Beyond Storybooks: 5 Ways to Engage Your Child in God’s Word

Five Ways to Engage Your Child In God's Word

In our house we have dozens of Bible storybooks, and over the past ten years I have read these precious books to my children time and time again. Like a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings, I would swoop up my little ones, cuddle them up in blankets, and get settled in to read God’s word. I loved that my children were able to engage in the word of God at such a young age.

We would spend hours reading Bible stories about Daniel, Elijah, Peter, and all the heroes of the faith. Of course, at the center stage was Jesus Christ and the story of how he changed the entire world.

What precious times those were….when we had all of the time in the world, nowhere to go, and every moment was an opportunity for me to teach my children about Jesus.

Every moment was an opportunity for me to teach my children about Jesus. Click To Tweet

GROWING UP

But now that my children are getting a little older (ages 8 and 10), we seem to find less time to just sit and read for hours. The days of cozying up in our pajamas with a stack of storybooks by our side seem to come less and less often.

And because my children have read the Bible stories so many times, they just aren’t as captivated as they used to be. This has filled me with a bit of worry because I don’t ever want them to lose interest in God’s word or think it’s unimportant or unexciting.

But it has also prompted me to get creative in engaging my children in God’s word…and I have found it has been spiritually exciting for all of us!

5 WAYS TO ENGAGE YOUR CHILD IN GOD’S WORD

In my determined effort to keep my kids growing in Christ, I have discovered 5 excellent ways to go beyond storybooks and make God’s word come to life in their daily lives.

5 excellent ways to go beyond storybooks and make God’s word come to life. Click To Tweet

1. VERSE ILLUSTRATIONS:

This activity is so simple, but it will allow your children to become more independent in reflecting on Scripture in a creative and meaningful way. It will bring out their artistic side and engage their minds with the truth of the Bible.

5 ways to engage your children - The whole crowd was trying to touch Him, because power was coming out from Him and healing them all. Luke 6:19

Here’s what to do to engage:

  • Get some plain white paper and markers.
  • Find 10 verses that you think will “wow” your children or teach them something important about faith or how to live as a Christian.
  • Write each one down on a separate piece of paper in a different color and in fairly large print.
  • That’s it! Now you have a stockpile of 10 Bible verse sheets that you can pull out for an after school activity or a bedtime devotion.
  • To make it extra fun, write a number on the back of each verse sheet. Then let your child draw a number from a bowl to determine which verse to choose. (For some reason, my kids just love drawings!) And no matter which number gets picked…it’s always a winner. You can’t go wrong with God’s word!

As seen in the illustration above, one of my kids’ favorite verses to illustrate was Luke 6:19, which states, “The whole crowd was trying to touch Him because power was coming out from Him and healing them all.”

This verse ignited their imaginations as they thought about God on a whole new level. They were envisioning what it might look like to see power coming out from the living God, and I could tell they were captivated by this idea.

As their thoughts came to life as art on the page, I was amazed by the results. Such creativity! This activity made my children ponder who God is – and they didn’t need to listen to me talk to learn about it. They just had to read the verse and let it come to life in their hearts and minds.

2. WHITEBOARD (OR CHALKBOARD) FUN:

With Whiteboard Fun, parents get to sneak around and incorporate Scripture into their kids’ lives…and they won’t even see it coming! (Doesn’t that sound like fun??) This activity has the element of surprise, and I find that my kids really like that.

God said, "Let the land produce every kind of living creature..." And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25

Parents get to sneak around and incorporate Scripture into their kids’ lives...and they won’t even see it coming! Click To Tweet

One of the best things my husband and I ever purchased were large whiteboards for the girls’ rooms. We came across them at Costco one day and snatched them up. (Chalkboards and easels work too.) Ever since then, our kids have loved writing and drawing on them…and I like to sneak in and add bits of wisdom when they are least expecting it!

Here’s what to do to engage:

  • Do absolutely nothing but wait for your kids to draw or write something on their whiteboards.
  • When they are at school or are asleep, sneak in and write Scripture or sweet notes that relate to their writing or drawings in a biblical way.
  • Yes, it’s really that easy. And I have found that my kids love that extra bit of love and attention that they never saw coming. It’s like a handwritten note in your child’s lunch box that surprises them and gives them a bit of joy when they are having a bad day at school.
  • So try it out and see what your kids think! (And don’t worry if you have bad handwriting like me…your kids won’t care!)

Here’s an example from today. I went upstairs to get laundry and found a pretty impressive toucan on my younger daughter’s whiteboard. I thought to myself, “Wow, she’s got some skills!” And then (in my stealthy mom mode), I thought…“Let’s turn it into a Bible lesson!”

So I added Genesis 1:24-25 to the board to remind her that every cool bird and animal on this planet was first designed by God. I love that she is designing God’s creations on her whiteboard…I call that a girl after God’s own heart!

3. PERSONALIZED KEEPSAKE NOTES:

This activity might not be as spontaneous and stealthy as Whiteboard Fun, but it is completely worth a try. By writing personalized keepsake notes to your children, you will be able to show them how beautifully and wonderfully they were made, and that God has a specific purpose for their lives.

Before you were born, God knew you and had a plan for you.

Here’s what to do to engage:

  • Gather your favorite verses that relate to how God created us, knew us before we were born, and has a purpose for our lives. A great place to start is Psalm 139. It is filled with verses that would be perfect for this project; in fact, you could just focus on this one chapter of Scripture.
  • Take a single verse and meditate about the ideas within it. Then write that verse personally in your own words to your son or daughter, expressing how significant they are to God. (See sample writing in photo above.)
  • If you’d like, type it up in a Word document, leaving a blank for their name and yours. Handwrite those in and add notes and drawings as you wish.
  • Cut it out to the size of a large note card. Then, using double-sided tape, tape it to colored paper. Cut the colored paper to form a border. Tape this to decorative craft paper and cut out it out again to make a second eye-catching border.
  • Now, you have a beautiful illustration of God’s love (and your love) that your child can keep for a lifetime.

My kids love these cards. But honestly, I think I get more joy out of writing them myself. This activity reminds me of just what a treasure my children are to me and to God. I am able to see my children through the eyes of Scripture, and it makes me feel extremely blessed to be their mom.

I am able to see my children through the eyes of Scripture, and it makes me feel extremely blessed to be their mom. Click To Tweet

4. PSALMS TREASURE BOX:

This fun and easy project will give your kids an opportunity to store up their treasures in heaven and not on this earth. It will allow them to ponder the goodness of God as you read the Psalms together.

Here’s what to do to engage:

  • Go to your local craft store and buy a decorative box that has an attached lid.
  • Buy some “bling” to go with it (or use what you have on hand at home).
  • Surprise your kids by giving them the box and asking them to decorate it to make their own “treasure box.” (They will love this part!)
  • Then each night sit down and read a passage from Psalms together. Talk about what treasures you have discovered in God’s word.
  • On a notecard, have your kids write down a few things they learned about God by reading from the Psalms. Have them record the chapter too.
  • Store this new “treasure” in their treasure box, and do it all again the next night.

I love this activity because instead of just listening, my kids have to actively write something down. It really makes them think, and they love to share what they come up with. (They are usually very proud of themselves!) And what they learn about God makes them feel very special too. I love that my daughters learned (in their words) that “God never gives us on you” and “He never holds back his love from me.” That’s just awesome.

Every month or so, have your kids read through the cards to help them remember what they learned. My kids love to look back on what they wrote. They beg for me to listen to them as they share their little bits of wisdom.

And one last bonus: In the future, the kids and I will both be able to look back on these treasures, see the child-like handwriting, and remember those days of sitting together and reflecting on God’s treasures. That’s what I call precious!

5. MAGAZINE CUT-OUT MASTERPIECES

With this activity, you can capture your children’s attention with pictures of fluffy kittens, adorable owls, or awe-inspiring scenery–and at the same time help them dig into God’s word. This activity doesn’t require many materials except what you probably have lying around your house. If you have nature magazines, scissors, tape, and access to Google, you can probably do this one.

You can capture your children’s attention with pictures of fluffy kittens, adorable owls, or awe-inspiring scenery--and at the same time help them dig into God’s word. Click To Tweet

Here’s what to do to engage:

  • Have your children look through the pages of nature magazines and cut out photos that interest them. (Our favorite magazines are Country and Birds & Blooms.)
  • Have each child pick one photo to focus on for the activity. 
  • Paste or tape the photo onto a colored piece of paper.
  • Talk to your kids about the pictures and what they like about them. Ask if there is anything that reminds them about God or things they’ve learned from the Bible. If they have a hard time starting, give them prompts of your own.
  • Write down a list of ideas they come up with (ex. Comfort, beauty, peace, etc.).
  • Do a Google search for these words as they relate to Bible verses. (Your kids will be so excited to use technology!) For example, search “Verses of comfort in the Bible.”
  • Write the verses down or print them out. Cut out hearts (or other shapes) using a different color of paper, and write those verses on the hearts. Glue to the paper.
  • Behold, your masterpiece!

My kids absolutely love anything with scissors, magazines cut-outs, and glue. Simply put, they love to be active when engaging in God’s word…and they love to create something beautiful in the process.

May God bless you and your family as you get creative in helping your kids grow in their faith and engage with the Bible!

5 Ways to Engage Your Child In God's Word

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