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VBS is not just for primary age children. There is truly something for all ages, and it can and should be a whole church event. It is easy to picture elementary students in VBS classes and adults as their teachers, but how can your church involve other age groups like toddlers, teens, and seniors citizens?
The toddler age group is typically defined as 2–4 years old. Is this too young for VBS? Ultimately, the decision on whether to offer a toddler class rests with the VBS director, but toddlers can get a lot out of VBS, and it can build their excitement for years to come.
We know from experience that it’s a little nerve-wracking bringing two-year-olds to VBS. Plus, it’s easy to wonder whether children that young will learn anything, have fun, and last the whole day. But as one brave parent said about his two-year-old girl, “After the first day, she was hooked. Our toddler class went through the same standard rotation as the other classes (Bible lesson, crafts, games, and a separate snack station) and enjoyed every bit of it. Even at a young age, the children were expressing what they were learning in the stations, and showing understanding of concepts from the Bible lesson.”
Additionally, some churches offer something for toddlers so that their parents can help out with the rest of VBS. Many churches advertise in the community about VBS for ages 4–12, but offer something for toddlers of parent volunteers.
Is there a way to keep the young kids learning and having fun without disrupting the other groups? Some churches have taken more of what may best be described as a “Sunday school approach” for the class. This means the toddlers will have the Bible lesson, games, crafts, snacks, and music led by a teacher in a separate classroom, without having the toddlers rotate through the physical stations with the older kids. This could be especially helpful if you have more age groups than you have stations. Another advantage to this style is the flexibility to switch to the next activity when the children are ready, rather than waiting for the designated time to move.
It’s not too late to pick up a Toddler Teacher Guide for your VBS director and start showing the love of Christ and His Word to these young children who can begin to grow in His truth.
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