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Ideas for Inexpensive Visual Aids

Visual Aids make Me Excited!

Why Spice?

Salt and spices are good!  We know that food without salt is tasteless.  The same goes for cakes.  Leave out the spices and you will have a very bland cake!  Jesus said in Matthew 5:13:

"You are the salt of the earth.
But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out..."

Jesus had in mind that Christians need to be salty in their speach, teaching and actions.  In Colossians 4:6, Apostle Paul told us to:

"Let your speech and conversation be always full with grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer every person"

And so the first way to make your lessons meaningful and interesting, is to ask God to inspire your thoughts, and anoint you with Holy Spirit power as you present your lessons and stories!

Why Visual Aids?

In the same way, Visual Aids add realism to stories and lessons, and increases the children's interest and involvement in the lesson.  In addition, bear in mind that children only remember about 10% of what they hear and up to 60% when they see visual material.  And to 90% if they reproduce the material themselves!

You can easily build up a library of visual aid materials from the following sources:

  1.  Visual Aid and Activity books (obtainable from Christian Bookstores).

  2.  Figures, illustrations, puppets and dioramas (made from card or paper).

  3.  Object Lesson materials.

  4.  Illustrated Bibles, Christian, Missionary and children's books.

  5.  Other book or magazine pictures.

  6.  Visual Aids from your current teacher's resource pack.

  7.  Flannel Graph story sets that contain precut figures.

  8.  Material you can download from the Internet.

Flannel Graphs:

Flannel Graph pictures still have a place in children's work.  Make them by cutting out pictures from magazines and pasting a piece of brushed cotton (fuzzy-side outwards) onto the back of the picture.  This allows the picture to stick to a felt-covered Flannel board.  Backgrounds and objects such as furniture, pots and armour or can be made in the same way from pictures or drawings.

Suitable Flannel Boards can be purchased from School Suppliers or you can make your own from a piece of Hardboard about 600 mm by 800 mm wide.  Cover the smooth side with coloured felt using contact adhesive.  Stand the board on a chair or an easel at a slight angle so that the pictures do not fall off.  As you present your story or lesson, add or remove pictures from the Flannel board at the appropriate moment.

White Boards:

A White Board can be used to illustrate stories or lessons.  Use Prestik to hold pictures onto the board or use dry-wipe pens to create your art masterpieces!  Backgrounds can be drawn or built up of pictures of animals, stones, mountains and houses.  The story figures are set out around these as the story unfolds.  The size of the board will limit the number of scenes to one or two, so bear this in mind when you prepare the story.

If they laugh at your drawings,then get volunteers from the audience to draw pictures as you present the lesson!  Children are captivated by watching a picture come to life in front of their eyes.


If you have access to a computer you can purchase a clip-art programme or find graphics on the Internet.  Use these to make words and pictures to use in your lesson.  Alternately, purchase a Bible colouring book and colour in suitable pictures and cut them out for use in your lesson.

Poster and Board Art:

Posters are an excellent way to illustrate a story or present a theme.   An easy way to make them is to tape a piece of posterboard to a wall and then project an image onto it from an overhead projector.  Trace the image and you have a poster!  Most posters look better when mounted on a contrasting coloured board.  Make sure that the lettering and pictures are large and show up clearly.

Chalk and Newspaper Boards:

People are captivated by watching a picture come to life in front of their eyes.  Visit Christian Bookstores to find books for the Chalk Artist.  Do live drawings in front of the children to illustrate your story or lesson.  Tell the story in the normal manner while you draw the figures or background as the story unfolds.

To make things easy especially with Newspaper Boards, beforehand lightly trace your picture with a pencil onto a sheet of white Newsprint.   The children will not be able to see the lines, but you will be able to.  Then use pens or chalk to flesh out the picture while you talk.

Face the audience while you tell the story and endeavour to keep the story flowing smoothly while you draw the figures.  Use a new sheet of Newsprint for each scene and pin the finished sheets in order on a convenient wall.

Children's Art:

Ask your children to create the visual aids for your lesson.  Give them each a sheet of A4 paper and tell them to draw people, backgrounds and objects to illustrate a certain part of the story.  Present the story or lesson, and when the relevant part is reached they can put their picture on a wall or a board using Prestik.

Using Visual Aids:

Pre-sort your pictures into the order that they will appear in the story or lesson, but avoid using too many figures as this will make the board look too busy.  Always remember to face the audience while you tell the story and endeavour to keep the story flowing smoothly while you add or remove the figures.

Props and Costumes:

The use of props and costumes livens up stories and adds realism.  Many Bible stories refer to objects and you can bring these to class to add interest to the lesson.  For example swords, spears, slings, stones, branches, sandals and other Bible objects.  These can be collected or made from wood or cardboard.  They are then painted in appropriate colours.  Make Bible or other character costumes for the teacher, helpers or children to dress up in.  The story can then be presented as a play or used for revision.

God bless!


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