Let’s Share Bible Stories with Toddlers

“Hello friends, hello friends. How are you, how are you? It’s time for a story, time for a story. Come and listen, come and listen.”

We sing this song to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’ every week at toddler group. We gather round the story chair in a semi – circle; some sit on the rugs and others on chairs and then we share a story together.

By saying ‘share a story together’ I mean that I don’t just read a story from a book or recite a story script. It is story telling – a much more interactive group activity. We are ‘in it together’, taking part, joining in.

There are different ways of creating a joining in experience when telling a story. Here are a few ideas

  • Sounds to make – the sound of the storm on the lake
  • Actions to do – climbing the tree with Zacchaeus
  • Saying hello to the characters in the story as they come out of the story bag
  • Singing a song – include ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ part way through the story of the shepherds and angels.

So how do you choose which stories to tell?

As a church-based group (although we meet in a community hall) we tell stories from the Bible. It can help if each story is connected to a theme for half a term. Animal Bible stories, Homes Jesus Visited, Stories Jesus Told, Creation. Choose stories that you feel comfortable with and will enjoy telling.

When to have Story Time?

Pick a time in your session when there are less distractions. If you want the children to join in, then serve snacks before or after. Try to time things so that hands are free to take part in the story actions. If possible, have a space where there are no toys or do Story Time at the beginning or towards the end of the session.

Create a space

The storyteller needs to be seen and to be on the children’s level. Choose a low seat and create a semi – circle. Clean rugs encourage parents/carers and children to sit on the floor, but chairs are good for adults who need a higher seat.

The idea is to know the story well and encourage interaction with the group. The Bible is full of the most wonderful stories. Enjoy sharing them!

(This is an article I wrote for CEF Britain’s Newsletter)

Here are some of the items I use when telling stories…

Journey to Bethlehem – altogether

Thought you might like to see how we display our ‘Journey to Bethlehem’ paper plates at Toddler Group. The hall has a stage (very mixed blessing) and I use a Go pack table put onto it’s side as a large display space. It works really well and is very stable as the legs of the table hold it up. Each week we’ve added more plates.

This week we also had our stable scene which we bought from Costco about ten years ago. We use it in toddler group and for school classes. The toddlers are always really fascinated by it so it comes out for two weeks. Week one is The Birth of Jesus. Week two (Christmas party week) is The Visit of the Shepherds.

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Here’s some pictures of our star wreath craft from this morning

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Journey to Bethlehem week 5

This week we arrive in Bethlehem!

The story is from Luke 2:1-7.

I often start story time by introducing the characters – in this story we’ll all say hello to Mary and then to Joseph as I take them out of the story bag. (The knitted characters are from an Alan Dart pattern – available from his website or from Amazon)

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‘Mary and Joseph had to go on a long journey. They needed to go all the way to Bethlehem. Maybe they took one of these with them – take donkey out of the story bag. What noise does a donkey make? Everyone join in with ‘eeyore (hee-haw)’

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When they got to the town of Bethlehem they needed to find somewhere to stay. Mary’s baby was soon going to be born.

They looked and they looked. They knocked on the door of the hotel. ‘We must find somewhere soon!’ they said to each other.

The hotel boss answered the door – ‘No room here!’ he said

Oh no! (Everyone repeat this)

‘But maybe you could stay where the animals are?’ he said.

It was better than having nowhere to go. So that was where Mary and Joseph went. And there Jesus was born.

He was a real baby – with 10 fingers and 10 toes and a nose and two eyes and two ears. But he was also very special because he is God’s Son. The Bible gives him a special name – Immanuel – which means ‘God with us’. ‘ (Matthew 1:23)

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We’ll add another paper plate to our Journey to Bethlehem display..IMG_3697

So altogether we have …..

We will be making Christmas star wreaths as our craft..

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Journey to Bethlehem week 4

This week we get very near to Bethlehem! The story is the Angels visit to Mary from Luke 1:26-38.

 

Bible story – from Luke 1:26-38.

(Include actions in the story if you can – ask the children and adults to join in)

One day Mary was at home. It was just an ordinary day. Mary was cleaning the house (some actions here – maybe dusting or sweeping).

But then something extraordinary happened! An angel came to see her! Now angels are not like fairies. Angels are big and strong! (actions here too). The angel that came to see Mary was called Gabriel (ask everyone to repeat the name). He had a message from God.

‘You are going to have a very special baby,’ he said to Mary. ‘This baby will be God’s Son and he will be King forever.’

Who was this baby? This baby, that the angel talked about, was Jesus.

Mary listened. (everyone touch their ears). She knew that this promised baby would be very, very special and important.

All the paper plates so far will be on display…

New plate to add…

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And a new angel craft idea…

All you need is paper plates cut into wedges, doilies cut into quarters, circles, wool, shiny paper and wool. You can either draw on the eyes and smile beforehand or let the children do it.

Journey to Bethlehem week 3

This week the Bible story was all about Abraham and God’s promise to give him a huge family and to bless all the people on earth through that family. (Genesis 12:1-3 and 15:5).

We add another paper plate to all the others ..IMG_3692

So, altogether the story so far….

 

Christmas story paper plates

These paper plates can be used to tell the Christmas story and/or as craft ideas. They need some prep so I’m posting them now!

The Angel Gabriel visits Mary – Luke 1:26-38

 

Jesus is born – Luke 2:1-7

The shepherds are told about the birth of the Saviour – Luke 2:8-21

You can tell the story a little at a time over three weeks or use the plates altogether

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They are made from sturdy paper plates that have a rim (not the cheapest but they need to stand up to being taken out of a story bag). The picture backgrounds are made from tissue paper and the scenes and people use paper, sugar paper, crepe paper, cardboard rolls (stable) wool, cotton wool and shiny paper. The angel wings are hearts cut out using a paper punch. The bodies of the people are triangles and the head scarfs (I can’t think of a better word!) are material. Lots of different textures and colours! Use what you have 🙂

Journey to Bethlehem week 2

Week one was creation – God made everything good and Adam and Eve were friends with God and each other.

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The idea for the creation paper plates came from here – https://ithappensinablink.com/paper-plate-the-days-of-creation/

This week the story is all about how things went from being ‘very good’ (thumbs up) to very bad (thumbs down). The creation plates will be part of the large picture board and the next story will be added.

The story…

God gave Adam and Eve one rule. ‘Don’t eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden’. They could eat from every other tree but not that one.

Then one day a serpent began to talk to Eve! ‘ Just look at the fruit on that lovely tree in the middle of the garden! It looks so deliciousssss. I’m sure God won’t mind if you take a bite. Nothing bad will happen!’

Eve looked at the tree. Eve looked at the fruit. It did look yummy. She reached out her hand and she took the fruit. She could smell how delicious it was and then she took a bite. Then Adam took a bite too!

They had broken God’s one rule and everything changed. They weren’t friends with God anymore and they tried to hide.

But God found them. He still loved them and he promised to send a Saviour so that people could be friends with God again.

In the storybag

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