Memorizing Scripture with Preschoolers

We have been working on memorizing scripture in our home since my daughter was 2 1/2. We started with flash cards from the A Beka home school curriculum. It was amazing how fast my daughter could learn the verses, she loved saying them and got a M&M every time she said the verse with only a prompt. Since then we have gone through many different strategies for memorizing scripture.

psalm 119

Scripture memory in our family is not about proving we know the bible or are “holier than thou people”. Scripture memory is important to us because God is important to us, because his Word is important to us, and because we want to be more like him every day. As we learn scripture and impress it upon our hearts and minds we learn more about God and who he is and his purpose and commands for our lives. Every time we learn a new bible verse my children and I talk about what the verse means and how we can apply it to our life. We also use bible verses when we work together, when we discipline and teach, and when we go about our daily lives. God’s word gives purpose to our lives.

So how do we pick the verses we memorize? 

There are many strategies for this.

  • Work on a particular area of weakness (i.e. kindness, honesty, dedication, fear)
  • Focus on foundational verses for the Christian faith (i.e. who Christ is, what he did for us, how we receive salvation)
  • Focus on Psalms
  • Pick verses the children are learning in church, Awana, or any other program
  • Focus on areas you are personally working on (I have found doing scripture memory with my children to be a HUGE benefit for me as well!)
  • Start with verses your children are familiar with (success will motivate them even more!)

Here are some verses we have memorized and why I picked them:

  • Psalm 23 (focus-learning about our relationship with Christ, fear)
  • Colossians 3:9 (focus-honesty)
  • Mark 12:30-31 (focus-Christian foundation)
  • Psalm 33:20 (learning in Sunday School)
  • Matthew 19:26 (learning in Sunday School)
  • John 3:16 (focus-Christian foundation)
  • 1 John 1:9 (focus-Christian foundation)
  • Ephesians 4:32 (focus-Kindness)
  • Matthew 5:16 (focus-Evangelism)

I also keep a list of verses for future learning, that way when we are ready to move on I have what I need without wasting time.

Strategies for memorizing:

The current system we use for scripture memorization is the Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory System.

This system is working great for us. It allows us to be “learning” new verses while we review verses we have already memorized. The key to long term memorization is repetition. For us the best time to do this is meal time. Making this a meal time routine helps my children be still and focus while we go through the scriptures.

Some of our verses come from songs we are listening to in the car. While travelling in the car we constantly listen to Seeds of Worship. Seeds of worship takes scriptures and puts them to music, they follow the scripture word for word. You can listen to sample music on their website before deciding to buy. I also like that their CDs are all themed. Listening to Seeds of Worship while driving to and from preschool re-enforces the scripture memory we are doing at home.

Here are some other strategies for scripture memory:

  • Round Robin- As you go around each member of the family says 1 word of the verse
  • Pete and Repeat- You say 1 word at a time while each child repeats you
  • Sing a Song- Make up a tune to the verse, or use a ready made tune from Seeds of Worship
  • Get Artistic- Draw out the bible verse, use these as you continue to learn the verse (we do this for verses we will use ALL day, like Ephesians 4:32)
  • Sporty- Pass a ball or bean bag as you say a word of the verse
  • Use motions- Using motions to act out the verse helps children get involved and learn using kinetic movement, you can also use the motions as prompts when children are saying the verse from memory
  • Make flash cards with 1 picture for the verse (the picture will serve as a visual reminder for your children)
  • Listen to Seeds of Worship– put a song on repeat until you can sing along

I hope this is helpful for getting you and your little ones started memorizing scripture. Remember though, this is not for performance, pride, or to be “holier than thou”. The point is to Grow in the Lord and develop an importance of His Word in your children’s lives. Make this a fun family event to do together, if you make it a duty or chore your children will not enjoy it and will not want to learn scripture.