If you have children and are trying to raise them with solid Christian values, then you may understand the struggle of making Bible study for kids fun and meaningful. Many parents question how to create a plan (with age-appropriate limits), keep them engaged, and make it practical.
Grab a paper and pen; or better yet, bookmark this page because I have five ways you can make spiritual growth for kids simple and practical! (And all the tired moms said, “Amen!”)
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5 Ways to Make Bible Study for Kids Fun and Meaningful
Create a flexible plan for family Bible study that’s simple, relaxed, and conversational.
The keyword here is flexible. Things (aka- calmness!) in a family can change at any moment. One minute you’re having a relaxing family night, and the suddenly attitudes are spiraling out of control and it’s pure chaos. (Please tell me you can relate!)
That’s why it’s so important to create a family Bible study time that is simple and relaxed.
As you get started, create a loose plan to structure your devotional time. This time should not be rigid or filled with unrealistic expectations. Trust me, the more you think your time will be perfect or a Hallmark moment, the more you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, create a loose plan around the following acronym:
Spend time time reading aloud God’s word together. As you begin, focus on the important concepts of:
- Who is God?
- Who created the world?
- What is sin?
- Am I a sinner?
- Who is Jesus?
- Why did Jesus come to earth?
- What does Jesus’ death on the cross mean to me?
- How can I get to heaven?
- Is being a good person enough to get me into heaven? (and so many more essential questions your child needs to have answered about God!)
To work through those topics, we read through popular Bible stories and discuss how they all relate back to Jesus. (The Jesus Story Book Bible is perfect for this!)
Then, as kids get older, try a Topical Bible study with them. A Topical study is where one studies what the Bible has to say about certain topics. For kids, it may be helpful to do studies on the character of God, obedience, honesty, and other crucial topics to help your child grow in faith.
Make family spiritual growth simple with a free monthly Bible reading plan. Learn more about our Spiritual Growth Library here and how you can have instant access to a library of Scripture reading guides.
After you finish reading God’s Word, incorporate simple and practical activities to help them process what they read.
However, please don’t feel pressure for over-the-top activities! This ultimate list of Bible games for kids will make the Bible come alive for your kids without adding loads of work to your busy schedule.
See below for our favorite family Bible activities and to gather some ideas of no-prep ideas you can do at the drop of the hat! (That’s a win in my book!)
Teaching my kids to pray has been a highlight of my mom life! One of the best things we can do as parents is teach them to come to God in prayer throughout the day.
Help young kids learn to pray with a simple prayer model (see the one we use below) and to track their prayer requests.
As they mature, teach them to pray in tough moments and ask God for help. Use daily situations to encourage kids to pause and pray.
- when they’re afraid
- as their tempted
- when feelings are out of control (anger, frustration, sadness)
Model prayer often in your home, too, and watch how kids will start doing the same.
As you embark on your family Bible study, be sure to keep it casual and don’t too much pressure on the whole gang. Allow kids to ask questions and discover the beauty of a personal relationship with God.
Keep age-appropriate time limits.
As a teenager, my family and I were members of a strong, Bible-teaching church. They taught that Bible study should be at least 30 minutes and be super in depth. As a Bible study beginner at the time, those strict rules and time limits kept me stuck for years.
Can you imagine how kids would be overwhelmed to be forced to sit and study for 30 minutes?!
Therefore, let go of the notion that your family quiet time should be a certain length. Instead, focus on quality, not the length of time. For young kids, or those easily distracted (like my son who has severe ADHD), focus on one main truth (either verse or passage).
In our home, some Bible times last longer than others. When the kids are engaged and asking questions, those sessions are longer.
The times where they’re wiggly and distracted, we don’t force it and switch it up or try something new.
Don’t be afraid to try a new approach if things don’t work. You’ll find your rhythm!
Use incentives to keep kids engaged and participating.
Cue the memories of being in Sunday school. But seriously though, those Sunday-school inspired incentives worked! You could have contests for who can answer the most questions, memorize Scripture, who can find the verse the quickest, and so on.
Consider using reward charts or some other motivational system to encourage kids to do their best and to encourage excitement during family Bible study.
When you see kids live out these principles in everyday life, reward them with extra incentives. This is also a great way to show how God blesses obedience, too.
Keep the activities fun, practical, and meaningful.
Remember tip number one where I promised to spill my favorite activities? While I’m giving you a sneak peak into some of our favorite family Bible tools, remember to do what works best for your family.
We use things such as:
The Prayer Request Tree – to help kids track prayer requests and praises using these tree and leaf templates. Simply cut leaves (laminate for durability), and track your prayers and praises as a family. It’s a fun, visual way to teach kids to be a prayer warrior!
The Praying Hands Prayer Model– we use this prayer strategy to help kids learn how to pray for others and for themselves. It’s the perfect visual to guide them towards a healthy prayer life! (and one that’s not just praying for themselves!)
Bible study templates– these Bible study templates for kids keep the kids engaged and helps them process what they read in Scripture. It also teaches them the next step in how to study the Bible on their own (which is our ultimate goal as parents, right?!)
Hands-on Bible study activities- help kids remember what they read and learn in Scripture with fun activity cards. We put our Bible activity cards in a jar and pull out a fun activity to do after we’re done reading God’s Word.
Some activities are more involved than others, so if we don’t have time, we just take turns talking about the passage we read. The point is that we’re teaching the kids to think through their Scripture reading and not just close the Bible quickly after reading a verse or two.
Most children love a good tune, so adding music can only enhance their Bible study time. Teaching kids to worship the Lord through song is not only fun, but it is also living the Word out loud (Psalms is all about worshiping through music!).
Ending your family Bible study time with praise and worship can help teach kids to praise God in all seasons of life. For toddlers and preschoolers, use fun songs with hand motions and puppets. Don’t be afraid to get up and dance, mama!
As kids get older, help them focus on the lyrics of praise and worship songs to learn to praise God in all seasons of life. Plus, this guides their music choices to music that honors God, too!
Ready, Set, Study
Are you ready to try a few of these ideas to help your family grow in faith? I promise you, you CAN do it!
Just remember to start small and make this new habit simple and flexible. Don’t look for the perfect time to start, just get ready, set, and study!
God will meet your family where you’re at, and you’ll be surprised how He will show up to grow you all in faith!
CHIME IN: In what ways do you make Bible study fun and meaningful for your children? Comment below and let me know.