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Early Childhood Winning: Four-Six

I believe the  real horror of Nursery Ministry  is when leaders fail to teach to the level of learning of their kids.  When we start to define success for our leaders, set realistic expectations, get to know our kids, and submit our needs to prayer we can begin to lead in new and creative ways.    I ve found the following materials as it relates to development of kids and I d like to share!

What should I expect both developmentally and spiritually?  

Speaking directly about those kids between four years old and six, I ve found the following information.

Developmentally // Three to Six

Between three and four:

  • Recognizes and matches six colors
  • Intentionally stacks blocks or rings in order of size
  • Draws somewhat recognizable picture that is meaningful to child if not to adult; names and can explain the picture.
  • Asks questions for information. // Why? How?
  • Knows own age
  • Knows own name
  • Begins to be aware of past and present

Between four and five:

  • Plays with words; creates rhymes
  • Matches pictures of familiar objects
  • Draws a person with recognizable parts
  • Knows own street and town
  • Has more extended attention span; learns by observing and listening to adults; as well as through exploration; is easily distracted.
  • Time concepts are expanded, can talk about yesterday and tomorrow

Between five and six:

  • Retells story from picture book with reasonable accuracy
  • Sorts objects by single characteristics
  • Uses classroom tools meaningfully and purposefully
  • Attention span increases noticeably; learns through instruction; when interested, can ignore distractions


Three to Seven Years // Experiencing Faith

Children typically act with experienced faith. Children respond to actions of parents and adults, while learning to initiate their own actions. They explore and test, imagine and create, observe and copy, experience and react.

Ministry Implications:

  • Continue activities begun in infancy, but with increasing involvement of the children.
  • Add to reading and playing, Bible stories with exciting narration, and encourage active use of the imagination on the part of the children.
  • Involve the children in creative telling and dramatizing of Bible stories.
  • Encourage children to ask questions about the Bible reading, and imagine what Biblical characters might say if they could be there.
  • Provide a worship readiness opportunity to help children understand what it means to worship and why the church participates in the various aspects of the worship service.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.