Let’s start the year trying One Thing that you can try or do that will bring your family closer to Jesus?
One Thing you could do is read the bible with your children. The Bible is God’s story. Every time that you read the Bible, God can speak to you and touch you in a new way.
Reading with your kids is great at any age, so don’t be put off if it’s not something you’ve done regularly since they were little. With older kids, maybe start with once a week.
With so many bible options available, how do you chose the right the bible for your child? Let’s begin with just a few of the questions you can ask yourself when you are comparing different Bible options:
- What is my child’s age/ reading level?
- For what purpose will my child use this Bible?
- Do we have a translation preference?
- Does my child prefer items specific to their gender?
- Is my child drawn to realistic images or cartoon style images?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can narrow down your choices to either a Storybook Bible or a Full Text Bible.
A Storybook Bible is a shortened, storybook style adaptation of the Bible that may include scripture references, photos, or illustrations. This Bible is ideal for preschoolers, pre-readers, and newly independent readers.
A Full Text Bible is a full version of the Bible which features special supplemental devotional or learning elements. Full Text Bibles are ideal for new readers to adult readers. The most widely used translations of Full Text Bibles are the NIV and the NIrV.
Once you’ve decided, read it!!
- Great to read at bed time as part of the night time routine
- Have a day of the week where you read a bible story together
- Have a scripture or story of the week – put it up on the fridge or in the bathroom
- Listen to an audio bible in the car
Here are some bible suggestions. The links go to The Book Depository but most of these are available locally from Manna Bookstore or downloadable from Kindle if you prefer digital.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible
- The Beginner’s Bible
- The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible (focuses on the role of the Holy Spirit throughout the bible)
- Laugh and Grow Bible with Phil Vischer (links in with the What’s in the Bible series)
- The Action Bible (comic style, great for older primary or confident readers. Has a companion devotional which is available to loan from CV)
- I AM: 40 reasons to trust God (available to loan from CV)
- My First Message (based around Eugene Peterson’s Message translation)
- The Big Little Bible (available to loan from CV)
- Hands On Bible (great first full text bible. Contains activities related to the stories. Available to loan from CV)
- The Voice (great for late primary/teens. Written in script style to read like a play. This translation is also available on Bible Gateway)
Apps and digital options
If you have a child who isn’t a big reader, there are still plenty of engaging options out there:
- YouVersion bible app – as well as devotionals, there are plenty of bible reading plans. To encourage independent reading, YouVersion has a community option where you can share your reading with others. They also now have a kids bible experience mod to engage younger readers. This free app available on all platforms. Contact Andrea if you’d like any suggestions on where to start.
- Superbook Kids Bible App – Highly recommended. Includes a full bible, games, answers to bible questions, character profiles, plus links to all the Superbook videos
- The Bible App for Kids – Great for preschoolers and early readers. You can read yourself or it will read to you. Includes fun animations to bring the stories to life.
- YouTube – Again, tonnes of content to check out. Just search your favourite bible story and watch away. Use the playlist function to create a list of videos for your family to watch together.
- The Brick Testament – all your favourite bible stories brought to life in lego. Does pay to check the story first as they don’t shy away from some of the more “adult” stories.
- Engage app – Free app by Scripture Union NZ. Suitable for intermediates/youth. The text is read to you in either English or Maori. Also includes some discussion questions
Still not sure where to start? Contact Andrea to discuss further.