You may be wondering, “Does what I’m doing to have a song time with preschool kids matter?”
“Can I really lead kids in worship that are two, three, four, and five?”
I want to respond to you with a resounding YES! It matters. It’s important. What you’re doing isn’t just music. It’s not simply a time-filler or a box to check off. Kids worshipping is power packed! It’s valuable, and it’s an important way to disciple children in the way they should go.
In fact, the Bible talks about it and Jesus even quotes it in Matthew 21:16 (NIV), “‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?’”.
Jesus is quoting my favorite verse for kid’s worship in His response to the question.
Psalm 8:1-2 (MSG) says: “God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name. Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble.”
Take a few extra minutes to study the Scripture in a variety of translations. Look for how God has created, fashioned, perfected, and taught children to praise Him! What beautiful imagery and promise. Look it up in The Passion Translation too. It’s a verse packed with power.
Making Space for God to Work
I believe when you push play on a song to lead kids in a time of worship, you are unleashing the power of God to be at work in your classroom. It spills over into the hallways and family cars. As children recall and sing the songs you’ve taught them while they are playing on a weekday, others will be impacted by their worship—whether it be a friend or a family member.
You may wonder where to begin. Here are a few things that will help you focus and begin to disciple preschool kids in worship:
1. Develop a vision for it.
What do you want to see happen in and through preschool worship? What kind of engagement do you envision? And what do you want to make sure every preschooler understands about worship when they move up to the elementary area?
Discuss these questions with your team—including your teachers and volunteers. Help everyone to grasp what Scripture says about kids worshipping and share the vision you have for it.
Children’s worship matters. How do you plan to encourage children to give God praise?
2. Be intentional about creating time to worship.
Make time to worship in every class. I believe it’s our responsibility as leaders to help kids learn and obey Scripture. Scripture specifically talks about children giving praise.
When you gather, choose to use music to engage kids to worship. Just like you’re going to have a snack time and potty breaks, it’s important to become intentional about creating space for kids to celebrate God’s goodness in their lives. Make space for them to respond to Him with their love.
You’re not just singing songs—you’re leading these kids to worship God.
3. Have FUN and engage them.
Different songs call for different responses. Have fun, up-tempo, active songs that are naturally engaging in their lyrics. Songs that talk about taking specific action are an easy way to get everyone involved, moving, and participating.
Help kids celebrate, dance, jump, clap, spin, wiggle, shout, whisper, waive their arms, give a high five, and more. Great preschool songs include those things.
Remember to consider attention spans as you choose where to place songs. Length of song and vocabulary use are very important in keeping their attention.
4. Use props.
I have props that I use on certain songs. They may tie into the theme or message of the song—like a racing flag, superhero cape, bath toys, or palm branches. I also have some plush and foam instruments so I can invite a few kids to come up and help me with a song.
You don’t need a prop for every song you do or for every child in your class. Props are a great tool to help you keep things fresh and creative while engaging kids in different ways as you lead.
5. Slow songs are possible.
Every song doesn’t have to be a dance party where the whole room is bouncing from start to finish. You can lead young children in a slow song like “God Is Good”, “How Great Is Our God”, or “I Love You Lord”.
It may work best to allow the kids to sit as you sing a slow song. I often place a slow song after something very high-energy where they are maybe even a little bit tired—maybe after a song that included a lot of cardio.
You can then invite them to sit down and think about something they are thankful for from God. Encourage them to sing this song to show God their love and thankfulness.
6. They love routine and familiar.
Preschool kids love the same thing over and over. Find freedom in the fact that you don’t need a thirty-song repertoire.
Many churches sing the same songs every week for a month. Other churches have a theme song for the month that reinforces what they are teaching. They sing it every week and then mix in a couple of other songs for variety.
Try a few methods out and see what works best for you, your kids, and your team.
7. Define the win.
Remember: it’s all a process. Lead children one step at a time—one song, one week, and one month at a time. Set a goal of what you’d like to see or what you want to teach them.
Use what you want them to learn to help you better engage them.
Realize these goals are moving targets. Your goals for this month may be very different from your goal in six months or even next year.
Define what a win looks like for this week. Use this win to guide your song choices and what you are going to share in the transitions as you lead kids in worship.
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