Inspired Innovation: Bible Memory, Prayer, and Songs for Young Children

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Bible memory is important. When working with young children, add motions to the words to help embed the truth of scripture into a child’s heart.  Be sure to repeat the same scripture verse for at least 3 or 4 weeks.

John 3:16 (Bible Memory/Action Rhyme)

God loved (fold arms over chest)
the world (make circle with both hands or arms)
so much that he gave his one (hold up one finger)
and only Son (cradle arms as if holding an infant)
so that whoever believes in him (sweep hand from left to right in front of you)
may not be lost, (shake head no)
but have eternal life. (lift one hand toward heaven)

                  -New Century Version, from Story Hour, Year 1, Unit 2

"Fill in the blank" Prayer

Jesus came for me (point to self)
Jesus came for you (point to others)
Jesus came for __________________ (invite the children to say the name of someone they know, for example mom, grandma, friend, etc.)
Thank you, Jesus! Amen.

Variation: To teach the children to pray for others in the world, you can show a picture of children in another country, city, or region, as you say, “Jesus came for the children in ______ .”

Young children love music. Jacquelyn Negus, music educator, Kindermusik teacher, and songwriter says, “research shows that physical activity combined with melody helps place the words of a song into a child’s long-term memory." She advises us to repeat songs week to week; sing and move to them exactly the same way each week. This allows the children to recognize the songs. Adults get bored with sameness, but preschoolers thrive on repetition!

Here are several songs that reinforce the teachings of Jesus and the truth of who he is.

This is My Commandment  (#119 Sing with Me songbook; or search Youtube for this song)

(Words: John 15:11-12; Music: Anonymous)

This is my commandment, that you love one another that your joy may be full.
This is my commandment, that you love one another that your joy may be full.
That your joy may be full, that your joy may be full.
This is my commandment, that you love one another that your joy may be full.

Additional stanzas:
This is my commandment, that you serve one another…

After you teach the song, let the children be involved in making up motions, or even adding more stanzas, such as, “This is my commandment that you ___________ (help one another; be kind to one another; forgive one another, etc).

Again, repetition is key – sing this song for all the stories you tell of Jesus life and work.

A favorite song for Palm Sunday and Easter to do with preschoolers is Shout Hosanna! The words and actions give it such great energy and excitement for this season. It can be found on iTunes , CD, the Sing With Me Songbook (#125). 

Shout Hosanna (by Robert C. Evans, © 1987 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)

Palm Sunday refrain:

Jumping up and down, jumping up and down, jumping up and down,  (Action: jump up and down)
shout, “Hosanna. Hosanna!” (repeat)

Easter refrain:

Jesus is alive, Jesus is alive, Jesus is alive,  (Action: clap your hands)
Shout, “Hosanna. Hosanna! (repeat)

(words for the stanzas can be found in the Sing With Me Songbook , iTunes, or CD)

Email your questions or ideas to info@coffeebreakministries.org.

Find resources on the Coffee Break Website

Talk with others on the Coffee Break Groups Facebook page or Coffee Break Network page

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