A few weeks ago, I shared the article, “How Not to Teach Your Kids the Bible,” on my Facebook page. While it was helpful for some, it left others asking how teaching the Bible should look for toddlers who can neither read nor sit still for long.
While I don’t have children, I am the oldest of *put down your hot drinks so you don’t spit them out in shock* TEN children. Because of this, I grew up watching my mom implement several of these ideas with my younger siblings and using them myself to help teach the Bible to my siblings, nieces, and nephews.
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Here are 5 ways to teach the Bible to toddlers:
1. Read Aloud
Read the Bible together. Even if it is just a few verses, try to develop the habit of reading at breakfast or before bed. There are many options for wonderful children’s Bibles that keep the heart of the message of the Gospel but don’t be afraid to simply read them the actual Word of God. Children are capable of much more than we give them credit for! You might need to scale your expectations and start by reading simply a verse or two at first, but take time to read the Bible, even when they’re young. Crack open the Scriptures and read through a few verses together. Ask them what they think it means and guide them towards the truth.
2. Pray with Them
Praying aloud with your children from a Biblical perspective (not implying simple moralism, prosperity gospel, etc.) is another way to slowly demonstrate a proper understanding of the Bible to them. If you’re not sure where to begin, pray Scripture over them and together. Read through the Beatitudes praying, “Blessed are the pure in heart. Lord, give us pure hearts. Blessed are the merciful, Lord, open our eyes to opportunities to show your mercy to others.”
Read through the Lord’s prayer and memorize it together. It may seem daunting but if you make a habit of praying it together at the same time (before dinner, bed, in the car, etc.), it’s amazing how quickly they will learn it.
3. Use Music
Start teaching your kids through music. Songs that teach scripture memory stick in their minds forever. Hide Em In Your Heart by Steve Green still regularly runs through my mind because my mom played it constantly when I was little! The New City Catechism songs are not Scripture but also have big truths scaled down for little hearts.
4. Check Out Tiny Theologians
Tiny Theologians designs amazing tools geared to little ones. Specifically, they have tools to help kids memorize concepts that might be too big for them to understand now, but will stick with them forever. This helps give them the vocabulary to understand when they are older and hides truths in their heart that they can recollect later.
5. Read Catechesis Books
These books are FULL of scripture and writing from Church fathers but are designed to be counting primers, animal primers, opposite primers, etc. They are a great way to include the Bible in things you are already trying to teach toddlers.
I hope this helps equip and encourage you as you help your children hide the truth of God’s Word into their hearts from a young age! May the Lord bless your efforts and multiply them as He did the fishes and loaves and may your children never forsake the God of their youth.