It’s never to early to help kids understand that the Bible is real, interesting and applies to THEM.
I was excited when I spotted Tyndale’s new My First Hands-On Bible for preschoolers. It’s exactly what I was looking for to read with Alyssa as she grows. At 18 months, her favorite stor books are ones with fingerplays or songs. (Think Itsy-Bitsy Spider and This Little Light of Mine.)
My First Hands-On Bible has “actions” for you to act out with your child as you read the Bible Story. For example, for Genesis 1:1 it says, “Cover your eyes for a few seconds and imagine what the earth was like.” And then for Genesis 1:3 it says, “Turn a light off and on as you say, ‘Let there be light!'”
After each story there are also questions to guide conversation, hands-on activities, and a simple prayer. Here is a prayer from Genesis 45, “Dear God, help us remember to be like Joseph and forgive people who say and do things that hurt us and make us feel bad. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
What I also loved is the stories are from the NLT version. These aren’t re-written Bible passages, but God’s own words.
My First Hands-On Bible also has a big brother version for kids beyond the preschool years called (drum-roll please) the Hands-On Bible! In addition to the Bible text, it has ideas for science experiments, crafts, snacks and journals … perfect for homeschooling for dinner devotions! Each book of the Bible opens with an overview of that book and a timeline for where that author/time fits into the Bible.
My only complaint is that some books of the Bible had very little dealing with that book. For example in Leviticus there is one section that talks about how sacrificed animals represented to the Israelites that the penalty for sin is death, but in the rest of Leviticus the “activities” focused on Bible heroes such as Jacob and Gideon and David. Come on, couldn’t they figure out an activity that dealt with skin diseases and purification after childbirth? Then again, uh, never mind.