Reading with your children is one of the most special times you can share, especially when you’re reading the Bible together and nurturing a love for God’s Word. The Bible is full of stories of adventure, courage, faith, and redemption. Best of all, these stories unveil the depths of God’s love—a love so deep that he sent his Son to die for us. These are the stories we pray will stick with our kids for a lifetime.
Here are two ways to bring Bible stories to life and create lasting connections for kids:
The first is to provide context for the story. For example, if you are reading the story of Jonah, use maps from your Bible to show where Jonah was from and where the story took place. Fill in any other details that provide background for the story too, like what the boat might have looked like that Jonah took to Tarshish. This reminds kids that these were real people and real places.
Another way to bring a Bible story to life is by tapping into your child’s five senses. How many times has a song, a smell, or a taste evoked a memory for you? You can create those same powerful memory and sensory connections for your kids. Let’s look at Jonah again. Several elements of this story lend themselves to a fun sensory experience:
- Touch: Fill a spray bottle with water, set the nozzle to mist, and spray the mist over your kids’ heads while you’re reading the story to help them imagine they’re out at sea. Another idea is to tell them the story while they’re in the bathtub.
- Sight: Dim the lights and give your kids flashlights. Tell them to imagine they’re in the belly of the fish, like Jonah was.
- Sound: Play background noises that sound like waves crashing. Change your voice for the different characters.
- Smell: Open a can of tuna to create a fish smell.
- Taste: Mix some salt with water to simulate seawater, and give your kids a small taste. Tell them to imagine what it was like when Jonah was in the sea. He probably swallowed a lot of seawater!
There are many things to you can do to bring Bible stories to life. Whether your Bible storytelling is simple or elaborate, do what works best for you and your family—have fun and don’t stress! After all, the most important thing is that you and your kids are in God’s Word together. That’s what really matters!
Kristi Gravemann is the Marketing Manager for Tyndale Kids. She has spent over 16 years immersed in marketing and product development for a variety of globally recognized brands. Kristi is convinced that if scientists were to study her DNA, they would discover a children’s book gene. Reading and a love of learning have been hallmarks of Kristi’s life since childhood. She brings that same passion and enthusiasm to her marketing role on the Children and Youth team at Tyndale. She’s beyond blessed to market fantastic children’s books with solid, Biblical values that parents can trust.