Making the Most of Your Sunday School “Transition Time”

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Making the Most of Your Sunday School "Transition Time"

“Transition Time” is the time period at the beginning of class when children begin arriving. It is often characterized by children arriving at varying times. Depending on your classroom structure and routine, this time may be only 10 to 15 minutes in length. What happens during this time is important as it often sets the tone for the rest of the class session. Therefore, we would like to encourage you to carefully plan and prepare meaningful, God-centered, faith-nurturing activities. Here are a few suggestions:

Small Group Activities

At the beginning of the year, divide the class into groups of 5-8 children, each assigned to an adult small group leader throughout the course of the study. As soon as the children enter the classroom each week, they immediately go to their assigned group. This option maximizes the time that the children spend with a faith-nurturing adult who comes to know the children in his group on an increasingly familiar basis. The children feel welcomed and have a place to belong, and the setting is ideal for doing the following kinds of activities:

  • reviewing lesson themes and application from previous lessons
  • checking on and encouraging Bible memory
  • sharing and praying
  • doing Bible activities: learning the books of the Bible, having Sword drills (for readers), reviewing Bible chronology, etc.
  • updating children who have missed previous classes
  • doing an additional activity from those listed at the end of a previous lesson
  • acknowledging birthdays, special holidays, and church events

Large Group Activities

This structure provides an activity for the children to participate in as a large group. Because it is designed to engage the children soon after they enter the room, it should be carefully planned and set up in advance. A large group activity provides variety during the year; it also allows for games and activities that are more exciting when done with more children. Here are some suggestions for large group activities:

  • a game or activity listed as an additional activity at the end of a previous lesson
  • Bible activities
  • missions speaker or presentation
  • special holiday celebrations with a God-centered focus
  • a class mural or wall display

Activity Centers

Set up two or three tables or “centers” in the classroom that offer the children different activities. Each center should be staffed by at least one adult leader. The children spend time at one center, and then move to the next center. Activity centers work well with younger children, since the variety helps to break up the class time into smaller time units. Some suggested activities include:

  • Bible memory table to review and chart Bible memory progress
  • additional activities listed at the end of a previous week’s lesson
  • a missions table where there is an ongoing missions theme, such as reading through a missionary biography, or learning about and praying for a new people group. Books such as I Heard Good News Today by Cornelia Lehn (Faith and Life Press) or You Can Change the World by Jill Johnstone (WEC International) are excellent resources for working with children
  • books of the Bible and Bible verse games

 

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Children Desiring God.

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