I remember as a kid sitting around in a home Bible study group and reading the Bible for what seemed like hours at a time.
Truth be told, the longest reading sessions probably only lasted an hour, but as a kid, it felt like an eternity. It wasn’t that I didn’t like reading, nor that I was bored. It’s just that as a kid, well, there were a few more exciting things to do in the evenings than sit around reading the Bible. I had my own full Bible given to me as a gift. It was the whole thing, from Genesis to Revelation. I read it, when in a group or at church. But when I alone, there was another Bible that captivated me, and had me reading even when there were more exciting things to do in my spare time.
There is a Bible that will capture the attention of your child regardless of how old they are.
So what are the best Bibles for Kids?
Everyone knows that kids’ are different from adults, and that they process things differently than adults. So dropping a full Bible on their laps and telling them to read it, likely is not the most effective way of getting them excited about learning what the Bible says. Thankfully, there are other options available.
The Parents role in this journey
Let us pause for a moment and consider that many adults (and many who say that they are Christians) have never even read the entire Bible for themselves. Yet, they want their kids’ to read it. Obviously these adults recognize the importance of the Scriptures, but maybe don’t know the right way to go about getting their kids’ interested in reading it.
The best way for your child to take interest in the Bible is for them to see that YOU are interested in the Bible.
If you are one of these adults and would like to be that good example for your kids’, take a gander to the post titled: Bible Reading Plan and get going. You know you should be reading the Bible, and you know that it will do you good.
This post will look at the “why” and “how” of the Best of Bibles for kids’ that you can give to a child, that will provide an engaging start to their Bible reading journey. As a bonus, if you are sharing these books with your children, and reading to them, or with them, you might find yourself getting stimulated to start reading the Bible for yourself or find that you need to read the Bible to be able to answer the many questions that are sure to come your way.
For more information on the actual Bibles available for kids see this post: Best of Bibles for Kids – Product Review (link pending).
A toddler has a short attention span and though part of it is due to immaturity, it is also in part because they have a desire to learn. Their constant movement is exploration, to them, life is one adventure after another. If you start them “reading” at a young age, you can help them to focus and teach them to learn and find adventure on the pages of the Bible.
It is interesting to note that with many a child, sitting down with them to look at a book is both calming and nourishing. It is a bonding time that even though it might only last for minutes at a time, is priceless.
A great time for this bonding is around their nap time or right before bedtime. Their physical energy levels are almost exhausted and this special time with Mom or Dad will help set the tone for a great nap or a good sleep.
What to read? You need to find something that has pictures geared towards toddlers. If the book has words, you can read the words on the page and if not, you can tell the story based on your knowledge. As the child looks at the pictures, they will likely interact by pointing to something on the page. This is a great opportunity for you to describe what they are pointing at. Remember that even though your child is not moving around, he is still learning.
If you have been consistently reading the stories in the children’s Bible, you will notice a progression. When your child begins to talk, they will start to “read along” with you.
Eventually, they will tell you that they want to “read the story”.
At this point, you can let them do the “reading” and put your finger on the words as they go along. These are the beginning steps for them associating written words with spoken words.
Starting to Read
When your child starts learning how to read, it opens up a whole new world to them. Many parents leave the task of teaching their children to read to the teachers. They think that it is the teachers job to teach their kids’.
Although teachers play a big part in teaching children how to read, it still falls on the parents to be involved in this important step in their development.
By taking action and reading with your child, not only will you be able to keep track of how they are doing, you will also be able to control what they are reading.
If you have a Bible for them to read from, you are helping to fill their minds with what the Scriptures teach and that will have lasting positive consequences.
Picking up a kids’ beginner’s Bible is just the tool you need. This type of Bible that still uses bright, interactive pictures but also includes a few more words and a bit deeper story line.
click here for our recommended Kid’s bible for ages 8+
As your child grows up and reads with fluency, they might grow out of the “little kids’ Bible”. It is time to look for something a little more substantial, something a little more engaging. At this age, your child will be able to read some short passages from a full Bible but could still be overwhelmed and might find it difficult understanding what they are reading.
Looking for something that is still attractive and allows them to get excited to read is where it’s at.
Into their Teens
As you child hits their teenage years, if they have developed a passion for reading the Scriptures, it will not be hard for them to start picking up a full Bible. As they read the passages they will remember the “stories” they read from the kids’ Bibles and be able to identify the source of those stories. If they are inquisitive readers, they might even look to see if they can find the stories they had previously read and check to see how it is written in the “real” Bible.
If your child has not yet developed any Bible Reading habits, it might be necessary to provide them with something that will get their attention. They might feel overwhelmed by the task of reading the whole Bible.
Action Point: take an affirmative step for you and your child
Take the time to start your child’s life right by getting to know God, and by getting to know His word. Plan ahead and sow the seeds so that as your child grows, they will develop a reverence for the one who is their Creator.
Start now by purchasing a Bible that fits the need of your child. Visit our post Best of Bibles for kids’ – Product Review. Whether your child is a toddler, a beginner reader, growing up or a teenager there is a Bible suited for them.
If you need an overview of what the Bible is all about, I suggest that you visit the following posts that include a written summary, a short video, and a chart. What is the Bible: one BIG book? or a LIBRARY of books?
12 thoughts on “Best of Bibles for Kids – Start them out strong on their Bible Reading Journey”
While I’m not religious, I think a big part of the reason is because it wasn’t something that was introduced to me at a young age. I was basically forced to go for the first time when I was 8 years old and by that time I had gotten into my own routine and mindset. I had so many questions that the teacher didn’t know how to answer because, while I was still impressionable, I’d already come up with my own thoughts about life and found peace in nature.
The idea of reading a book about a “man” in the sky and a “devil” in the ground seemed like a detailed fictional story written in weird English. I think these are great tips for any parent that want their children to share their religious beliefs because starting them at a young age means they’re more likely to include religion in daily or weekly practices. I also think it’s important to understand that as these children grow older, they may very well begin to ask other questions that a book of virtues may not be enough to answer.
Your comments made me think of Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” You share how early (by 8 yrs old) your own routine and mindset were formed. The early stages of a child’s life establish a framework for the rest of their lives.
As parents we have the big responsibility of teaching our children. Unfortunately not everyone understands the truths of Scripture nor how to share them. The questions children ask deserve an answer, and not just an “anything will do” type of answer.
I’ll leave you with a thought as I thank you for sharing your experience. Spoken by a man who spent many of his childhood and teenage years out in nature: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Psalm 19:1
Thank you for this great post. Teaching our kids about the Bible is a very important step in shaping their lives the right way. We need to encourage them at a very early age to read the Bible before they are matured enough and become influenced by society.
Some kids are not really interested in the Bible so parents need to find ways that they can use to try and make their kids more interested in learning about the Bible and therefore become closer to God.
This is easier said than done which is why I need your opinion on this. What do you feel is a good way to keep our kids interested in reading the Bible on a regular basis?
Thank you for the question and I hope my answer can help you a bit.
One of the most effective ways to keep kids interested in reading the Bible is being an example for them. In all aspects of life, kids (especially younger ones) like to imitate their parents. What the parents do, the kids copy.
As a parent of three teenage girls, we are acutely aware of how much they imitate us (in the good and bad habits). If we are reading the Bible, and show an interest in reading and studying the Bible, they will as well.
I’m not sure how old your children are, but the earlier you start the better. Reading with them at nap time or bed time is a great way to get them involved when they are younger. If they are a little older, using the Bible to teach them how to read is a great method (picking short interesting stories in a version they can understand is best). If they are already teenagers, it might be a little trickier but a good way to engage them is by using the Scriptures to see what it has to say about current social issues, personal issues, controversial topics in the Bible etc…
Asking your children questions about the Scriptures is always a good engaging method. The Lord Jesus often challenged people with questions. Answering questions your children have is also really important. If you don’t know the answer, you need to find out what it is to the best of your ability. As a parent, you need to “stay ahead” of your children and it is stimulus for your own Bible reading and study.
At whatever stage children are at, methods can be used to increase their desire to read and study the Bible. But, as a parent, if you don’t have an interest in the Scripture, it is likely that your children will follow suit and show little interest.
The purpose of this website is to stimulate people of all ages to read the Bible because it is not a boring book. I hope in time to highlight more of the interesting and sometimes “hidden” jewels that are found in its pages.
Thanks for this article about Bibles for children. I agree with you totally that you need to start with something simple and easy with pictures and few words, then to gradually step up the type of Bible as your child grows up. You are correct when you say that most adults will not have read the full bible right through but I bet they can say that they have read some of it at some point in their life.
I do think it is a good thing for children to get to know the bible as they grow up as it helps them to understand a lot more of the stories that we get told about at church and at school services.
I remember always taking my 3 children to church every Sunday morning and they still speak about going and about the minister and how they liked listening to his stories.
Teaching children to read and study the Bible is like any other topic isn’t it.
When teaching math, no one starts teaching their children how to solve quadratic equations. Everyone starts with the basics, like learning their numbers, then learning how to count and slowly building on these foundations. So it is with the Bible, children will not be able to grasp the theology that comes with a deeper study, but the stories provide lots of exciting details for them to learn as they build up their knowledge.
In education, good teachers find interactive and interesting methods with which to engage their students. With the Bible, it should be the same. It sounds like your kids had a good one teaching them.
I am feeling some of the emotions of being younger and in awe of everything. Being raised Catholic, we had Catechism classes each Saturday, and yes I felt as though there were much better thing to do! But, I remember the pictures most of all, so I agree kids will learn and remember better with pictures to look at. The picture bible is a good way to do that for sure.
As an adult I can say I have never read the entire bible.I have started many times, but I felt so guilty about sinning, I had to stop! To live the perfect life that Jesus lived, is an overwhelming task for imperfect mortals. The bible goes into such detail, it is as though everything is a sin. That is the hard part, and I think young adults would struggle with that as well.
it is no excuse for sure, but if I feel this way, I am sure other do as well. So, what would you recommend for helping us to accept this, and feel better about teaching our children acceptance, but obedience as well.
Thanks for the thoughtful article on bible reading, and suggesting bibles for the young as well.
You are feeling exactly the way anyone should feel by reading the Bible. But please don’t stop, because you have only reached half of the story (the bad news half).
The Bible presents the Gospel message, the message of salvation for sinners. Sometimes our reaction is to feel like we can’t do anything right in the eyes of God, and that is actually a good thing.
Here is a verse summarizing what God did for us (for me). And this is the good news half of the story.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
I encourage you to read these posts in the following order and pray that they will help you.
What is the Christian Gospel: As simple as 1, 2, 3 https://creatorclues.com/what-…
What is the Christian Gospel: The bad news https://creatorclues.com/what-…
What is the Christian Gospel: The good news https://creatorclues.com/what-…
Great topic and information! I remember going to my grandparent’s house for overnights and being so excited for our bible stories before bedtime. Our bible had such colorful pictures, and my grandma always had her own stories to tell to go along with the pictures. It didn’t matter that we read through the same few bibles multiple times…we loved it every time!
Other vivid memories both my daughters and I have are of our Vacation Bible School experiences. The coordinators always made that week so much fun and memorable 🙂
I still have the bible I used during my confirmation classes growing up…The Good News Bible. It will always be near and dear to my heart.
With all of the audio and online versions available as well, there is definitely a bible out there to fit everyone’s needs, at every stage of learning.
Thanks for this great article! Chris
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am guessing that you can probably still visualize some of those pictures and remember some of the stories your grandma used to share with you.
So many people have “boring” experiences with the Bible. So glad to hear that you had fun and have good memories about your VBS experiences.
I would love to know if you are still reading the Good News Bible your received as a child.
Your article is very nice. You have provided interesting information. I will return to your site often to check. Keep up with your good work.
Thank you. We are trying to get back on track and have new material posted.