The proverb "home is where the heart is" is a familiar mantra for many. Dorothy and her ruby slippers in Kansas, Lightning McQueen's journey to Radiator Springs, and Dr. Suess's baby bird and his mother are sweet reminders that all roads lead back home.
Every home tells the story of the family inside. Parents in your church may wonder about the story their home tells, and they are looking for resources to help them create an environment at home that values faith in Jesus and God's Word. This is where we, as children's pastors come in.
Psalms 78:4 says, "We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders (NLT)."
The following list includes five simple ways you can share with parents to share the truth of God's Word with kids at home.
Each activity is written directly to a parent, so you can simply take the text and copy and paste it into an email, on social media, or print on a take-home sheet. It's a great, easy resource for encouraging more Bible study for kids at home this week!
Find a Verse
A great way to study the Bible is to find scriptures that kids can relate to in their everyday lives. Ask your child to look up a favorite Bible verse in their Bibles and work on memorizing it over a day, week, or month. If they need help finding a verse, show them how to use the index at the back of their Bible to find a scripture that connects to a topic they are interested in. Some verses to start with could be:
Psalms 139:14 (NIV)
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Mark 12:30 (NIV)
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
John 3:16 (NIV)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
Once you choose a scripture, ask your child to write it with a pencil on a notecard and when complete, hide the notecard somewhere they wouldn't suspect (and maybe include a favorite piece of candy). Choose a time each day to play "Find a Verse" when your child can search for their verse card and share it with you. After they read the verse with you, ask them to erase one word and repeat the verse. After they say the verse, spend some time talking about what the verse means together.
Hide the verse in a new location each day until all of the words on the notecard are completely erased, and the scripture is imprinted inside their minds and hearts!
Create a Story Space
Kids love reading stories and being read to! The Bible is full of exciting and adventurous true stories of God at work in people's lives. Choose an age-appropriate story Bible for your child to read or listen to at home.
Create a special space in your home for "Bible time" where your child can be cozy and read a Bible story. An inside space could include a tent, some pillows, string lights, and a bookshelf or bin filled with Bible storybooks. You could also set up outside on a hammock in the shade or up high in a treehouse!
If you'd like your child to read independently, set a timer. When time is up, give them some comprehension activities to share with you, like illustrating the story on drawing paper, journaling a prayer to God about the story in a special notebook, or acting out the story for you using legos or other figurines.
Build a Countdown
3...2...1… Blastoff! Kids of all ages love an exciting countdown, whether a rocket is launching, Santa is coming to town, school is out, or it's time to leave for a special vacation!
Build a countdown in your home that teaches something about God's word. A good place to start would be to count down the stories of the Old Testament and/or New Testament. Find simple Bible flashcards to attach to a wall, refrigerator, corkboard, etc., and add a flashcard each day via thumbtack, magnet, clothespin, etc., on your countdown after reading and discussing that day's card.
If you would rather use things that you already have in your home, try construction paper to create a paper chain countdown for a special chapter in your Bible like Psalms 23 or Psalms 100. List a verse on each "link" of the chain until you've completed the entire passage.
Prayer is a crucial practice for all ages when reading the Bible. While studying God's word is essential, it is also necessary to apply God's word to our lives.
Colossians 4:2 says, "Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart (NLT)." As kids learn more about God's Word, they will begin a journey of friendship with Jesus. On this journey, they will need tools to show them how to talk with Jesus (prayer) and find evidence of Jesus around them (gratitude).
Find a jar or container at home that kids can use to list people, situations, or hopes they are praying for. These requests can be listed on post-it notes, index cards, drawing paper, or cardstock. To create a fun display, write each request on a sticky address label, attach it to a pipe cleaner, and place it in the jar for a "bouquet of prayers."
During meal times, ask kids to choose one prayer request to pray for together. When a prayer is answered, move that request to a new "answered prayers" jar and celebrate all God has done as a family!
Discover a Devotional
Kids love to learn about things that interest them. Sometimes, the Bible can be overwhelming for kids (and adults!) to learn from. Encourage your kids to find a Bible-based devotional that would fit their interests. There are so many great devotional options available that bring the Bible to life through stickers, science, art, comics, sports, video games, and so much more! Visit your local bookstore in person or online and help your child pick out a devotional that they are excited to read.
Giving kids ownership in their Bible study habits will produce the confidence to explore the Word of God while setting them up for consistent and long-term growth with Jesus.
The Greatest Gift
Studying God's Word at home is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children.
Committing to simple practices and rhythms that make space for kids to encounter the truth of the Bible will give abundant blessing to your family in the present and future days ahead.
Isaiah 55:11 says, "It is the same with my word, I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it (NLT)."
May your home be an environment that tells the truest and greatest story ever told.
Lindsey Bush lives in Virginia Beach, VA, where she serves as Children's Pastor at Spring Branch Community Church. She began her ministry career as an inner-city elementary teacher and through that experience felt God call her into full-time children’s ministry. Lindsey believes that God’s design for community is the family and desires to call every family forward into God’s big story. Lindsey is a recent Bethel Seminary graduate with an M.A. in Children's and Family Ministry. You can find Lindsey enjoying the beach with her husband, Jamin, reading children's books, cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes, or visiting Walt Disney World!