Preschool Bible Center Ideas

Preschoolers learn well by being able to participate in hands-on activities.  This is why "centers" are so popular for this age group. Centers not only offer tangible objects for preschoolers to touch and feel, but also help them remember important lessons they are learning. Here are some great ideas for centers that you can put to use in your Sunday school classroom right away.

Family Living Center

This center involves teaching preschoolers about how a family functions. The center could include:

  • Kitchen with play food and dishes
  • Dolls with various outfits to teach how to take care of one another
  • Table with chairs
  • Aprons

Ideas to Consider:

  1. Put up real wallpaper just in this section of the classroom to give the kitchen a real home feel.
  2. Allow children to take turns in different functions of the family for pretend play.

Bible Stories Related to this Center: God Made Me, God Made Families, any Bible story about families

Creation Project Center

This can be a rotating center that offers different objects and activities for each day of creation. The center could include:

Day 1:  Let children make chocolate pudding (dark) and vanilla pudding (light). Use instant pudding, so they can enjoy the treat while still in class. You need a compact refrigerator that someone in your church is bound to have and can let you borrow for a week or two.

Day 2: Have children make a sky picture by giving them blue construction paper, cotton balls, and glue. Show them how to stretch the cotton balls to make different cloud shapes. You may want to write a memory verse on the top or bottom of the construction paper beforehand.

Day 3: Let the children add soil, grass seeds, and water to plastic cups. Make up directions for taking care of the cups onto label stickers, and let the children stick the directions onto the plastic cups.  Now they can take their plants home and watch them grow!

Day 4: Have the materials ready to make a Sun, Moon, and Stars mobile. Make cutouts of each shape using cardstock paper, and place a hole punch at the top of each shape. Provide string to tie each shape to a dowel rod.

Day 5: Draw a line down the center of a piece of posterboard. Name one side "Fish" and the other side "Birds." Do this for each child in the class. Provide wildlife magazines for children to find pictures of birds and fish. Let them make a collage gluing pictures of fish to the "Fish" side and birds to the "Birds" side of their piece of posterboard. Be sure to give each child a cup of Goldfish crackers at the end of this project.

Day 6:  Provide cutouts of various animals with a few details, so preschoolers can determine which animal is which. Use heavy cardstock or posterboard to make the cutouts. Lay out materials that resemble what the animals feel like, and let the children glue these objects to the animal cutouts. For instance, a sheep would feel soft and fluffy (cotton balls), a horse would have a flowing tail (yarn strands), a porcupine would have prickly skin (bark shavings), etc. As an added touch, turn the animals into puppets by having children glue a large craft stick to the back of each animal for an instant puppet show!

Ideas to Consider:

  1. Have helpers to work on the different projects with the children to make things go smoothly.
  2. Prepare as much in advance as possible to make your life easier in class.


 

Sensory Center

The five senses are an amazing gift from God. Preschoolers will love indulging their senses with these fun project ideas.

Smell: Collect baby food jars and poke holes in the lids. Cover each baby food jar with a piece of construction paper, so children cannot see what is inside the jar. Place a substance in each jar (cinnamon, vanilla extract, onion, etc.). Make a checklist by drawing each object on a piece of paper and writing out its name below the drawing. When a child smells one of the baby jars they will mark off what scent it is, and continue until the entire sheet is marked.

Touch: Make mystery bags using paper lunch bags. Place a different object in each bag. Blindfold a child and let her touch the item in one of the bags. See if she can guess what the item is without looking. If she can't guess, let another child try. Give each child a chance to do a different bag, and when you switch center groups, a new set of kids will be able to do the same activity.

Hear: Play animal sounds on a CD player. When the children hear the sound, they must act like the animal they hear.

Taste: Make rainbows out of Fruit Loops or a similar colored cereal. Prepare by making rainbow shapes on posterboard and lightly writing the colors for each stripe as a guide. Let the children glue the correct colors to form a rainbow. At the end of the activity, give each child a cupful of cereal to enjoy the taste.

See: Play charades! Prepare cards with people or animals in the Bible that children can act as. Divide children into teams. Let a child pick a card, act it out, and see if his team can guess who or what he is. Make the situations easy for preschoolers to act out. They get more joy out of actually being able to guess correctly.

Bible Stories Related to this Center: God Made Me

Drama Center

This center offers a great opportunity to rotate on an ongoing basis. Whatever Bible story you are working on, provide the clothing and props to match, and let children act out the stories.  Here are some ideas:

  • Good Samaritan - Generic Bible costumes, as well as Band-Aids, and a Bible.
  • Christmas Story - Stuffed animals, Mary & Joseph costume, baby doll (Baby Jesus).
  • Noah's Ark - Large cutout of the ark from a cardboard box, Generic Bible costumes, pairs of stuffed animals.

Use your imagination, and any Bible story can come to life for your class.

Ideas to Consider:

  1. Make props simple for preschoolers. They don't need elaborate productions to have fun and learn in class.
  2. Have helpers to make dramas run smoothly.

Book Center

Have bookshelves in place and stock them with Bible stories. Get donations of books from parents in the church, and find clearance sales in Christian bookstores and online. Provide a circle time rug for children to sit on. Have an adult helper ready to read to the children, or just let them browse through pictures on an individual basis.

Flannel Board Center

Let children create their own version of Bible stories with a flannel board center.

Ideas to Consider:

  1. Make your own flannel board with cardboard and felt. Cover the cardboard with felt and staple or staple gun in place.
  2. Cut figures and shapes out of flannel pieces. Be as creative as you want!

Coloring Center

Set up coloring pages based on the particular Bible story you are doing each week. Find many coloring pages here on PSS Central, or try the following resources:

Karen's Whimsy Bible Coloring Pages

Bible Coloring Pages - BibleColoringPages.org