Finding the perfect curriculum can be tricky. Sometimes there is too much or too little material. Sometimes the sample lesson seemed perfect but the actual curriculum is a disaster. Perhaps the curriculum was working splendid until a group of twelve 4-year olds moved up into your program. Oh yes, and then there’s the budget. Wouldn’t it be great to find a terrific curriculum that was FREE? It can be done, and I’ve listed a few places to get you started (in no particular order). If YOU know of a great resource, be sure to leave me a comment so I can add it to the list.
#1: The Zoo
This is a curriculum we used when first starting out. Originally written for a traveling “zoo” bus, it is written to keep unchurched kids engaged and excited about the lesson. It has different themes such as Detective Days, Time Machine Days, Construction Days and more. Each lesson includes game suggestions, music ideas, puppet skits, memory verse options along with the actual lesson. Many of our kids still remember the “Garbage In/Garbage Out” lesson from swamp days, now 5 years later.
Fellow kidmin man and blogger Ron Brooks has put out this curriculum based on lessons from the popular movie, Monsters Inc. Each lesson includes lesson prep, bible focus, game idea, movie clip start/end time, movie clip wrap up, object lesson, and main lesson. To grab this curriculum, just head to this post and sign up for the newsletter.
Perry Noble and NewSpring Church don’t want budget constraints to stand in the way of good ministry, so they have made some incredible resources available for FREE download on their website. You will find small group lessons, handouts, coloring sheets, large group scripts, worship music videos, Bible story videos, shopping lists, leader training materials, lessons for kids with special needs and much more! Fun themes include Pirates, On the Farm, Off the Rails, African Safari and Christmas theme. It looks like they are always adding new resources, so check it out.
This is my go-to site when I’m looking for supplemental material, and it also has a big selection of lessons. If you go to this page, you can see them all at a glance, but spend some time browsing around the site to check out all Tony has to offer.
This curriculum is put out by two full-time Children’s Ministry pastors who oversee their own Children’s Ministry. They have Little Ones curriculum (age 3-5) as well as topical studies (great for VBS or summer), Genesis-Revelation Children’s Church and a new set for Children’s Church detailing the life of Jesus. Everything is available in both English and Spanish and there are trainings that coordinate with all the curriculum. Personally, I really like the coloring pages and activity pages that you can find in every lesson. We used this for a time when I first got started and it was a terrific resource. I’m thinking of using the Little Ones curriculum in my own homeschool studies with my kids.
Another great website for supplemental material, Kidology also has 3 (THREE!) years of free curriculum right here. This collection consists of three 1-year programs: Old Testament Chronological Study, New Testament Chronological Study, and Value Keepers of the Bible. Whether or not you are a Kidology Member, you can download and use all the units from this series with grades 1-6. Also, this is a site to check frequently because they have a different freebie every day. One day, I got the Christmas curriculum “Gimme Gimme” free. 🙂
This was my go-to site when we were going through “The Story” (Zondervan) as a church. All the lessons are well organized. I love that they give background information, ways to introduce the story, as well as lots of craft and activity suggestions.
This is a new curriculum I just found, so I don’t have any experience with it, but it looks very promising. I love the idea of teaching systematic theology on a child’s level. I have to admit, I often find 252Basics (our current curriculum) lacking when it comes to biblical content and application and I think something like this might help kids deepen in their spiritual growth. This curriculum includes parent sheets, seems really well put together and even has a coordinating curriculum for 2-3 year olds!
#8 iPromise (Hillsong)
Hillsong says, “Our team is very excited to present a Free 9 session media curriculum that includes, for the first time preschool aged media!” You know with a name like Hillsong Kids, it’s going to be great curriculum, probably packed with great songs. I know I downloaded ours right away and am thinking about using it during the summer months. Grab it while you can!
This site contains over 150 lessons from both the Old and New Testament. 52 of the lesson have additional materials specifically geared towards preschool age. If you head to the site, you can see a full sample lesson all laid out (lots of activity pages and more). Also on the site is Bible verse games, training, and review games.
Mission Arlington publishes new material every year in a variety of categories. You can also find all the previous years on their website including Life of Christ curriculum, seasonal curriculum, Backyard Bible club curriculum, and adult curriculum. Many of the lessons, including through the Old Testament in a year, include suggested activities that engage all five senses. They also have pages to trace the memory verse and a complete coordinating preschool lesson. Lots of good stuff here!
What About You?
Where do you score free resources? I’d love to hear about them — leave me a comment and I’ll try to add it to the list!