Before we launch our Psalm 37 study tomorrow, let’s brainstorm on some ways to involve your children in your Bible study. If you can’t find a quiet time to studyalone, maybe God doesn’t want you to study alone. Let the children join you. Not only will you get some time in the Word, but your children will also be learning right along with you!
Maybe it’s been too long since my kids were little, but I think, with some creative brainstorming and a little advance preparation, we should be able to think of some strategies that will let you and your children enjoy some time in the Word together.
Some of these ideas may not save you time. And they won’t all work for everyone. They may take some preparation; they may even slow down your own study. Butwhat better investment of your time can you make than helping your children get excited about God’s Word? If you’re joining our Busy Mamas Bible Study on Psalm 37, use your catch-up day or Sunday evening to gather kid materials for the upcoming week. Keep your supplies in a basket or box where you plan to study.
Also, for those of you who are planning to join us for our Busy Mamas Bible Study on Psalm 37, each day will include a project or activity idea for the children. You may have to adapt these, depending on the ages of your children, but I will try to give you some ideas for how to study with them, if you want to.
For babies and really little children (These little ones are obviously too young to join in your study, but these simple ideas might buy you a little time for study.):
Study during a nursing time, or give older little ones some finger food in the high chair.
Put the baby in a playpen with toys or something to attract their attention for awhile.
Put the baby in the swing with some nice worship music playing while you study with the rest of the children.
Have older children take turns on different days caring for the baby while the rest of you study.
Let them play with Bible-related toys and books that are only for your study time.
Set them in their high chair with a full sippy cup or some finger food.
Assign an older child to help toddlers participate as much as they can in other study activities that the older children are doing (listening for words, play-acting, drawing, etc).
Share your colored pencils with them while they sit next to you.
Establish a “blanket time”, training them to sit and play quietly on a blanket for at least five minutes a day. Do your studying during this time.
Buy some special just-for-study-timeBible videos that the little ones can watch while you study.
Have them sit on their beds and listen to recorded Bible stories while the rest of you study.
For other children:
Set a timer. Ask everyone to be quiet for five minutes (maybe with toys or Bible story books) . Then, when you have finished your five minutes of study, tell them what you learned while you all share a snack together.
Have children plan a short skit or draw pictures related to the passage while you do your studying. If you’re studying Psalm 37, it is full of short proverb-like verses that will lend themselves to dramatization and illustration. Pick one verse for your children, or let older readers choose for themselves. Take videos of their skits. Put drawings up on your walls or in a notebook. Be sure to share with Daddy!
If you have a child who is old enough to trust with a video camera, let him shoot a movie of the rest of the children dramatizing a verse you have assigned to them. Let them show it to you when you’re finished studying for the day, or let them show it to you and your husband in the evening after he comes home. Then post it on the Busy Mamas Bible Study Facebook group page for all of us to see!
Use dolls, stuffed animals, Legos, Playmobil, and other toys for Bible verse skits. Take pictures with your phone or other device and post for others to see, or email some pictures to Daddy at work. Share them on Facebook with your fellow Busy Mamas!
Since Psalm 37 is written by David, if you’re studying it, you could have the children prepare to act out scenes from David’s life when he might have been tempted to fret about evildoers. Have costume and prop materials available. In 5-minute intervals, this could keep your children busy for several days!
When looking for comparisons in the text, share some object lessons together. For example, Ps. 37: 20 tells us that the wicked are like smoke that vanishes. Make some smoke. Watch what happens to it. Colossians 3 speaks of putting our sins to death. Have the children write out each of the words Paul lists in the passage, and then destroy those pieces of paper in a fire or rip them up and throw them away.
Tell your children what word you are looking for in the text and ask them to help you think of a way to mark it in your Bible.
Let them help you think of how to illustrate a particular verse or idea.
Let children take turns actually helping you mark the words in your Bible. You can read aloud, and point out the words for them to mark as you see them.
Draw a simple, but larger illustration of a verse you’ve been reading together. Scan or copy it, and give it to the children to color while you study.
Read the passage aloud. Have children raise hands, bang pots, stand up, ring bells, etc., whenever they hear the word you’re listening for.
Read the passage aloud and have the children perform an action that relates to the word they are listening for. This should be fun! What will they think of to do when you say “wicked”, “heart”, “God”, etc.
Write the passage (or part of it) on a blackboard or whiteboard. Have children take turns marking words.
Let them draw pictures in your Bible. This might be a little scary, but you can monitor them, you’re inviting them into the excitement of Bible study, and I can assure you that their drawings will be precious a few years from now.
Listen to a recording of the passage in the car together, while listening for a particular word.
Memorize the passage together.
Listen for a particular idea, such as all the commands in a passage, and listthem on a whiteboard while you read.
Have them copy a portion. Let them write particular words in different colors or draw a picture to illustrate the passage.
Talk about real-life examples of what the passage is saying. Be careful to do this with a loving attitude, if you use people you know for examples.
Let older children help you with research. Perhaps they could do their own word study on a particular word and share what they learn with you.
Set goals with your children. Tell them what God is teaching you from the passage and how you are planning to obey it. Ask them to share the same thing with you.
Focus on obeying one verse together throughout the day. Encourage each other!
Talk about the ways you can apply what you have been reading together. Pray for each other, and encourage each other throughout the day when you see people putting what they have learned into action.
For older readers, sit in a circle and take turns reading one verse at a time.
Print out a passage (or a portion of it) for older readers. Have them draw pictures, circle words, etc., along with you. A special set of colored pencils will make this even more exciting!