety of actions to do, phrases to repeat, sounds to make.
Repetition is good.. repetition is good..
A phrase that repeats during the story is great for helping everyone to join in. It could be ‘can you see him?’ for a story about the lost sheep or, ‘where is it?’ for the lost coin. Have a look at this retelling of The Good Samaritan and spot the repeated phrase. Your audience will soon catch on and the adults and their toddlers will be taking part in the story.
Give your listeners something to do
Think – ‘are there any actions we could do during this story?’ Actions are a good way of getting everyone involved (especially the adults). Looking, walking, running, sleeping, hidingclimbing – all these things can have actions. You don’t need too many. But add a few actions if they naturally fit the story.
Keep it short
Do your best to keep the story short. Toddlers aren’t going to listen to a long story. Practice your story – time yourself. Aim for your story to feel short to the listeners. It shouldn’t drag or go on and on…
Be prepared for Christmas!
Invite your pastor or a staff member from your church to come to toddler group to tell the Christmas Story. It’s an opportunity for them to meet people at the group. And it gives you time to think about the special craft and festive food that you will probably be busy sorting out! Book them early 🙂
Share the load
If you can, share the telling of Bible stories with others. We can learn from each other. Be supportive of one another and offer encouragement. It’s sometimes really helpful to have an extra pair of hands to hold a storytelling prop; ask for help from others in the team.
Begin storytime with a song
Instead of announcing storytime with, ‘It’s storytime’, start with a song. It will become your theme song that tells everyone that it’s time for a story. Choose something simple and easy to join in with. Familiar tunes with your own words are great. Once you have your song stick with it. Young children like the familiar.
Ask for help in collecting items for storytelling props and craft resources. Involve people in your church. Explain what you need and give people the opportunity to join in by collecting cardboard tubes, christmas cards etc. Use your churches’ notice sheet to make the needs known and share pictures of the made crafts too.
Collect craft ideas for your planned Bible stories
Keep your eyes open for craft ideas that fit in with the Bible Stories you are planning to tell. Pinterest is full of ideas that can be used or adapted. There are even some on this blog 🙂 Ideas can come from anywhere! Try out any ideas to see if they really are makeable. Process is important but having a finished product that is a keepsake for parents is good too. Collect things that will come in useful – christmas cards, wrapping paper, leaves, cereal boxes, cardboard tubes, yarn, material, pictues for gardening catalogues. All sorts of lovely crafty stuff!