Kids should be encouraged to memorize Scripture from an early age. The younger children are when they begin memorizing the Bible, the easier it will be for them to develop the basic skills and not perceive the task as “school work” or something they don’t want to do.
While Scripture memory may seem like a daunting task for adults, children typically find it easy to commit Bible verses to memory with some encouragement, repetition, and visual reminders.
Teach the story – Most verses come as part of a story. Kids love stories. Read or tell the story so they can understand the context. This will make it easier to remember and motivate them to remember a key component to the story.
Make it fun – SundaySchoolZone.com provides a growing list of FUN, free Bible activities for children. In addition to telling the story, let the kids work a puzzle or color a picture that will reinforce the story and the truth of the memory verse or phrase.
Talk about it – There are many Scripture pages on our web site. Each one includes a simple Bible lesson you can use to help the child understand the importance of the verse or phrase.
Start simple – Kids of any age should start with short Scripture verses (or phrases) that will be easy to learn and commit to memory. This will encourage them as they discover they have quickly learned a healthy list of Bible verses. Once they have developed the basic skills, you can challenge them to memorize longer and more complex verses or passages of Scripture.
The key to memorizing something for anyone is repetition. The good news is that children don’t mind the repetition involved in Scripture memory the way some adults might. As children learn the verse, say it for them and leave out a word and encourage them to identify the missing word. You can do the same with a marker board by writing the verse on the board and leaving a blank. This makes the repetition more enjoyable.
A good vehicle for repetition is flashcards. Write the verse on a simple 3×5 card with the reference on the other. Then use the cards to review the verse. Children will be encouraged as they see their stack of cards growing as their list of memorized verses gets longer.
Most people (including kids) learn better with visual helps. Ask your child (or children) to color or create their own visual representation of the verse to be learned. This might be a picture of the story in which the verse is found, or it might be as simple as writing the words of the verse in colors that vary from word to word or letter to letter. Such original pieces of art will not only help kids remember the verse, they will also become treasures for the parents to value for years to come.
SundaySchoolZone.com provides a list of short Bible verses for kids that can be learned quickly. Each verse or phrase comes with a beautifully designed Scripture page that can be placed on the child’s wall or mirror. These Scripture pages will serve as visual reminders of what they have learned as the children come and go during the day.
There are very few things you can do in a young child’s life that will prove to be more valuable than helping him or her to memorize verses of the Bible. Getting them started early will make it easier. For that matter, you might consider joining them in the effort. Memorizing Scripture is good for anyone at any age!
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher
See a list of other articles by Rick Edwards.