Kids are like sponges. I’m amazed at what my kids manage to soak up from the world around them (sometimes good, sometimes not so good), and even more amazed by what they remember, especially during the times when I don’t even think they are paying attention. Childhood is the perfect time to have our kids memorize information for future use. During their school years, they will most likely memorize things such as countries and capitals, world leaders, dates, poems, math facts, and prepositions. But above all else, make sure they memorize scripture. The most important thing we can have our children memorize is God’s Word.
Not only will memorizing scripture help shape their character, grow their faith, and teach them the Truth, it will be with them always to help comfort them , encourage them, discipline them, and nurture them. They will always have their armor – belt, breastplate, shield, helmet, and sword (Ephesians 6:14-17) – in their back pocket. Even before our children begin to talk, we can start helping them learn and become familiar with scripture by reciting it to them when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up (Deuteronomy 6:7). Teaching our children scripture doesn’t have to be elaborate or hard to implement; it can actually be quite easy and FUN. Here are 5 simple ways to help your kids memorize scripture.
Pass It On
This activity can be done with 2 or more people and all you will need is something to pass back and forth. It can be a ball, a stuffed animal, or a small bean bag. If you are playing this with just two people, stand at a distance apart so that the child can easily catch the object that you are passing back and forth. As you pass the object back and forth, you will each alternate saying a word of the scripture verse, like this –
- Parent – holds object and says the first word of the verse, “Children,” passes object
- Child – catches object and says the next word of the verse, “obey,” passes object
- Parent – catches object and says the next word of the verse, “your,” passes object
- Child – catches object and says the next word of the verse, “parents,” passes object
- Parent – catches object and says the next word of the verse, “in,” passes object
- And so on……
If you have more than 2 people, you can have all the participants sit or stand in a circle or a line to play. Just pass the object around the circle or down the line and as each person receives the object, he/she says the next word in the verse. It can get a little crazy when you have a larger group, especially if the kids are older because they like to see how fast they can recite the verse.
This activity can be done with 1 or more kids. Choose a verse and write each word of the verse on its own 3×5 index card. Scramble up the cards and have the child put the cards in the correct order. Another way to use the index cards is to put the cards in order, have the child look away, and then remove 1, 2, or however many cards you choose. Then have the child decide which words are missing. You can also extend the activity by turning it into a scavenger hunt. Hide all the cards around the room (make sure you remember how many there are). After the child finds them, he or she puts them in order to get the ‘treasure.’ If you are playing with more than 1 child, you can have them work together or split them up and make it a competition (this is better with the older kids). If you have a lot of children, split them into teams (for competitive play, you will need a set of scripture cards for each team).
Singing is probably one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to memorize scripture. And you can do it without even thinking about it. Just pop in some scripture CDs throughout your day or as your children go to sleep, and they (and you) will be singing God’s Word before you know it. Some of our favorite scripture CDs are:
Act It Out
Put hand motions to the scripture verses and have your kids act them out. Ask your kids to come up with the motions if they can; this way, they are more likely to remember the motions. Here is an example:
- Luke 10:27 – Love (give yourself a hug) the Lord your God (point up to heaven) with all your heart (put your hands over your heart) and with all your soul and with all your strength (flex your biceps) and with all your mind (point to your brain); and, love your neighbor (point to your neighbor or give another person a hug) as yourself.
One last way to help children memorize scripture is to simply have them write it down. Copywork offers many benefits to kids, including memorization. And I’ve made it even simpler for you by making some scripture copywork sheets so all you have to do is print them out. The copywork contains 20 scriptures from the KJV about love (since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner). To download your FREE scripture copywork, just click the image below.
I hope and pray that these simple ideas will help your family memorize scripture together, so you will always have God’s Word in your heart.