This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prayer Book

Started around 17 or 18 months, J and I read a Bible story and then pray together before starting our day.  A friend of mine had the best idea that I’ve adopted into our routine (thanks mamanickles!).  I made a prayer journal to help J through our prayers each day. It’s basically a notebook of pictures and names. It starts with the thankfulness page and then is divided into five categories (separated by colored dividers), family, friends, government officials, ministers, and military servicemen/women. I covered each page with page protectors so that J could handle the book himself without fear of tearing the pages. 

Every morning we pray for one person from each side of the family and then one person in each of the other categories. So we are praying for 6 people a day which turns out just right for his attention span. He really likes it. After using it only a few weeks, J would immediately fold his hands to pray when I picked tup he notebook.  If I don’t pick up the notebook quick enough, he would point to it. This became his way of reminding me.

It’s so easy to add new friends or replace pages with newly elected officials.  When I recently added new friends to the notebook, he had a few days where he only wanted to pray for them. He also likes to just flip through the book afterward. He learned President Obama this way. Another benefit is that it’s helping him become more comfortable with the pastors at church.  He used to shy away from the children’s pastor every time we saw him (which is often since I work with them during the week), after introducing the prayer book and praying for Pastor John a couple times, J is suddenly friendly in person too! If your little one is cautious or deals with separation anxiety, this would be a great way to help them grow more comfortable with caregivers (Sunday school teachers, babysitters, distant family, etc.).


Rena said...

I love this! We have photo books and prayer time but I never thought of combining them. For Bible story time, do you use an illustrated children's Bible or do a read aloud from your Bible. I'd like to start implementing this as my son is 15 months now. Any pointers on what has worked well for you?

Erika said...

Great idea! We have prayer time as well but I think adding the pictures will be so helpful, especially since my DH is about to leave on deployment! One question, what does your Thankfulness page look like?

Becca said...

Erika - My Thankfulness page has a painting of Jesus blessing the children. I try to explain it as J's opportunity to go to Jesus and thank Him for something.

Becca said...

Rena - I have only just started reading from my Bible with J (now 3 years). I am test-driving to see how it goes! So far it seems to be a great segway into more in depth discussions, or at least as in depth as a 3 year old can offer. He is very into asking questions right now, especially about vocabulary. I take every opportunity to help shed a little more light on the story.

Starting somewhere between 12 and 14 months we always read from a children's Bible. We have quite a few of them. Many times I would read the same story out of each of them either in one sitting or throughout the day. At this age they love repetition and their comprehension benefits from it. We sing songs, sometimes did a craft or activity that went along with the story. We made it fun. I try to use every opportunity to remind him of the story, the lesson, anything to peak his interest.

By the way, my absolute FAVORITE children's Bible is The Jesus Storybook Bible. It is amazing for kids and adults IMO. You can see more about it here http://engagingtoddleractivities.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/great-read-the-jesus-storybook-bible/

At 15 months I found The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers so helpful. It offers very short and simple rhymes that we could quote, sing, and dance to all throughout the day.

I still use the children's Bibles as supplements now. They are great books that he can look through on his own now.

I should also mention my husband will often read from one of them before bed. I'm noticing that this just adds to J's understanding of the stories. My husband thinks of way to explain things that I would've never come up with.. or he focuses on an aspect of the story that I overlook. I also think it's great from kids to have both their mom and dad spending time in the Word with them. It reinforces how important IT is to us.

My biggest pointer is to just do it. It's so easy to skip this part of parenting, get busy, or to let our insecurities of not being able to do it "right" stop us from doing teaching the Bible at all. Pray that you would know how best to teach your little one and then just get started. It's always gonna be rewarding!


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