Teaching children how to hide God’s word in their hearts can seem overwhelming. When our first child was born, I felt like I did not know where to start. After much trial and error here are 5 simple ways I found were effective with teaching them the Bible.
1. Read it
( Keep it short and direct )
Toddler Bibles are a great resource ( we use this one ). They are a great tool to introduce the kids to Bible Stories. The pictures are helpful in prompting conversation and a great aid for visual learners. Since this book is short and to the point, I have noticed it helps our kids stay focused and able to grasp high level concepts of the stories. We do our best to read this daily.
Reading the “Big Bible” ( as our girls call it ) is powerful. We believe the word is alive (Hebrews 4:12). That said, we find it important to speak out to our children – but it in small bites!
The way we do this currently is using it as a way to encourage context. When we give our girls their weekly memory verse, we will read it in context and then pull out the memory verse for them.
Children may not engage much when reading from the “Big Bible”, and that is ok! Remember the goal is to plant seeds right now. Also, to teach the importance of keeping scripture in context.
Let the kids highlight memory scripture ( ours love doing this – it is hilarious ).
We try to do this weekly or every two weeks.
Frequency varies depending on the verse we are memorizing and how memorization/application is going ( more on that later ).
Also, just noting, we also have the Bible App for Kids! It has great ratings and the girl’s love it. Matt goes through it with them every evening and does the quizzes at the end.
2. Listen to it
( Then dance and sing – loud and proud)
One of my favorite resources for teaching our toddlers God’s word is through music. We love Seeds Family Worship! This is a fun and easy way for anyone to memorize the word, because every song is 100% scripture!
To be honest, I’ve memorized more scripture from just listening to Seeds throughout the years than any other method. I find myself singing the songs even without the kids around. I’ll shamelessly throw out the fact that I also jam out to these songs when the kids aren’t even around ( I mean, why not? ). The songs aren’t cheesy, they are catchy and fun to dance to, just ask my girls! ( Ok – Matt & I dance to them, too – haha ).
There are so many benefits to incorporating music into learning. There was a study done by Lutz Jäncke ( 2008 ) that stated “listening to music (even when we listen passively) activates many psychological functions (emotion, memory, attention, imagery and so on) located in a distributed, overlapping brain network”. Not only does this help with memorizing scripture, but also teaches our kids about worship – double win!
3. Watch it
( Grab some popcorn and snuggle)
For times you just want to chill and relax this is a great way to still have fun and learn about the Bible with your kids. There are a ton of shows out there but our current favorite show is: Owlegories! Once again, not cheesy, the animation doesn’t feel amateur or dated or so bright you feel like you’re at a circus or will go blind after one episode. Our 2 year old even enjoys a full episode every now and then! Not only is this gospel-centered but the kids get to learn about nature and science! Another double win. ( Available on Amazon Prime and JellyTelly ).
4. Play it
( Use your imagination – get creative )
Do skits, grab a coloring sheet, do a fun lesson, or teach them fun hand motions. We just started doing skits with Emm ( Ade, at the age of 2 doesn’t really get it quite yet but she sure enjoys playing with her sister! Photo below of them playing out Noah’s Ark ). Coloring sheets are also fun, you can do a Pinterest search or create your own over in Canva. We created one over in this blog post about the Fruit of the Spirit if you’d like to take a peek. We really enjoyed these hand motions my sweet friend over at Taming the Frizz shared for teaching kids the 10 commandments.
5. Apply it
( Walk your talk )
This is probably is the most important and effective way to teach your children. We can read our children the Bible all day all week, but if we don’t teach them how to apply and live it out – we are missing the point. I am working on writing a post with three ways you can teach your children to apply the bible in every day life.
I hope these come as a help to those parents who feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start. You aren’t alone – we have all been there.
Jäncke, L. (2008). Music, memory and emotion. Journal of Biology, 7(6), 21. doi:10.1186/jbiol82
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