Bible Curriculum for 2 Year Olds

I know a couple of you have been waiting to see what we chose for a curriculum. The study guide we chose is put out by Joy of Living Bible Studies. I was hoping to get a promo code for you but, alas, there are no promotions available at this time. However, if you decide to purchase the curriculum for yourself you can feel good about where your money is going. From the Joy of Living site:

“Joy of Living Bible Studies is an evangelical, interdenominational, nonprofit organization, dedicated to increasing the study and teaching of God’s Word.

All money not used for printing and office costs is used to develop new Bible study courses and to provide materials free of charge to prisoners and others unable to pay for them.”

The particular study I chose for Kent is Bible Basics for Little Ones. Joy of Living offers other preschool studies but the Bible Basics is specifically designed to be simple enough for 2 year olds. It includes 33 lessons. The lesson plans are brief and geared towards Sunday School or nursery school classes that meet once a week. However, I am finding it very easy to adapt the plans for a homeschool environment. It is easy to come up with supplemental activities that tie in to each week’s lesson (and I’ll be posting my ideas here as we go if you need inspiration!). I knew this was the right study for us as soon as I found it.

Here are some of the reasons I like it so much:

  • There is a page in the beginning titled “Considerations in Teaching Two-Year-Olds”. Every parent should read this! It is a great reminder that it is NORMAL to have many challenges at this age but that our young children have great potential to begin learning about the Lord. The opportunity to help them establish a relationship with Him early should not be missed!
  • The music is included and scheduled in the curriculum! Using relevant songs really helps to draw interest from little minds and drive home each week’s lesson. Plus, the CDs are reproducible and the company actually suggests you share copies! This is intended for church classes but in our case I can make a CD for the car and and Grandma’s house.
  • Overarching unit themes are scheduled for 2-9 weeks at a time with different stories or lessons being focused on each week. This works perfectly with our new plan to leave our trays out longer. I can set up trays that fit the unit theme and leave them out for several weeks in a row.
  • The schedule is flexible. Keeping the unit themes together is nice and should be easy to do but, really, there isn’t a lot that carries over from week to week so most lessons can easily stand alone. Three lessons pertain to Christmas and two to Easter. The rest would work at any time of the year.
  • The topics are relevant to a small child’s interests. For example, this week we are learning that God made day and God made night. This is perfect for a toddler who has noticed the sun, moon, and stars and is fascinated with them!
  • It doesn’t require the parent or teacher to be a Bible scholar. I am still learning the basics myself so I wanted a study that lays things out in a simple, clear manner. This one fits the bill perfectly.
  • It includes suggestions for gross motor activities. They are very simple and repetitive but that is what 2 year olds like! Having the ideas right there saves me from over-complicating things and then failing to offer anything at all.
  • It was very affordable! Even with shipping I only paid $32 and some change. That’s less than $1 per lesson, and don’t forget you can make extra CDs!
  • The study guide is available as a downloadable pdf, a CD of the pdf, or printed on loose leaf paper. I opted to download the pdf and print the study myself because we have a laser printer and I was excited to get it as soon as possible. I took it to OfficeMax and had it spiral bound with a protective front and back for less than $4. This allows me to easily open up to the pages I need for the week, and making photocopies is a breeze.

    The music is available on 2 CDs or as a digital mp3 download. The sound is nice quality. Fingerplay and activity song motions are described in a special appendix of the study guide. I opted to have the CDs mailed to me. They came in a sturdy plastic case and included a printed list of the songs included. There are 131 song all together: 78 Bible songs and 53 activity songs. Most of them are very short, again perfect for the youngest learners.

    I suggest calling directly to place your order or ask questions. The actual charges were a bit different than the website said because of the formats I chose so it worked well for me to call. I couldn’t be happier with the customer service. Everyone I dealt with was fabulous.

    You can view a sample of the study, see the details, and find ordering information on the Joy of Living website. If you think of it, please mention that you heard about it here. I am not getting any compensation from them or anything but I think it would be nice if they knew how much we are enjoying the material.

    If you have older children check out their other preschool and youth studies. Kathy from Joy of Living shared with me in an e-mail:

    …we offer studies for Youth as well. They were originally developed for homeschooled children where the mothers were doing the adult study together at a church group. The Youth studies (as well as the Preschool studies) are reproducible, so a group of mothers that do it together could purchase one copy and use it for all. In addition, our adult studies are currently being used by a homeschool co-op of middle-schoolers.

    I hope this helps if you’re interested in teaching your little one about God in a more formal way. Please let me know if you have any specific questions about the curriculum. I’ll be sharing how we use it throughout the year so be sure to check back for ideas.

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