If you run a children’s ministry, you will know that different age groups require very different resources. It can be challenging to get the balance right, however, as often the curriculum might need just a little tweak to fit the age group better. But, this isn’t always clear. If you are looking for the simple answer, then choosing a set curriculum provider that has already made those adaptations for you is probably the way to go.
We have compiled a list of the best children’s ministry curriculum options for each age group, starting from preschool, and going all the way up to teens/young adults. Read on to learn more about the key elements that each age group needs, and where to find the curriculum options that tick all of those boxes.
Preschool Ministry Curriculum
Option 1.) First Look
Run by Think Orange, this curriculum has been designed to give the youngest children a gentle introduction to Biblical learning. At the core of this curriculum is the central message that God created them, and in turn, loves them unconditionally. Combining developmental learning with intentional love, this curriculum will hold your little ones safe while they start to develop their relationship with God.
Optioin 2.) Go! Preschool
Centered around being led chronologically, this kids’ ministry curriculum by Go! is the perfect introduction to the whole Bible, from the Old Testament all the way through to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Helping to paint the picture clearly in the minds and hearts of your preschool kids, this curriculum has 12 clear units for you to take your students through.
Elementary Ministry Curriculum
Option 1.) 252 Kids
Created for kids aged 5-10, this orange kids’ curriculum combines child development expertise with knowledge from ministry leaders to bring you the perfect curriculum for kids of this age. With a focus on crucial themes like the importance of making wise choices and nurturing strong relationships, 252 Kids incorporates worship music, bible scripts, group activities, and video experiences too.
Optioin 2.) Ministry-to-Children
The more specific the ages, the better, and that’s just what Ministry-to-Children tackles with their curriculum, which has a separate bracket for younger elementary (6-8) and older elementary (9-12). If you have the resources to manage many different classes, then this is an excellent option, as it tailors the content to the unique experiences that young children are having.
Middle School Ministry Curriculum
Option 1.) XP3 Middle school
Tailored to suit older learners, this curriculum by Orange also provides you with the resources you need to plan your year, partner with parents, and lead great volunteers. At the core of Think Orange’s philosophy is the importance of taking worship home to the family, and so they even have apps specially designed to keep parents in the loop. Providing you with the support you need to run an excellent ministry, Orange has got your back.
Optioin 2.) Lifeway
Offering an exciting assortment of different curriculum options for middle-school-aged children, Lifeway allows you the freedom to choose. The gospel project takes a chronological walk through scripture and prioritizes the gospel, whereas Bible Studies for Life seeks to guide kids on how to equip the word of God in their everyday life because that’s where they need it most!
High School Ministry Curriculum
Option 1.) XP3 High School
Guiding kids through some of the toughest elements of high school, while reminding them that they will always have God behind them, this curriculum tackles the big questions that teenagers are asking. From why creation matters, to how to handle some of the worst things that happen to you, this curriculum is relevant, engaging, and blends scripture into real-life experiences.
Optioin 2.) Live
Provided by Group, this curriculum puts students and their opinions at the forefront of the curriculum. Led by lecture-style discussions to allow teens to share their thoughts and doubts in a safe and accepting space, Live prioritizes conversation. Helping them to really know Jesus, the goal of this curriculum is to show kids that He is a friend, not a figure to be feared or obeyed.
Choosing a relevant and exciting curriculum for the different age groups at your ministry is important when seeking to keep everyone engaged. If older students feel like they are just repeating the same curricula as last year, completing the same activities, and having the same discussions, they will likely feel distant from the truth of Jesus.
However, splitting up the age groups is easier for larger churches that have more resources and larger groups of students. If you are running a small church with children of different age groups, it could feel bizarre to put them into tiny classes of 2 or 3 students. If this is the case, don’t worry! There are still ways to get around this and provide relevant content for each of the student’s age groups.
Splitting the students up into broader groups works well, as you can then share a group of students the same video but then give them different worksheets based on age and ability. Or, if you don’t have much space at your church, why not give the older students more responsibility, so they can help the little ones while learning important life skills?
Blending easy worship with learning the word of God and developing good characteristics is the core of all kids' church lessons. So, find a way to accomplish this with free Sunday school curriculum options, or whatever resources you have access to, and your community will flourish!