Bible study resources abound for young kids and teenagers, but what about youth in between these age groups? In a season of life where children are coming into their own, teaching and entertaining can be a challenge. That’s why youth Bible lessons that are fun, exciting, and age appropriate are so important.
If you want to get children excited about studying the Bible and avoid making it feel like “school,” there are resources for you, and many are free! Here are three things to keep in mind when you’re trying to get your kids excited about youth Bible lessons:
Make it Relatable
Just like history, Bible stories can sometimes feel far off, distant, and hard to visualize. Thousands of years stand between David and Goliath and your twelve year old, which means for them to “get it,” you’re going to need to add some context.
The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning found that children learn best from characters they identify with:
Beginning around age five, children become more interested in TV characters like themselves, leading to increasing gender and ethnic differences in their program preferences. Contrary to popular perceptions, television programming can have lasting, positive effects on children—if it’s high quality.
Programs like “Friends and Heroes” can help you make youth Bible lessons relatable through fun characters that are the same age as your kids. Helping your kids imagine and visualize what life was like for Bible characters like Esther or the Disciples will make Bible study time feel more like story time.
Do it Together
Monkey see, monkey do, and the first “monkey” kids observe is you! “Today’s Parent” Magazine notes:
...kids of all ages are masters of imitation. Calgary parenting expert and author Judy Arnall says kids learn through observation, ‘Imitating is a very safe way to learn; it’s also necessary to help children learn which behaviours are acceptable in the society and culture they live in, and which are not.’
This imitation doesn’t stop as youth grow older, so it is important that youth Bible lessons involve you. Don’t send your kids off with a “homework” assignment, but talk with them about what they’re learning. Answer questions and share your own observations -- you might be surprised what God teaches you in the process.
Gone are the days when a flannel board captured attention. Children are more affected than ever by our media-rich world, so don’t be afraid to use that to your advantage in your youth Bible lessons. Richard Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning says that most people learn best through a combination of audio and visual channels.
One great way to combine online and offline approaches to youth Bible study is to download a resource like this free “Friends and Heroes” Bible lesson. Inside, you’ll find questions and activities, making it easy to combine watching an engaging show with reflection and fun things to do. This is an especially great way to touch on multiple learning languages.
Watch the first 3 seasons of “Friends and Heroes” with your children for free with your one-month trial of PureFlix.com, and you’ll be well on your way to getting them excited to study the Bible throughout their lives.