Somedays you find yourself asking yourself “Is this making any difference?” It is! Press on friend. Here are some practical tips to help.
1- Music! You don’t have to be a professional or even sing on key, kids love it. Singing, dancing using homemade instruments, gives little ones an excitement for family devotion time. If you really don’t feel like you can do this on your own, play a CD and sing to a song or two.
2- Flannel board sets. A great interactive tool that children love.
3- Printable coloring pages. There are tons of free websites that have many to chose from based on the topic you happen to be discussing.
4- Acting out what is read.
5- Quiet toys saved just for family devotions… play sand or playdough, anything that can keep little hands busy. The bonus to these is that they can mold characters or other objects related to what is being read.
6- Carpet squares or rugs. When our kids were all little we used colored rugs for each child, this provided a boundary between them to avoid fights and also gave them personal space which they appreciated.
7- Prayer cards. Eric has written about our prayer card box, you can read the article here. The little ones look forward to choosing a person to pray for at the end of each reading time.
8- Memorize scriptures. Little kids love repetition, focus on a verse or two each week, reading it a couple of times a day, you will be amazed how quickly they will pick it up. They love putting motions to the words. We bought a simple sign language book and learned signs for some of the words.
9- Find the right time for your family. Don’t fall prey to doing things like others do. What works for one family may not work for you. You may find that reading right after breakfast is best when everyone is fresh. Maybe dad leaves too early and you need to use the dinner hour. You may find that including it in the bedtime routine works best for you. Our family has tried all of the above! Sometimes the time needs to be altered for a season due to other activities going on.
10- Never give up! Winston Churchill had it right! You will face discouragements, kids will run wild some days more than others. You will get out of practice and not read for a week or even a month. Don’t count it as a failure. Success is a process not an event. When things don’t work, change plans and keep going. I have seen this success, Eric has faithfully endeavored through all of these years… many of them with more kids under the age of five than over. They were crazy times, but he stayed with it. Our family devotions are second nature because the practice has been so established.
Have tips that weren’t mentioned? Please share below in the comments!