Monday, November 4, 2013

Communion with Preschoolers/Young Elementary Kiddos

I mentioned some ideas I use with Little Man during communion time and wanted to share what I do with barely 5 year-old Q, as well.

To begin with, we often look through the Jesus Storybook Bible (I've referred to it a lot on this blog), specifically the pictures of the passion story.  There's a great illustration of Jesus at the last supper with the disciples that we look at.  During communion I put her in my lap and we quietly thumb through the pages and I talk to her about the stories and the meaning behind communion.

Then I also bring her "Stations of the Cross" set (linked up here) for her to work through.  I love that this helps focus her attention on Jesus' sacrifice and see some visuals.  I did make a couple changes--I replaced the rope with a tiny crown of thorns (the rope caused too much ruckus during worship as both my kids wanted it and fought over it).  I also traced around the backs of the manipulatives on the cards so she could check herself.  I wanted this activity to be something she could do independently while I had my own communion meditation.  We keep the set in a little marker bag with two zipping sides--repurposed and works awesome.  One side for cards and the other for manipulatives.

Often she still needs a little guidance from Matt or I to get started, but many weeks she can complete the matching by herself.  Some weeks I point out details in the illustrations--the crowns on Jesus' head, etc.

There are also some great "Stations of the Resurrection" cards out there that would work equally well.  Or you could make your own!

The first couple weeks we got out the cards she was a little hesitant to work with them.  That's okay, I know that new materials take a little time for familiarity.  Now she loves them and asks for them each week when communion time starts.  And 2 year old Little Brother can even do the cards with my help!

I really feel like the cards/manipulatives help focus Quinn's attention on Jesus and his sacrifice.  I love that they are getting more use than just during the lent season!

Also--another tip--our church uses a projector screen and often during communion they put up different images of the cross, Jesus' hands, etc.  I try to point these out to Quinn and we quietly talk about the meaning behind them.  Quiet whispering is totally allowed in our pew!