If you’re wondering how to talk to your preschooler (three-year-old, four-year-old, or five-year-old) about Jesus, these simple tips will help you as a Christian parent to have confidence in introducing your child to the Savior!
As Christian parents, teaching our children about Jesus is the most important job we have!
But HOW to do that might feel confusing especially if your child is young. A few months ago, I received an insightful comment from a parent who reads my blog. They said:
“We don’t know how much to dive into with our almost 3-year-old. He seems advanced and understands so much, but I just don’t know how simplified or how much detail I should go into when telling him the Jesus story.”
So how much detail should you go into with your preschooler when telling them about Jesus? How much will they really understand? Will it scare them to learn about the hard parts of the story?
In my experience as a mom of four, there are a few simple principles to follow that will guide you in having a conversation with your young children about Jesus.
Before we get started though, recognize that each of your children may understand WHO Jesus is on a different timetable.
As your children get older, they’ll start asking more questions. The difference between a three-year-old’s understanding of Jesus and that of a five-year-old can be huge!
Listen to those questions, and respond with simplicity. You can build on the details as they grow!
These five tips can apply to explaining Jesus to your preschooler between the ages of two and a half to age five. But be flexible! These truths will take hold of your child’s heart over time. It is the Holy Spirit’s work, not yours :)
How to Teach Your Preschooler About Jesus (in a Way They’ll Understand!)
1) Talk to your child about who Jesus is and why He came to earth.
It can be very easy to be vague about who Jesus is with children. But it’s incredibly important to explain to your child that Jesus is more than just a good man. He is God’s Son.
When kids are little, it’s still important to be specific with them about who Jesus is and what His purpose was (to save us!).
If you have a young preschooler (two and a half to three years old), you might start by reading a story about Jesus’ birth in a manger. You can do that at other times during the year besides Christmas! ;) THIS is our favorite book for that purpose.
Read these tips for explaining Jesus’ birth to your children in a way they’ll understand.
**I expand in #4 on how to talk about Jesus’ death and resurrection with young kids.
2) Talk to your child about how Jesus is with them and loves them.
When my older daughter was about five, she would often ask, “where is Jesus?” She had a hard time understanding how Jesus was “with her” when she couldn’t see Him! :)
If your child is wondering the same, you may want to explain that Jesus lived long ago on earth and now He still lives, but He lives in Heaven.
You might say something like this:
Even though we can’t see Jesus, we know that the Bible says that He is always with us! Matthew 28:20
When we pray, He listens to us. When we need help, He helps us. When we read the Bible, we know what He says because it is right on the pages! He is talking to you in the Bible! Jesus says “I love you!” John 15:9 And the Bible teaches you how to love Jesus and love others too.
Even the youngest preschooler can understand the concept of love. They probably view Jesus as a loving friend or parent right now, and that is just fine.
As they get a bit older, they’ll begin to understand how Jesus is their Savior too (see tip #4 below!).
3) Use an object lesson to teach your child about Jesus.
Little children love hands-on projects. Many of us are kinesthetic learners which means we learn by touching or doing, rather than just listening.
There is nothing wrong with simply telling a story, reading a story, or just talking to your child about Jesus’ love!
But sometimes an object lesson can strengthen that connection between their mind and heart about WHO Jesus is and what He has done for the world! Try the “Jesus Washes Away the Sins of the World” object lesson linked below.
4) Talk about what Jesus did for us on the cross and why it’s important.
It may be difficult to introduce the Biblical account of Jesus’ death on the cross to small children. It can make some children scared, so you’ll need to observe your child’s personality and adjust how you teach them about it accordingly!
When my kids were about two and a half, I began to tell them the story of salvation in this way:
Remember how we talked about Jesus coming as a baby in a manger? When Jesus grew up, He was ready to do something else very special. He died on a cross. It was very sad, but do you know what happened next? Jesus rose again! He did that so we could be forgiven!
Do you know what being forgiven means? It means that even when we do wrong things, Jesus’ love covers us so we can be God’s child. We can say “I’m sorry” and God says “you are forgiven because of Jesus! I love you! You are my child.”
Then we would read John 3:16, simple but effective! It was one of the first verses my children memorized.
You can also introduce the concept of sin (rather than just saying “wrong things”) as your child gets older. The age of four seemed to be the time when my kids could start to wrap their minds around the concept of sin and needing salvation, but your child may be different and be able to understand that earlier!
5) Use a storybook Bible to go deeper.
As humans, we learn and absorb through storytelling. Reading a Bible storybook with your preschooler is a great way to reinforce the truths about Jesus in an engaging way.
Read THIS POST for my recommendations for solid, truthful Bible storybooks that accurately reflect what Scripture really says!
My children learned so much by just reading with my husband and I. They pick up amazing tidbits in Bible stories that we may not even notice!
I promise you that you have the skills and tools you need to teach your child about Jesus! :) You don’t have to have perfect faith yourself to talk about faith in Jesus with your preschooler, just love for them and love for your Savior!
I hope these tips have given you confidence in talking to your preschooler about Jesus!
Looking for a simple tool to reinforce who Jesus is and help your child get to know Him? Check out our Pumpkin Patch Activity Pack, which goes along with the book The Pumpkin Patch Parable, an amazing children’s book that introduces the gospel in a fun way!
Click the photo below to learn more.