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.
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!
Plan ahead. Look at term dates (use your local school dates) and work out your timetable. Note down any special dates you want to celebrate – Harvest, Christmas, Easter, summer party. Plan your stories for the year ahead. Start with a theme for each half term. Some ideas – Creation, animals in the Bible, people Jesus met. Note down a story (use the Bible reference) for each week. Add a craft idea and some songs. You can always adjust your plan but having an outline for the year relieves a lot of stress .
Go Teach and Scripture Union have some great resources that will help you tell Bible Stories in Toddler Group. Children’s Story Bibles and Bible Story books written for young children can be a big help too. They will give you ideas of how to phrase things and how to put a simple story together. You don’t have to buy loads – just slowly start collecting resources that you find helpful.
Facing an audience can be nerve wracking. To avoid going blank be really sure of your opening sentence. Learn it. Write it down and have a last minute look at it just before you begin. Some ideas – ‘There was once a…’ ‘A long time ago…’ Say hello to..(name of puppet/doll taken from a storybag)’ or ‘One day there was…’
It’s better to get straight on with story rather than spend time on an ice breaker style question. Toddlers need a short, to the point story. So, just jump right in with the narrative.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7 We read about Elisha helping a widow who needed to pay her debts. He told her to borrow as many empty jars of oil as she could from neighbours and then go inside her home and close the door. What happened next shows us God’s care for his people.
Telling the Bible Story
Bible Truth for Toddlers – God cares about us
To tell the story to young children – you need a bottle of oil.
‘There was once a woman who had two sons. Sadly, her husband had died and she was in trouble. She owed some bad people money and she had no way of paying them back.
She went to see Elisha. He was God’s prophet. ‘I am in trouble. Can you help me?!’ she asked
What do you have at home? Elisha asked
I have one jar of oil. (Show the oil)
Elisha told her what she must do. ‘Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your neighbours. Then go home. Shut the door and start to pour the oil into the empty jars and then sell the oil and pay your debts’
What would the woman do? She started to borrow empty jars. She went to one home and then another and then another. Soon she had lots of empty jars.
Then she went home and closed the door.
Her sons helped her start to pour the oil into an empty jar. And something amazing happened. As they filled the empty jar the oil that they had started with didn’t run out. They filled another jar and still it didn’t run out. Soon all the jars were full of oil. And once they were all full the oil that they had started with stopped flowing.
Now oil is expensive and the woman was able to sell all this extra oil. She had enough money to pay her debts and money left over for her and her sons to live on.
Elisha was able to help because he was God’s prophet. God cared about this woman and her sons. God cares about you and me too.’
Craft ideas – free downloads
One idea is to colour/decorate jars of oil. The other is to add more jars of oil to the picture and then colour or decorate.