Disclaimer: Orange’s 252 Basics is not included in any Disciplr account. We hope this content helps you make an informed decision in your curriculum assessment.
Orange’s 252 Basics is an elementary aged curriculum based on Luke’s words about Jesus in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Designed for Kindergarten–fifth grade, 252 Basics is monthly, web-based, and designed to help kids discover how to grow in relationship with Jesus.
When you download your first month, you will be completely overwhelmed (and I mean that in the best possible way) with the robustness of this material. All this great material is broken into seven important segments:
- Prelude: This section considers how the environment for the month’s lessons can create excitement and investment in the whole experience.
- Social: Time for leaders to make connections with their kids and for the kids to engage with each other.
- Transitions: Finding a smooth way to transition from one segment to the next can keep their focus as you move into another element.
- Story: This is a large-group activity where they kids are introduced to the biblical story, but they’re definitely not just listening to a someone reading from a kids Bible. The story is brought to life in fun and dynamic ways.
- Worship: This is an opportunity for everyone to respond to God. There’s a heavy emphasis on the adults modeling worship by their own enthusiastic involvement.
- Groups: Once they’re back in a small-group setting the children get to review what they’ve learned, take part in some fun activities to focus on application, and work on their memory verses.
- Home: This is the hand-off to parents where you go over what the kids learned and prepare the parents to help reinforce what the children are discovering in children’s ministry.
What makes it great
Emphasizes awesome environments!
252 Basic’s focus on the environment is genius. I don’t know how often I have walked the halls of children’s ministries and found them horribly dated. What most churches don’t realize is that everything that a child experiences in church is influencing their view of the relevancy of the gospel to their lives. It’s actually adults who are able to better compartmentalize their environment from the usefulness of the information being presented—but areas for adult worship get more frequent updates.
I can’t commend Orange enough for considering atmosphere to be an important element of children’s ministry. And as they demonstrate in their material, it doesn’t take too much capital or work to really make something fun and interesting that ties into the current curriculum. The 252 Basic suggestions are fun and can be made to fit any church.
Don’t worry, smaller churches; it’s scalable.
As I dug into this material, I could tell it was a well thought out and exciting curriculum. In the back of my mind I was thinking, this is going to be one of those cases where you need to be a huge church to pull this off, and a smaller kids’ ministry is going to have to struggle to figure out how to make it work for their limitations. Boy, was I wrong.
One of the resources I received was the monthly lessons specifically formatted for smaller kid ministries. In these versions, all the curriculum elements are scaled down to use in a smaller church. As most small churches will tell you, it takes a lot of thought and effort to find a way to make large church curriculums work for smaller groups in a way that doesn’t diminish what’s great about them. Orange did that work for you.
No dead air or down time.
If you’re a parent, you probably know the warm feeling of walking into pick up your child from Sunday school to see an adult focused on and having a conversation with them. It just makes you feel good to see your child’s needs being met by authority figures they respect. I felt the same way going through elements of the lesson.
I love the “early arriver idea.” Which is a simple activity the first couple kids can do while they’re waiting for the other kids to show up. No kid likes to be the first one there and just sit around (and get more and more squirrely) while they bide their time. This simple, non-essential addition to the curriculum says, “we know what teachers are going through and we know what the kids are going through—and we’re here for you.”
This is the same feeling I get from the transitions. The suggested transition might be as simple as “Let’s go to Large Group to see what happened when someone else had this same question,” but its inclusion speaks volume about how Orange thinks through a lesson. They’re not just looking at the various elements, they’re thinking about the spaces in between, and that can make all the difference.
What you need to know
252 Basics is best for:
Age range: Kindergarten-5th grade
Bible translation: Flexible
Format and media:
Class format: Large group-small group
Material format: Downloadable
Includes video? Not out of the box, but supplemental videos are available
Scope and sequence duration: 3 years
Average lesson time: 60 minutes
Follows ISSL? No