children sitting together

Understanding the different ways children learn at different ages will help you get your message across in ways that are effective and enjoyable for you and the children you are working with. Take time to think about what works with your group of children and be prepared to adapt what you are doing. Most of all, show that you care about and respect each child as a unique individual.

5 - 7 year olds

Learn most through their feelings and surroundings. Use experiences and activities based on what you want to teach. Include play time; dress-ups; concrete examples; varied activities to cater for a shorter attention span; simple language and short sentences; repetition of songs, games and activities they have enjoyed.

7 - 9 year olds

Learn well by processing facts. Use research and discovery activities with them. Make things; ask questions; encourage them to find answers to questions by reading, interviewing, recording answers (writing, drawing, modelling). Don't forget to use all the learning styles!

10 - 12 year olds

Enjoy learning in relationship with their peers. Use group work and discussion and team activities. Use real-life and biblical role models. Be fair and consistent, balance authority with friendly and genuine interest. Never criticise, say nothing if you can't think of a positive. Respect the mood swings that come with puberty, don't be perturbed, but know what the agreed boundaries are and deal calmly with unacceptable behaviour. Be an adult who is safe to be around.