Sunday school with preschoolers often proves difficult, since young minds tend to wander. Keeping children entertained while teaching religious lessons and principles makes the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful day at church. Using crafts such as tissue paper collages, paper plate animals and wearable crafts provides entertainment for 3- and 4-year-old children while also reinforcing the stories told and lessons learned.
Joseph's Coat of Many Colors
When teaching the story of Joseph, a tissue paper collage Coat of Many Colors will keep children entertained. In advance, cut out coat shapes from cardstock or other heavy paper. Provide tissue paper in multiple colors and glue. Give each child a coat cut-out, encourage children to cover the cut-out with glue and tear the tissue paper into small pieces to stick to the glue-covered cut-out. When children completely cover the coat cut-out, set aside the craft to dry and continue with your lesson plan. When the coats dry, let each child bring home his Coat of Many Colors, encouraging him to tell his family what he learned about Joseph.
A representation of evil and temptation, the snake plays a pivotal role in The Bible. Using a paper plate, watercolors, wiggle eyes, a red pipe cleaner and scissors children can make a sneaky snake to use during song or story time. Give each child a paper plate and encourage children to paint the front of the plate with watercolors. Suggest the use of a few different colors and a special color for the center of the plate, which will be the snake's head. When children have painted the plate, set the plates aside to dry and tell the story of Adam and Eve or continue with your lesson plan. When the plates dry, use scissors to cut in a spiral motion beginning at one side of the plate and spiraling towards the center. Keep the center piece slightly bulbous to resemble a snake's head. With the snake cut out, give children wiggle eyes to add to the head and a red pipe cleaner to use as a tongue. Push the pipe cleaner through the back of the head and tape at the back to keep it in place. Children can then curl the tongue or keep it straight.
Using bulletin board border, gemstones, glitter and glue children can create unique crowns to celebrate Jesus, the King of Kings. Provide each child with 2 feet of bulletin board border and access to various decorations. Encourage children to decorate the border with the available material, setting the craft aside to dry when children finish decorating. When the crowns dry, fit each crown to each child's head and remove from the child's head while keeping the pieces pinched together at the proper size. Use a stapler or tape to keep the crown properly sized and allow each child to wear his crown. To make the crown more obviously praising Jesus, print "Hosanna to the King of Kings" on pieces of paper and have each child glue one of these phrases to the front of the crown, leaving the remainder of the crown for personal decorations.
Alexis Aiger has been writing professionally since 2010 on parenting, relationship and mental health topics. She has a master's degree in mental health counseling from Walden University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Portland State University. She has worked as a counselor and case manager for several years.