This year, we started a brand new curriculum from Kidology called “Stickers Through the Bible”. Stickers Through the Bible is a revolutionary new Bible curriculum for non-readers. By placing beautiful stickers into their Bibles, kids gain a love for God’s Word while gaining an understanding of the overall Story of the Bible.
Just before I discovered this hot off the press curriculum, my friend Paulette and I were lamenting that there was no “in between” Bible for kids. You go straight from the picture storybook Bibles to full text. Talk about overwhelming! Additionally, it was frustrating for preschool kids when they couldn’t find the day’s Scripture passage or memory verse in their Bible. Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this creative way to solve these problems!
On the whole, I love love love the concept of this curriculum. I love that kids get a general sense of where stories are located in their Bible and I love that every week, they are searching for the new stickers and practicing using their Bibles. Of course, as with any new curriculum, there has been a few glitches. Here’s some tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way!
Not Really for PreReaders
This curriculum is marketed towards nonreaders and pre-readers, however the only problem with that is that nonreaders have no idea WHERE to put their stickers. The first week we used the stickers quickly melted into mass chaos as every kid searched for the proper location in their Sticker Bible. Now, we were in creation, so it seemed like the kids could figure out “put it on the first page”. Not so. In the first few weeks, we ended up with quite a few Bibles that looks like this:
Since I really wanted this Bible to be a keepsake for the kids, I wanted it to look nice. Something more like this:
Here’s a few solutions:
- Mark the Bible with a bookmark ahead of time
- Put an “x” in the Bible where the week’s sticker should go
- Presticker the Bibles for the kids
- Match up younger kids with older kids who CAN read the Bible
We went with the presticker route. It did take a little of the fun out of the process, but it saved the teachers a LOT of headache. Each week after church, I sticker up all the Bibles for the next week. When kids come into class, they grab their Bibles and try to find “the new sticker”. I give a hint, like “This week, we’re in the book of Numbers” and refer to our Bible Book Border. As they turn the pages, they are reminded of all the previous lessons and stories as they search for the new sticker.
Not All Bibles Are Created Equal
The makers of this curriculum recommend getting Bibles in bulk to use in the classroom. Originally I purchased these Outreach Bibles, but later I found these which have CAPTIONS! The captions before each passage make it much easier to figure out just where to place the sticker.
Use the Bigger Stickers
Each lesson comes with bigger stickers for the teacher’s Bible and smaller stickers for the kids Bible. I ended up using the big stickers for the kids Bible one week on a whim and the kids LOVED it. They like the bigger stickers much better and I have to agree. The larger stickers make more of an impact and are easier to find.
Get the Sticker Maker (but use with care!)
To use this curriculum, you can either invest in a sticker maker (we got the Xyron 9-Inch Creative Station which is almost as magical as my Thermal Laminator) or use glue sticks to paste the stickers in. Let me give you a word of advice. Do not use glue sticks. We made that mistake once when we ran out of our adhesive cartridge and ended up with a bunch of pages glued together as well. And you know how thin Bible pages are. What a mess.
Cutting Stickers with Care
The sticker maker does have its own quirks though. Don’t get me wrong. I love that little machine, but getting the stickers to peel off the back. Whew! What a workout. I have devised a little system to help with the process, so I thought I’d save you the headache of figuring it out yourself!
Basically, you cut as much of the sticker as you can while it’s attached to the backing without loosing access to the edge. Trust me, you need this edge to peel that sucker off! Once you’ve cut as much as you can, peel away the back using the tab you’ve left for yourself and then snip off the little tail.
Use Some Bible Covers
We’re using this curriculum in our Children’s Church program, which is ages 4-9. We have about 12 kids in 1st service and 27 in second service, so it was hard to keep track of all those identical looking Bibles. Our solution? Bible covers! I first glued some cardboard (think cereal box covers) to the Bibles to give them a little sturdiness, then covered them in brown paper. I wrote the kids names along the spine and let them decorate their own covers.
Use the Take Home Papers
I love the take home papers that come with this curriculum. Not only do they do a great job summarizing the day’s lesson, they also provide a few simple questions to discuss with the kids on the way home.
Things I Would Love to See
So far, we’re really enjoying the curriculum, but I would love to see a few more craft or activity suggestions. As much as I love wasting my life away searching for ideas on Pinterest, a few of my teachers have remarked there’s not much to the lessons. In a way, I like that it’s simple (one page!), but when you’ve got 20 kids ages preschool to middle school, you’ve got to keep things moving! Since we don’t have the kids do their own stickers, we’ve got quite a gap in the schedule.
Also, I would love to see captions on each of the stickers — the coordinating Scripture reference and maybe the name of the character. This would make it easier to find where exactly to place the sticker and give kids more of a reference as they are looking through their Bibles.
More To Come!
Be sure to check back at this post, because I’ll be adding more tips and tricks as we go along. In the meantime, check out the Stickers Through the Bible Feedback Forum to see what others are saying as well!