Why I Give Preschoolers Stickers for Craft Time - post by S. J. Little

Why do I sometimes give preschoolers stickers for craft time? Am I being lazy? No. When used intentionally, stickers provide multiple benefits for preschoolers.

Benefits:

  1. Before they can effectively hold a pencil, a child needs to strengthen their fine motor muscles and hand-eye coordination.
    • Simply put, fine motor muscles are the small muscles in the hands. These muscles are used to do fine detail tasks such as holding a pencil, picking up a spoon, and putting beads on a string, among countless other tasks. When a child strengthens these muscles in their pre-writing years, they have an advantage when it comes time to learn to write. Peeling stickers and putting them on paper, exercises those fine motor muscles.
    • Hand-eye coordination is another super valuable skill for preschoolers to develop. In basic terms, it is getting one’s hand to go where one wants it to go. Activities such as feeding oneself with a spoon, writing letters, and giving high fives require good hand-eye coordination. Coordinating hands to peel the stickers and then placing the stickers where they want on the paper, are great ways to practice using hand-eye coordination.
  2. In our fast-paced world, teaching a child toStrips of stickers ready to be used by preschoolers. sit down and focus on one task for a length of time can be challenging. Stickers, I have found, can bring surprising results in this regard. Some children, though not all, are willing to sit down and work hard on peeling those stickers for longer than they would typically sit. Please don’t get me wrong with this one. Yes, we want children to be up and moving, engaged in active play, but it is also important for them to be developing their attention span. Having a longer attention span can enable them to get deeper into play rather than bouncing from one toy to the next.
  3. Most children enjoy stickers. As a teacher, I have a few children who do not enjoy craft time. Stickers might grab the interest of a child who typically dislikes crafts and help them begin to realize that sitting down to do crafts can be fun.

Tips:

  1. Cut the sheet of stickers into strips
    • Rather than handing a full sheet of stickers to a child, cut the sheet into strips. For really small stickers I find 6 or 7 stickers per strip is a good number as the paper is then big enough for the child to hold. For bigger stickers, I often cut them into groups of two or three. Giving the child only one of these strips of stickers at a time helps keep them focused and motivated as it isn’t an overwhelming number of stickers and there are fewer stickers to choose from at a time.
  2. Remove sticker blank areasPeeling back part of sticker sheet to make stickers easier for children to use.
    • I recently discovered that removing the blank areas around the actual stickers makes it far easier for little hands to peel the stickers. (See picture.)
  3. Teach children to bend the paper
    • Some children need me to teach them how to get the stickers. I show them that bending the paper causes the sticker to lift up for easy removal. (See picture.)Teach preschoolers to bend the sheet of paper to remove the sticker.
  4. Avoid “thin papery” stickers
    • Beware of thin papery stickers as they may rip easily when being peeled from the paper, making the activity difficult and discouraging for children.
  5. Mess-free craft
    • This is an excellent craft for picture day. When all my children are dressed in their finest outfits, and feeling fidgety due to the special day, stickers are my go-to. They won’t stain fancy clothes and the children are excited to use them.

What are your tips for giving preschoolers stickers for craft time? Do you see other benefits of using them?

11 Quick and Wholesome Snacks for Preschool - Inexpensive and Healthy Ideas by teacher S. J. Little

I get it. You’re busy, and you’re on a budget, but you still want to pack a wholesome snack for your child. What follows are some ideas for quick, easy, healthy preschool snacks that won’t break the bank.
As a preschool teacher, I’ve seen countless snacks sent with the children in my class. Some are fantastic while others are, well… not so beneficial.
Before I continue, I’d encourage you to be familiar with your preschool’s snack policy. Most likely it includes being peanut or nut-free. It may also include other things.
Disclaimer: The following suggestions are to be used at viewer discretion as every child and preschool is unique.

Fruit and Vegetable Snacks

    1. Fresh Fruit/Veggies
      • A classic for excellent reason! Sending fresh fruit or veggies for your child is super healthy.
      • I recommend cutting the fruit for your child rather than sending the fruit whole, unless you expect them to eat the whole thing. I have had many a time when a child eats one or two bites of an apple or banana, then throws the rest in the garbage.
      • When cutting fruit, and with small round foods such as grapes and cherry tomatoes, be aware of their potential as choking hazards.
      • Possible fruit or vegetables: banana, apple, orange, peach, Berries - 11 Quick and Wholesome Snacks for Preschool - S. J. Littlepineapple, grapes, berries, melons, carrots, celery, cucumber, tomato, snow peas, bell peppers, and so on.
    2. Frozen Veggies/Berries
      • Recently I discovered a forgotten bag of green beans in my freezer. This quickly became one of my quick and easy go-to preschool snacks.
      • Put a small handful in the microwave for a minute or two. Let them cool briefly, then stick them in a container.
      • I like to add a touch of salt and oregano to spice it up, but that’s optional.
      • Possible frozen items: green beans, broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mixture, peas and corn, berries, Brussels sprouts, or anything really.
    3. Cooked Veggies
      • This is another of my favorites. It’s healthy while still being quick and easy. My favourite is broccoli. I take enough to fill my small snack container, cut into easy finger-food size, then stick the pieces in the microwave with a touch of water for a minute. The microwave softens the broccoli so it’s easy to eat without dipping.Broccoli - 11 Quick and Wholesome Snacks for Preschool - S. J. Little I often add a touch of salt and spices such as oregano or coriander.
      • Possible veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage (in small portions), among others.
    4. Dried Fruit
      • I enjoy dried fruit. However, use your own discretion as to how healthy or not these are. Store-bought dried fruit may have additives or could be a concern if your child’s teeth are not being brushed well. However, they are certainly healthier than many other options.
      • Possible dried fruit: raisins, banana chips, cranberries, dates (pitted), mangoes, apricots (pitted), etc.
    5. Applesauce
      • Individual applesauce cups can be a healthy option, especially if you get the unsweetened kinds. However, be sure your child is comfortable using a spoon by themselves before sending this snack with them.

Other Snacks

    1. Leftovers
      • Have leftovers from a meal your child enjoys? Why not send them along as a snack. Just be sure your child is able to eat the leftovers independently, whether that means using a spoon or whatever is needed.
      • Options: pasta dishes, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken nuggets, pizza, pancakes, perogies, or rice with lentils or other sauce, to name a few.
    2. ProteinProtein - 11 Quick and Wholesome Snacks for Preschool - S. J. Little
      • It’s often a good idea to include a source of protein in your child’s snack
      • Protein options: cheese, cream cheese, slices of meat, pepperoni sticks, scrambled eggs, a hard-boiled and shelled egg, and so on.
      • Beans, hummus, and yogurt can also be included for protein. I’ll give more ideas regarding those below.
    3. Hummus
      • Hummus can be sent as a dip for veggies, or spread on pita bread, a tortilla, or a slice of bread.
    4. Yogurt
      • Fruit yogurt is another good and common preschool snack item. I discourage sending yogurt tubes as those easily make a large mess when squeezed. Individual yogurt cups, or pouring a small amount of yogurt into a reusable container works well if your child is confident using a spoon. Yogurt drinks are also decent options.
    5. Beans
      • This one might sound weird, but don’t cross it off the list too fast. Next time you dump a can of chickpeas or black beans into something, eat a few plain. I knew a child who enjoyed snacking on chickpeas. I would only give beans in small amounts, and along with other snack items. They are a simple healthy addition to preschool snacks.
    6. Crackers/Cereal/Bread
      • While I don’t recommend sending a snack consisting entirely of these sorts of foods, having some along with fruit, veggies, or other foods can make a snack feel more complete and filling.
      • Crackers – there are many types of crackers available. Some are far healthier than others. Check the ingredients for things such as artificial colour or flavouring. For a bit of variety, try rice crackers, pretzels, or plain graham crackers.Dry cereal - 11 Quick and Wholesome Snacks for Preschool - S. J. Little
      • Cheerios or other low sugar cereal that can be eaten dry is another option to consider.
      • Pita bread, tortillas, naan, and chapatis are among the many types of breads you could send with your child. Perhaps spread a little cream cheese, jam, or hummus on it to add flavour. (Be wary of chocolate spreads as they often contain nuts.)
      • Raisin bread – buy or make your own. Cut a slice, butter it, and place it in a container for snack. With store-bought raisin bread, I prefer to toast it lightly before buttering.

I hope this list has given you some more snack ideas that are practical, affordable, and easy to do, while being wholesome and healthy. Do you have a favourite preschool snack for your child? Comment below.

There are endless ways to help at your child's preschool. Here are 9 unique ideas to get you started.

There are endless ways to help out your child’s preschool

Another school year is upon us. My, how time flies! As I prepare to welcome a new group of students, and you send your little one off to preschool, here are a few suggestions of helpful ways you could volunteer to support your child’s teacher.

Note that different teachers have different things that they prefer to do themselves, or different licencing rules, or needs in their class. If they say no when you offer to help, accept their answer.

1.  Make playdough9 Ways to Volunteer for Your Child's Preschool - S. J. Little

  • Preschoolers benefit in many ways from playing with playdough. Their hand muscles are strengthened in preparation for writing, their creativity is engaged, and teachers can use it as a chance to practice social and language skills. However, playdough costs money, and, with so many little hands touching it, playdough certainly does not last forever. Most preschool teachers I know would be grateful if you offered to make a batch.
  • Tips:
    • Your teacher may have a favourite recipe to share with you.
    • Making the playdough can be done with your child (depending on the recipe), which can create fun family time and an opportunity to teach them to get excited about giving something away.

2.  Craft prep/cutting

  • Preschool teachers spend hours cutting paper in preparation for crafts and art projects among other things. However, I have to warn you on this one. Some preschool teachers can be extremely particular about the quality of cutting, others hardly care. Take a few weeks to watch what sort of arts and crafts your child is making, and the quality of cutting the teacher is doing. If you think you can match it, ask your child’s teacher if they would be interested in your help.
  • Tips:
    • If you take something home to work on, be sure to get it back to the teacher at or before the agreed time.

3.  Donating your skill/expertise

  • Sewing
    • Is sewing something you enjoy and have decent ability in? Tell your child’s teacher. She may have a cloth doll or a dress-up costume in need of a few stitches. Alternatively, offer to make a few simple costumes for the dress-up corner such as a couple of tutus or capes.
  • Computer skills
    • Not all preschool teachers are skilled with computers. If your child is at a small preschool, an offer to help polish their website, etc. may be eagerly received.
  • Community Helpers
    • A common preschool theme is community helpers. This includes individuals such as firefighters, police officers, doctors, dentists, vets, and librarians. Even construction workers and bus drivers could be included. If this is you, and you enjoy talking with preschoolers, ask your child’s teacher if they would be interested in having you talk about your job for a couple of minutes in class. This would be especially beneficial if you have some sort of items to show the children or even to let the children touch.

4.  Donating resources

  • Wood
    • Does your job involve working with wood? What may be scraps of wood destined for the garbage bin to you, may be treasures to your child’s teacher. I once had children make a keepsake craft out of donated flat baseboard. It was a hit!
  • Boxes and paper9 Ways to Volunteer for Your Child's Preschool - S. J. Little
    • Does your job involve very large cardboard boxes? Rather than throwing out or recycling a large box, ask if your child’s class could use it. Do you often have stacks of unused, clean paper to get rid of? Offer it to your child’s teacher. Even if the papers are too small for your purpose, many teachers would welcome papers as small as, say, 3″ by 3″.

5.  Field trips

  • Preschools often have a set number of adults needed for field trips and other unique activities. Finding that number of parents willing to come can be challenging. I have had to cancel activities in the past because not enough parents volunteered.

Tips:9 Ways to Volunteer for Your Child's Preschool - S. J. Little

    • Keep an eye open for announcements about field trips or other activities and ask your teacher if they’re looking for volunteers.
    • When volunteering, remember that you are there to watch the children, not primarily to stand to the side talking with other adults.
    • Come prepared. Dress appropriately for the activity.
    • Be aware that some children react unexpectedly when their parent is volunteering. More on that later.

6.  Special events

  • Does your child’s preschool have a Valentine’s party, a picnic day, a Halloween parade, a Christmas party, or a multicultural day? Ask the teacher if they would like a volunteer to help. Depending on the activities planned and the particular group of children, they may say yes or no.

7.  Washing toys

  • Did you know that preschool teachers wash their toys a lot? Some preschools wash toys weekly, others wash them monthly. Whatever the case, if you offer, they may be very happy to accept an offer to help wash some toys, or, based on a variety of reasons, they may have to say no. Note that toy washing is not a glamorous job and is often monotonous.

8.  Donations

  • Depending on your particular preschool program, your child’s teachers may gladly welcome a variety of donations. Many of these items could be donated when your child outgrows them. Be sure the items are in good shape prior to donating and age appropriate. These items could include:
    • Clothes (Keeping extra clothes on hand for when a child has an accident but didn’t bring a change of clothes is important.)
    • Plastic grocery bags (Clean and without holes. These are valuable when a child has an accident, or for a variety of other purposes.)
    • Clean diapers (If your preschool has a non-toilet trained class extra diapers are great!)
    • Toys
    • Halloween costumes (When a child forgets to bring a costume, having a spare costume for them to use is wonderful.)
    • Dress-up clothes, including multicultural outfits
    • Snow pants, gloves, swimsuits (If your school does activities requiring these items, having a spare can be a lifesaver.)

9.  Volunteering in the classroom

  • Now I suspect the first thing you think of when someone suggests volunteering for your child’s preschool, is staying in the classroom as an extra set of hands. There is a reason I didn’t put this first on the list. Every school has their own policy on this: some encourage it, some discourage it. Wonder why? There are several reasons.9 Ways to Volunteer for Your Child's Preschool - S. J. Little

It is always intriguing to me to watch the way a child’s behaviour changes when their parent stays in the classroom for a day. Some children barely change their behaviour, while others can go from perfectly behaved and good at listening, to rolling on the floor in a temper tantrum. Others can go from mischievous to well behaved. I suspect it depends a lot on how the child responds to the parent at home. This is why some preschools discourage parents from staying in the classroom, at least for the first couple of months of the school year. It is not because they don’t want the help, or because they are trying to hide anything, but because sometimes having a parent volunteer is more trouble than help.

  • Tips:
    • If your child cried the first couple days of school (many do), then volunteering to stay in the classroom right away may not be beneficial. If your child has just begun to settle in, your presence may throw that off and slow the adjusting process. Instead, wait until later in the school year to volunteer.
    • The first couple of days of class can be hectic. Some preschools bring in extra staff or volunteers to help. If you have childcare-type experience and your child is not disrupted by your presence, the teacher may welcome your help.
    • Respect your preschool’s policies surrounding parent volunteers. They are there for a reason.

Conclusion

I hope this list has given you food for thought when it comes to volunteering for your child’s preschool. There are endless ways you can help. When you save the school money, by donating items, or save the teacher time, by volunteering for tasks, you enable that time and money to be spent in other ways to provide an even richer preschool experience for your child. However, as mentioned, keep in mind that each preschool is different and may have different needs and policies. What may be a tremendous help to one teacher, may not be welcomed by the next.

On behalf of all the teachers and preschoolers who will benefit from your volunteered time, skills, and/or resources. Thank you!

S. J. Little reviews 7 animal preschool books that engage children through guessing.

The following are some of my favourite animal picture books that get children interacting at storytime. These guessing books for preschoolers give clues, whether visual or through words, about what animal may be hiding on the next page or under the flap. Especially at the beginning of the school year, I find these books intrigue youngsters who are otherwise unwilling to sit for stories.

1. Are You My Mommy?

(Lift the flap)

Written and Illustrated by Mary MurphyAre You My Mommy? by Mary Murphy - review by S J Little

This is currently one of my absolute favourite preschool books. The storyline – a puppy looking for his mommy – is simple enough for my two year old class to follow and enjoy. As the puppy asks each hidden animal if they are his mommy, the children try to guess the animal based on visible clues. My two year olds enjoyed naming each farm animal after I opened the flap, while my three year olds were typically able to guess the animal before I opened it. Now here’s the part that makes this little board book so fantastic. I found that most of my three year olds were well versed in, and becoming bored of, the typical farm animal names: horse, cow, pig… In fact, many of my two year olds knew them all. Mary Murphy doesn’t stop with just the standard farm animals. Instead, under each flap is a baby to go with the mommy. These baby animal names were brand new for my three year olds. They hadn’t heard of ducklings, piglets, and calves before. This kept my advanced students engaged and learning while still providing review of the standard animal names for my children who were newer to learning English.

Reading tips:

  • By using identical phrasing on each page you can invite your children to say it with you: “Are you my mommy?” “No, I’m a ___(allow children to name the animal)__, and this is my baby calf.”
  • I like to use a different voice for each animal. It helps the children stay attentive.
  • Because this book is, to my knowledge, only available as a small board book, some older preschoolers may scoff at it as being for babies. Therefore, how you introduce this book is important. I like to tell the children I need their help naming the animals. Also, because the baby animal names were new to my class, I decided to read it on two days during our farm week. To prepare the children for this, I told them I was going to read the book today, and then a different day I would read it to them again to see if they remembered it. This way I didn’t get any “we already read that” complaints when I pulled the book out the second day.

2. Peek-a-Boo! Ocean

(Lift the flap)

Written and Illustrated by Jess StockhamPeek a Boo! Ocean and Peek a Boo! Safari by Jess Stockham

This series of books is right up there among my favourites. They are good-sized board books with only 5 page spreads each. The sad thing about these books, however, is that, to my knowledge, they are no longer in print. Also, since children are often rough on lift the flap books, they are quickly disappearing from my local library.

As a preschool teacher, I find that many children have trouble settling into our circle time routine during the first number of classes. Especially with my two year olds, I find it works best to start with songs for the first few weeks, then slowly transition to adding some books in those times of singing. These Peek-a-Boo books are excellent first books for circle time during that transition. With my two year olds, I might wait a month before beginning to introduce these books and then moving to other books, while for the three year olds I’d start with these books in the first week or two.

What’s so great about these books? Let me tell you. My favourite part is the way Jess Stockham has left little clues visible so the children can try to guess which animal is hiding behind the flap. For example, the children might be able to see the animal’s tail or ear. Another thing I appreciate about this book is how bold and simple the pictures are. On top of that, the flaps are large, nearly as large as the book.

Reading tips:

  • When you read the words, such as “Who’s ear is this?” Point to the place where you see the ear peeking out from behind the flap.
  • After opening the flap, your children might enjoy it if you tell them something about the animal, such as the sound it makes or where it lives, for example: “The polar bear lives at the North Pole where it is really cold.”

Other titles in this series include:

  • Peek-a-Boo! Safari
  • Peek-a-Boo! Forest
  • Peek-a-Boo! Jungle

3. Do You Want to Be My Friend?

Written and Illustrated by Eric CarleDo You Want To Be My Friend? by Eric Carle - review by S J Little

This nearly wordless picture book is a lot of fun for 3-4 year olds. Each page shows the tail of the animal you will see when you turn the next page. Children enjoy trying to guess which animal each tail belongs to. The book includes a wide variety of animals some of which my three year olds were not familiar with. The variety of animals would fit well with a zoo theme. When I tried this book with my two year olds, it seemed too long and the animals and their tails too tricky for guessing. Therefore, I’d recommend this one for 3-4 year olds.

Reading tips:

  • Only two of the pages have words on them. I typically end up repeating the same phrase on every page: “Do you want to be my friend?”
  • Wait a moment before turning the page and encourage the children to guess.

4. My First Peek-a-boo Animals

(Lift the flap)

Written and Illustrated by Eric CarleMy First Peek-a-boo Animals by Eric Carle - review by S J Little

This short book is unique. Each page has a four line poem giving clues to what animal might be hiding behind the flaps. The large flaps do not cover the entire animal leaving toes, tails, and maybe a nose sticking out. 2-4 year olds can enjoy this book, however, I would say that my two year olds were not able to guess based on the poems. Also, as a teacher at a preschool that uses typical themes, I find it hard to know which theme to use this book in. It has a random combobulation of animals from a lion, to a horse, to a butterfly, to a turtle, to an elephant and more. Still, regardless of what theme you put it under, this is an engaging book for preschoolers.

Reading tips:

  • Based on the age and development level of your children decide whether or not to read the poems. If you wanted, you could encourage the children to guess simply based on the visual clues sticking out from under the flap and read the poem after you’ve revealed the animal.

5. Dear Zoo

(Lift the flap or pop-up version)

Written and Illustrated by Rod Campbell

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

The simple repetitive words and basic storyline of this classic book make it excellent for youngsters. Only a couple of the pages have visual clues as to what animal is hiding making them hard to guess. Each animal has a description word, such as big, fierce, scary, jumpy, etc. These words could be used as clues to encourage guessing. They also enhance the learning side of this book as the children may not be familiar with some of the description words.

Reading Tips:

  • I highly recommend the pop-up version rather than the lift-the-flap as the pop-ups add tremendously to the excitement and engagement factor. However, note that the pop-up version is more likely to rip if left unsupervised in little hands.
  • One small group of 3-4 year olds I read this book to, enjoyed it so much that we read it several times in the first sitting. By the third or fourth time through, the children had memorized most of the animals and description words. They loved being able to fill in the words rather than hearing me read it.

6. Bugs From Head to Tail

Written by Stacey Roderick

Bugs From Head to Tail and other books in the series Written by Stacey Roderick, Illustrated by Kwanchai Moriya

Illustrated by Kwanchai Moriya

I highly recommend the Bugs and Ocean Animals books of this fairly recent series. Both books have a wide variety of animals some of which are familiar to most preschoolers and some of which will be new to them. While these books do not have flaps to lift, the pages have been cleverly designed so that on one page you see a part of an animal as a clue, such as their feet or tail, etc. Then you turn the page to find out what animal it is.

While I really enjoy the Bird book, most of the birds are far too specific for 2-3 year olds, unless the children have a specific interest in knowing unique animal names.

Reading Tips:

  • On the page that reveals which animal it is, the animal name is given as well as a lengthy blurb about that animal. The details in the blurb are targeted for a much older age group, therefore I entirely skip them. (Also, the dinosaur book’s blurbs are primarily based on speculations about the dinosaurs’ behaviours, not known facts, so I don’t read them.)

Other titles in this series include:

  • Dinosaurs From Head to Tail
  • Birds From Head to Tail
  • Ocean Animals From Head to Tail

7. I Spy Under the Sea

Written and Illustrated by Edward GibbsI Spy kid's guessing book series by Edward Gibbs

I was surprised how much my wiggly three year old class enjoyed this book! First, we look through a spy hole to see what’s on the next page. I read the clues, such as “my arms are called tentacles.” Then the children try to guess what animal it might be before I turn the page. My class guessed some of the animals easily while others they’d never heard of which kept the book from being boring for my more advanced children. While the artsy illustration style is not my favourite, my class had no problem with it.

To my knowledge, this series is available as hardback and board book.

Reading Tips:

  • Encourage the children to try guessing even if they’ve never heard of the animal. Be sure your response to their guesses is encouraging. Especially with the quieter children, when they gather the courage to voice a guess, be careful not to turn them off by laughing at their guess.
  • Read the book ahead of time so that you know what’s coming. That way you can provide extra clues. For example, when I read the Under the Sea book to my class, we’d seen clownfish on our field trip the week before which I was able to use as an added clue.

Other titles in this series include: (Each focuses on various preschool topics as listed below.)

  • I Spy With My Little Eye (colours and clues)
  • I Spy Under the Sea (clues and numbers)
  • I Spy Pets (food and clues)
  • I Spy in the Sky (colours, big/small describers, and clues)
  • I Spy on the Farm (colours, first letters, and animal sounds)

What other animal guessing books for preschoolers would you recommend?

7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers by S. J. Little - these songs instill timeless truths about who God is to help build a strong foundation for your child's faith.

 

Recently, I’ve had a couple of people ask me about simple Christian songs to sing with preschoolers. Songs that don’t need a CD player, or a major in music, to sing.

Having taught Sunday school for many years and having been a teacher at two Christian preschools, I have gathered a number of solid Christian songs with great actions for engaging children.

These songs work excellent for transitions, such as moving from play time to story time, or if your children have to wait. Children 1-6 years old are likely to appreciate these songs. Some of them are best sung standing up, providing an opportunity to get some wiggles out, while others help calm and settle the class.

Beyond that, these songs are excellent teaching tools for hiding timeless truths in children’s hearts. While I don’t remember the stories I was taught in Sunday school when I was 4, I still remember the songs, several of which are on this list.

Please note: The sample videos I have included links to were chosen for the clarity of the song and actions. I am not associated with any of them and have not done extensive research into the groups who posted them. Also, while I tried to find videos similar to how I prefer to sing these songs, some actions and/or words may vary from the versions I have recommended for you.

 

1. Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day

(Tune: I Will Make You Fishers of Men)

A great energy outlet song. Children stand up and crouch down and stretch super high! While there are other verses for this song, I prefer to only use the words I have included below and then sing the song again faster, and faster!

Sample video: (this video has additional verses which I typically do not use. To match the words below, stop the video at 31 sec.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyO5jOIVTW0

 

Read your Bible, pray every day,7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers - Read Your Bible Pray Every Day - S. J. Little

Pray every day, pray every day.

Read your Bible, pray every day,

And you’ll grow, grow, grow,

And you’ll grow, grow, grow,

And you’ll grow, grow, grow,

Read your Bible, pray every day,

And you’ll grow, grow, grow,

 

Actions:

Read your Bible – Hold hands together, then open like book

Pray every day – clasp hands in praying posture

Grow – Start very low, then become a little taller each time you say “grow”. For the last time you say “grow” stretch on tippy toes with arms extended above head.

2. Happy All The Time (Inright, Outright)

Another excellent stand up song. I heard this song in grade 10, when helping with a kid’s program, and knew I’d heard it before. I finally remembered I’d learned it in Sunday school when I was 4 years old. It was one of my favourites.

Sample video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zegRF9ZA2dc

 

I’m inright, outright, upright, downright,

Happy all the time.

I’m inright, outright, upright, downright,

Happy all the time.

Since Jesus Christ came in, and cleansed my heart from sin,

I’m inright, outright, upright, downright,

Happy all the time.

 

Actions:

Inright, outright, upright, downright – Point in each direction as you say it.

Happy all the time – Clap on every other beat (happy all the time)

Jesus Christ came in – Point to sky, then point to self

Cleansed my heart from sin – motion with both hands as though swatting something away

3. My God is so Big

This classic song includes simple truths children can begin to grasp, yet such profound truths that even as an adult I cannot fully wrap my mind around them. Depending on how you sing it, this song can be an active, shake-some-wiggles-out song or a quieter sit down song.

Sample video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-3Ih-FOv1g 

 

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,

There’s nothing my God cannot do.

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,

There’s nothing my God cannot do.

 

The mountains are His, the rivers are His,

The stars are His handy work too.

 

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,

There’s nothing my God cannot do.

(optional) For you!

 

Actions:

God – point up

Big – spread arms wide (optional: do a star jump, then jump back in when doing “strong”)

Strong – make muscles with both arms up

Mighty – make muscles with one arm up and one arm down

Nothing my God cannot do – wag finger to say “no”

Mountains – touch fingers together above head making triangular point

Rivers – move hands back and forth wiggling fingers

Stars – alternate opening and closing hands

For you – point to someone

4. God Made Me

I saw another preschool teacher using this song and enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it with my own class. This is a quieter song with powerful truths simply told.

Sample video: (actions are not clear in video. See suggested actions below) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoVfIBzCapU 

 

God made me, God made me,

In my Bible book, it says that,

God made me.

 

God loves me, God loves me,

In my Bible book, it says that,

God loves me.

 

Other verses:

God helps me

God keeps me

 

Actions:

God – point up

Me – point to self

Bible – hold hands together and open like a book

Made – stack fists on top of each other (resembling sign language “make”)

Loves – make heart with hands

Helps –  cup hands as though receiving something

Keeps – hug self

5. He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands 

Another timeless classic. What a beautiful reminder that God is in control. Pick and choose which verses you want to use, or make up your own.

Sample video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cfJSSJUHaU

 

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole wide world in His hands,

He’s got the whole wide world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands,

He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands,

He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

Actions:

Whole World – start with both hands at top, bring down tracing a large circle

In His hands – cup hands in front of self

Itty bitty baby – pretend to hold baby and rock from side to side

 

There are endless other verses including:

The wind and the rain… (Sweep hands from side to side, then move hands up and wiggle fingers while moving hands down)

The sun and the moon…   (hold arms above head in circle, then twist arms into crescent)

You and me, brother…   (point to boys)

You and me, sister…   (point to girls)

The Mommies and the Daddies…   (point to parents)

Everybody here…  (motion to everyone)

6. The B-I-B-L-E

One teacher I knew always sang this song with the kids before reading a Bible story. It showed that this isn’t just another storybook.

Sample video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Ixfrs2cls

 

The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me.

I stand alone on the Word of God,

The B-I-B-L-E

Bible!

 

Actions:

B-I-B-L-E – open hands like book (could also nod the beat)

Yes – nod head and do sign language “yes”

For me – point to self

I stand alone on the Word of God – stomp

7. I’m in the Lord’s Army 

Little boys love this action song, as do little girls. I remember this being one of my favourites when I was young. I encourage you to explain to your children what it means to be in the Lord’s army. Our life has purpose.

Sample video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA4I_Yl5ZPY

 

7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers - I'm in the Lord's Army - S. J. Little

I may never march in the Infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,  

But I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir!

 

I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir!

I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir!

 

I may never march in the Infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,

But I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir!

 

Actions:

March – march in place

Ride – pretend to ride a horse

Shoot – start with one hand at hip and other up high, clap, put hands in opposite positions

Fly – move arms wide and lean side to side as though flying

I’m – point to self

Lord’s army – point up

Yes, sir! – stand straight and salute

 

If you doubt whether kids enjoy this sing, watch this cute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qao6u0A-k4

Bonus:

He Died Upon the Cross by Colin Buchanan

This is one of my favourite preschool kids songs, however, it doesn’t sound as good without instruments. Thankfully the song can be bought online as an mp3 file. I highly recommend you buy it and sing it with your children as this song captures the very core of Christianity as seen in 1 Cor. 1:3-4.

The song is available for purchase here (you can choose to only purchase this song #33, or buy the whole CD) https://colinbuchanan.com.au/products/practise-being-godly-cd-mp3-album  (Note: prices on website are in Australian dollars. This is not an affiliate link, I just like the song so much!)

Sample video: (has no actions) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIkFSZP89Ng

 

He died upon the cross.

He died upon the cross.

He died upon the cross,

For me, for me, for just for me.

 

One day when I was lost,

He died upon the cross.

He died upon the cross,

For me, for me, for just for me.

 

Additional verses: (Repeat “One day when I was lost” chorus after every verse)

They laid Him in the grave.

He rose up from the dead.

He’s coming back again.

 

Actions:

For – hold up four fingers

Me – point to self

Just – (optional for older kids) make “j” with pointer finger and thumb

One day when I was lost – point to self, then tilt head back and put back of hand to forehead as though tired and hopeless

He died upon the cross – point up, then spread arms wide like the cross and let head hang forward

They laid Him in the grave – move both arms downward as though laying something down

He rose up from the dead – move arms upward with hands outstretched

He’s coming back again – motion as though for someone to come closer

What are your favourite simple Christian songs to sing with your kids?