Our MOPS group purchased Lively Lessons for Moppets to use with our 3-6 year old children for the first time this year. The basic concepts in the book are great--each lesson has a theme. All activities and crafts point back to the theme. Most themes use a specific Bible story (e.g. "Help Others" = The Good Samaritan; "God Keeps Me Safe" = David and Goliath; "Forgive Others" = The Prodigal Son) for emphasis. The goal for the theme, what the children should learn, carries the weight more than memorizing the events of the story. A few lessons only use a memory verse for inspiration, rather than a whole story. Those lessons are still pretty solid, and not having a specific story doesn't seem to weaken them. The sample lesson shown on the Website is one of these.
There were aspects of the book that led us to adapt lessons to be more suitable to our group's needs. I would probably only consider the first two to be actual weaknesses:
1. Each lesson includes an activity that links the snack back to the theme, including specific food items (e.g. using cooperation to create a trail mix in the classroom). With concerns about food allergies and storing perishable items, we adapted the lessons to work with our standard snack, goldfish crackers.
2. Most lessons seem to be geared toward small groups. A lot of activities give each child an opportunity to do or share the same thing independently while others wait. We tried to minimize some of the waiting with a few adaptations.
3. Some crafts have expensive items or would create a pretty big miss (e.g. plaster of paris handprints, paint activities).
4. Some of the activities involve a lot of touching between students (e.g. back patting, hugging). While it's nothing inappropriate, it seemed as though it would be an opportunity for our more physical children to rough house.
5. The book assumes that you have a children's Bible available for reading the story. This wasn't a problem for us, but could cause other groups to have to purchase supplemental materials.
In the end, it was easy to choose which activities to include in our lessons or to rewrite activities to fit our needs. For the price of the book, it is definitely worthwhile.
I got this book for a 4 & 5 year old MOPPETS class and they sit still & listen, participate in the activities, remember the verses, and practice the message in each lesson. It would be wonderful for any group of young children, teaches values we all cherish.