Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In My Heart

We are launching another new feature here at Totally Tots, all directed at hiding God's word in your little tot's heart. We will be giving a memory verse, along with ideas for applying that particular verse to everyday life. Also, will be a packet of PDF files to download and use for your tot (and even older kids). The materials available for download will follow the same format each time, so you and your tot will know what to expect and have similar tools for teaching each time you are ready for a new verse.

Each week we will include:
  • A poster to hang up with the verse on it
  • The verse set to a familiar tune
  • Memorization cards, building the verse a bit at a time, to be put together into a mini book when it is memorized
  • A 2nd poster with the verse, in rebus form, for those older tots beginning to learn to read themselves (or for older siblings)
  • Mini cards with one word per card, for older tots and siblings to put the verse back together

Although we will be offering a new verse each frequently, many tots won't be ready for a new verse so quickly. We have created a new webpage for this feature, that will provide links to all verses and files to download, so you can easily come back and get a new one when your tot is ready.

Not all tots will be ready for everything we offer, so we wanted to share some thoughts about what would be appropriate for each stage. These are not set in stone, but a starting place for those of you needing some guidance about what to expect from your tot at the stage s/he is in.

Ages 12-18 MOS- This is a time to just expose your tot to the Word. The simple verse songs would be great, adding any motions you can to the songs. Even if your younger tot never sings along with you, just filling his/her mind and heart with God's Word is enough! Memorize the verses yourself and the tunes, make them a daily part of your time with your tot.

Ages 18-24 MOS-Some tots will be ready to sing along with you at this stage, and depending on their vocabulary, may even begin to repeat verses back to you, in small chunks. Not many tots will be ready for this, so don't be surprised if your tot wants nothing to do with it yet. Just keep singing and memorizing yourself, in preparation for your tot to be ready to join you! Keep things FUN, and be ready to offer more to your tot as s/he progresses in development.

Ages 2-3 YRS- This is the year most tots will transition in more as their vocabulary grows and develops. The posters will be more useful, the songs will most likely become a together activity rather than you singing by yourself. The actual verbal memorization will most likely begin during this year. This is also the time to begin explaining God's words and the verses you are memorizing to your tots as they are ready. Don't overwhelm them, but explain the things to them that you feel are on their level.

Age3-4 YRS-This is the big year to really dive into this as a team with your tot! Most tots at age 3 will sing along with you if you are having fun! Most tots will be able to understand your explanations as you not only teach the verse for memory, but also teach it to their heart(what the verse means). Many tots will be able to begin to memorize the entire verses, and using the mini-books(memorization cards) will be beneficial as you teach the verses part by part.

Older Children: If your tot is very advanced or you are involving an older sibling, we will also be including the verse written 1 word per card to mix up and put back together, and also the verse in rebus form with graphics. I plan to include my 7 year old in on and know many families who don't just have tots around. It will be fun to have all siblings young and old learning and applying the same verses (not to mention Mom and maybe even Dad!)!

Always remember that these are just general thoughts and that ALL tots are different! Don't expect too much out of your tot just because someone else's tot is doing it. You know your precious little one the best, go with your heart and pray for God to guide you as you teach His Word to the child He has given to you.

Here are 2 great resources we are using along with this feature,
My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts
My First Read And Learn Favorite Bible Verses

Look for our first verse to be featured soon!!!


Julie said...

you are such a rock star! You encourage me all the time. Seriously. I cannot wait to hang out with you when we come home on furlough.

LadySnow said...

This is awesome...what a great idea!

Laura said...

LOVE the idea!! Can't wait to get started :) Also, great job on the new website. It's so practical to have all the different categories right there. I often love the ideas I see, but feel that Smiley is still too young for some. Now I will have a way to go back to them all in one place when he's ready :)

Thanks so much for all the work you put into this blog! It's highly appreciated!!!

Jolanthe said...

You never cease to amaze me girl! :) Love it!


Mozi Esme said...

Looking forward to this feature! Esme (25mo) is just starting to put together finger plays/actions with verses, so it'll be fun to take this even further.

Gidget Girl Reading said...

great I can't wait! this will be lots of fun!

Anonymous said...

this is great! thanks!

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

I am excited about this. I'm always looking for new tools. Since Chloe was 18 months (she's 26 now) we've worked on verses with her on our learning poster

We've covered God is Love, Jesus is Risen, Children Obey, Be Kind etc. She couldn't actually talk much when we first started but we tried to use picture with the verses to help them remember. We work on a verse for 2 weeks, then move on and come back to the same verse in a month or so. She's talking quite well and looking at the pictures, she can tell you what many of the verses say without help!

Let's fill our little sponges up with His Living Water!

Goat Gal said...

I love it! I am so excited! You are so awesome to create this program! Thank You!

Shelly said...

Love this! Can't wait!

minneapplemom said...

This has been perfect for my almost 3 year old and my 6.5 year old.  I homeschool and wanted something to include both kids. I cannot believe how well my little one memorizes the verses too.  I didn't do this with my first two at 3 years old and should have.  My little one loves to see the verse hung up with the visuals.  This has been a wonderful blessing for us and it makes things so much easier for me and its free!