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Teaching the Bible to children can be difficult, you might feel like you don't know enough yourself to even know where to start. I have compiled a list of our favourite books and a few fun tips to get children excited about the Bible, and I hope these books will help grow your kid's love of Jesus.
I was not a big reader growing up, which made Sunday school and reading my Bible very challenging. So seven years ago when Greg and I had our first child I was determined to find age appropriate material. The books below have served our family well. Our hope is that when our girls are in their teens they will not look at a Bible as a book of rules, but yet an opportunity for them to hear from God through the Holy Spirit.
Here is a list of our favourite books for teaching the Bible to children
My Little Bible Board Book
This book is great for children one year and older. I searched high and low for a Bible board book when our oldest was two. I wanted to read to her from the Bible, but I never wanted her to actually touch a Bible! Bible pages are delicate, one spastic swipe from a child's hand and there goes the book of Obadiah!
Both our children are notorious for ripping pages out of books, so this was the first Bible both our girls got as their own. It was great!
The stories are short and simple and introduce children to a few major bible stories. What I love most is that it is a board book and therefore giving your child the opportunity to call a Bible their own.
The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible
This book is actually the newest addition to our home library. Our oldest loves reading, but our four year old? Not as much. But, we do love The Berenstain Bears! This is what made this Storybook Bible all the more appealing. Our youngest will sit and listen to multiple stories from this book.
The stories in this book are short enough to hold the attention of a four year old, and given that all the characters look like bears, it's really a big help. That being said, if your family is not into the Berenstain Bear series, this wouldn't be as appealing of an option.
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
This is by far our favourite Storybook Bible for kids. We started using this as our main bible with the girls at the age of two. The stories are quite a bit longer, so if your kids have a hard time sitting for stories I would try again at age four or five.
The illustrations in this book alone would have made me buy it, but the way Sally relates every story back to the bigger pictures is my absolute favourite. It's hard for many adults to read a book of the Bible and see why God included it in His book. Sally does an amazing job at pointing each story back to Jesus! It's a great way to not just read the Bible to your kids but to actually allow them to understand the meaning of it all.
I would even go as far as to say that every new believer should have this book in his or her collection, young or old. There is nothing wrong with a picture book if it's going to strengthen your understanding.
The One Year Children's Bible
I picked this book up at our local thrift story for the girls Christmas gift this past year. The One Year series are very popular, and while I don't love them for myself, I love this kids version.
It can be hard to get into a routine of reading the Bible to our kids each night, but this has saved us. We told the girls that no matter how late we get home from an event we will always make time to read from here. And you know kids love to procrastinate at bedtime, even if it is 10 o'clock and we are getting in from a long drive, we usually still read from here.
The book is organized by date, starting at January 1st and also in biblical order, starting in Genesis. Being that this Bible is broken down into 365 days there is a lot more detail, and this is a great step up from typical children's Bible. Our girls are seven and four and this book works great for both. The stories are short but with more details, appealing to a wider range of ages. This Bible is also great for children to use for a personal devotion.
The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden
The Biggest Story is written like a storybook, making it a fun read. Although it is broken down into ten different chapters it reads as one big storybook. The author actually wrote the book first as a sermon to his church to tell the advent story. This book shows you why we need Jesus, and what Jesus has done for us. Like The Jesus Storybook Bible, The Biggest Story helps us see the bigger picture. Oh, and how can I forget the illustrations are remarkable!
The Golden Children's Bible
Our oldest daughter is in grade two and loves to read; most nights she falls asleep with a book in her arms. This Bible is full of a detail, and the stories are much longer in length, it also covers a lot more Old Testament books that usually get skipped in Children's Bibles. This is a great option for children who can read fluently as well as independently. I would guess grade four and up. It's a great Bible to transition kids to pure text, verse by verse Bible.
Teaching the bible to children in other ways
Reading the Bible is a great way to talk to your children about the Bible and help them to understand what our purpose is, why God created the earth, and why we need Jesus. It's also nice for kids to explore other ways to hear God's word. Here are some of the ways we use in our family.
Bible App for Kids - This app is from the You Version family of apps. It is amazing because of its beautiful graphics as well and the way it tells each story of the Bible. Kids pick the story they want to read and the app will read it to them. They can also tap different characters to watch animate the story. There are also questions that pop up to test your child’s comprehension. Our girls both love this app.
Playing worship music - I will be driving the girls to school with the radio playing softly in the background, and then to my shock hear the girls singing along to the words. Words I don't really want to hear coming from their mouths. Playing worship music in our home has allowed the girls to hide the word of God in their hearts without even knowing it. Often a song will pop into my oldest head when she is struggling with something and you will see a sense of peace come over hear. It's amazing what a little worship music can do to your home.
I hope that these ideas have brought hope to your home, and encouragement! Teaching our children to love and cherish the Bible should be fun and enjoyable.
We would love to hear what books you use for teaching your children, please share with us in the comment section, or on our Instagram page @iekelroadhome
The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible By: Jan and Mike Berenstain
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name By: Sally Llyod-Jones
The One Year Children's Bible By: Rhona Davies
The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden By: Kevin DeYoung