Ariana Lewis leads Story Hour at Avery Street CRC in South Windsor, CT. Through a program for moms, their Story Hour has revived and become very popular, bringing between 12 and 20 children a week. Ariana has learned from experience that it works best when she begins with the Bible story, and then adapts it to her teaching style and the children in her room.
One of her best resources is Pinterest! By searching Pinterest, Ariana finds up-to-date crafts or activities that fit her class. Listen to the joy she and the children share as they learn the truths of the Bible stories:
"One of our favorite activities that we've tied into a couple of different stories is going on a scavenger hunt outside the church. We first did it with the creation story and we hunted for things that God made. The kids love that! It's so fun to see what they come up with.
The kids love it when we find fun and different ways to tell them the story. For example, I thought the story of the Good Samaritan would be difficult for them to understand, and so I found a crazy idea online. I told the story once, telling the Bible story, and then I told it again, but I used bananas and oranges as props. Oranges and bananas did not get along because they were so different. A banana was walking along the road when he came upon some robbers. The robbers squished the poor banana and none of the other bananas wanted to help him because he was so icky. But then an orange came. And the kids got to say if they thought the orange would help. They still remember this story and talk about the bananas that wouldn't help, but that a good orange came along to help, and we should all be like the orange.
I think it's really important to know your class and also your own style. I've seen others teach differently than I do. But I know that I wouldn't be comfortable teaching my class the way they did. If you're not comfortable with the activities, or the way you're telling the story, change it. Find something new that teaches the truth of the Bible story. To have a good class, you need to feel good about what you're doing. If you have fun, the children will too."