Helping little ones memorize scripture

Memorizing scripture is super hard for me... probably because I don't spend much time on it. I know it is valuable, I know it will only bring me to a closer relationship and better understanding of the Lord. But it requires discipline, something I am often lacking. The only time I dedicate to memorization is while I am doing dishes. I don't have a dishwasher, so with a family of six and being too cheap to buy paper plates all the time, sometimes I feel as though I've been in front of the sink all day. If I'm not careful my mind will wander while I'm washing dishes to things that are not God honoring. Fears...

what-ifs...

past hurts...

untruths.

One way to battle these thoughts are to replace them with scripture. I take a few verses that have been close to my heart or have struck a chord with me recently and tape them to the window over my sink so I can read them and meditate on them while washing dish after dish, fork after fork, sippy cup after blessed sippy cup. {I'd show you a picture of my set up... but my windows are shamefully dirty.}

Another step I have taken towards this discipline is seeking out accountability. My church has the opportunity for younger women to request the mentorship of older women in the church. {Modeled after Titus 2}. This year I made a commitment with a wonderful lady who has a passion for scripture memory and encourages us young women to take up the task. Hopefully, prayerfully, by the end of the year I will have that passion as well.

I want my kids to know that God's word is important to me. That it is life-giving. Thankfully, the kid's program at my church also hold scripture memory in high-regard. They give the kids a verse every month to memorize. At the end of the month, the kids recite it in front of all the parents. You might think that three, four, and five-year olds can't memorize scripture. But they can, and impressively. God has blessed little one's with spongy minds. If we offer the living water of God's word, they will soak it right up. My daughter loves to read, so she'll just pick up the verse card and read it over and over until it is imprinted on her mind. My son however, cannot read and does not have as good of recall as Monkey. So I have to spend a little more one-on-one time to help him.

Here are some things we do...

Practice at the supper table.

While we are all sitting down together and I have a captive audience with little distraction, I will say part of the verse and have them repeat it after me. Then I will add more and more of the verse until they finally repeat the entire thing. {You might have to take little breaks so they can get a bite in!}

Play musical chairs.

This works for me because I several children at home. When the music stops, whoever is out gets to say their verse.

Play ring around the rosie.

But instead of saying the ring around the rosieΒ words, substitute them with the words from your verse. Ending it all with "and they all fall down!" Just to make it fun. My kids want to do this over and over. {What's with kids loving to fall down?!?} Repetition works, ya'll!

Make actions for the verse.

Make up hand and body actions for words in the verse. Let them get up off the couch and learn kinestetically!

Play hop scotch.

Write each word to the verse on a separate sheet of construction paper and tape them to the floor. The kids take turns hopping down the line saying the words as the hop on them. {If it is not the dead of winter, you can draw this with chalk outside}. If they can't read, draw little pictures for some of the words.

Give prizes.

We know that memorizing the Word has many incentives. But my kids are highly motivated by candy. :)

Talk about what the verse means and discuss any unfamiliar words.

My kids, especially my daughter, will talk about a verse far more often if it make sense to her. She finds life application and draw encouragement from it. It is so fun to see the Holy Spirit working in her life through God's word!

Those are just some of the things we do around here. What do you all do to help little ones hide God's word in their hearts? Please share!