Falling in love with the word

Santiago Rodríguez Wilches

The challenge for many parents or children’s leaders is trying to create in them solid spiritual habits. For example, reading the Word: What can I do to make them interested in reading the Bible?

Many times this seems impossible…but praise God it’s not! Loving the Word and establishing correct spiritual habits are things we can teach them and sow in them.

Today, I want to share a few tips on how you can help a child fall in love with reading the Word.

Start with short reading periods: The most important thing when reading is to be left wanting more. Start with 5 minutes and a few weeks later add 5 more, until you reach your goal reading time with your child.

Be consistent: All habits need consistency to stay habits. Some days will flow better or be more fun than others. But in order to reach our goal, we need to persevere. Reading the Word needs to be a daily habit.

Understand what it means to read: Reading is far from being a static activity. For a child, reading is the door to imagination, learning and seeing things they had not known before. This means that creativity is essential when reading with them.

Find a Bible that is right for your child: Depending on their age, find a Bible with illustrations, activities, and the appropriate language for your child to dive in. A child is almost never interested in what they can’t understand or do by themselves.

A few fun activities:

Act out the story: Gather the kids in a circle and choose your favorite passage from the Bible. But, you are not going to read it in your normal tone. You are going to act it out as if it were the best movie (with voices, silly faces, hand movements, etc). The kids can help you and join in on the fun. Remember to create an experience with and for them.

Reading and Narrating: Choose a story and then write the key words of the story on a posterboard. The objective is for all the kids to narrate the story, taking turns and using the key words to help them remember.

Reading with pictures: Print large pictures with short captions at the bottom. Cover the caption and let the children narrate the story according to what they see. Once they are done, uncover the caption and let them read it and compare it to their narration.

Imaginative reading: Read the story using short phrases. At the end of every phrase, ask the children about the context of the story. How do they imagine the scenery? What are the characters wearing? What is the weather like? etc..

With these simple activities you will be able to involve the kids and awaken a genuine interest in them to read the Word. As time goes by, you will have passionate readers with correct spiritual habits.