Your child's spiritual development is closely connected to her physical and emotional development. For children to thrive spiritually, biblical truths needs to be presented in age-appropriate ways. Use these developmental clues to find out if your child's Sunday school program is having maximum impact:
Birth to preschool:
Children in this range are developing their sensory and motor skills. Lively and interactive spiritual activities can enhance their motor skills, and simple board-book stories will introduce a positive concept of God. Classrooms should be full of fun and laughter, not "shhh" and "sit down!"
Preschool to early elementary:
As children begin school, their interests become a bit more individualized. But they still rely on concrete facts as they form their understanding of God. They also grasp spiritual concepts through allegorical stories. Classes should still include a lot of activity, but stories and follow-up discussion times are needed to reinforce spiritual lessons.
Early elementary to middle school:
As children gradually move toward independence, their concepts about God also move that direction. They begin to want to discover and experience God in their own way. While activity is important for kids this age, Sunday school classes also need to help kids personalize stories and allow them time for self-reflection.
Middle school through adolescence:
Kids in this range are becoming more independent, and their spiritual lives and faith become very personal. As a teen's thought life accepts more abstract concepts, they're likely to ask more questions and explore the deeper issues of faith. Classes need to help kids think through their hard questions and show them how to apply spiritual truths to everyday situations.1