A good children’s bible can go a long way when discipling kids. Having many to choose from can give you endless options for making Bible-reading fun!
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When You Have Nothing But A Children’s Bible
I am an adamant spokeswoman for in-home children’s discipleship, especially owning a children’s Bible and reading it daily. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes per day and I know that it works, even for the worst and busiest circumstances. When our daughter was born, my husband and I were going through a very difficult season. We were struggling to make ends meet, living in a chaotic environment because I didn’t know how to keep my home, and we were both worn out physically and spiritually. There was a lot going on and yet not much going on at the same time. We were waiting to find out what God wanted us to do next with our lives and the process was exhausting. We sometimes missed church multiple weeks in a row. It was bad. But the one thing we were not willing to “fail” at was teaching our daughter about Jesus. All we had was Jesus and our family, and we wanted to teach her early on that Jesus is all she needs.
We parents desire to have a positive impact on our kids. Christian parents especially want our children to grow up to know Jesus. But sometimes in the busy, difficult, and sometimes depressing seasons of life, it’s not easy to start something we may not have already been doing. The good news is, it doesn’t take much to begin training our kids in the things of God.
Do One Small Thing Consistently
If I could choose one thing that has most helped my child to learn about Jesus it would be her children’s Bible. When she was dedicated at our church (one of the few weeks we attended during the first six months of her life) our daughter was given Baby’s Little Bibleby Sarah Toulmin, a very simple Bible that we had never heard about. As a then children’s pastor, I was hoping for one that I already knew of, but beggars can’t be choosers. Little did I know that the bible we received would be one of the most effective tools for discipling our daughter during her first year of life. My little one is two years old as of this writing and she has memorized the story of David and Goliath, she makes up her own prayers, and she voluntarily sings Jesus loves me all the time.
The key was that we read the Bible to her every day — sometimes twice in a day (as of this writing I am a stay-at-home mom). I wish I could take credit for all that she knows, but the truth is these little ones that God entrusted to us parents have spirits that can be very receptive to Him. I know that through our simple daily ritual, God has been revealing Himself to my baby.
You Really Can’t Have Too Many
Since her baby dedication we have received FIVE other Bibles from different family members and friends and we use every single one of them. We literally use them all. Why? Well, just like how the King James Version (KJV) and the New International Version (NIV) and The Message (MSG) are all different Bible translations that we can use for different reasons, it’s nice for kids to have options. Wait till you see them below — you’ll understand why I’m glad I have so many!
So my girl has six bibles that she uses regularly, but as a children’s ministry leader I have come across many others that I love and wanted to share about (and someday will add to our arsenal). Here are my top 10 favorite children’s bibles. Please note that all but two of them are paraphrased versions of the Bible and they are in no particular order.
My Top 10 Favorite Children’s Bibles
*Baby’s Little Bible by Sarah Toulmin
AKA The Best First Children’ Bible
Recommended for: Newborn to Kindergarten
What I Like Most About It: Lots of onomatopoeia (i.e. “Thump! Goliath fell to the ground.”) makes these timeless stories fresh and fun and easy for everyone to memorize. This was my daughter’s very first Bible and it is perfect for bedtime or anytime. The cover comes in blue and pink and makes a wonderful baby shower or baby dedication gift.
*The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones
AKA Mommy’s Favorite Children’s Bible
Recommended for: Preschool to Tweens
What I Like Most About It: It is beautifully written and illustrated and weaves the gospel message throughout every story. This was one children’s bible that I specifically requested be gifted to us from my daughter’s godmother. I came across it when one of the churches I served bought them as New Year’s gifts for all of the children and I instantly fell in love with it. I didn’t have a child at the time and I was seriously tempted to sin and keep a copy for myself, but I was afraid I would be like Ananais and Sapphira and be struck by lightning so I chose to obey God waited. I know, I’m such a saint!
So now we have our own and I have to say, the main reason I read this Bible to my toddler because it ministers to me. The stories are a little lengthy for her age, but they are masterfully written, almost poetic, and each story connects to the one big story about Jesus coming to save us.
In every story, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, the author connects the themes to the Gospel. This is one of those Bibles that has gotten a lot of hype because it very well deserves it.
This is a good one to read as a family (we use this one for family devos) and accidentally stash in your bedroom to read on your own to supplement your Bible study when you have free time in your busy schedule… It is really that good!
Also, the author is connected to Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC where Dr. Timothy Keller is pastor. My husband and I are fans of his, even though we’re not “supposed” to be fans of pastors, so, naturally, we think his stamp of approval makes this Bible a tiny bit more awesome, though it shouldn’t.
*My Very First Devotional Bible by Catherine DeVries and Leanne Mebust Luetkemeyer
AKA The “Put It Into Practice” Children’s Bible
Recommended for Toddlers to 2nd Grade
What I Like Most About It:
This bible has lots of application ideas for young kids. Our daughter got this bible as a hand-me-down from her uncles. All four of them read this book and turned out to be awesome men of God, so that right there, gives it a little extra credit from me (though obviously their parents and Jesus did an amazing job, too). It has a kid-friendly devotional before each Bible story and then an idea for an activity they can do to put into action or remember what was read. It also has memory verses for each story in the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) translation.
I’m sad to say this Bible seems to be out of print. There are some to be found on Amazon, but they are used. It’s still worth putting on my Top 10 because of it’s quality. If I were you, I would hunt it down now if this one interests you. Hopefully Zondervan will consider publishing a new edition soon!
*I Will Follow Jesus – Bible Storybook by Judah and Chelsea Smith
AKA The Most Relevant Children’s Bible
Recommended for: Kindergarten to Pre-Teens
What I Like Most About It: I almost called this one The “Millennial Parent’s Dream” Bible because it’s really cool, without sugarcoating the truth of God’s word. One of my aunts got this one for us because it was written by Pastors Judah and Chelsea Smith, who I am personally a fan of so there was already a bias upfront. It’s a valid bias, though, because aside from the fact that they’re great pastors, this bible stands out as distinctly fresh among more traditional (outdated though effective) children’s bibles — and it does so without compromise. I love how modern this book is and how relatable it is to school-aged children and I think that has something to do with the fact that the Smiths had school-aged children as of the writing of this book. This bible has a devotional-story style, with the main goal to inspire children to commit to following Jesus.
*The Action Bible by Doug Mauss and Sergio Cariello
AKA The Amazing Comic Book Bible
Recommended for: Tweens & Up!
What I like most about it: The geek in me loves that this Bible was illustrated by a Marvel Comics artist! We don’t own this one yet, but it has been on my radar long before my daughter was born as being an attractive option for superhero and comic book lovers. I am all for making the Bible engaging, to the point that we want to read it on our own and dig deeper as we mature.
*NIV Fire Bible for Kids – Illustrated by Gary Locke
AKA The Best Kids’ Study Bible
Recommended for: Tweens & Up!
What I Like Most About It: This Bible is not a paraphrase, it is the full Bible in NIrV translation. What makes it special is it has so many resources for helping children to understand Christian doctrine. I especially love how it highlights the importance of the Holy Spirit.
The description for this bible says, “The Fire Bible for Kids is based on a firm belief that anyone who accepts Christ today can experience the same power of His Holy Spirit that launched the Church in the second chapter of Acts. The power of the Holy Spirit that we read about in the Bible is a blueprint for everyone who follows Jesus. This Bible was created to provide tools that will help you be filled with the presence of God’s mighty power in your life.”
We don’t own this Bible yet, but my husband and I both had the teen one growing up (the Fire Bible) and can both say that the commentary help prepare us to share and defend our faith when we grew up and went to college and the “real world.” I personally look forward to owning this one so I can help my daughter understand what it means to live life by the Spirit and walk in the authority that we have Jesus.
*The Play-Along Bible by Bob Hartman
AKA The Act-It-Out Children’s Bible
Recommended for: Preschool to Tweens
What I Like Most About It: It makes God’s Word so much fun with minimal effort! Each Bible story is written in a way that is meant to be “played” or acted-out. We got this one as a gift from a family member and I have used it to read and play with my daughter and teach kids at church. My daughter often asks us to read and act out the same story multiple times in one sitting. Her favorite so far is the Palm Sunday story where we say, “Long live the King! Long live the King!” This Bible often inspires me to add other creative elements to our other family Bible studies — costumes, props, music, etc. The possibilities are limitless, but if you wanted to do the bare minimum and still have a blast, this book is good enough on its own.
*The Beginner’s Bible For Toddlers – Illustrated by Kelly Pulley
AKA The Best Children’s Bible For Young Readers
Recommended for: Newborn to 2nd Grade
What I Like Most About It: This book is extremely easy to read and has a great variety of stories. I love about it is that the stories are short, and it will be perfect for when my daughter starts sight-reading. I recently used it to teach some kindergarteners at church and they each took turns sounding out the words and reading aloud — it was beautiful! This Bible opens and closes with a little velcro clasp and also has a little strap on its spine for easy carrying by little hands. I remember having the “big kid” version of this Bible (The Beginner’s Bible) when I was a youngling and I loved it.
*365 Read-Aloud Beditime Bible Stories by Daniel Partner
AKA The Best Daily Children’s Bible
Recommended Age: Pre-K to Tweens
What I Like Most About It: 365 short and concise readings means something new to read every day! The lack of pictures makes this Bible more geared towards reading aloud, which is great for families who are looking to establish Christian habits at home. Though the title says “bedtime” I think this could also be a good after-dinner family devotional. I don’t own this one personally, but this one is a classic (1992) that I have still see in other homes and at church. It’s definitely a keeper! (Also, it’s super affordable on Amazon!)
AKA The Best Activity Bible
Recommended Age: Tweens & Up!
What I Like Most About It: It’s an actual New Living Translation Bible (not a paraphrase) with TONS of simple yet meaningful hands-on activities throughout. Kids can read and do most of the activities on their own without an adult, which makes this Bible perfect for study and exploration. This is another one that I don’t personally own, but I have seen plenty of the children’s ministry curriculum and devotionals that go along with this one to make it an easy addition to my Top 10!
There you have it! I’m working on an infographic that will help you choose the perfect children’s Bible from my top 10! Check back soon for that update.
Your turn: Which of my top 10, if any, do you own? Do you have a Bible-reading habit with your family? Let me know in the comments below. ⭐
Hey sis! I’m Imani, the Young Moms’ Advocate and Legacy Activator, who is here to help your family prosper. Also, I’m probably dancing to Michael Jackson right now.