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How to teach a child to memorize Bible verses

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How to teach a child to memorize Bible scriptures

Do you need some fresh ideas on how to teach a child to memorize Bible scriptures?  Read on!

What’s inside?

Good news!

Just a little play on words there, with “Good News”, since that’s a translation of the word for gospel!

So, the good news here is that children have an amazing capacity for memorizing scriptures.  They barely do more than hear something a few times and they can repeat it. Even so, one of my favorite ways to teach them memory scriptures is with games.

My Favorite ways to teach memory scriptures:

My all time favorite way how to teach a child to memorize Bible verses is with games, but here are a few other ways too.

  • Playing Games
  • Using a Bible box
  • By reading them daily at breakfast or just after in morning time
  • Using Short lessons
  • Recite them when you read a Bible bedtime story that is related

Recommendations for a good first scripture set for young children

For a first set of scriptures to memorize, I recommend memory verses related to the most popular children’s bible stories.  That way the stories reinforce the scripture and vice versa.

So this memory scripture set avoids the more abstract verses (that are still very important!) like “Children obey your parents” and sticks to ones that will help them recall whole bible stories.

Top 12 Bible Stories plus a bonus!

This list is from a compilation of favorite children’s Bible stories:

Old Testament stories

  1. Creation
  2. Noah’s flood
  3. Joseph’s coat of many colors
  4. Moses’ birth and found by Pharaoh’s daughter
  5. David & Goliath
  6. Daniel in the lion’s den

New Testament stories

  • Jesus’ birth
  • The Wise men
  • Jesus boy in the temple
  • Jesus calms the storm
  • Jairus’ daughter
  • Jesus feeds the 5000
  • Let the little children come to me 

Admittedly, there are plenty of other Bible stories that are great for kids.  But these are a worthy starting point.  And in fact, a good number of these stories have more than one “best” scripture to represent it!  I’ve selected the ones I like best.

Memory Scripture Card Set #2

Here is Set 2 of Memory Scripture Cards and is themed specifically with scriptures for your kids that are related to the most popular children’s Bible stories, including 6 Old Testament and 6 New Testament scriptures. Plus, I love the “baker’s dozen”, so you get an extra scripture. A baker’s dozen is a good amount to work over a 3 to 6 months, depending on the age of the child and your diligence!

Old Testament scriptures

  1. Creation: Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
  2. Noah’s flood: Genesis 6:19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
  3. Joseph’s coat of many colors: Genesis 37:5  And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren; and they hated him yet the more.
  4. Moses’ birth: Hebrews 11:23  By faith Moses, having been born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw the child comely, and were not afraid of the decree of the king.
  5. David & Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
  6. Daniel in the lion’s den: Daniel 6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said unto Daniel: ‘Thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee.’

New Testament Scriptures

  • Jesus’ birth: Luke 2:7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
  • The Wise men: Matthew 2:1  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem
  • Jesus boy in the temple: Luke 2:49  And he said unto them, How is it that you sought me? Know you not that I must be about my Father’s business?
  • Jesus calms the storm: Mark 4:39  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
  • Jairus’ daughter: Luke 8:50  But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
  • Jesus feeds the 5000: Mark 6:44  And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
  • Let the little children come to me: Luke 18:16  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

5 Fun Bible Memory Games

While there are other ways to help kids memorize Bible scriptures, my favorite is with games. Especially for the younger kids.  Kids love to play games and are usually good at playing!

Tips for games

  1. Keep the games simple.  Avoid complex rules to enhance the fun.
  2. Give the game a fun name – again, this increases the fun factor.
  3. Have a bunch of games in your arsenal to keep things lively.

Here are 5 fun memory games from the Moses Wilderness Lapbook in my Freebies Library.  Play the games with only one memory verse at a time for as many days as it takes to learn the scripture.

Some of the games from the Wilderness Lapbook in the Freebies Library

1. Crazy Verses

  • Get in a circle.
  • The first child selects a crazy movement – like hopping on one foot, or spinning around, or holding your tongue while speaking, or flapping your arms—then everyone repeats the verse together while doing the movement.
  • Each person in the circle gets a turn to select the crazy movement with the same scripture so that it is repeated several times together.

2. Scripture Scramble

  • Break the scripture into chunks and write one word or chunk on an index card using a marker.
  • Place the whole scripture on the table or floor in order.
  • Make photo
  • Have the children close their eyes.
  • Scramble the scripture to have a different order.
  • Have the children open their eyes and put the scripture back in order.
  • Read it aloud together when it is correct.

3. Ball Bounce-n-Roll

  • Sit in a circle (or opposite if only 2 people)
  • Say the scripture together with a bit of rhythm as you pass the ball.
  • Begin to roll or bounce the ball to each other while saying the scripture.
  • Switch to saying just one word of the scripture on each pass or bounce of the ball.
  • Increase your speed until it gets too fast.

4. Clap-n-Guess

  • Write the entire scripture on a white board.
  • Say the verse aloud together a few times.
  • On your turn:
    • Face away from the board.
    • Another person erases one word from the board.
    • Everyone still facing the board says the scripture with a CLAP on the erased word.
    • You guess the missing word from memory.
  • Each person will take turns guessing a CLAP word.

5. Disappearing Scripture (Erase-A-Word)

  • Write the entire scripture on a whiteboard.
  • Say the verse aloud together a few times.
  • Take a turn:
    • Each person erases one word.
    • Then you all say the scripture together INCLUDING the missing word.
  • Continue taking turns until the entire scripture is erased and you all repeat the verse from memory together.

Download the scripture set

These scriptures are a great place to start if you want to see how your kid can memorize bible scriptures.

Download Memory Scripture Card Set 2: Favorite Children’s Bible Stories to get all 13 printable scripture cards by signing up for our newsletter and gaining access to the secret password to get into our Freebies Library.

Sign up for our newsletter and to get access to this free printable set of memory scripture cards with a theme of Favorite Children’s Bible Stories

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