Playing Through the Bible
This post was written by our friend, Kayla Alonso, creator of the blog Baby Devotions. Thank you so much for your partnership and friendship, Kayla! We know you guys will enjoy her wisdom and ideas!
“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” -Diane Ackerman
I absolutely love this quote. And it's true, isn't it? Who doesn't love to play? And research continues to show us that play is how children learn best. With that in mind, I started Baby Devotions. My thought was, if we know children learn best through play, then why don't we teach them the most important things in the way they learn best? Below you will find my top reasons why to teach the Bible through play, and how to get started.
Why Teach Your Littles the Bible Through Play
1. It's Biblical
Deuteronomy 11:19 commands us to teach the ways of the Lord to our children. They should be apart of our daily lives and we need to actively pursue giving our children an understanding of who God is.
2. Little ones learn best through play
Confucius once said, “I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I learn.” And isn't that the truth? When we experience something, we come into a greater understanding. And how much more true is this for our littles? Play is how they experience and explore the world around them. When we take the time to bring the lesson to life, they can begin to understand the Bible in their own way.
3. Do It For You, Mama
We can’t share with our littles what we do not know. Playing with the Bible gives accountability to be reading the Word for ourselves. It allows us to meditate on what God is speaking as we craft an activity and engage with our little ones. As we seek to teach our children, may we learn right along with them.
When we get down on the floor with our little ones we are building memories. Will they remember every activity or lesson? Of course not. But they will remember that you were there. And in the same way that we sit and are with our children, striving to show then the Lord in a way they will understand. That is what Christ did for us. God, the one who created the universe, took on flesh and walked among us. He got down on our level to show us who he was through Jesus. As we play with our children, may we come into an even deeper understanding of who our heavenly father is and how he loves us, and may our children understand this too.
How to get started
1. You’re going to need a Bible
A storybook Bible can be a great starting place. Storybook Bibles have several stories that tend to be easy for little ones to understand, and also provide a visual aid for what is in the story. I have a list of some of our favorites over on the Baby Devotions Blog.
2. Get your study on
Pick a story and read it. Read the Storybook Bible version with your littles. Read the scriptures for yourself. If you are having trouble understanding what is going on in the text, there are several Bible Study resources that can help. I also have a few of my favorite Bible Study tools on the blog.
3. Craft an activity
What is going on in the story. Is there something tactile, like water? Simply fill a water table up and add a few props to talk about Noah and the Ark or Jesus calming the storm. Is there food mentioned in the story? Have a taste test to talk about Jesus feeding the 5,000 or how pleasant words are like honey. “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Take your child's interests into consideration. Do they like to craft? You could make playdough pots as you learn about Jeremiah at the Potter’s house. Are they a little athlete? Have them practice their throwing skills as you learn about David and Goliath. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Sometimes your activities will work out better than you could have imagined. And sometimes they will flop. Sometimes they will really stick, and your child will talk about it forever. And sometimes your child will want to talk about Paw Patrol the whole time. The important part is that you are spending time together and setting the intention to learn about the Lord together.
Let's be diligent in teaching our little ones the love of God. May they experience his love in the ways we interact with them. And may they know who God is by the way we walk this faith journey with them.
What ways have you introduced the Bible to your littles?
Kayla is a stay at home mom in Minneapolis, MN. She can usually be found juggling 2 spanish-speaking toddlers and drinking a cup of coffee. In her free time, Kayla enjoys strolling Target aisles and listening to podcasts. You can find all of her toddlers' Bible play adventures on her blog, www.babydevotions.com