I remember the first Bible verse I gave my son to see if he could say it… “Seek, and ye shall find.” (Matthew 7:7).
It was right when he was learning to talk in phrases, right around age two. Little fella impressed me big time, he had it memorized and walked around saying it in no time.
He’s now 6 ½ years old at about 165 verses memorized! My four year old knows pretty much all those same ones also! I don’t think I ever realized the potential for young children to learn so much and memorize so much! Wow! And truth be told, it’s been a piece of cake to help them memorize all these verses! Children absorb so much if you just teach them!
How have they done it? How do you teach your children to memorize Bible verses?
1). Start when they are young! Two-year-olds can start to learn very simple, short verses/ excerpts.
2). I don’t make them memorize the location where it’s found in the Bible. That’s just not as important to me as them knowing the actual Scripture words themselves.
3). Introduce the verse by telling them it’s a brand new one, to listen well. Have them repeat it after you, only 2-3 words at a time. Once they are comfortable with that, have them repeat it after you 4-5 words at a time. Then see if you can start the verse and they finish the whole thing. Continue to say this verse over and over for the next 1-3 days or until they know it well.
4). Only add one verse at a time and each week review ones your child already knows. So there are never any “old” verses, they stay fresh in their memory from the time they learn them until the time they leave home! Keep reviewing ones they know! Never stop!
5). Make them visible. All of my children’s memory verses are on index cards taped to our wall! I know that if I put them away, we won’t say them nearly as much. You might find your child just standing at the wall one day by himself reading them without being asked! It will melt your heart!
6). Start with easy ones. (See My Post: “Beginner Bible Verses for Ages 2 and Up”)
7). Practice them anytime, anywhere. Say the newest verse(s) as well as a few review ones every single day, whether in the car, at the store, at bedtime, during play time, at the park, etc.
8). Make songs out of them. A LOT of my children’s memory verses have some kind of rhythm to them that we created ourselves! Singing makes them more fun and easier to remember! These ones are my children’s favorites!
9). Keep it fun. I let my boys jump on our rebounder (indoor trampoline) while saying their verses. Or I give them a jar of marbles and for each verse they say, they get to take one marble out of my jar and fill up their empty jar. Or they get to jump off the couch each time they say a verse. Make games so that practicing is fun!
10). Keep growing and adding and challenging your child to learn more and more! What a precious gift to give your child! Before they leave your care for an adult life of their own, they can have 100 – 1,000 verses of Scripture hidden in their heart! Wow! If you do nothing else as a parent, this alone is an amazing gift to give!
11). Lastly, don’t forget to discuss the verses and what they mean. Give real examples and break them down so they understand them well. When you experience something in life that could tie in with a verse that they know, talk about it! SHOW them the application.
***An added bonus is that YOU will learn all of these incredible verses and they’ll be hidden in YOUR heart too!! Shhhh… That’s been my most favorite part of teaching my children Bible verses!