There are many different programmes available to buy for use in your group, either on a Sunday or midweek. The different programmes offer a variety of styles and approaches to teaching the bible and faith.
When choosing your programme think carefully about the needs of your group, children and leaders. Ensure you have looked into what the programme offers and evaluated its strengths and weaknesses.
Talk to others who use the material.
Don't be afraid to try new materials! Many of the publishers will send out a free sample pack to let you see the material and try it before you buy! These resources are listed in no particular order. Inclusion of these programmes on this website is not to be taken as a recommendation but does let yopu see the sort of materials on offer.
Much of the blurb describing each resource is lifted straight from their own publicity.
Calendar and Lectionary resources
Roots is a lectionary-based resource, offering materials to support weekly worship and learning of the whole Church community. It consists of two bi-monthly magazines for leaders - Roots Worship and Roots Children and Young People - supported by a website.
The Roots Children and Young People magazine provides flexible 'pick and mix' material for leaders of the 3-14 age group from which they can select and adapt relevant material for the range of ages and time available. It contains background notes on the readings, specially-written versions of the passages which children will understand, ideas for linked craftwork and activities, prayers, and ways to connect the bible teaching with children's lives.
Light is Scripture Union's Bible based learning resources which succeeded SALT Sunday school materials. The range includes Bubbles for under 5s, Splash! for 5 to 8s, Xstream for 8 to 11s, theGRID for 11 to 14s and Light Years for all age worship. The Light range includes CD-ROM audio visual resources, a Bible Timeline and specially written songs and music for worship.
Light is ideal for use with junior church on Sundays, in midweek Christian groups, at youth clubs, and with children's prayer groups. Church ministers will find Light meets their needs as a preaching, teaching and learning resource, helpful for running youth cell groups and celebrations.
Scripture Union have put many of their resources online and you can register and access and freely download a wealth of resources. You can access thousands of activities to use in your sessions and tailor each session to the needs of your group. You can follow the LightLive syllabus and create sessions or you can create your own syllabus for your group.
Susan Sayers has created a set of resources to help parishes get the very best out of the Common Worship Lectionary. Living Stones has ideas, outlines, intercessions, photocopiable worksheets, mini-dramas and much more. Living Stones explores the texts of the new Lectionary, explores the meaning and opportunities inherent in them and then offers ideas, suggestions and encouragement in applying wisdom. There are fully worked-out programmes for pre-school children, children and young people.
Seasons of the Spirit
This wings its way from Canada, has an anglo-catholic feel and is densely packed with material and comes very highly recommended.It is expensive.
Seasons of the Spirit curriculum, a lectionary-based resource is created by publishers and denominational partners in four countries.
Seasons of the Spirit is a resource for your whole congregation.
The vision is to provide God's people with lectionary-based, ecumenical resources that empower all ages to be transformed in Christ as they: explore meaning and mystery in the Bible; celebrate in worship, sacraments, education, and service; engage in ministries of love, justice, and witness; and live in inclusive communities of faith, shaped and led by the Holy Spirit.
From the Children's Ministry Teaching Programme, which is the Bible-centred, age-appropriate teaching programme that will help you disciple a new generation.
KidZone: 164 sessions providing a four-year teaching cycle for children aged 5-9. If you have a wide age range in your group, this material can be used with children from 5-11.
Y-Zone: 164 sessions providing a four-year programme teaching cycle for children aged 9-13.
MiniZone: 92 sessions providing a two-year teaching cycle for children aged 3-5.
TotZone: 92 sessions providing a two-year teaching programme toddlers and preschoolers
Go Teach publishes teachers' guides with accompanying visual aids and children's activity sheets in four age groups: 3s-4s (Beginners), 5s-7s (Primaries), 8s-11s (Juniors) and 12s-14s (Young Teens).They also publishes other undated visual aids and material to assist in teaching the Bible and organises an annual Scripture exam for 8s-14+ and for teachers.
CLICK is a comprehensive curriculum for Sunday schools. Their Leader's Handbook and Pack includes practical help for leaders of children's groups as well as CLICK lessons for three age groups. Includes take-home components.
On the Way aims to teach key details of the Bible narrative, giving children a firm foundation on which they can later build. The three year syllabus consists of 14 books and covers the main Bible stories from Genesis to Acts. Each year the birth of Jesus is taught at Christmas, the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter and aspects of Jesus' life between his birth and death. A short series on the Early Church is taught after Easter. The rest of the year is spent looking at the Old Testament stories, covering broad sweeps of Old Testament history.
This ensures an orderly and cohesive view of God's dealings with his people throughout the Old and New Testaments.
Each series is introduced by an overview stating the series aims and an appropriate memory verse. Each lesson contains the aim for the week, Bible study notes for the teacher, a lesson plan, suggestions for visual aids and three age-appropriate activities for 3-5s, 5-7s and 7-9 year olds. It is possible to join the course at any stage during its 3 year cycle.
There are four distinct age groups with carefully tailored material for each. Key elements of Powersource include Pastoral and Response Times underpin Christian growth. Pastoral Time is one of the Powersource 'essentials'. Leaders are encouraged to spend time with children building pastoral relationships, as children need to be nurtured as well as taught. This is especially true if leaders are part of a rota, and thus only seeing the children periodically.
Pastoral Time involves talking with the children, getting to know them - and letting them get to know the leader. Activities are suggested to help the process. I can only find two issues of PowerSource. I’m told these were published and it was not continued to go into a second year of material, both Issue One and Issue Two are still readily available.
Searchlights is the new range of Sunday group material from the publishers Kevin Mayhew. As with the Living Stones series from the same publisher (by Susan Sayers) there are age-group books for 3-5s, 6-10s & 11+, ands a 'Complete Resource Book' which contains all the material from the other books (except worksheets) along with suggestions for worship.
Searchlights follows the Common Worship Lectionary, and each week there are suggestions for activities, an idea for prayer, teaching material and a photocopiable worksheet. There are also suggestions for songs, and a separate CD set with the songs on can also be purchased.