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Big Picture Bible Crafts: 101 Simple and Amazing Crafts to Help Teach Children the Bible Review by Lisa McKinneyGail Schoonmaker
1300 Crescent Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
Big Picture Bible Crafts: 101 Simple and Amazing Crafts to Help Teach Children the Bible, from Crossway, is a book filled with 101 reproducible crafts designed to help you take your Bible lessons even further! Geared for children ages 3-10, this book is perfect for the home, school, or church Bible class. Each craft includes a corresponding Bible passage, a detailed supply list, instructions and suggestions for different age groups, and an illustrated memory verse. The paperback book retails for $24.99 and has all the information needed for adding these crafts to your Bible lessons.
We incorporate a lot of bible lessons into our homeschool, and I was really hoping that this book would be the extra piece I needed to really cement in what we learned. All too often, I want to do a matching craft, but dislike taking the time of creating one on my own or digging through tons of ideas online. I hoped that this book would help me eliminate that time-consuming step. I learned very quickly how beneficial this book was for that very thing, when I discovered the way the crafts are listed in the book. The very first page is a table of contents where not only are the 101 crafts listed, but they are listed in chronological order and clearly show the difficulty rating of the craft using a three-star method. One-star crafts require little preparation and are easy to complete, while three-star crafts require the greatest skill and time commitment. Having these ratings next to each craft is a great benefit for planning purposes. I also appreciate that for every craft there is a basic direction for completing the project, but also a Make It Simple version for cutting down completion time, and a Make It Amazing note to allow you to take the craft up a notch in complexity for older students.
Each craft clearly notes the story the craft is for. For instance, lesson one is titled “God Creates the World” and notes the bible verses it coordinates with. Next it lists the supplies needed to make one craft and the instructions for completing this craft. There are notes for teacher prep, like “copy the creation templates onto copy paper.” All of the templates for the crafts are included immediately following the craft directions and are clearly labeled.
We did several of the crafts, but our favorites were the crafts relating to the learning the Fruits of the Spirit and the Armor of God. To complete these, I began by reading the passages from the Bible and having a discussion on them. Next, I brought out the pages needed to complete the projects. I had already followed the prep steps and decided whether or not to go with the Make It Simple or Make It Amazing changes. This means that we were able to get started right away. I did this craft with my seven-year-old and he was easily able to do all the cutting needed for the project.
I only have only two things that I didn’t really like about this book. Because this is a reproducible book, I expected the pages to be perforated, but they were not. This meant I either had to cut or tear out the pages that I needed, and without the perforation, some of my pages didn’t tear neatly. I also didn’t like that some of the templates were on the same pages as the lesson itself. I would have preferred them to be on their own pages to make it easier for copying and using less ink. Ideally, this book would be a great candidate for being spiral bound since there is so much copying needed for the templates. The book doesn’t lay flat, which is why I ended up having to tear out all the pages I needed. Because this book is going to be a wonderful staple for our bible lessons in school, and for using as projects that would work for my church summer camp, I plan on getting this book spiral bound for my own future use.
I absolutely recommend this book to any homeschooler, school teacher, or church youth class teacher desiring crafts to go with their Bible lessons. If I had discovered this book on my own, I absolutely would have purchased it. It is so nice to just look over the list to see if there is a matching craft, not to mention being able to adjust the crafts easily for difficulty. The time saved having all of this in just one book is invaluable!
-Product review by Lisa McKinney, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018