Little Sprouts Curriculum Guide

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Overview of the Little Sprouts three-year curriculum.

Grounded in Faith Curriculum Guides

Little Sprouts

Three Year Bible School Curriculum for Babies and Toddlers

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Faith

Grounded

Children’s Bible Curriculum

Growing up strong in the Word of God


in

Faith

Grounded

Children’s Bible Curriculum

Growing up strong in the Word of God

Little Sprouts Curriculum Guide

Prepared 2020 by Laura Hewitson.

Do not reproduce without express written permission unless

otherwise stated.

Blossom sprout image courtesy of Freepik.com.

Memory verses are taken from many Bible translations in consideration of

age-appropriate language and grammar. These translations are as follows:

ERV = Easy-to-Read Version

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

ESV = English Standard Version

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright

© 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

ICB = International Children’s Bible

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999,

2015 by Tommy Nelson, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

NIRV = New International Reader’s Version

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All

rights reserved worldwide.

Copyright information sourced from BibleGateway.com.


Welcome to the Little Sprouts Curriculum Guide!

Little Sprouts is a new Bible curriculum designed to give babies and toddlers a very

first introduction to God, Jesus, and the Word. Over this three-year cycle, children

begin getting to know God and Jesus, learning about creation, and understanding

that God cares about them and is always with them. Little Sprouts is the first level

of the Grounded in Faith curriculum framework, along with Seedlings (3-5 year

olds), Deep Roots (Foundation-grade 2), and Mighty Oaks (grades 3-6). Curriculum

guides for other levels are also available.

As the Grounded in Faith Curriculum Framework is in its infancy, a complete

Little Sprouts syllabus is not yet available. Syllabuses and teacher’s kits for

individual units will be released in the final month of each quarter, ready for you to

begin teaching the new material the following quarter. Please note that the

Curriculum Guide is subject to change as the syllabus is developed.

Feedback on the Little Sprouts curriculum is welcomed and encouraged. This is the

first edition of this curriculum and we would love to continue to raise the

standards of the lessons and teacher resources we offer.

We hope and pray that the Little Sprouts curriculum blesses your Bible school

leaders, teachers, children, and families as you all learn more about the Lord and

His Word together.

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Curriculum Overview

The Grounded in Faith curriculum framework runs in a three-year cycle, and the

Little Sprouts curriculum is no exception. In Little Sprouts, children learn the basics

of who God is, that the Word is precious, and begin to develop an understanding of

the world around them that reflects the Lord’s image. Memory work is introduced

at a very simple level, following God’s instruction in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 to “[have

the Lord’s commandments] on your hearts. Impress them on your children.” The

Little Sprouts syllabus is full of opportunities for engaging with God’s Word in

sensory ways, through craft, songs, movement, simple stories, and play, so that

babies and toddlers look forward to going to Bible class and learning about God.

Teachers are encouraged to be excited about what they are sharing with the

children they teach so that their passion for God and His Word is planted in little

hearts every week. Babies and toddlers need lots of security and are learning so

fast, so they will learn a lot about God even from simple lessons. The lessons in the

Little Sprouts syllabus are designed to make it easy for even brand new teachers to

make their classrooms a welcoming and nurturing environment and have fun

sharing God’s love with children.

Over the next few pages, you will find an outline of the units included in the

Little Sprouts curriculum, including a brief summary of each unit, memory work

included, and key learning outcomes for each unit. Further detail about each unit

can be found in the syllabus for each unit (available separately). It is recommended

that children’s ministry leaders familiarise themselves with the curriculum overview

and the full syllabus as it becomes available so that they are able to offer support to

teachers as needed. Teachers are also encouraged to read through the full

curriculum overview so they gain an understanding of where the unit they are

teaching fits in the broader picture of the children’s learning. When it is

completed, the full Little Sprouts curriculum will be made available as a single

volume, complete with curriculum guide, full syllabus, and every lesson plan in the

Little Sprouts curriculum. Teacher’s kits for each unit will also be available

individually as they are prepared.

Grounded in Faith |

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How to Read the Curriculum Guide

Which year of the

three-year cycle this

unit is part of

Which term this

unit takes place in

Unit title

Overview of stories/

themes covered

in this unit, as well

as selected activity

ideas

Biblical

concepts

covered in

this unit

What children

will take away

from this unit

Verse children

will memorise

during this unit

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Little Sprouts Year One

Term 1:Who is God?

Unit Summary This unit introduces children to the Lord and help them get to

know Him. They will learn about qualities of God, touching on a

different aspect each week. Children will decorate their memory

verse, be introduced to God through prayer, and build a busy

book about God.

Biblical Qualities and identities of God:

Concepts Creator

Covered King

Trinity

Holy

Eternal

Unchanging

Just

Good

Loving

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

Glory

- Children believe that there is a God who truly exists.

- Children trust that God is stable and not erratic or changeable.

- Children begin to build engagement and interest in the things

of God.

- Children learn that praising God is a positive and fun

experience.

- Children build confidence in engaging with adults who are

not their parents/carers.

Exodus 20:2 ICB - “I am the Lord your God.”

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Little Sprouts Year One

Term 2: God Made Me

Unit Summary This unit leads children through learning about the way God

made them. They will explore their bodies, learn about how God

made their hearts and minds, and how He helps them to grow up

in His love. Children will make hand and foot prints, praise God

for their bodies through action songs, and spend time exploring

all the amazing things their bodies can do.

Biblical God creating people

Concepts Taking care of our bodies as a temple of the Lord

Covered Growing up in Christ

Praising God with our bodies

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

- Children understand that God made every part of them.

- Children develop an awareness of their bodies and the things

God made them able to do.

- Children learn that they can praise God through movement.

- Children build age-appropriate personal care skills

(e.g. washing hands).

- Children build confidence in their physical skills (gross and fine

motor) at an age-appropriate level.

Psalm 139:14 ICB - “You made me in an amazing and wonderful

way.”

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Little Sprouts Year One

Term 3: God Loves Me

Unit Summary This unit introduces children to God’s love for them. They will

learn about God’s love being with them every day, about its

unchanging nature, and that God’s love is reflected in His Word.

Children will decorate a giant heart for their learning space, look

in the Bible to find God’s love, and create mobiles so God’s love

is with them morning and night.

Biblical Qualities of God’s love:

Concepts Faithful

Covered Unchanging

Permanent

Free for everyone

Always present

Consistent regardless of our choices

Evident in His Word

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

Evident in His people

- Children understand that God loves them.

- Children begin to realise that they can find out about God in

the Bible.

- Children discover that God’s love is a special present just for

them.

- Children trust that God loves them all the time, regardless of

their behaviour.

- Children develop relationships with adults who model God’s

love to them.

John 16:27 ICB - “The Father Himself loves you.”

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Little Sprouts Year One

Term 4: God is Special

Unit Summary This unit invites children to discover the majesty and power of

God. They will learn about how they can honour God as little

ones, about God’s strength, and that God is gentle in His power.

Children will sing lots of songs of praise, participate in simple

prayers, and create treasure boxes full of things that remind them

about God.

Biblical Honouring & respecting God

Concepts Loving God

Covered God the Creator

God the King

God our Father

God the Healer

Praising God

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

God the Safe Place

- Children understand that it is good to respect God.

- Children learn an age-appropriate definition of praise.

- Children’s gross and fine motor skills develop through joining

in action worship songs.

- Children discover that God protects them and wants to keep

them safe.

- Children are excited to have God as their King

Psalm 145:3 ERV - “The Lord is great and deserves all our

praise!”

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Little Sprouts Year Two

Term 1: God’s Word is Precious

Unit Summary This unit introduces children to the wonder of God’s Word. They

will discover just why God’s Word is so special, how to take care

of Bibles, and what wonderful things are included in the Word.

Children will practice looking at Bibles and being gentle with

them, decorate a poster of their memory verse to hang in the

main worship space, and create a special Bible craft to remind

them that God loves them.

Biblical Respect of God’s Word

Concepts Truth of the Word

Covered Learning the Word

Loving the Word

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

God’s Word is for everyone

- Children’s discover that God’s Word is very special.

- Children develop a love for exploring God’s Word through

pictures, reading, play, and music.

- Children understand that God’s Word says special things about

everybody.

- Children recognise that their contributions are important to

their Church family.

- Children develop their communication skills through the

introduction of Auslan.

John 17:17 ESV - “Your Word is truth.”

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Little Sprouts Year Two

Term 2: God Made the World

Unit Summary This unit invites children to explore and discover God’s creation.

They will explore the days of creation, learn about caring for our

world, and discover how special God thinks they are. Children

will go on a nature walk, be introduced to local Indigenous words

for things in nature, and create a bush collage.

Biblical Creation

Concepts Value God puts on people

Covered

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

- Children develop belief that God made everything.

- Children build an appreciation of the natural environment.

- Children discover the unique and wonderful things God made

for us in Australia.

- Children begin to see God reflected in His creation.

- Children learn to respect the natural environment.

Hebrews 3:4 NIRV - “God is the builder of everything.”

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Little Sprouts Year Two

Term 3: God Made My Family

Unit Summary This unit introduces children to God’s particular care for

families. They will discover that God gave special jobs to the

adults in their lives, that God loves all kids of families, and that

children have an important role in their families. Children will

make picture books about their families, invite someone special

from their family to visit Bible class, and make family artwork for

their homes.

Biblical Family unity

Concepts Intergenerational relationships

Covered Sibling relationships

Children’s role in families

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

Adults’ role in families

- Children discover that families are very important to God.

- Children begin to understand that they are essential to the

functioning of their families.

- Children build confidence that the adults in their lives are

there to love them and keep them safe.

- Children develop an age-appropriate understanding of being

kind to siblings.

- Children extend their social development as they explore

family relationships.

Matthew 15:4 NIRV - “God said, ‘Honour your father and

mother.’”

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Little Sprouts Year Two

Term 4: My Friend Jesus

Unit Summary This unit allows children to explore friendship with Jesus. They

will learn about Jesus’ unique relationship with children, discover

all the ways Jesus takes care of us, and build their sense of value

in Christ. Children will make handprint hearts, make hugs from

Jesus, and take care of dollies.

Biblical Jesus cares about children

Concepts Jesus helps us

Covered Jesus heals

Jesus loves us

Jesus wants to be with us

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

Obeying Jesus

- Children build an age appropriate understanding of what a

friend is.

- Children develop their self-image as a reflection of Christ.

- Children discover that Jesus wants us to listen to Him.

- Children extend their social development by practicing being

helpers.

- Children develop an age-appropriate understanding of what it

means to be with Jesus.

John 15:14 NIRV - “You are my friends if you do what I

command.”

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Little Sprouts Year Three

Term 1: I Love to Come to Church

Unit Summary This unit gives babies and toddlers an age-appropriate

introduction to Church life. They will learn about what we do at

Church, the function children have in the Church, and will

explore ways they can join in during worship. Children will pack a

special worship bag for themselves, decorate a poster to display

photos of Church members on, and will begin to practice taking

care of their learning space.

Biblical Church unity

Concepts Respect of environment

Covered Prayer

Bible reading

Singing

Communion

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

Being a helper

- Children’s ability to help is reinforced through taking care of

their learning and worship spaces.

- Children build a sense of belonging through seeing themselves

reflected in imagery of their Church family.

- Children develop their enthusiasm for being involved in

worship activities.

- Children grow in confidence that they are important to their

Church family.

- Children develop an age-appropriate understanding that being

with the Church is important.

Romans 12:5 ICB - “In Christ we are all one body.”

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Little Sprouts Year Three

Term 2: God is With Me

Unit Summary This unit allows children to grow in the knowledge that God is

always with them. They will discover His closeness when they

pray, His watchfulness day and night, and His commitment to

never leaving us alone. Children will decorate lampshades, make

binoculars, and experience being wrapped in God’s presence

through play with blankets.

Biblical God’s constant presence

Concepts God’s watchfulness over His people

Covered God’s protection

God’s concern for our welfare

Being brave

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

Trusting God

- Children develop trust that God is always with them.

- Children develop an age-appropriate understanding that God

can see them wherever they are.

- Children discover that they can talk to God about anything.

- Children build confidence that God helps them to be safe.

- Children build their courage and faith that God helps them

with their fears.

Psalm 23:4 ICB - “You are with me.”

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Little Sprouts Year Three

Term 3: Jesus is the King

Unit Summary This unit welcomes children into the presence of King Jesus. They

will explore Jesus’ rule of the world, His royal nature, and

discover that they are royal too, as children of the King. Children

will dress up in royal attire, make crowns, and make a palm path

to welcome Jesus.

Biblical Jesus’ kingship

Concepts Being children of the King

Covered Honouring God as Sovereign

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

- Children find joy in worshiping Christ the King.

- Children develop an age-appropriate understanding of what a

king is and what they do.

- Children build confidence in knowing that they are royal

children of God.

- Children express their love for Jesus through worshiping with

their Church family.

- Children develop an age-appropriate respect for God’s role as

ruler.

Revelation 17:14 ICB - “He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.”

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Little Sprouts Year Three

Term 4: God Says I Am...

Unit Summary In this unit, children are introduced to what God thinks of them.

They discover their value in God’s eyes, learn about God’s plan

for them to grow in Him, and see Him care for them as His little

lambs. Children will make handprint sheep, create a friendship

banner for their learning space, and plant seeds.

Biblical Things God calls His people:

Concepts A seed

Covered Beloved

Brothers and sisters

Friends of God

Little sheep

Key Learning

Outcomes

Included

Memory Work

Valuable

- Children build trust that God values them.

- Children develop an age-appropriate understanding of the

family they have in Christ.

- Children extend their understanding of what it means to be

God’s friend.

- Children have God’s love reinforced to build their faith.

- Children discover that they can grow in love of God the same

way their bodies grow.

Matthew 6:26 ICB - “You are worth much more than the birds.”

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A Note on Babies and Toddlers

When teaching children of any age group, it is important to have a level of

understanding of child development, so you can understand what to expect from

the children in your class. This is a very basic summary of what babies and toddlers

are like, and more in-depth information will be provided in syllabus guides to assist

teachers as they implement the Little Sprouts curriculum.

What are babies and toddlers like?

Babies and toddlers thrive on routine, stability, and repetition. They are naturally still

learning to find a sense of security, and routine helps establish this. They may take

time to settle into Bible class as they often take longer to adjust to new

environments. Their emotions are often controlled by their physical needs - they are

happiest when they have full bellies, are well-rested, and have a clean bottom. Even

though children are only just beginning to develop their speech at this age, their

understanding (receptive language) is far more advanced than we adults often

realise. It’s a wonderful age to begin spiritual education because of this! They have

a very short attention span, but actually will rarely be bored as everything is so

new to them. Babies and toddlers learn everything through their five senses - taste,

touch, sound, smell, and sight. By using this to our advantage, teachers can help little

ones soak in a lot of information over the course of their early years. Babies in

particular have a short memory, so repetition is very important to them to develop

predictability and security. Children of this age are learning to crawl and walk, and

their fine motor skills are beginning to develop as they stack blocks, open lids, and

complete simple (1-2 piece) puzzles. Many children begin toilet training around 2

years of age, and accidents are common. Babies and toddlers are inquisitive and love

to explore and learn in a secure and loving environment.

Teaching tips for babies and toddlers:

- Encourage parents to come to class with their little ones, or ensure you have

ample help in the classroom so all children can be appropriately supervised and

included in activities.

- Ensure children have either been taken to the toilet prior to class, or come to

class with a clean nappy. This helps ensure their comfort and attentiveness.

- Get down on the floor and check out your learning space from a baby or toddler’s

perspective. You may discover hazards you didn’t realise you had before!

- Provide sensory experiences for children in the classroom, including nature sounds

or music, busy books with various textures, and mobiles and play gyms. Keep your

classroom smelling nice but not overpowering for little noses.

- Break class time into small chunks so little ones can stay engaged. Incorporate free

play, time at a table or in their prams, and movement at an age-appropriate level.

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Further Resources for

Teaching Little Sprouts

This Curriculum Guide serves as a birds-eye view of what’s included in the

Little Sprouts curriculum. To have the best teaching experience with the Little

Sprouts curriculum, we offer the following resources:

Little Sprouts Syllabus Guide

The Syllabus Guide is currently in development. At this stage it is being rolled out

one unit at a time, in sequential order. Once complete, the Syllabus Guide for the

entire curriculum will be available in a single document. Our Syllabus Guide for

each unit includes:

- A detailed week-by-week breakdown of lesson topics, scripture covered,

key learning outcomes, and memory work, covering 12 weeks.

- Detailed directions for teachers on how to prepare for the unit and for

each lesson.

- Information about utilising assistant teachers in the babies’ and toddlers’

classroom.

- A guide with ideas for filling a 13th week in a quarter to finish the unit

cohesively.

- A more in-depth look at child development in babies and toddlers and how

teachers can work with babies and toddlers effectively.

- A complete step-by-step lesson plan for each week (no need to plan your

own!).

- A checklist of all the resources required for each lesson.

Little Sprouts Teacher’s Kits

The Teacher’s Kits offer congregations a way to take all the pressure out of teaching

Bible class to children. They expand on the Syllabus Guides by providing all the

resources teachers need to implement each Little Sprouts unit. Our Teacher’s Kit

for each unit includes:

- The complete Little Sprouts Syllabus Guide for the unit.

- Bulletin board and classroom decorations.

- Master copies of attendance charts (colour copy and fill in children’s names)

- Master copies of memory verse handouts and activities for each week,

stored with that week’s lesson plan.

- All required visual aids for the unit (such as flannelgraph pieces and books).

- A crate of practical aids for the unit (such as toys, craft supplies, and small

bibles)

- A checklist of what is supplied in the Teacher’s Kit, and a checklist of what

the teacher is expected to provide.

We hope you enjoy using the Little Sprouts babies’ and toddlers’ curriculum!

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