Age Characteristics

*Adapted from materials provided courtesy of George Fox University Education Department


Primaries - Grades 1 through 3:

  Children are still building confidence in themselves.

  Imaginations are still in high gear and they have yet to establish a logical order.

  Symbols are reality, not just a sign of reality, and they are magical.

  They really want to do “adult” things.

  Kids are great at picking up and imitating the way people act. Putting them in this situation they can bring up questions that they otherwise might not raise, see Christian action out of leaders other than their parents in an environment that they feel comfortable in.

  Kids need to be in positive relationship so that they can see God in a graspable way.

   Imagination is excellent.

  Most of this group is able to read and write. Let them tell stories about themselves or their families. Read stories together from the Bible and wonder with them what it would be like to be a certain character.

  At this point, these kids can be pushed to begin to drop their self-centeredness.

  This stage is one in which legalism must intentionally be avoided. The Ten Commandments and other such scripture must not be drilled into children’s heads as being what God is all about. Rather, teaching must continue to focus on how to love and graspable ways to pray.

Juniors - Grades 4 through 6:

  Kids at this age have just begun to engage logical thinking skills.

  They are less self centered and are beginning to show capability at higher skill levels.

  They are starting to wrestle more seriously with self worth, particularly at the end of this stage. They highly desire to be part of a group or club.

  Also, with higher logical ability the ordering of stories and life experiences is coming into play more fully. We can begin to expect students to relate             what they are learning at to their life experience in more logical ways.

  They are not yet, and will not be for sometime; at a stage where they can understand nor separate truth from what leaders are telling them is true.