As a Bible teacher, the most important (and often overlooked) place I need to teach the bible is in my own home. While there are a lot of resources for teaching the bible to older children, there aren’t quite as many when your kids are young. Adeline just turned three and Geneva turns one in a month, so their understanding of the Bible is naturally quite limited.
I began collecting doctrinally sound children’s books when Addie was a baby, and our collection has expanded to include not only the following, but several more. These seven are my favorites and are used on a regular basis in our home and preschool with Addie! All of them are available on Amazon (links are in the title of each book – these are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission when you buy through my link at no extra cost to you).
These would make great gifts for the mamas in your life or for your own family, as some of the books have a wide age range!
Here are 7 of the best books for teaching The Bible to toddlers.
When I first heard about this bible, I was intrigued. A bible solely about the Spirit of God?? How would that work? But given my deepening concern with the church’s treatment of the Holy Spirit (read: Avoidance of discussing Him) I was first in line when it came out. I am SO pleased with this bible. It stays true to the biblical narrative while highlighting the Spirit’s role in each well-known biblical story. From Genesis to Revelation, each account describes what the Spirit of God did and how He interacts with mankind. This would be a great way to initiate discussion of the Spirit with your kids, particularly if you attend a church that doesn’t discuss Him on a regular basis. It is imperative our kids know the role and purpose of the Spirit – not just Jesus and the Father.
This is a classic so I hardly need to introduce it, but the Jesus Storybook Bible is a must alongside the Spirit of God Bible. Each story focuses on the big picture of the Bible – the promise of the Messiah! It’s even helpful for the adults who read the book to their kids. I can’t recommend it enough, and during Christmas I make an Advent reading schedule based on the JSB, which we read every day leading up to Christmas.
This book is for older children, but I do use it to source lessons or go deeper into topics we touch in on preschool or in other theology book readings. This would be a great book to read during breakfast or your family devotions. It focuses on different aspects of God, sin, and Scripture, teaching children what to think about these doctrinal issues.
Another book which can transition from age 3-4 to older kids (ages 8-10). This looks at the metanarrative of Scripture, like the Jesus Storybook Bible, and helps kids grasp the big picture understand the powers at play in the biblical story. Kevin DeYoung does a great job of summarizing the Old Testament in a way that is understandable to small children. It’s often hard to pull those concepts through in a clear fashion, but he did a great job.
Based off the longer Bigger Story, this is a board book perfect for toddlers. We have read it at least once a day for over a year! Adeline learned her ABC’s with this book. It’s full of fun patterns and colors, letters corresponding to the biblical Messianic story, and makes for a great preschool book. Addie learned colors, shapes, letters, and theology from this book. It’s my go-to for baby showers.
My other go-to baby shower book is from Catechesis Books – their Baby Believer Primer series! They just came out with two new books: Let There Be Light and From Eden to Bethlehem. Be sure to get those and be sure to get Bible Basics – a counting primer using biblical principles.
Another book in the Baby Believer Primer series, this one explores the different postures of worship. Using bible verses referencing action (run, walk, kneel, stand, sleep) each page shows a child doing that action. It’s a “movement primer”. I own both of these and can’t wait to add the other three!
A version of this post originally appeared at phyliciamasonheimer.com, published with permission.