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Teaching Toddlers the Bible – Tool Kit & Resources

This past fall my husband and I joined a bible study based on the book Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans. At the time I had a 2 year old and a new born. I went into it assuming we were ahead of the game and everything we learned would be good to store away for the future. I assumed none of it would apply to us at this stage because our kids are too young to learn about Christianity. I was wrong. I had two major realizations during that bible study that stuck with me.

1. I must be intentional about handing down my faith to my kids. 

I was under the misconception that because my husband and I are Christians my children would be Christians too. This bible study helped me understand the importance of taking time to teach our children about God, teach them scripture, tell them stories of what God has done in our lives, and openly share our daily walk with them.

It is important for our kids to see us living out our faith and serving God. But more importantly, they need to understand WHY we are living for Christ. I assumed that somehow they would automatically “get it” by observing our lives. I now realize that is naive and unrealistic. As parents, we have a responsibility to be intentional in filling our children’s hearts and minds with God’s truth.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

2. It is NOT too soon to teach my kids about God. 

I thought I would teach my kids about Jesus and scripture later in life when they could fully understand it. We said prayers at bedtime and I thought that was enough for now. During the study I was convicted and realized it is not too soon!

  • If he can recite movie lines then he can recite scripture!
  • If he can learn kids songs then he can learn children’s bible songs!
  • If he loves to read books then we can find an age appropriate devotional!
  • If he can adopt actions and attitudes of tv characters then he can learn the actions and attitudes of people in the bible!

It is my responsibility to teach my kids God’s truth with age appropriate content they can enjoy and understand. It is not enough to rely on the church program they attend once a week. That will reinforce what is being taught by you at home but it will not get the job done.

I have to be intentional about passing on my faith and it is not too soon to start! 

The last several months I’ve been going through various books, cd’s, and videos to find tools for teaching a 3 year old scripture. I am happy with what we are using right now and it has been really effective for teaching Timmy. Hopefully you will find this helpful and easy to implement with your little ones too!

I created a ‘Tool Kit’ that has all the resources we need:

1. CD player and two cd’s.

We received these two books for Timmy’s birthday from Dollar Tree! The cd’s are included in the books. They have all the classic children’s church songs. They are fun and easy to follow versions. I enjoy them too! I bought a few cd’s like this for his Easter basket that were a total fail. These are great! And I found a set of four on Amazon for $2.50! Grab these here, you won’t regret it.

2. ABC Scripture Memory Cards.

I really wanted these! This is the main content I am relying on to teach scripture. I looked through many versions of ‘ABC scripture flash cards’. It was hard to find a set with scripture that wasn’t too lengthy or with words that aren’t too big for a 3 year old. I was about to give up and make my own when I stumbled upon this set from Unoriginal Mom. Read the entire post because she also gives great advice on how to use the cards with your little one. I had them printed and laminated, love them!

3. Chalkboard for writing and reading our memory verses.

I had plans of a DIY chalkboard wall and luckily I stumbled upon this chalkboard at Hobby Lobby on sale for $40. The tin pales are also from Hobby Lobby. The chalkboard is great for writing out scripture as we recite it. This is helping Timmy identify certain letters and words. I used different colors and sizes for the words so he can remember that yellow says, “LORD” and blue says “GOOD”.

4. Age appropriate devotional!

We went through about 3 or 4 devotionals before finding this one. This one is perfect! It is short, holds his attention, and references life scenarios he can relate to. There is one for girls and one for boys! Get it here!

Teaching Timmy scripture is helping me memorize more scripture too! As a result, I don’t get tired of going over the verses with him. What ideas or resources have you used to teach your little ones about God? I would love more ideas!

Faith

Owen Jacob – Welcome to world!

So often in my prayer time I ask God for more…more for my family, more growth for our ministry, more opportunities to expand my reach, more land for our next home…so often I ask for more but God knows what I actually need is less.

The weekend of May 19th was set up to be full of great activities but a very busy one. We had young adult group at our house Friday night, MOPs training Saturday morning, a 2nd birthday party Saturday afternoon, friends visiting from out of town Saturday night, a bake sale at church for the Belize mission trip, a gathering for a missionaries we support, and a girls dinner Sunday night. All fun events with people we love but we definitely over did it with the scheduling and set ourselves up for burn out and melt downs.

Thursday afternoon we got the call that my sister in law was going to the hospital to have her baby! We put the wheels in motion to start passing off all of our responsibilities for the weekend and notifying friends we couldn’t attend. Most of the drive was spent reshuffling things for the weekend. We made it in time to be some of the first family to meet baby Owen late Thursday night!

She looks awesome for just having a baby and look at little Owen testing out his voice!

I can only imagine the fun these three boys will have together over the years.

Friday morning I laid in the sun by the pool while Charlie slept and Jordan pushed Timmy on the swing and I was reminded of the many blessings God had poured over us on this day. It amazes me that God is so intimately aware of every part of our lives; our schedules, lack of sleep, stress, anxiousness etc. As a mom who lives a life of mostly simple daily tasks I can’t believe God cares to show himself in nap schedule, playtime, and family time when he knows I need it.

The peace and stillness of laying in the sun was not something I enjoy often and it was so rejuvenating. God used the blessing of Owen’s birth to interfere with our lives and replace busyness with rest, to replace responsibilities with joyful celebration, and to replace a weekend full of dividing and conquering with togetherness. I’ll never fully understand why the creator of the world cares about such small details of my life but I know it comes from his deep love for us.

My little walker wants to run down the hill like big brother but he still needs momma’s hand to make sure he doesn’t end up face down! lol.

Timmy LOVED Grammy pulling him around in the wagon. Charlie held on tight the entire ride and had an unsure look on his face. lol

Yup, we love him!

Uncle Jordan, Uncle J, Uncle Rowdy? The jury is still out!

How do I look with three?! Haha

The proud big cousin ‘holding’ Owen!

Allie and Ralph are amazing parents already and tag teaming the night time duties like pros! We loved on Owen, played at Grammy and MackPappy’s house, and I went to Michael’s and Target 3 times to get supplies for Owen’s nursery letters. Did you hear my ground breaking news?! Michael’s accepts competitor coupons from AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn Fabrics! How did I not know this?!

Click here for the step by step instructions on these DIY Nursery Letters! They are simple to make and light weight for hanging over the crib.

These three boys have the best grandparents!

The blessings are endless this weekend – the friends who stood in our place to cover our ministry responsibilities, the rejuvenation of a sunny day poolside, the time together as a family, the rest of a simpler schedule, and the one that surpasses them all – Owen Jacob. Our newest little love who is absolutely perfect. Owen baby, we will forever drop everything in our lives and drive 3 hours to be there for you! We love you!

Children really are an interruption but a beautiful interruption full of unthinkable blessings!

Faith

Serving + Young Kids

A friend of mine recently shared this video with me. Francis Chan is challenging parents to keep serving while raising children. He explains that most young adults stop serving after starting a family. It is not hard to figure out why…everything becomes more difficult with children…I mean everything! Things such as showering, going to the grocery store, and doing the dishes let alone serving outside of the home.

I hear what he is saying and our culture is too driven by comfort. Francis Chan is always good about challenging that, which I appreciate. My take away from this video is the only way for your children to fully experience God is to let them be exposed fully to the way you live out your faith. There is no acceptable excuse to “pause” any part of your life for Christ. This certainly looks different for everyone. Not everyone is called to travel the world sharing the gospel. Simply, don’t stop living out your calling for Christ as your phase of life changes.

Sometimes you wake your baby at 5 am to drop the mission team at the airport!

We lead the young adult group at our church which is certainly our calling and our passion. When I was pregnant with Timmy one of the pastors of our church had us over for dinner and encouraged us to keep serving after having our baby. He and his wife shared with us creative ways to continue doing ministry while raising a family. They obviously knew it would get more difficult after kids and as a result many people quit.

Francis Chan talks about “safety”, “protection”, and “gated communities”. I don’t know how much of it is about safety as much as it is about running low on sleep, not being able to find a sitter, and not having enough hands to cross the parking lot with a baby, toddler, and a donation for the food drive. Needless to say, I get it! 😉

I think I was the only person marching in the St. Patty’s Day parade with a stroller. I showed up late and hopped in half way through. Making it happen! lol.

As our family grows and we continue to do ministry the sacrifice necessary to keep serving has increased and it is difficult. BUT when you sacrifice for God it always leads to good because He is good. When you think you have no time, money, or energy left to give God will provide so you can continue to serve. Many times I have been stressed and worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep our ministry going, raise the boys, and keep my sanity but God always comes forth with blessings of rest, helping hands, time, and supplies.

Leading bible study while wearing Charlie. I’m sure I lost cool points with the young adults but you gotta do what you gotta do! 🙂

If you have a young family and are struggling to continue to serve like you did before kids I encourage you to just keep going. Keep showing up, keep putting Christ first, and put your faith in God to take care of all the rest. He will provide for your every need. It will be difficult and the sacrifice will be great but the blessings and eternal impact will be worth it.