Teaching the books of the Bible to children can feel like a daunting task. After all, there are 66 of them! Most Christian parents and teachers, however, understand the value of memorizing the books of the Bible. It’s a skill that will be appreciated more as a person ages, no matter how long they live.
Knowing the books of the Bible is a Bible skill that will greatly influence how well a child can focus during sermons and Bible studies. When kids know the books of the Bible, they can navigate quickly to a passage so that they can follow along. If a child’s mind is on the verse in front of them, then they are more likely to hear the Spirit speak to them.
But HOW do we teach the books of the Bible? There are tons of ways to help kids with this Bible skill. The trick is to be consistent and make it fun. Bible book memorization is a drill skill and that means the only way to learn them is to repeat them over, over and over. Obviously, this does not always appeal to children, which is why you must get creative to make it fun. In addition to printable activities for teaching the books of the Bible, here are some fun ways to memorize the books of the Bible for children of any age…
Playing popcorn is a great way to help even the smallest kids begin learning their books of the Bible. Children should be seated in the floor in a circle with enough room for the teacher to walk around on the outside of the circle. In the beginning, you (the teacher) will be saying a book of the Bible, beginning with Genesis. Tap a child on the head, that child pops up and repeats the book you just said. Continue around the circle for the first 5-10 books of the Bible. Once they seem to have them, have them say them in order as you tap each child without any assistance from you. During future class sessions, you will review the previously learned books using this same method and then add more books as you go. Reviewing is the key. Review, review, review!
Books of the Bible Pickup Sticks
This is a fun game to help kids nail down their books once they have begun to learn them. Take 2 sets of crafts sticks (66 in each set) and write the books of the Bible on them. Divide your class into two teams and within a fixed time limit, ask each team to place the books of the Bible in order. The team to correctly order their sticks first wins. Keep in mind that kids (even older kids) like to play a game multiple times. Do not be afraid to bring out this game over and over. If you do choose to use this method often for reviewing the books of the Bible, keep score so that the teams will be motivated to work harder each time to win. A simple poster in the classroom that keeps up with which team is leading will do the trick. Let your students name their teams as well to encourage team work.
Simple weekly contests are also a very effective way to encourage children to learn their Bible books. You can arrange weekly prizes for those who learn a certain number of the books, and then a grand prize for the student who learns all the books of the Bible first. Be prepared to give out multiple prizes, because children often respond well to competition.
Remember, learning the Books of the Bible takes time, energy, and creativity in today’s world, but it is worth it! to help, Sunday School Zone has a number of free, printable activities to help the Christian parent or teacher teach kids basic Bible skills. Have fun!
You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.