Reading The Bible With Children {0-3 Year Olds} & Better Mom Mondays Link-up!!

The Bible is our daily bread, the living Word of God. We know it to be life-changing, but have you ever wondered how to best read the Bible with your child at 2 years of age, or 8, or 15? Every Monday in July our contributors are going to share some tips and resources with you on reading the Bible with your children from 0-15+ years of age! Please join us for Bible Reading Through the Ages. I know you and your families will be blessed!

If you’ve been around a child between newborn to 3 yrs. old, you know the words that characterize this age group: curious, short attention spans, unable to sit still, energetic, noisy, playful, inquisitive. If you tend to think of the Bible as dry, boring, academic, serious, and complicated, then reading the Bible with your infant or toddler may seem like a practice in futility. However, if you know God’s word to be a vibrant, adventurous, humorous, inspired story of God’s redemptive love…well, then you will find reading the Bible to your little one to be a life-transforming investment for both you as the parent, and your children.

The operative word in reading the Bible to the infant to toddler age group is not understanding; it’s IMPRESSION. What impression do we aim to leave with our littlest littles?

-that the Bible is the truth

-that the Bible is exciting

-that the Bible teaches us the character of God

-that the Bible is the manual for life

-that the Bible is more than a story

-that the Bible is powerful

-that the Bible is our authority

 Impression is a parent’s opportunity, understanding is the Spirit’s responsibility.

We have five sons. The oldest is 10 and the youngest is 13 months. We have had at least one boy in the 0-3 age group every year for the last 10 years. It is our family’s priority to worship and read the Bible together, so we have had to get creative about ways to engage the littlest ones.

Here are some ways we engage our 0-3 yr. olds with the Bible:

  1. Let them handle a Bible, to hold it in their hands while they listen.
  2. Have the older children read to the younger ones.
  3. Encourage your toddlers to sit with you, or be physically close when you read or listen, reminding them that the Word of God is about relationship, not academics.
  4. Read narrative stories based on Scripture (like The Jesus Storybook Bible, Read-Aloud Edition: Every Story Whispers His Name) to them, but never underestimate how God can use faithful exposure to the whole counsel of God’s Word.
  5. Listen to the audio Bible recordings at mealtime or snacktime, and make it part of the family culture and routine.
  6. Sing scripture verses set to music.

Music, dramatic readings, and repetition are wonderful ways to engage a toddler. Here are some resources our family enjoys using with the littlest ones (and the older ones too!):

  • Kidz Audio Biblestick, (3 yr. olds can use this during the early morning devotional time and simply listen quietly.) This dramatic recording of the New Testament includes songs for children as well.
  • Bible.is app, dramatic reading for the whole family in several translations, played from your phone. This is a fantastic resource for the entire family!
  • Hide Em in Your Heart Vol 1 & 2 (An oldie, but goodie…this Steve Green recording sets scriptures to music for kids to memorize and hide in their hearts.)


These are just a few of tips we have found helpful for engaging little ones with the Word of God. Our little ones are never too young to be exposed to the truth and transforming power of the Bible. Trust Him to plant the seed of that impression, and to grow it into new life.

 

Sola gratia,

Ruth, www.gracelaced.com

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Better Mom Mondays Link-up is every Monday!!! Join the fun by adding your blog, and by checking out all of the others listed!! Don’t forget if you join below -please add the Better Mom Mondays Link Up button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of mothering, marriage, homemaking, discipleship, recipes, organization and more!) You can find the html code in the sidebar, or “save as” copy, and paste the button below.

 

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Comments

  1. GailBP says

    Such great tips for teaching a child the importance of Scripture even before they can understand much of it. So important! Thanks.

  2. says

    Great post! Reading the Scriptures to our children is so important. Thanks for all the ideas. I love how you said impression is our opportunity and understanding is the Spirit’s responsibility. That is a great reminder and very encouraging. Thank you!

  3. moretobe says

    What a practical post! So glad you shared these ideas. I think it is pretty cool, too, that the post I had scheduled for linking up today is about how to get into the Word, from an adult’s perspective. God’s always in the details!

  4. Blair Allen says

    This is a fantastic post! I can’t wait to share it with my Facebook followers later today.

  5. Ruth de Vos says

    I just discovered this blog this week and I’m so glad I did. With hubby away for 10 nights I’ve been finding it such a challenge to manage devotions morning and evening with my four children. I love what you wrote about impression being important in the early years. So tonight we just read the first three verses of Psalm 1 and talked about them and the LORD together. All four children were keen to contribute. It was wonderful. Thankyou!

  6. says

    I appreciate what you wrote about the–impression we are leaving our kiddos with (the opportunity that we have as parents during this stage).
    We have many of the same “favorites” :)
    Keep coming back to the Jesus Storybook Bible…I loved seeing every part of it pointing to Christ.
    We’ve also enjoyed the Seeds music collection and The Rizers for little kiddos.

    • gracelaced says

      Yes, I’ve heard a lot about Seeds but haven’t used it myself. Will have to check it out, Kara!

  7. Havenuvrest says

    I read to my oldest son since he was 4 months old. I read from these books called the Golden Arches books, which are bible stories. We straight from the Bible since they were very young and have seen the benefits in lives poured out for the Lord. This is worth it, for you with younger children. This was a good read. Thank you!!

  8. says

    I’ve been reading the Jesus Story Book Bible to my son, now 22 months, since he was a new born, maybe 2 months old. We take it with us when we spend the night at Nanna’s or go on vacation just like I take my bible.
    I want him to be comfortable reading “Noah” or any other story no matter who is around and where we are.

  9. says

    These are great tips! I have also found that many people underestimate the brain-power of their toddler. While they are taking in their vocabulary, surroundings, grammatical skills like sponges, what better way to plant God’s word into their hearts? During these ages I really focused on learning simple Bible verses by heart (Genesis 1:1 for example). They could repeat these easy as any other little poem or rhyme parents teach their kids! We would also do Bible songs that taught lessons and got them familiar with the Bible (Noah and the Ark, Joshua and the Battle of Jericho) and lastly, when we would read those familiar favorites (with pictures!) I would ask lots of the same questions over and over at their age level (“What did God say to Adam and Eve in the Garden?” “No, no!”) (“Who built the ark?” “Noah!”) You get the idea! Now is the time to set the ground work for your child’s skills to have a personal relationship with God. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us all!

  10. gracelaced says

    This is so encouraging, Alicia! My oldest is 10 now, and I see that the love for the word has been “caught” more than it has been “taught.”

  11. Diane Stortz says

    Wonderful post. Just shared on FB and Twitter. Good for grandmas too! Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  12. Jo says

    Loving your site. Not sure how I arrived here. I’m re-inspired after 4 years of trying to teach a child with a language disorder about God, he’s coming out with some God knowledge. I think I’ve let it slip as we focus on academia topics. But it is nothing without faith. I’ll persevere knowing I need to approach it differently than for a typical child. Thank you.

    • gracelaced says

      Jo, each child is indeed so different. God will equip you to be the best mama for your particular child!

  13. Catherine Meekins says

    Thanks for this article! I love the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. My 3 year old loves it too!

    You also might want to check out “Word on the Street sings…”, a musical CD series I launched a few months ago that teaches children the Bible, book by book. I began with the Letter to the Ephesians. You can listen to it on my website:

    http://www.catherinemeekins.com

    Thanks again!

  14. Kathy says

    I LOVE your comment “Impression is a parent’s opportunity, understanding is the Spirit’s responsibility.” Thank you!

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