This lesson is designed to teach toddlers and younger preschool children about the love of God. It’s perfect for Sunday School or any small group teaching context.
Main Idea: God is love; no love is greater than His!
Scripture: Psalm 136:1; Romans 8:37-39; John 3:16; 1 John 3:1; 1 John 4:8; Matthew 22:37-39
Target Age Group: Toddlers, age 18-24 months
Original Teaching Context: Toddler Sunday School (these are also great for parents who desire to bring the knowledge/wonder of God to their children during daily playtime).
Supplies: Bible (See additional activities below for supply list.)
With toddlers, you want to keep your lesson simple. If your class is able, get them to sit together on floor in front of you. Hold up your Bible. SAY: The Bible tells us God is love; no love is bigger than His love! The Bible is God’s Word. He wrote it, so we know everything in it is true. The Bible tells us God is love; no love is bigger than His love! (Repeat three times.)
The following activities are designed to reinforce the simple Scripture truth, encourage toddler development, and engage their imaginations and creativity. Choose the ones that will work best for your classroom or family. For this particular topic, think through how you have experienced the truth of God’s love in your life. Let your relationship with Him and your experience of His abundant love for you overflow into your words as you teach the little ones about Him.
Learn a Memory Verse
Teach your toddlers the simple memory verse from 1 John 4:8, “God is love.”
SAY: The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that God is love (hold up your Bible). Can you say God is love? God is love! We are learning God’s word. Say it with me again, God is love! God is love! (Add simple hand motions, pointing up or signing God and love.)
God’s Love is Bigger
(Truth to reiterate throughout your time together.)
SAY: The Bible tells us God is love and that nothing can separate us from His love! He never changes, so we know His love for you never changes. God’s love is bigger than all other love.
SAY: “How much does mommy love you?” (Show them how to open their arms wide.) “Mommy loves you thiiiiiis much! But God’s love is even bigger!” “How much does daddy love you?” Show them how to open their arms wide. Daddy loves you thiiiiiis much! But God’s love is even bigger!” “How much does your teacher love you?” Show them how to open their arms wide. Your teacher loves you thiiiiiis much! But God’s love is even bigger! God’s love is the biggest love there is! His love is bigger than all other love! And His love is forever.”
You can also illustrate this point with building tall towers out of blocks. Build with your toddlers, then SAY: “Wow! This tower to is tall! It is so big! But God’s love is even bigger! His love for you is taller than the tallest tower! Nothing is bigger than God’s love.”
Also see these 3 wonderful God’s Big Love Object Lessons: https://ministry-to-children.com/gods-big-love-object-lessons/
Nothing Can Separate
SUPPLIES: Cardboard building blocks
VERSE: Romans 8:37-39
SAY: The Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from God’s love. DO: Show your toddlers how to build a wall and hide behind it. SAY: “This wall separates me from you!” Play ‘hide and seek’ with them a bit, then knock down the wall together, and say, “Nothing can separate us from God’s love!” Repeat several times.
God’s Love Never Stops
SUPPLIES: Stop sign made out of cardstock or cardboard. Or a ‘red light’ made out of cardstock and ‘green light’ made out of cardstock.
DO: Hold up the STOP sign. SAY: Stop! This sign says stop!” Hold up your GO sign. SAY: “Go! This sign says go!” Line your toddlers up on one side of the room. Have one teacher stand at the other side and play a stop and go game with toddlers. When the teacher holds up GO, they run towards him/her. When the teacher holds up STOP, they stop. Play until they reach the other side.
SAY: “When I said STOP, you stopped! But God’s love never stops. His love goes on forever.”
Love Sensory Box
SUPPLIES: Clear container filled with rice, heart-shaped items, pink and red items to find (plastic beaded necklace, ribbon, pom-poms, etc.), tiny shovels or other scooping tool.
DO: Hide the small items in the rice. Let your toddlers explore the rice with the scooping tools.
SAY: While they are exploring, remind them of God’s love for each of them and that nothing is greater than His love.
Cut and Paste Activity
SUPPLIES: Cut-out heart shapes in different sizes and colors, white glue, bowls for glue, q-tips, cardstock or construction paper
DO: Before the lesson, write, “God loves you” over the top of each paper. Show toddlers how to dip a q-tip in the glue, rub it on the heart shapes, and stick it on their paper.
SAY God loves you to each child as they work, and remind them that no love is greater than his.
Love One Another
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:37-39
SAY: The Bible tells us to love one another, just as God loves us. We can love one another by giving hugs, by sharing, by showing kindness, by helping, and saying, “I love you.” We can show love today by helping one another clean-up. Can you show love to your friends by helping clean-up our toys?
Example Clean-up Rhyme to the Tune of Frere Jacques:
Hand Print Heart
SUPPLIES: Poster board with a large heart drawn (big enough to fit multiple toddler handprints), washable, kid-safe paint in different colors on paper plates, wipes to clean hands.
DO: Show toddlers how to put their hand in the paint and make a handprint inside of the heart on the poster board. Allow each toddler to make a handprint.
SAY: Because of Jesus, we can love one another. Because of Jesus, we are a family. God tells us to love one another just as He loves us. And no love is greater than His!
For God So Loved the World
SUPPLIES: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones or your own Bible.
SCRIPTURE: John 3:16
Gather your toddlers around you on the floor. Read from the Jesus Storybook Bible, showing the picture, or SAY the following excerpt from the Jesus Storybook Bible, p. 36,: “You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children-with a Never-Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” Even when we run from God and disobey Him, He never stops loving us. The Bible is “The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle-the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture. And this is no ordinary baby” (p.17)… This baby was Jesus. God sent him to the world to rescue us because of his great love for us. Jesus came and he died for me and for you! But he didn’t stay dead-he rose again and defeated death! Because of Jesus, you can talk to God whenever you want. Because of Jesus, God is always with us. Because of Jesus, everyone who believes in him will one day be able to live with him forever. God’s love was so great love that He sent us Jesus. Jesus’ love was so great that He died for you. Nothing is greater than God’s love!
Transition this time to praising God through song below.
Sing Your Love is Deep
SUPPLIES: Musical instruments or consider making some DIY instruments for your toddlers if you don’t have instruments on hand. (Here a link to ideas on Pinterest: DIY Musical Instruments.) Your Love is Deep by Bussey, Collins, and Smith on CD, computer, or by memory. (Other songs to try, Jesus Love Me and Jesus Loves the Little Children.)
SAY: God loves each of you so very much! We can show love to God by praising Him through song! Let’s sing about His love together.
DO: Pass out instruments and sing/dance together in praise of God’s love.
Your Love is Deep
Your love is deep
Your love is high
Your love is long
Your love is wide
Deeper than my view of grace
Higher than this worldly place
Longer than this road I travel
Wider than the gap You filled
Who shall separate us
Who shall separate us from Your love
Nothing can separate us
Nothing can separate us from Your love
SAY: God promises to always hear your prayers. You are His loved ones! We can show God that we love Him through talking to Him. Let’s talk to him now.
Hold hands or bow your heads together (just demonstrate and ask them to do the same. Some may, most may just watch.) Say a short prayer like the following: Dear God, your love is greater than other loves! Help us to remember on the hard days, that your love never stops and nothing can separate us from your love. Thank you for loving us. Help us to love one another. We love you. Amen.