When teaching Sunday school to various ages, it is always helpful to know individual characteristic traits.
Nursery child (Ages 2-3)
One minute they listen, two minutes they yawn, three minutes they wiggle, four minutes they’re gone. The nursery child learns that God is a real person who loves him and takes care of him. He learns to talk to God in simple natural expressions of love and trust. He learns that the Bible is the book that tells us about God and Jesus. He learns to respect the Bible, to take care of it, to enjoy its stories. He learns to say he’s sorry when he does wrong. He learns that God wants him to take care of himself and control himself. He finds security in obeying parents and pleasing them. He learns to accept times when he can’t have his own way.
Beginner child (Ages 4-5)
He learns that God loves others as well as himself. He learns that he is God’s helper, and he is important to God. He learns that Jesus is God’s son. He learns that the church is God’s house. He learns that the Bible is God’s book, which he loves and obeys. He sees Bible stories as they relate to life’s situations. He learns to make friends with his own age level. He learns to show respect to those who will lead and teach him. He develops good habits which are a foundation for a strong Christian life.
Primary child (Ages 6,7,8) Grades 1-3
He has growing muscles. He finds that God is the creator of the world and the power that holds it together. God is pleased when we do right and ready to forgive us when we do wrong. He sees God’s power and love at work. He enjoys Bible stories and finds in them a message for him. He understands that his actions influence others, learns that Christians share and help each other, and understands that becoming a Christian brings responsibilities. He recognizes his need for forgiveness of sin and for living a life that pleases God. He recognizes that he is part of His family, and under God he has responsibility for his conduct.
Junior child (Ages 9-11) Grades 4-6
He learns by doing (James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves). This is a good verse for a Junior. He gains a deeper understanding of the cross and God’s work for him there. He is at the prime age to sense personal sin and his need for a Savior. He understands God’s purpose in sending Christ. He begins to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He begins to see the Bible as a panoramic story of God working with His people. He understands Bible map study and geography. He enjoys using the Bible to read, memorize, and study. He begins to learn how we got our Bible. He learns to compete with others, and still feel friendly toward them. He finds that Christian behavior has many shades. He learns to cope with undesirable attitudes common at this age. He understands that it is important to make right choices in life. He develops strong trust in God’s guidance. He identifies easily with heroes and patterns his life after them.
Intermediate child (Ages 13-15)
He is confused, thoughtful and introspective, questioning, gang conscience, day dreaming, full of questions and doubt. He realizes his responsibility to God for his decisions and actions. He is ready for a deeper commitment of his life to God and to seek God’s guidance for his life. He sees the Bible as God’s revelation to man. He learns to forgive instead of strike back. He learns to serve instead of be served. He learns to overcome problems rather than run from them. He learns to seek reasons from the actions of others. He learns to live with ethical problems and handle them as a Christian. He begins to compose a self-portrait of who he is. He begins to face doubts. He begins to think of vocation. He begins to think of choosing a mate.
Young people (Ages 17-25)
He is facing the future, college, homes, and mates. He seeks life’s answers to his questions about God. God becomes his guide in choices of vocation, college dates, grades, getting along with others. He develops habits of Bible reading and study. He applies Bible truths to his own life. He probes the deeper meaning in Bible doctrine. He realizes he depends much on others and others depend much on him, especially as a Christian. He seeks God’s help in choosing friends, dates, and group actions. He is concerned about preparation for Christian vocation and marriage. He wants to know himself and God as much as he can. He faces adult responsibilities and relies on God for help.
Adult (Ages 26 and up)
He is working to build houses and careers. Some are divorced and alcoholics. Many are pleasure mad. He searches the Bible for answers to everyday problems. He seeks God’s guidance through His Word for home, business, and everyday activities. He understands his responsibility to God in his Christian life in building his home and conducting his business in community affairs. He faces the need to withstand the pressures which would cause him to put God after home and business.