The early spiritual teaching for children is the responsibility of the parents and that can be a daunting responsibility. One way to facilitate this is to institute a time of family devotions. In today’s world, it is often difficult to get the whole family together for a devotion time, but there is usually a time when one parent can make a habit of a devotional time with a young child. Bedtime is usually a time when parents establish a routine and devotion time can be added easily to this end-of-the-day time frame. For parents that work odd hours, breakfast time may be better, or right after school, or whatever is best. Just set the time and make it consistent.
Simple is important in the process of devotions with young children. Not only will it make it easier for the parent to make the time happen, it will also make it easier for the child to participate and learn. Remember, though, that “simple” does not necessarily mean “easy;” it is still something that will take effort on the part of the parent to keep it going. Consistency is key.
Once a time has been set, the next obstacle is deciding what to teach. Most very young children will have trouble listening for very long to straight Scripture. Sticking to shorter passages and taking time to discuss them can be a good plan, and all that is needed is a Bible and a little time. Psalms and Proverbs are a good starting place for small children. Because these books contain such a large quantity of wisdom, they can be used over and over with something new out of each chapter every time it is read.
A devotional written to engage young children will teach Biblical stories and principles while keeping children interested, which will also assist in retention. If children do not understand what they are hearing, they will be more likely to zone out and not be involved with the devotion time and this can train them to be uninterested in spiritual things, in general.
Be sure to include a time of prayer in the devotion time. Children need to learn to talk to God as well as to hear from Him. Having a notebook, chalkboard, or whiteboard where prayer requests are listed can be helpful and can show children that God answers prayer.
Scripture memorization is a good component of devotions for young children. Because children love to sing and often learn best by putting words to music, and there are many Scriptures that have already been set to music. There are CDs and mp3s available that can be played regularly for kids to learn Bible verses almost effortlessly.
Another important thing to remember is that children follow their parents’ example, so be completely present during devotion time. Leave the phone elsewhere and have your whole focus on the content of the devotions. If a parent brings an electronic device to the devotion time and allows their attention to stray to it regularly, children will want to do the same.
Devotion Books for Children and Families
Where to Buy
Bedtime Devotions with Jesus
For parents who choose bedtime as devotion time, these restful devotions teach the Scriptures and reinforce the faith of young children.
The Beginner’s Bible 365 Devotions for Kids
Based on the Beginner’s Bible, this devotional is full of colorful illustrations and simple text. Intended for very young children, these devotions are great to read during a cuddle time with parents, and can also be used as Sunday School lessons for nursery and preschool classes.
The Berenstain Bears Bedtime Devotional
90 devotions for fans of the Berenstain Bears are meant for a quiet time before going to sleep and include a Scripture and a prayer along with the devotional.
Breakfast with Jesus
100 devotions about the life of Jesus are a perfect way to start the day with Jesus at the breakfast table. Children can learn more about Jesus’ life and how it should affect their life.
Devotions for the Children’s Hour
These children’s devotions examine the truths behind the popular Bible stories that most children learn early such as David and Goliath, Jonah, Noah, and more. Foundational truths are taught in an accessible way to young children through these devotional readings.
Where to Buy
Every Day with Jesus
Dr. Charles Stanley has an adult devotional called Every Day in His Presence, and this book for children is based on that. The themes and Scriptures for each day correlate, so the same content can be shared between adults and children, on an appropriate level for each.
The Family Bible Devotional
For parents who have trouble engaging children in family devotions, this devotional gives the tools for a weekly deeper devotion time that will draw in the children and encourage a better relationship with God for the whole family.
52 Weekly Devotions for Busy Families
Every family is busy, and this devotional is geared to make fitting a weekly devotional time for the family into the busy family schedule. Each Bible-based devotional includes a hands-on activity to keep children interested and reinforce learning.
- Five Minute Devotions for Children
- Celebrating God’s World as a Family
- More Celebrating God’s World
- Big Book
- Old Testament
- New Testament
These devotion books from Pamela Kennedy are delightful and versatile, allowing parents to use it for any devotional time whether it is breakfast, bedtime, or any time of day. Based on things in nature, each devotional highlights a trait that God shares with His creation.
God and Me!
These devotionals for small girls teach about God’s love and care. Each offers an activity to apply the lesson to daily life.
Where to Buy
This hardcover devotional by Max Lucado teaches child
Grace for the Momentren about the amazing grace of God. A full year of devotionals will keep children growing in grace through 365 days of family devotional time.
Hope for Each Day
Billy Graham put together this years’ worth of devotions for parents to use with their kids. Each day matches in Scripture and theme with his adult-level devotional of the same name.
How Great is Our God
Creation shows the Creator, and this set of 100 devotions uses science to show the glory of God to young children in a way they can understand and enjoy.
This book contains 100 displays of God’s amazing creation with science related devotions to draw children closer to God.
Based on the popular devotional of the same name, this devotional for children is written in a conversational way, as if God is speaking, and geared for young kids.
Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids
Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales, wrote these devotionals for young children with answers to questions kids may ask and fun Bible stories and the truths they teach.
Meant for children between the ages of 4 and 7, this devotional teaches children about the characteristics of God in ways they can understand and internalize.
Where to Buy
Making Time for God
These daily devotions help families to make time to spend with God and His word, learning about important topics that affect daily life such as jealousy, race, divorce, and more. 365 devotions are written to be used in a family setting or by elementary aged children alone.
100 Devotions, 100 Bible Songs
These devotions combine songs with Bible lessons and a prayer to add a cheerful God-focused time to a child’s day.
The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers
Preschoolers will learn more about God and grow spiritually through the devotions in this book written just for small children. Spiritual truths are put into simple, understandable words and paired with Scripture and a prayer.
One Year of Dinner Table Devotions and Discussion Starters
It can be hard to pull everyone away from their own pursuits to pursue God in family devotions, but most families have time together at the dinner table. With that in mind, this devotional is geared to dinner time with a devotion and discussion topic to foster a good relationship with God.
Our Daily Bread for Kids
A year of devotions from Our Daily Bread bring wisdom to children in a kid-friendly manner with illustrations, engaging stories, Bible verses, and facts.
This twelve-week devotional is made to bring families together and teach them to live for their family and not just with them.