Sunday School Activities for Your Class and Why You Need Them
Why do we include Sunday School activities in our lessons? Is it just to encourage hyperactive toddlers to let off some steam? To give our voice a break? To receive one vital sign of life from our teenagers?
If you've always viewed Sunday School activities as an added extra � fine for craftsy-type teachers or flighty educators who can't keep their kids under control, but not for the serious-minded instructor � think again. Sunday School activities are actually fundamental for a child's learning process; as a hands-on approach, they fit perfectly with the theoretical principles of child development and learning. In fact, research shows that adults also grasp core concepts more thoroughly through a discussion- and activity-oriented approach.
The bottom line is that you want the children or teenagers in your Sunday School class not just to accumulate a bunch of interesting biblical trivia or moral theories in their heads, but to truly take Sunday School lessons to heart and into their daily life. You want to see changed lives � children who truly know and love God and who are being transformed by his love. Transformation is much more than theory or information only. It's also more than simply throwing out an application at the end of class. Rather, your goal is to have your class interact with God's truths in such a way that they realize that God is talking to them through Bible stories, shedding light on their attitudes, understanding of God's character, relationships, communication, problem solving, decision making and selection of values, for example. You must incite your children to think and interact, not just passively sit in the Sunday School classroom � often engaged in their own daydream world � while you earnestly preach at them. Sunday School activities are vital in the process of encouraging this participation.
Activities in the Lesson
Involvement in Sunday School activities stimulates children to learn by doing � even (can it be?) by having fun and playing, something that is highly motivating for them and contributes to their emotional, social, intellectual and moral development. While Sunday School activities don't replace formal instruction, they reinforce the concepts you teach, so your class time ends up looking something like this:
Introduce the big idea you want them to grasp.
Involve them in a Sunday School activity that will further bolster that big idea.
During the activity or after, incorporate meaningful discussion that will help them tie the lesson and Sunday School activities together, drawing out the main principles. Using easy, nonthreatening questions to begin with, discuss what happened during the activity, then merge into comparing the activity with real life, getting them to share their opinions, and finally talk about their own daily life, behavior and attitudes.
Summarize and then guide them in translating the big idea to their daily lives.
Sunday School activities bring many benefits to the classroom and to you as a teacher, not only to the individual student's life. Among other things, they increase your students' motivation to learn by arousing curiosity; help involve children with different learning styles; allow them to make mistakes in a safe setting (and thus learn more effectively); make them more receptive; unveil their thoughts and interests; and encourage group participation and socialization, thus building relationships and creating shared memories.
With these issues firmly in mind, you can see the importance of turning to the Sunday School activities that we offer at Sunday School Ideas for New Teachers. And while these activities are a definite aid in helping your toddlers get rid of excess energy, giving yourself a breather or actually getting your teenagers to respond, they will especially help you in reaching that important goal of life transformation.
Sunday School Activities we Offer:
Games and ice-breakers
From elementary games for preschoolers to crazy ice-breakers for older teenagers, these Sunday School activities will make your classroom sparkle with a relaxed, happy atmosphere conducive to learning.
Coloring pages, puzzles and worksheets
Supplemental materials enhance your lesson and provide thoughtful activities for your children to work on as you discuss that day's spiritual lesson.
Search for crafts that will drive home the big idea you are seeking to communicate through your Bible lesson.
Songs and music
Have a look at our songs and music index as you encourage your children to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord." (Hint: Songs are a fabulous way to get your children to memorize something effortlessly!)
Skits, plays and pageants
Whether you're planning on using a skit as a regular Sunday School activity or preparing a drama for the upcoming all-church Christmas program, we have a plethora of plays for you to choose from.