I’ve been teaching the 2nd & 3rd graders at Wellspring for almost two months. I am always encouraged and delighted when I see how excited they get about hearing new Bible stories told in exciting ways. This morning we had a dance party to honor God for what he has done. We did it just like King David in 2 Samuel 6 (except we were wearing more than linen ephods, of course!) to help us to not be ashamed to honor God in front of others. Equally encouraging was seeing how interested many of these kids are in learning the books of the Bible and being able to find the scriptures for each lesson in their Bibles. Part of every Bible class I teach is actually getting the kids to open their Bibles up and guiding them to find the verses using the Table of Contents in the front. I have noticed that when kids get in the practice of actually finding where the story is found, they take more interest in bringing their own Bibles. Kids are so proud to walk into Bible class with their brand new Bible and show it off to their teachers.
On occasion I have parents ask me if I have any suggstions for what Bible to get their kids! Did you know that Bible translations are written at certain reading levels? Many children find reading the Bible too hard. This may be due to them having a Bible at a reading level too advanced. Some kids find Bible reading boring. They may need a Bible that is for children a bit older than what they have. Below are my top picks for children’s Bibles. Click the picture to go to Amazon.com listing and look into the different versions available and then go to Lifeway or some other Christian bookstore and help your kids pick out one that you think would be age appropriate for them. Below are some of my thoughts for you to consider when choosing a Bible with your kids!
For Preschool Aged Kids
The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, by Kenneth Taylor.
This is the Bible we use with our little girls. It contains Bible Stories that are in the same order as regular Bibles. They are re-written for preschool aged kids. The author Kenneth N. Taylor interprets the Bible story and writes it in a way that makes the application point clear. Every story is followed by questions for parents to ask the children and a prayer that gets at the heart of what the Bible story is about! Each story also has an excellent picture on the same page!
The Jesus Story Book Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones
This is a new favorite of mine. Every story not only retells what happened in the Bible but it connects that story to the big picture God has in mind for his people. The subtitle “Every story wispers His name” is true in that Sally Lloyd-Jones (author) has woven the purpose of Jesus coming to earth into every retelling. This Bible would also be great for adults that are trying to understand what the rest of the Bible has to do with Jesus.
For Early Readers (Kindergarten – 3rd Grade)
The Adventure Bible for Early Readers, by Zondervan. Once kids get into Kindergarten, I recommend they get a full-text Bible with Chapters and Verses. The timing is perfect since they are learning to read to begin with a Bible designed for early readers. This Bible does just that. It takes the New International Version and simplifies some of the more difficult words and also breaks up the longer sentences making it easier for kids to understand. The Adventure Bible also has lots of helps on every page that makes Bible reading more fun. In addition the publisher’s website www.zonderkidz.com has many other useful tools and games for parents and kids that ties right in what the Adventure Bible.
For Older Readers (4th & 5th Grade)
The Adventure Bible, by Zondervan. Once kids reach 4th & 5th grade they should be reading and memorizing from a Bible translation that they can use the rest of their life. The New International Version is very readible and written at a 5th grade reading level. The Adventure Bible by Zondervan contains many age-appropriate insights that make reading the Bible more enjoyable. I believe they have boy and girl versions but the one pictured above is good for both. Be sure to check out Zondervan’s kidz website www.zonderkidz.com for other useful tools.