This week 3forme!! asked for suggested devotional tools for young ones.
WHAT WE DON'T CHOOSE
Whenever we look for any resource, be it a book, music or a devotional, we have a basic standard for what we don't choose. I think that is important too. Our basic guidelines would include include:
No “me” centered attitudes that demonstrate the world revolves around us rather than God and His glory
No resources in which the kids are trying to be “cool” is displayed (aka being prideful)
No sibling rivalry/sibling dislike
No unchecked disobedience/very few examples of disobedience as a whole
No examples of poor spirit or behavior that is opposed to our family goals to live for Jesus
No scenes in which children have little to no parental supervision or other examples that would oppose our family rules
Why? Well, there are many angles we can use to make our children wise. We can focus on the negative examples over and over or we can focus on the good instead. We have made a conscious decision to focus on the good and we think it has made a big difference.
In the case of a devotional, no overly "cartoony" resources in which Bible history is viewed as a cartoon or fairy tale rather than the truth of the Living God.
SOME OF OUR FAVORITES
To follow are our top 4 favorites. These are resources we have used and loved for our little ones. I hope they will be a blessing to you too!
#1 Scripture Pictures- by Nexgen. There are 52 short stories per book that are followed by a few questions. Again, the stories are short, the perfect size for your 3-6 year olds, but of course, we enjoy the devotionals as a family. The older girls get to remember back while the little ones get to enjoy them for the first time.
The format is a spiral binding at the top and the book itself can be set on the table in an easel type display. While you read the story, the children look at the large, beautiful artwork. They are wonderful. We own the OT and Life of Jesus books so far. In the Life of Jesus book we changed one sentence in the first story (It said something like “God will even know what job you are going to have.” Since we desire for our girls to be keepers at home we just changed it to “God knows just who you will be when you grow up” or something to that effect. I know, I'm a little picky.) These are really special books. They are a little large (17X11) but that is part of the fun- everyone can see.
You can purchase these books at Family Christian Stores for $29.99 (unless you have a coupon), at CBD for $21.99 or at Amazon for varied prices- as low as $12.99 used (or free if you use an Amazon credit card and earn points).
Note: The books are presented in English and Spanish – for bilingual classes and missions trips, so really your reading is half of the back of each page.
#2 Leading Little Ones to God- by Marian M. Schoolland.
This is a 173 page book includes 86 devotionals that are really well done. Water color art is sprinkled throughout. There is a suggested Bible reading passage with each story. This devotional was my tool (Tom primarily reads from the Bible alone) so I would read the devotional, ask our oldest daughter to read the Bible passage and then we would use the questions as a springboard for discussion.
You can find this at Amazon for $13.60 new or as low as $9.97 used.
#3 The Child's Story Bible- by Catherine F. Vos.
This appears to be Mrs. Vos' life work. She wrote this for her own children. Her mother had told her, she told her children and she instructed them to tell their children. A precious heritage indeed. This 382 page volume covers the Old and New Testament. The stories are a little longer, but written in an engaging fashion. This one always has my children begging for more chapters- and of course I love to oblige. Because we tend to spend more reading time in this one, I started having them color while I read. At each chapter we would stop and talk about the chapter. There are no pre-written questions.
You can find this at Amazon for $18.15 new, or as low as $7.93 used.
#4 For Instruction In Righteousness- by Doorpost.
This is a 298page, spiral bound, topical study that is really a blessing for busy parents. I have another post about this specific resource here that covers a little more on just what is in this book.
We also enjoy many wholesome character story books including Pearables.
But that's a whole other post. : )
May God bless you as you lead little hearts home!