Our Favorite Resources for Teaching Children About God- Infant through Early Elementary
We live in a day and age during which there is a plethora of resources that can help us as we raise our children to know and love God. The access we have to so many resources can be both a blessing and a curse, though. A blessing in that there are numerous choices, a curse in that we have no idea which to choose! My husband and I have been grateful for families that have helped us in the process of finding and choosing great resources, and we wanted to pass on some of our favorites! While our daughter doesn’t only see/read/hear Christian resources, we decided to focus on these in this article. Certainly this list is not exhaustive of the best resources, simply those that we have had and enjoyed.
I know it seems obvious to list the Bible, but my point is, start early! While children’s Bible books are great (I list some of are favorites below), reading the Word of God, right from the Bible, is powerful! It’s never too early to start sharing passages of Scripture or verses with our children. My husband started playing the audio Bible in the car when my daughter was very young. He found the above, Breathe, an audio version that has animated and various voices, and we still play it in the car, 6 years after we bought it. This has been great for our family on road trips or long car rides. Even when my daughter is coloring or doing activities, we are amazed at how much she picks up when it is on in the background.
2. Scripture in Song
There are lots of CD’s/songs you can buy that put Scripture in music. We have been doing this for several years and it is one of the best ways to memorize Scripture (for my husband and me too!). I have to admit I have learned a lot of Scripture by memory since I was given some of these CD’s to play in our car.
Toddler thru Preschool
1. Children’s Bible Books
There are so many great children’s Bible books. I included three of our favorite Bible books/story books below:
Bible Stories in 5 Minutes- The Gospel Project produced these great 5 minute Bible stories. The pictures are visually appealing for kids, and the stories end with a great lesson and verse.
The Big Picture Story Bible- This story Bible begins with creation and ends with Revelation. They are quick stories with colorful pictures.
The Jesus Storybook Bible- By far, this is one of my husband’s and my favorite Bible books. Probably a little advanced for a toddler, but you can start with an older preschooler. And we still read this to my daughter (at 8-years-old). Every story is written so beautifully and points to Jesus and redemption. If there is one Bible book we like to buy for someone, it is usually this!
Veggie Tales- Many of you probably know and and love Veggie Tales! Apparently they are coming out with some new Veggie Tales soon too! Sweet stories, great morals, and some of them focus on a Bible story.
Boz- My daughter enjoyed these as a young preschooler. Simple stories about enjoying God’s world and creation.
The Jesus Movie- This is a series that sticks to the story line in the Bible. I have to admit they are a little slow, so we introduced these early on (preschool) and tried to hold off on the highly visual and action-packed movies in Disney, etc. as long as possible. My daughter actually learned quite a bit from these sweet Bible story videos.
1. Leading Little Ones to God
Chances are, if you are like me, you might look at this cover and think, WHOA! Outdated! And unfortunately the inside is not much better. But I will say this is ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BOOKS for night-time, Bible-focused reading. My brother has 5 children from infant to 14 years old and he loves this for a night-time reading and lesson that is great for a variety of ages. The lesson is written in an interactive way, asking questions and finishing with a song, verse, and prayer. I cannot recommend this enough! We started this in Kindergarten and still do this often at night.
2. Theo Videos.
These are wonderfully sweet videos that provide theology lessons for kids in an understandable way! They give kid-friendly education on more heady topics, such as Justification, Sanctification, etc. To be honest, I love them as an adult because sometimes I have a hard time explaining these topics as well! I think around Kindergarten to third grade is a great age for these videos.
Early Elementary Age
1. The Biggest Story- Well first of all, Kevin DeYoung (the author) is an absolutely incredible theologian and Bible teacher that I have had the privilege to hear. So when I found out he wrote a kids book, I snatched it up! One of the things I love about this story is the way it makes God the hero of every story. “The Biggest Story” connects the dots for kids “from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth”.
2. The Action Bible- This Bible book is amazing, and illustrated like cartoons. The theology is rich, and I love that they include stories you would never read in another children’s Bible. I have learned a lot from this Bible book as well! I was on an airplane once and an adult woman was watching my daughter read it. She asked to borrow it, looked over it and really liked it herself. We ended up buying one for her and mailing it to her. She doesn’t have any kids, but we both agreed it is a wonderful way to learn more about the Bible as adults too! Kids will definitely enjoy the illustrations as well.
3. The Adventure Bible- This is the first actual Bible we bought for my daughter. Although my husband and I tend to read the English Standard Version (ESV), this is the New International Version (NIV) and I like that it is easier for my daughter to read. It has some wonderful pictures and “Did You Know” blurbs in the columns that share interesting facts about the Bible. I think this is a great first Bible for kids!
1.Jonathan Park-The Dreamer’s Tomb Series. This has been an incredible series to listen to in the car. This fictional story focuses on a son of an archaelogist and his own adventures with studying some biblical archaeology. While the story is fictional, the archaeology they discover is factual and kids can learn some great apologetics, biblical archaeology, and also more about the Bible! The stories are action-packed and will keep you on your toes! Biblical archaeology is not always the most interesting topic and I love that these stories help make learning about this topic, fun!
2. Lamplighter Series- I cannot say enough about these amazing stories! They are professionally done and have sound effects and professional actors/actresses. The stories will have you in tears! They are beautiful and always have a gospel and redemptive focus. We listen to them on road trips.
God and Me- We started this devotional at the beginning of her 2nd grade year. The title states the age range is best for 6-9. This is best for a child who can read and write a bit on their own. They have a girl and a boy version. These are sweet lessons and questions that kids answer about a verse/attribute of God. It takes us about 15 minutes, and we love doing this in the morning.
The Torchlighters Series: Produced by the Voice of the Martyrs, these videos are the incredible stories of people from history who have gone through incredible persecution or martyrdom. Some of the stories include Jim Elliot, Corrie Ten Boom, and William Tyndale. I wouldn’t recommend showing these until at least age 7, because they do include some of their deaths.
We hope you found some new resources you may not have heard of! Would love to hear some of your favorites in the comments below!