There are two questions almost every parent asks their child after they leave the church.
“Did you have fun?” and “What did you learn today?”
Families years ago decided what church they would attend based on the worship and preaching. However, the criteria for church shopping is shifting. How much fun a child has along with what they are learning impacts whether or not a first-time visitor will come back to your church.
I once had a supervisor ask me, “What percentage on a Sunday morning working with kids do you assign to fun, and what percentage do you assign to learning?”
My answer was, “100% and 100%.”
One doesn’t have to exist without the other. As ministry leaders, we often underrate the “fun” factor. To some of us, fun maybe doesn’t feel very spiritual. But, preschoolers learn the best through play.
Professor Doris Fromberg, a Director of Early Childhood Teacher Education, says, “We need to consider that young children learn in quite different ways [than adults]. They learn by comparing physical experiences, by interactions with other people and their own feelings. And, they learn an enormous amount through their imagination…. Play is what pulls together the logical and creative parts of the brain.”
When preschoolers can run around and around the blocks seven times to make the walls of Jericho fall, they are learning and having fun.
When preschoolers dance themselves silly in large group, they are connecting a movement with an important lyric, an essential truth they need to know.
When preschoolers stick 150 million band-aids on a small group leader, they remember that God can do anything—even fix the worst boo-boo!
When we structure our curriculum for preschoolers with 100% fun and 100% learning, we stand the best chance of the preschoolers in our ministry leaving with the truths of God’s Word in their hearts and their minds.
“My goal in the classroom was always to make sure they were having so much fun that they didn’t realize they were learning.” – Rick Riordan