4 Fun Ways to Memorize Scripture with Children
What Bible verses from your childhood come back to you as an adult? John 3:16 comes to my mind, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” I’m so grateful for what Bible I learned as a kid because time and again at some of the lowest and most stressful times of my life, those words have come back to me to give me inner strength. Do parents memorize scripture with their children anymore? It’s as good of an activity for adults as it is for the kids.
Even in this digital age, memorization is a good thing. Once a Bible verse is memorized, it’s in your heart. It doesn’t just exist on paper or a chip but it actually resides in you. This is where the Word of God belongs--in you where it can shape your soul and lead your daily life. Even as I pastor, I still use the “Books of the Bible” song I learned as a kid to locate parts of scripture!
If you’ve never done this before, here’s a short list to try memorizing:
Here’s a few fun ideas to try with the children in your life:
Using some large-sized popsicle sticks, copy a verse onto the sticks with colored markers. Break up the words so that only a few are on each stick. Be sure to include a stick with the book, chapter and verse on it. Mix up the sticks and see if the kids can put the verse into the right order. Keep the sticks in a bundle using a rubber band or ribbon. Pull it out as a quick game before or after dinner. Make it fun and reward everyone with dessert afterwards!
Buy a cheap 10 or 20 piece children’s jig-saw puzzle at the dollar store. Put it together then flip it over to the blank side. Write a scripture verse on the blank side. Be sure to get a word or number onto each piece. Then take it apart and see if the kids can put the Bible verse puzzle together. As they master it, try timing them in their attempts or making teams to race each other.
Using cheap plastic building blocks and labels, try writing a book of the New Testament on each block. You can color code them to make it easier, dividing into categories: gospels, Acts, letters, Revelation. Work together to stack the blocks in order until you’ve memorized all the books of the New Testament and can say them in order. Keep the blocks handy on the kitchen table so you can play this game spontaneously when there is an open moment in your household.
There are also many children’s songs using scripture such as John 3:16. Look at getting some recordings that your family can sing along with. It’s amazing how quickly we memorize the words we sing and it will stay with us all through life. This is where the Word belongs, in us and with us all through our days on earth!