Sunday School began in the 1700’s and has been an integral part of childhood ever since. At the beginning of this movement, poor children with no education learned how to read at church schools on Sundays. Of course, Sunday’s schooling centered on religious education and over time, it became the primary crux of the church’s Sunday functions.
One important evolution of this movement was the development of Sunday School songs. These tunes were useful for reinforcing Bible lessons, teaching Christian principles and they were just plain fun.
If you had the opportunity to attend Sunday School as a child, chances are you remember some of those songs even today. Teach your class to sing songs and use hand movements to praise the Lord. These Sunday School songs for beginners are a good place to start teaching.
Jesus Loves Me: United Methodist Women has an audio sample and the lyrics to this song. Teach kids to point up when singing “Jesus” and to point to themselves on the word “me.” The word “loves” is illustrated by rubbing over the heart with the right hand. The word “yes” is demonstrated by nodding your head up and down. This beginner’s Sunday School song is perfect for toddlers and kindergarten classes.
It’s Bubbling: GospelMusic.org has the chords and words to this simple song. The two main words to focus on are “bubbling” and “soul.” Illustrate “bubbling” by wiggling the fingers quickly. The palms should face out and the hands held close together, side-by-side. A more active way to teach “bubbling” is to have children jump up from a squatting position. Little ones especially love this. On “soul” have children place both their hands folded over their abdomen. This Sunday School song remains one of my favorites.
This Little Light of Mine: KIDiddles song page has this bouncy song, including the lyrics and music. The “light” in this song is illustrated by the pointer finger. The finger should point upward and can even bend to make it “flicker.” When you sing the verse, “hide it under a bushel” use the opposite hand to make a sort of basket to cover the light. Pull the hand away and shout “No!”
Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World: Listen to the Cedarmont Kids sing this song on YouTube. This moving video will inspire your entire Sunday School class. This song is slow and worshipful and many children know it. For “Jesus,” make a sweeping motion with your right hand starting at the left shoulder and crossing over the abdomen to the right waist. This motion is also like a royal sash a king would wear. “Loves” is again the rubbing of the heart with the right hand. “Little” is shown by placing your hands palm down next to your waist. Next, “children” is demonstrated by making a circle motion around your face. The “world” can be made by using your hands to make a circle.
Other Songs for Sunday School
After you master the above favorites with your class, try these familiar tunes, “Down in My Heart,” “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” and “Praise Him.” There are tons of free resources out there for beginning teachers. You can also watch Cullen Wood demonstrate over 20 Christian songs for children on her YouTube page.
Read more from Mimi at Encouragement for Christians.