“God loves me, Mommy. Miss Sandy said so.” Your toddler enjoys Sunday school and learning about your faith. You can employ activities at home to reinforce those lessons. Your child will excitedly share the things you teach her with her classmates, spreading God's love. The activities help your tot grow up with a strong faith foundation for the rest of her life.
Scriptures to Share
The Bible contains many verses you can simplify for your tot to help him understand that God is love and loves him. Use John 3:16 or 1 John 4:9-10 to tell your toddler “God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to save us. This helps us know that God is love.” Follow that lesson with 1 John 5:2 by saying, “If we love God like He loves us, then we show it by loving others." Tell your child, “Your Bible is God’s love letter to you and tells many stories about how God loves us. Jesus showed us what God is like by loving those around him.”
Sing or play songs about God’s love, such as “Jesus Loves Me,” “God is Love” by Henry Lee, “Praise Him, All Ye Little Children” or “Loving Spirit” by Shirley Murray. When your toddler sings about God’s love, have her hug herself or hug someone else to share God’s love with them. She can sign “God is love” or “God loves” by pointing up for God and crossing her arms over her heart for love. Alternatively, she might use the “I love you” sign with raised thumb, index and little fingers aimed up toward heaven.
Crafts help your tot remember the lesson long after you stop teaching. Draw a large heart on paper and dip his hands in tempera or soap paint and cover the inside of the heart with hand prints to remind him that God’s love reaches into his heart. Give him a picture of your family and ask him, “Can you put a heart sticker above everyone that God loves?” Make sure he gives everyone a heart. Give him a paper plate with a heart in the middle of the plate and little hearts suspended from the plate rim on lengths of yarn. Let him color the hearts or decorate them with stickers and hang the mobile in his room to remind him of God's love for him.
Jesus told parables that you can share with your toddler to demonstrate God’s love. Share the story of the lost sheep or the prodigal son. Other options include Luke 7:36-50 where the woman washes Jesus’ feet with her hair, the parable of the lost coin in Luke 15:8-10 and Matthew 18:21-35 about the ruler who forgave the servant’s debt. The birth of Jesus isn’t a parable, but it demonstrates the tremendous love of God. You can also share non-biblical stories such as "God Loves Me" by Catherine Burr, "Thank You, God, For Loving Me" by Max Lucado or "God Loves Me More Than That" by Dandi Daley Mackal.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images