Kindergarten is an exploding year of firsts and an age of discovery. During this breakthrough year, kids' attention spans are growing; they learn to read, write, do basic math and understand simple scientific principles. Not only are they developing cognitively, but socially they begin to be an active participant in group activities and their eyes are opened to understanding who they are and how they fit in the world. They are learning cause and effect and the pieces are beginning to come together so that they grasp a head knowledge of Christ.
BELONG (to God and each other)
Kindergarten kids are beginning to understand that God not only loves the world, but He loves them specifically. The concept of sin begins to sink in, and they stand on the cusp of grasping that our sin separates us from God. But through Christ’s saving grace we can be forgiven of this sin and restored to a right relationship with God. Friendships begin to develop independent of their parent’s circle as they begin to be exposed to many different types of people. Help them find friends at church and develop their Biblical community. Now is the perfect time to graduate from a picture bible to a grown-up Bible. We recommend kids bring a bible that allows them to follow along when the teacher is reading. Typically, we use NIV in our elementary programming.
BECOME (more like Christ)
Spiritual disciplines begin to take root at this age. Help your child get to know their Bible by talking about the different books and what the numbers mean. Ask your child to join in family prayer time and practice praying out loud. Scripture memory comes easily during this age; put it to a tune or silly voice. Kindergarten is also a great time to help your child begin the habit of daily devotion. Tools such as Kids Scrolls or the series Discipleship Challenge are great ways to begin family discipleship moments. Kids love narrative stories! Help them read a verse or Bible story and ask these three conversation starting questions: 1. What do you learn about God? 2. How is God changing your life? 3. How might God use you to change the world? Be specific as you ask them questions about church. In addition to asking them what they learned during their service, ask them why they’re glad they went to church, if they have questions about the lesson, the funniest thing they saw or what they did during small group.
BEYOND (to make a difference for Christ)
Kids at this age begin to understand how they fit in God’s big picture. They have a heart of compassion for others and desire to meet needs in the simplest way. In serving others, they begin to understand they are serving the Lord. They are making new school friends; why not allow them to invite their friends to church?
Your kindergartener is growing and learning so quickly. Your kids need love and assurance, time and patience, and genuine attention and affirmation from you. They need to know you’re their biggest fan and that you’re proud of them for doing their best, not being the best. Kindergarten wears a kid out! Help your child navigate emotions with a feelings chart that they can point to and identify with. Prevent emotional outburst by setting a reasonable daytime routine and bedtime structure. Help your kids understand they can trust you. Find a “safe seat,” a place where any question can be asked without repercussions.
Using a story from the Bible like Noah’s Ark, your child will begin to make connections between your love for them, as well as God’s love for them.
Kindergarten kids are beginning to understand math. They want to know how many people and animals were on the boat, how big was the boat, and what were the conditions like? They learn that God is in control of our whole earth as well as nature. He is able to bring a flood that covers the entire earth for well over a month.
Your child is beginning to understand that God loves them on a personal level. Trusting faith in Christ begins to make sense to your kindergartener. They understand the Bible is a book that applies to them and is useful for making decisions and learning how to treat others.
“…the most important social influence in shaping young people’s religious lives is the religious life modeled and taught to them by their parents.”
-Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers.