When I think of family devotionals, I imagine time spent in God’s Word, sharing great insights and wowing my kids with the depth of how much God loves them. They hang on every word I say, respond thoughtfully and with a depth of knowledge that surpasses their young age. They are focused in, eager, and have a hunger for how they can reach the world for Christ. We end by singing a worship song and they each take time to pray to their Father with a desire and fervor to see His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Then I wake up and realize I was dreaming.
Our family devotionals NEVER look like that completely! We often set ourselves up to fail before we even start by setting unrealistic expectation of what it means to spend time as a family around God’s Word. While it is important to have a plan, it is equally important to risk leading a devotional badly. Often our children will not remember the specifics of every devotional time, but they will remember their parents loved the Lord and made it a priority to teach them about His Word.
I thought I would share some great resources that we have used in our own Family Devotionals throughout the years over the next few days based on stages of development. The Toddler/Preschool years are all about laying a basic foundation that you will build upon as they grow. We used simple phrases over and over at this age: God Made The World, God Made You, God loves the World and God Loves You. These concepts begin to develop a worldview of how they will view the world around them and how they see themselves as a part of God’s story.
The Toddler/Preschool Years (18months-5):
The key here is to read to them and to have some consistency in having time with them around the Word. With each story you read, you are building a foundation and speaking Truth and Identity into your little ones. Here are some of our favorite resources for the Toddler years:
The Beginner’s Bible is great for toddler because the stories are short and appropriate for their active minds! We loved this resource. The bibles that are geared to toddlers are just short stories that retell Scripture in a way they can understand. They will learn about some of the fascinating men and women in the Old and New Testament as well as how much God loves them.
How cute are these graphics? Such a fun little bible story book for your toddlers! Same concepts as mentioned above just another fun resource.
I seriously love this line of books for little ones. The first half of the books are questions kids have about Jesus, Heaven, God and the second half is answered in the voice of God and Jesus. It answers deep, big questions that kids ask in such an appropriate level for little ones to begin to grasp the concept. Here are a few of our favorites:
These sweet books also include bible references at the end which are additional resources for you and your children to look at. For example, one line states, “I died on a cross so that others could live and know there is nothing that God can’t forgive. The day that I died was a sad one, but then God gave a new life. Now I live again!” The book then lists John 3:17 which states “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” as a reference. So good!
These books are great for preschoolers, as well as young elementary school ages. We read these over and over again and they remain some of my favorites of all time.
This is super fun and interactive app for kids to use on your iPad or Android device. Not only does it bring the story to life, it is done with the high quality kids love. They don’t just get to hear the Bible story, they can see it come to life. Our kids love technology, so this is an app that you can feel good about your kids playing with while you are hoping for a few minutes of peace…or is that just me?!? I also saw they have come out with a print version called The Bible App For Kids Storybook Bible.
See more about this highly useful app:
Little Warriors and Little Princesses will love these devotionals which are perfect for your preschooler. These devotionals include Scripture, a short devotional thought and a prayer which are perfect for bedtime. They are based not the book series which are also great resources for your preschooler. I love the idea that I a raising warriors and princesses for the King!
I have heard great things about this Bible. Not only does it use actual verses (New Living Translation), it has simple activities for your preschooler to do while you are reading the story. Brilliant! This is so in line with our themed family nights we have done for years. Then, the Bible has a section at the end that describes how Jesus and God’s plan for redeeming His Creation is a part of every story in God’s Word. Each story ends with a prayer as well. I plan on getting the Hands On Bible for our older kids as well.
These are a few of our favorite Family Devotional Resources for teaching preschoolers about Jesus. I hope they help you begin having a family devotional with your family.
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