Teaching your kids about God's grace through the hymn "Amazing Grace" is a way to reinforce or replace Sunday school lessons. But with toddlers and preschoolers, you need to do more than just have a discussion of the song and its meaning, you need to provide hands on experiences. Crafts provide hands-on learning as well as a constant visual reminder when displayed.
Song Lyrics Frame
Before you do this craft, print or write out the lyrics of "Amazing Grace." You can even let 5 year olds copy them onto lined paper. Start by introducing, or reviewing, the hymn with your kids. Listen to it or sing it together a few times. Next, let kids cut out a large heart shape from construction paper. Trace it for them or show them how to fold the paper and cut to make a heart. Preschoolers can glue the hymn lyrics onto the heart.
To emphasize the "how sweet the sound" lyrics from the song, make a musical instrument with kids. Let little ones color the backs of two paper plates using crayons or markers. To attach the plates, punch holes in one, then make corresponding holes in the other. Lay them one on top of the other, back sides out, holes matched up. Let preschoolers thread yarn segments through the holes. Then you'll tie each segment in a knot to attach the plates. Finally, attach bells to each yarn segment.
Blooming in God's Grace
You'll need photos of your kids, construction paper, glue and paint for this activity. You or your kiddos can cut their faces out of the photo into a circle for the center of the flower. They can then glue the photo onto a piece of light colored construction paper. Next, have them draw or paint petals and a stem onto the paper. Finally, paint their hands green and have them stamp their hands onto the bottom of the flower, as though they are two leaves on either side of the stem. This craft can remind them of how them bloom in God's grace.
Lift the Flap Picture
Preschoolers and toddlers enjoy "lift the flap" pages in their books, so in this craft they make their own. You can remind them of the lyrics, "but now I see" as you work together. First, they should draw a picture of their family. Next, they should lay a piece of construction paper over their picture. Together, decide where the cut outs should be so that people will be able to lift parts of the construction paper to see the family drawn underneath. Finally, your or your kids should make the cuts, cutting only three sides of a rectangular or square shape in each area.
Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.