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25 Hands-On Bible Tips For Kids

To drive today’s biblical message home, I’m going to borrow a Chinese proverb. Makes total sense, right? Because, here's the thing. I think a lot of times we mean well, but we end up giving our kids a Bible story instead of teaching them to study their Bible. 

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In our Sunday School classrooms, in our homes, are we teaching our kids to interact with their Bible? The question is that simple, but it's of the highest importance. I love the skits. I think devotionals and songs and application questions are helpful. But please, please, please teach our children to physically interact with the Bible. I'm not going to leave you with that heartfelt plea. Don't let our children grow up to be adults who have no idea how to use their Bible. Let this time teaching the children help you get to know your own Bible better! I'm going to give you 25 ways I do this, as a teacher and as a mom.

 

25.

  1. As young as possible, buy your child an actual Bible, not just a picture version. What kid isn't going to like the idea of having a big-kid Bible? No, they can't read it, but there are usually a few pictures, and they can carry it with reverence. Adults can help them thumb gently through the pages and read for them.  
  2. Spend time looking through the Bible. Point out the index in the front. Show them the first book, the last, the middle. Look at Jesus' words in red. Remove the mystery of what this book is to the child. Demonstrate how to hold it.
  3. When you read verses or a story, have each child look up the verse. Even if this takes 15 minutes, they are touching their Bible for 15 minutes. If you do have preschool Bibles, help them find the page of the story as well.
  4. When you tell a Bible story, discuss what you're looking at in the Bible. The next five numbers are some of the questions I always ask.
  5. * Who helped God write the book where the story is found (i.e. If it's Luke, the answer is Luke).
  6. * Did this author write any other books?
  7. * Who was the original intended audience for this book?
  8. * If it's a New Testament author, did he meet Jesus in person? Was he one of Jesus' twelve disciples?'
  9. * If it's an Old Testament book, walk through when this story happened in biblical history (i.e. Esther took place after the Israelites went into exile and were allowed to return home, Exodus took place after the Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt, and were going to the Promised Land).
  10. Explain that the Bible was originally written in two different languages (Hebrew for the Old Testament & Greek for the New Testament). Look at various translations in English and help them understand specific words vary because of the translation into English. Practice making Hebrew or Greek letters.
  11. Find age appropriate Bible studies. We have enjoyed this one from Kids Read Truth this summer. It especially highlights the Roman Road of Salvation.
  12. Find a Bible Drills, Awanas, Cadets or Gems group. These groups exist as a focus on Scripture memorization and overall familiarity.
  13. Let your kids see you reading your Bible. 
  14. Even if you are just highlighting one verse to your child, look it up together. The words in the Bible aren't from your mouth and they are true.
  15. If your church does a sports camp, creative arts camp, etc. you can still have them look up one verse that ties in with a devotional minute or some aspect of camp.
  16. A friend at church found our kids this Bible Verse Scavenger Hunt, posted by author Rachel Wojo. I can't wait to do this with our kids!
  17. This recipe for Scripture Cake is an easy one and tastes great! Again, have the kids look up the verses (maybe remove the ingredient "answers") on their copy.
  18. Did you know the books of the Bible are placed in categories rather than chronologically (the order the actual stories took place). It's a fascinating journey to explain this to your kids and look up resources explaining why. Together, look at how the Bible lays out chronologically. The Action Bible is an excellent resource for this.
  19. Celebrate church holidays with Bible-focused activities. We read a portion of the Christmas story each day of Advent. These Isaiah's Prophecies Fulfilled In Jesus Kids Matching Cards from Kids Read Truth blew my mind. They show a prophecy mentioned in Isaiah, and the verse showing that Jesus fulfilled it. 
  20. Read a devotional at the breakfast table each morning before school. You can start by looking up the key verses in the Bible until you're confident your child understands these are just words in a devotional book, but the truths are taken from verses in the word of God. 
  21. Whether your kids sit in on the adult worship service at your church from time to time, or every Sunday, have them look up the verses from the sermon. I also ask my daughter to take notes on three points the pastor made in the sermon.
  22. If you lead a children's Bible Time during your weekly service, look up the story in the Bible. Again, emphasizing that this isn't just a fairy tale. The Bible is truth and these stories of God come directly from it.
  23. Do a family devotional book, but consider using the Bible to look up the focal verses, so children can understand these stories aren't just fairy tales, but actual truths found in the word of God.
  24. Do a Google search on how the Bible came to us in the form we read it today. This is also an excellent start down the road of church history.
  25. Make the verses and the stories you read in the Bible applicable. One of the things I notice as I read is a Jewish person's intimate connection to the other characters in the past. Paul referred to Moses like they were close friends. David spoke of Joshua like he was a hero in his day, yet they lived hundreds of years apart. As these stories become more familiar, your daughter can stand up for herself like Esther did. Your son will know it's OK to ask God for affirmation like Gideon did. When we read in Jeremiah about God's anguish over sending the people of Judah into exile, we can know it pains him to allow us to go through hard things too.

 

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