Kids are little machines when it comes to memorization, aren't they?
What better way to take advantage of this incredible memory skill than using it to tuck scriptures and other biblical essentials in their hearts? We adults could always use more of these precious truths on the tips of our tongues and minds as well, so why not memorize right along with our kids?
Scripture is THE essential for followers of Christ to memorize. However, there are other great foundational truths that we can commit to memory to keep us and our children biblically centered in an ever-changing world.
Here are 12 essentials to start with, along with fantastic resources to help you in your efforts.
Some of the memory work items below are verses or passages from the Bible, but really, the possibilities for scripture memory are endless. Scripture is the most valuable thing to teach your kids, so spend some of your most precious hours with them doing something that will last for eternity! Read more about out why scripture is so important to memorize, and then get some good tips on how to help your younger ones commit God's Word to memory.
Books of the Bible
Learn the OT and NT books of the Bible, how many were written, how many authors wrote the Bible, and so on. This is a great help when navigating the Bible and to give a mental overview of the books. Using songs such as the Seeds Family Worship New Testament Song or this song and video (with all 66 books) from Ministry to Children is a great way to start. You can also reinforce memorization with flash cards like these from VickiArnold.com and copywork sheets such as the ones available at ThePelsers.com.
Memorize the names of Jesus' disciples as a springboard for learning more about them to enrich Bible story readings. You can learn a song like this one from DLTK. I also love this resource from Bible Fun for Kids: A free printable Disciples of Jesus file folder game! You can print it and set it up as a game or print the disciple profiles out and use them as flash cards.
The 10 Commandments
The Ten Commandments are a great place to start when it comes to memorizing Bible facts. Our family learned them by using the hand motions suggested at Future Flying Saucers. Hand motions are a great way to memorize scripture and other Bible facts.
Future Flying Saucers also provides a tutorial on using drawing as a memorization aid to learning main events chronologically in scripture!
The Apostle's Creed
Learning the Apostle's Creed is a great foundational tool regardless of denomination. It is a summary of the faith that connects us to our Christian heritage. Find out more reasons to learn the Apostle's Creed at Intoxicated on Life. Then learn it together using Laying the Foundation, their fantastic family study of the Apostle's Creed, as well as their Apostle's Creed Printable Workbooks.
Cathechism is an often overlooked but very powerful tool in family discipleship. It is a practice that has been historically used in many denominations. Catechism can be a fun and effective way to help build a solid foundation of biblical truths in your family. Read an article I wrote about the benefits of catechism and how to choose the right one for your family, and then check out these free resources: Sound Words catechism curriculum at Proverbial Homemaker and the free Songs for Saplings catechism albums, Questions With Answers.
Days of Creation
Learn the seven days of creation using songs, this simple craft from OhAmanda, or activities like this scavenger hunt from Our Out of Sync Life. One simple way to learn the order of the days is to have a creation placemat at the table! We have several different Bible learning placemats from Tabletop Truths, including this creation story placemat.
The Fruit of the Spirit
Of course, the fruit of the Spirit is a passage that kids love to learn. We memorized them using this song and printables like these. Also check out this free Fruit of the Spirit family devotional from Raising Arrows, this set of Fruit of the Spirit Family Activities from ohAmanda, as well as the Fruit of the Spirit copywork pack from ThePelsers.com.
Armor of God
Kids love the fun imagery of the armor of God, and it's a fantastic thing to memorize, learning to arm ourselves before stepping out into the world! We have been using the ideas and activities Danika suggests at Thinking Kids and in the Bible Road Trip Year 1 curriculum.
I also found this wonderful FREE Armor of God Bible Study at Nephilim Remnants for grades 3 and up. There's one for boys and one for girls, and it comes with a 7-day study, certificates of completion, wallet cards, and more!
Put Off the Bad, Put On the Good
Does your household need some practice being compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, forbearing, forgiving, and loving? Whose doesn't, right? Memorize Galatians 13:12-14 and make the vocabulary of “put off” and “put on” a regular part of your family life.
Doorposts has some helpful suggestions for teaching these ideas, and their Put On Chart comes with family studies, a chart associating each quality with a piece of clothing, paper dolls, memory verses, and suggested actions.
Attributes of God
Learn about the attributes of God, such as holy, all-powerful, merciful, and more! This free Attributes of God Devotional includes twelve devotions, printable attribute cards, and various ideas for using them for games, a memory board, or other activities.
Learn the beatitudes using these printable cards from Flame: Creative Children's Ministry. The wording is made easier for kids to understand as you explain the meaning. Write the actual text on the other side of the cards for memorization purposes. You'll find more great ideas on their site for learning the beatitudes as well as printable prayer cards to go along with them.
More Memory Work Ideas
Of course, the list above is not exhaustive. Sit down with your family and brainstorm passages, Bible facts, and other important things you want your kids to learn about their faith. Here are a few more ideas:
- The Roman road to salvation
- Prophecies about the Messiah (such as with Jesse tree)
- Names of Jesus
- Fun Bible trivia
- Your family scripture verse
- Your family mission statement
- OT/NT prophets
- Kings of Israel
Teach Your Kids to Have a Devotional Time
Teaching your kids grow their own faith doesn't have to be difficult. Get this downloadable guide to help you teach your kids to have their own devotional time!