Dear Sarah,

guidelines are found at the bottom of this newsletter. <<

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SSTN # 71 - August 17, 2005

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1) Two Year Olds' Attention Span
2) Speaking to adults
3) Books of the Bible Songs

User-Friendly and Economical Lessons

4) Creation lesson
5) The Bible and very young children
6) Two Year Olds' Attention Span

"Revolve: Teen New Testament"

7) Books of the Bible Song
8) Two Year Olds' Attention Span
9)  Ten Commandments Memory Technique
10) Uplifting Stories?

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1) Two Year Olds' Attention Span

Hi, I am a Parent Eduator for our school system as well as on staff as the
Early Childhood Team Leader at church. I don't say this to be a know it
all but through trial and error and training, I have had learned alot
about this age group. Much of my experience has been with playgroups that
have mixed ages of children from 1-4. I do a circle time that includes
singing, movement and stories.  It is amazing to see that with the right
materials and teaching methods, I can hold the little ones attention span
for up to 10 minutes.  However, haveing said that, I must say that this is
because of many factors including consistency and repetition.  Research
has proven that a child's attention span is based upon their age at a rate
of 1-3 minutes per year.  So a 2 year old child may have a 2 minute span
and may have a 6 minute span.  Even an adult attention span is only 20
minutes.  After that your mind starts to wander.  You can come back to the
speaker 3 times after you wander off bu!
t after that, you only hear 20% of what the speaker is saying.
Kids are all different and they all learn different.  I would say the
success of my circle time is because I take this into consideration.  I do
many interactive things with the kids such as if we are talking about farm
animals, I give them each a farm animal to hold.  I also totally mix up
the time with standing, siting, listening, feeling, singing and moving. 
If you for instance, have them sing a song first and dance to get their
sillies out then they are more likely able to sit for quiet time because
you have quieted their brain.  Kids at two are active learners and the
more senses that you can involve in their learning the better a chance you
have that it will stick in their long term memory!  So if you are teaching
about Moses as a baby, have a water table with baskets and babies so they
can experiece what you will tell them in the story.  They can connect the
two things together and they will understand better.  I still believe that
at this tender age, however, our em!
phasis should be on teaching these little ones that Jesus loves them and
we should at all times be "SON" reflecters so they will want to come back
over and over.
Wendy, Michigan

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2) Speaking to adults

Sarah in Ca, I must confess to being more than a little surprised by your
admission of being afraid to speak to "adults", because you are so very
articulate on list.  To the suggestions of the others I would add the
1)  The fact that you used the wording you did suggests to me at least
that, on some deeper level, you don't consider yourself an adult.  If you
had said something like you're afraid to speak in front of other adults, I
wouldn't have said thus, but your wording really does suggest a feeling of
2)  Do you have any folks older than you whom you know to be genuinely
supportive of you?  If so, try practicing your talk in front of them, then
picture everyone in the audience the day of the real talk as being that
3)  Remember that most of us old fogies really enjoy seeing young people
grow in their faith because we know the temptations which assail you,
having been faced with them ourselves.  Most of us love seeing you younger
folks bearing the torch, for you are the future of the church!  Rather
feeling critical toward the younger adults, we rather want to nurture &
help them along the way in whatever ways we're able.  There's also nothing
wrong in admitting you're scared--the Bible instructs us to confess our
faults to one another.  I think if you'll ask the older adults for help
with this, you'll find a wealth of love & support & caring.
4)  Ask yourself if this pastor's wife has actually been critical of you,
or might this be a person you admire greatly & wish to impress?
5)  Lastly, remember what Paul told Timothy:
Don't let anyone make fun of you, just because you are young. Set an
example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your
love, faith, and purity.
1 Tim 4:12 CEV

I invite you to contact me privately at:
if you think I can be of any help.
Jackie McBride

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3) Books of the Bible Songs

We use the songs in 'Salvation Songs Favorites' from CEF Press
"Books of the Old Testament" song is a traditional tune. (Have you ever
seen a lassie) The one for the New Testament is very easy to learn. It
really helped our children, 1st through 6th grades.
Thanks for the info about the Watermelon lesson
 Lewisville, TX

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Hands-On, User-Friendly and Economical Bible Curriculum 

Each of the hands-on lessons are accompanied with a craft, game,
Scripture memorization and song-time suggestions. Many include enrichment
ideas to further enhance your program. They're great for midweek classes
too! And to help your budget, one book is all you need for an entire
class! For K- 5th grade.

Learn more at:

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4) Creation lesson

September is coming and the traditional lesson goes to creation.  In our
area spiders are busily spinning their webs.  I spray the web with white
paint (when the spider is not in attendance)coming from behind the web I
 capture it on black paper.  I do this for each one of my students.
I mark on the bottom of the paper the scripture verse with a white gel pen
In the beginning.........
Elyria, Ohio

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5) The Bible and very young children

I read stories to my little people, generally 2 or 3 prior to the Bible
story Mercer Mayer has books on almost any subject with his Little
I do this to introduce the theme of the lesson as an example:
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate The Laundry -  for Adam and Eve and the snake in
the garden
Knuffle Bunny - for the Lost Sheep
Sailor Critter - for Paul and the ship wreck
Mail Critter - for Paul writing to people from prison
The Napping House - for resurrection
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - for resurrection
These are used as introduction to the lesson, in some cases we have a
suitable  craft directly after the story and before snack.  Then we pick
up the big Bible Book and talk about how it is a different type of book. 
The others were some thing out of someone's imagination they are called
fiction but the Bible is God's Word and we can trust it because God wrote
it just for us.
Marilyn Tyler
Elyria, Ohio

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6) Two Year Olds' Attention Span
I did a little research on the internet regarding the attention span of 2
year old children, the average of the articles I read was 10 minutes, with
15 minutes being the maximum and 6 minutes being the minimum.  From my
observation of children this age this range seems about right.  I also am
concerned about parents and teachers desiring to teach toddlers (and I
consider 2 year old children to still be toddlers) and children in
general to "sit still in church".  Personally, I am weary of watching 2
year olds getting popped with spoons, shoes, hands, etc., in order to
"train" these children to "sit still in church". To me a 25 minute lesson,
requiring 2 year olds to sit still, seems long.  I think whoever takes on
the task of working with children this age should understand that the
majority of their class should be active, especially, if it is going to be
longer than about 10 minutes.  A lot of patience and love is required
because children this age are active and have short attention
spans...Which means they can not sit still for very long. 
Tina from California

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"Revolve: Teen New Testament"

A Bible that looks like a magazine for teen girls! Revolve is the new look
for teen Bible publishing. Special features includes Blabs (Q & A), 12
month-long calendars, Love Notes from God, Issue articles, Basics of
Christianity Articles, Quizzes, Beauty Secrets, Guys Speak Out!,
Relationship articles, Truth or Dares, Devotional Reading Plans, and more.
In the Bibles section of our Bookstore:

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7) Books of the Bible Song

For many years our church has used the Old Testament and New Testament
songs from the "Wee Sing Bible Songs" cassette or CD by Pamela Conn
Beall.   It would work great for children as well as adults.  Happy
Joni, Coopersville MI

--from SSTN: you can find "Wee Sing" in the Music section of our

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8) Two Year Olds' Attention Span

I am responding to the two year old attention span.  I teach Sunday school
but not that age group.  However, my granddaughter is 3 and I have worked
with her at home, teaching her the bible.  This is what she KNOWS:
Jesus is God's son
Jesus lives in heaven
God told Noah to build an ark
God told Noah to bring the animals in two by two
God said it was going to rain for 40 days and 40 nights
God put a rainbow in the sky
Jesus made the blinded eyes to see
Jesus had 12 disciples
There are 66 books in the bible
In the old testament there are 39
In the new testament there are 27
Geneses is the first book of the bible
Psalms is the middle of the bible
Revelations is the last book of the bible
She can sing the books of the new testament.
If you really work with children and get them started early when they are
eager to learn, they will.  She knew more than some of the children I have
in class.  God is good!  Just thought I would share this information and
pray that it will encourage others to work with younger children and their

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9) Ten Commandments Memory Technique

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10) Uplifting Stories?

Dear Friends, I am in serious need of your help. I am the "publisher" of
our church's monthly newsletter and unfortunately, our pastor has decided
that her "column" and many other things are no longer a priority and I am
having a hard time getting contributions. I have only been able to put a
newsletter out every other month or so due to lack of content and our
congregation really misses them. I enjoy doing it, but my idea pool is
running dry. Does anyone know of a source for uplifting stories or ideas
that can be reprinted and shared with them? Any ideas would be
Oh, and please say a prayer for our tiny little church.....we could really
use them right now.
Thank you!!

--from SSTN: Here are a few ideas from my church's newsletter:
* Pastor's letter.
* Upcoming events and dates in the church.
* Kid's section might have a child write an article on a recent event he
or she participated in.
* Kid's section has craft or easy-to-make recipe. Some used by permission
from or other Christian resource websites and
* Adult section has an adult "book report" on a recently read book.
* Parent's section has parenting tips.

Sarah Keith <><

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