Every year growing up Lisa and her family piled into the car and headed to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. For a week, they stayed on the same stretch of sand in the same two-story house. They packed every day with swimming, playing games, devouring great sea food and having lots of fun. Summer without a trip to the ocean just wouldn’t have been the same.
Lisa has her own kids now, 1-year-old Sadie and 3-year-old Sam, and summer memories at the beach is something she doesn’t want them to miss. Even though she lives in Midwest now, she and her husband are going above and beyond to make it happen. Why? Because she knows it’s worth it.
As awesome as salty, sandy traditions are, discovering how awesome God is and learning the Bible is way better and the memories last longer.
So here’s my challenge to you: Create space this summer for getting your kids excited about the Bible and learning it creatively. Create a memory they look forward to and don’t want to miss. Help your kids discover the one thing that matters most—knowing who God is by learning his Word and hiding it in their hearts.
Different ways to explore the Bible as a family this summer
1 – Read a whole book of the Bible. Choose one of the shorter books like Jonah or Esther, or explore the action-packed book of Mark.
Daniel is another book that’s packed with cool stories for kids and one of my favorites. Of course you might want to skip over some of the complicated chapters like Daniel 11. Next week here on the blog, I’ve got some awesome “discovering Daniel”ideas for kids.
2 – Take the Summer 100-day challenge. Zondervan, one of the leading Christian publishers, has laid out a 100-day Bible reading challenge for summer months. It starts close to Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day. Super easy to follow along!
3 – Discover a proverb a day. Write it out, talk it through, and memorize it together. Then follow it up with a how, what, or why question. If you want shorter proverbs, I’d suggest starting with chapter 3 of Proverbs and forward.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce” (Proverbs 3:9).
What kind of “wealth” do you have?
How could you give your best to God?
4 – Read one Psalm a day. Several months ago I did a series called Psalms for Kids. Use them to dive deeper into some of the well-known psalms. Psalm 23: I can trust God and Psalm 46: God is my fortress are just two devotionals you can use to help your kids understand the psalms better.
4 – Join or start your own neighborhood family bible study. If you’re in the southwest Minneapolis area, I can’t recommend Barns & Bibles highly enough. One mom’s creative idea for blending faith and family includes meeting at a family farm where kids get to see animals and work farm chores. That’s followed with interactive Bible discovery time and singing with moms and kids of all ages. Starts this month!! Check out their site to sign up or for inspiration for your own group.
5 – Go deeper with “Discover 4 Yourself” studies for kids. If you’ve got elementary kids, these books help kids study and understand Bible classics in a brand new way. There are 19 books in the series, God has big plans for you, Esther and Wrong way, Jonah are just two of them.
6 – Invest in a great devotional Bible like The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to help kids and parents engage and love Scripture.
Set yourself up for success
Get everyone onboard. I did when my son was younger by letting my son choose which book of the Bible we read through. Or you can say, “I thought it would be fun this summer to really get to know God. Which of these ideas would you pick?”
Choose the same time every day – routine makes things easier
Give yourself grace if there are days when you can’t make reading happen.
Choose an easy-to-understand version of the Bible. I really like NLT, the New Living Translation. You can find almost any version at biblegateway.com. Just choose the Scripture you want to look up and then select from a variety of version, and languages.