Crayon Resiste Pictures: Draw a picture on a white paper using a white crayon before class begins. When you paint on the paper the paint will not adhere to the crayon wax. A “hidden” picture appears. Click here for written and video instructions.
Draw and Tell: Full instructions for using this idea for a visual aid are found at Draw and Tell Visual Aids Made By Children but it is also a great art activity. Before class plan how you will divide the story into “scenes”. Mark off that many numbered squares (or any shapes) on a paper so that children will be able to draw the appropriate number of scenes. Or print a template from the visual aid page. In class, as you tell the story, ask the children to draw something in each box. For example: Scene 1-Joseph lived in Egypt so draw a picture of something you might see in Egypt (like pyramids or mummies). Scene 2-Joseph was Pharaoh’s special helper and he wore Pharaoh’s ring (draw a hand with a ring on it) etc. You will need to do a trial run before class so that you will be prepared for this. For fun you can do this same exercise on a chalkboard, on big sheets of newsprint, on the footpath/sidewalk with chalk, in the sand or with any other surface or materials at your disposal.
Painting Pictures: Children love to express themselves by painting pictures. They could paint a scene from the story or any character. I like to use “Tempera Paint” because it is washable when it gets on clothing. Buy paint from a craft shop or office supply store or make your own. There are lots of recipes and ideas for paint online. For example: http://fun.familyeducation.com/painting/recipes/37039.html
Play Dough: There are lots of ways to use pliable dough. You can purchase play doh or make you own. There are a number of recipes online.
Before class decide what characters and props you might need to tell the story (for example a man, two women, a brick wall, a road, etc). As children arrive you can ask them to help you make these characters and items. Set them aside so they will be ready for story time. You now have a visual aid.
As an application to the bible story have the children make characters to act out the lesson learned.
As an application to the bible story have children roll out a “pancake” for a face and add various facial features. You could tell them a situation and they could make facial features to show what the person is thinking. For example, you could talk about a playground situation where someone was saying mean things. Ask one child to show the face of the mean child and another to show the face of the child being talked to. Other children could make their faces and say what other children might add to the situation (good and bad). Just use your imagination. There are endless applications.
Paper Doll Characters: Use the great paper doll and accessory patterns from http://www.makingfriends.com/friends/f_spiritual.htm to create characters from any bible story. The website contains both colour and black and white printable patterns which will suit younger children. Try these ideas:
Make your own paper doll characters as a visual aid to tell the story.
Copy the dolls onto thick paper then cut out and add items to them to form characters. Use tape or blue-tac to attach the characters to upturned paper or plastic cups to form “stand-up characters” to tell the story.
Choose and prepare patterns that the children will use to make the characters in class. These can be used to tell the story or used for a craft.
Provide children with the doll and key accessories to form a character in your story. In addition, provide fabric, buttons and other items to make a craft.
Relief Map: Provide a map showing the geographical area in the story (or older children can research their own). Use salt dough to make a map of the area. Include hills and valleys as in the map. Instructions for relief maps at http://www.squidoo.com/salt-dough-maps
Shoebox Dioramas: These are great for reinforcing a story. Items and pictures are gathered and used to create a 3 dimensional display depicting the story you are learning about. Decorating the walls, ceiling and floor inside a box makes a scene come alive. Small toys can be used inside the box or simple stand-up figures can be created out of folded paper. The diorama concept is what is often seen in the display cases at museums. Click here for instructions and examples.
Yarn Picture Outlines: Use a simple pre-printed colouring page or let children make their own by outlining the lines of the picture in glue and then applying yarn. You can adapt this yarn picture craft idea from http://www.kinderart.com/printmaking/fishyarn.shtml.