Since school started this week, we have been doing a short daily devotional after homework – our “Bible Study.” We are following the devotions in the book Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young.
Now, my young kids don’t always understand all of the concepts of the devotions… I’d say this book is great for upper elementary to high school… but it does offer some great scriptures for my kids to know and gives me a skeleton of where I can begin a Bible lesson for the day. Besides, I’d rather them understand the scripture than what the devotion says about that scripture. I paraphrase the book a lot for my kids.
What my 3 year old is learning: Right now, I am just trying to get him to follow along. Each kid has his Bible open and I am teaching Leyson how he should be acting during a Bible study. I open his Bible for him and just get him to stay on the page long enough for us to read the scripture (he loves to flip through ALL the pages). I am teaching him how to treat his Bible. He has to hold his finger on the chapter number and search for the verse number.
Goal: to sit still and listen.
What my 6 year old is learning: James is learning to look up the verses in the Bible. He has (mostly) memorized the order of the books in the New Testament so if there is a verse in there that we are studying, he can search for it by himself. Yesterday, I taught him how to use the Table of Contents to search for the books in the Old Testament. What a great concept for reading and number awareness!
Goal: to find the verses on his own.
Below I will share some simple activities that we have done to follow the verses that we study in the devotions. We take one concept from one of the verses in the devotion and do a project that relates to it. The activities are super simple and not planned in advance (and I have to have the supplies somewhere in my house already). If we ever come to one that I can’t think about what to do, we will just do a writing assignment.
I will try to share our journey on here as much as I can! So here is our first school-week’s worth of verses and SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE activities that we did to accompany them!
Day 1: Like a Candle
“He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.” -Isaiah 42:3 (NLT)
We glued birthday candles to a piece of paper and drew flames above them. We also lit a large candle while we were doing the devotion (which my 3 year old promptly blew out) so then we had to relight it to show that God would never blow out our candles, the light inside of us.
3 year old: For him, I wrote the verse and he traced it.
6 year old: I wrote the verse on my own paper and he copied. When he has mastered this, he will then begin to copy straight from the Bible.
“‘Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ says your compassionate Lord.” Isaiah 54:10
Day 2: Enjoy Life
“A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. But I came to give you life–life in all its fullness.” -John 10:10 (ICB)
I asked my kids what Jesus did to ensure that we have eternal life. My 6 year old said, “He died on the cross,” so we made crosses out of popsicle sticks. (See? I said these activities were simple)
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” -John 10:11
Day 3: Rock-Solid
“Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing . . . . But you are always the same; you will live forever.” -Psalm 102:25-27
My friends just recently shared with us a great pre-dinner prayer time ritual that they do with their 3 kids. They use prayer sticks that each have a different prayer request or person to pray for written on them. Each person gets to pick out a prayer stick from the cup and lead the prayer for the person/request on the stick.
I wanted to get some prayer sticks right away, but did not have time to make it to the store. “Ah well, we’ll make prayer sticks eventually.” The very next day our Bible verse was about God being rock-solid and our neighbors just happen to have a driveway full of rocks. So we made “prayer rocks” instead of sticks. The kids had a blast finding the perfect rocks to write our prayers on!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
My 6 year old decided to put a lantern in the middle of our prayer rocks. At first I asked him to remove it because, well, they drain all of the batteries out of our flashlights and every time our electricity goes out we can’t find any working ones, but he told me…
James: “But Mom, God is the light and He will answer our prayers. We need to put His light around our prayer rocks.”
Can’t argue with that one… I let him keep it there, of course.
Day 4: The Position of your Heart
“Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.” -Psalm 55:17
“Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to You at a time that You may be found. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him.” -Psalm 32:6
“Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
Day 5: Focusing Your Thoughts
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” -Philippians 4:8
The boys had to look through their binoculars to focus in on the positive things in life. We then looked at our house rules, gave examples of each, and related them to the verse above – if we follow these things and “dwell” on them, then the “God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:9)
“but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:31
“I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
I will try to keep up as much as I can with sharing our Daily Devotions with you! Bare with me, life with 3 is cray-zee! Please share any pictures of you and your little ones studying God’s word on Facebook!