Incorporating God’s Word into our kids’ day can sometimes be a struggle. Their short attention spans and disinterested attitudes can discourage us and derail even our best efforts. But Scripture is powerful and can change the hearts of our little ones, so it’s important to continue sharing God’s Word with our children, even when we don’t see the fruit right away.
Not sure how to get started? Here are 5 devotional ideas you can use to help your child spend time with Jesus on a daily basis.
If you grew up in the faith in the ’90s, you may have grown up listening to the Keys for Kids radio program. While the show has gotten a bit of a revamp since then and is now a streamable podcast (you can find it on the website or on a podcast platform), it’s still just as relevant and impactful.
Each Keys for Kids episode has a short story centered around a topic relevant to kids’ faith such as “telling the truth” or “overcoming fear,” and closes with some questions, a “key” verse, and a “key” takeaway. The episodes are short and engaging, perfect for preschool-age kids or older to listen to while they eat breakfast in the morning, on the commute to school, or as they play quietly during rest time.
Capturing and keeping your child’s attention isn’t always easy, especially during devotions. But incorporating something that does interest kids like science, for example, can pique their interest and keep them focused long enough to actually learn something. This is what Louie Giglio does in his book Indescribable. Bethany Flores, author at supersimplehomeschool.com says,
“This devotional takes science facts and reveals to the reader exactly how they tie back into God’s word and His works! It focuses a lot on creation, which I love, and offers corresponding bible verses and science facts in each of the 100 devotionals within it’s pages. Each page starts with a bible verse, followed by a devotional. The devotionals in this book are packed with biblical knowledge and scientific facts. They are also very comprehensive for elementary aged children and pull the reader in from the first sentence. [sic]”
Sometimes kids come home from church or school worn-out and peopled-out. If this is your child, try setting them up with a snack and a Bible Adventure story. All of the theology in the Bible Adventure series is sound and teaches kids some important theological truths, which a refreshing contrast to some of the shows that the world tries to feed our children.
The Bible adventure episodes remind us a bit of Blues Clues, only the Bible version! Kids go on a “Bible adventure” with Emily, “Shine” (an animated star), and an adventure bag full of clues that support the lesson of the day. Each episode uses an illustrated Bible story, a practical application, and a memory verse to answer a question such as “How can I be God’s friend?” or “What problems are too big for God?” Then the episode ends with a couple of worship songs, complete with actions.
Another popular devotional resource parents love is The Jesus Storybook Bible. This book is easy to read and tells key Bible stories, focusing on the Christo-centric aspect of God’s Word. (“Every story whispers his name” is the tagline.) The great thing about this devotional is that the Bible stories, while written with kids in mind, are also captivating for adults. In fact, some adults purchase this book for themselves because reading it helps them see the Bible, Jesus, and God’s grace through a fresh pair of eyes. The illustrations are also beautiful and captivate your child’s attention as they listen to you read the stories.
Does your little one love to sing, dance, or play instruments? Does their face light up when you play music? Watching Little Worship Company might be the perfect way for your child to spend some quality time with the Lord. The music (both hymns and contemporary worships songs), puppets, crafts, and verses (quoted by children) make for a vibrant, interactive devotional time with Jesus. You can find Little Worship Company on YouTube, Yippee, Right Now Media, and Minno.
Final thoughts on how kids should spend time with Jesus
When we hear the word devotions, we tend to picture a person sitting still, reading the Bible, being quiet with God. But that description can hardly be associated with a child! Kids are active and energetic and loud! But God made them this way. And Jesus welcomed the little children as they were: distracted, fidgety, you name it. So He is no doubt honored and glorified by their expressiveness and doesn’t expect them to “sit still” for devotions.
In light of this, we encourage you to branch out and be creative as you spend time with the Lord with your child. Go on a nature walk and collect “treasures,” thanking God for His creation as you do. Write a letter to God. And sure, read a devotional book, but also watch Veggie Tales, listen to a Christian podcast or play worship music. God loves spending time with our kids. And if their time with Him looks a bit different than yours, that’s okay.