By Anjanette Barr, Contributing Writer
Some of my most memorable times in the Word have been while reading our favorite children’s Bibles with my little ones! And honestly, there are seasons when those are my ONLY times in the Word.
I am not by nature a very disciplined person. I follow a routine like anyone else, but I really have to press on and do the next thing all day long as a homemaker and mother and try my best not to get distracted.
I want so much for living intentionally to be easier for my children than it is for me, and I feel that the best way to point them toward forming the positive habits that I so crave is to make sure they understand where our priorities should be. I pray that someday I will be able to reinforce that by example as they see me spending time in reading and prayer, but as God continues to grow me, I am trusting in His ability to use me despite my ineptitude.
Reading from a Children’s Bible every morning with my little sweeties all snuggled around me (or crawling all over me) has created an anchor for our days. They are able to stay focused in on the age-appropriate phrasing and pictures longer than other family devotion type readings we’ve tried, and it is a more passive way for this tired mama to be spiritually encouraged and make sure that they begin their days thinking about the things of God.
(Yes, my youngest child is begging to nurse in this photo! That’s pretty typical and you only have so many chances at a photo with squirmers!)
I do look forward to the days when my children are old enough to dig deeply into study of Scripture, but right now while they are little (ages 5, 3, and 1) and I am learning to juggle my responsibilities, I am so thankful for these resources! We have chosen to read each one front to back, 3-5 pages or so at a time.
Our Favorite Children’s Bibles
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The Beginner’s Bible – This is the Bible that started it all! And want to know the craziest thing? It was given to us by a man on the street as we (my baby and I) walked to the library when he was just under a year old. He said that he was being forced to move and get rid of a lot of things and he just wanted someone to have it and use it. Angels unaware? It’s simple with sometimes silly illustrations, but my oldest son just loved it.
The Word & Song Bible – The print version of this book is readily available, but the audio CD is a bit harder to find. If you can read music, you may still enjoy leading your children in the songs that are spread throughout the book, but if you ever find the audio anywhere – snatch it up!! I love having the option of letting my little ones listen to Bible stories and music that reinforces the lesson as they play!
The Child Story Bible – This Bible was highly recommended to us by our pastor. It is a classic (published in 1935!) for good reason. It is written in the voice of a grandmother (wonderfully) telling stories to her grandchildren, and it’s most appropriate for listeners ages 4 and up. It would be great for a family read aloud time because there aren’t many pictures but the text is engaging.
Jesus Storybook Bible – We received this hardcover bible and audio book collection as a baby shower gift for my third born, and it is to date my favorite baby gift (we’ve been very blessed by generous gifts, too)! The subtitle of the book is “Every Story Whispers His Name.” There couldn’t be a more apt description! The poetic cadence or the writing, the illustrations, and even the reader’s voice in the audio version are all beautiful. And every story – Old Testament or New – points to God’s plan for redemption and His “never stopping, never giving up, always and forever love.”
You can also purchase it in a bundle with a 44 week printable curriculum and videos. I haven’t looked through the curriculum yet, but I have it on my wish list for the next few years!
The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook– This is a compact (6″ x 8″) hardcover with just about 300 pages of Bibles stories – each on a two-page spread with one full page of illustration.
There are a few things that make this Bible storybook unique. One is that each story – whether Old or New Testament, concludes with a “Christ Connection” that ties the story to God’s over-arching plan for redemption through Jesus. There is also a “big picture” question and answer that makes this book ideal for regular morning storytime & discussion.
It is also unique because of the elements that make it “intereactive.” Some pages have QR codes that are linked to special video re-tellings of the stories. And every page has a special symbol at the bottom that you can scan with your phone or tablet that makes the illustrations come to life!
You can read my full review of this particular Bible storybook today over on my blog, Raising the Barrs.
Win a Children’s Bible for Your Family!
The nice folks at B&H sent me extra copies of the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook as well as a shorter gospel-centered storybook called The Big Picture of What God Has Always Wanted to share with you!
This giveaway is being cross-posted on my blog, but the giveaway entry methods are the same, so you only need to enter once. One winner will receive both of these books! Open to US only, please. Ends 11/21.