There’s been a big push in our kids programs lately to get kids to bring and use their Bible at church (we’ve even started a Got Bible competition!). However, we don’t want to stop there. We want kids to begin to form a habit of daily Bible reading at home as well. In order to do that, they need a Bible they can connect with and easily understand. As a result, we’re constantly on a search for age-appropriate Bibles to recommend for parents.
In the process, we’ve come across some great Bibles and some great Bible tools. One Bible I’m especially impressed with is the The Kids’ Devotional Bible by ZonderKidz. Here’s some of the things I love about it:
- Introductions to books are short and easy. They usually tell the author of the book and some of the major stories. Just enough to give kids a bit of background without bogging them down.
- Daily Devotionals: Obviously, this was one of the big features in this Bible. I like that each day has its own devotional, and kids have a place to check off when they have read/completed that day’s reading and thinking. Usually there’s some kind of personal reflection included in the devotional and sometimes a follow-up action.
- The Pictures: The graphics in this Bible are appealing to elementary kids and maybe even a bit older. They are somewhat realistic and somewhat cartoony – a perfect mix for kids. Most of the graphics are pictures of other kids (a pretty diverse bunch at that). It would have been nice to see a few illustrations of the Bible stories along the way as well. The length of the devotionals is just about perfect, especially when you consider the time it will take the kids to read the Scripture passage as well.
- The Translation: I didn’t have any real experience with NIrV (New International Reader’s Version), but it seems to be pretty close to the NIV (accurate translation) and easy to understand for kids.
- Got It! Section: At the end of some of the books is a Got It! Section that highlights an important theme in the book such as staying away from the occult, trusting in God when life doesn’t make sense, and repentance. It’s a good way to cement in some crucial theology in a quick, concise way.
- Real Life Stuff: Some of the devotionals deal with some hard-hitting stuff such as abuse in the family, evil in the world, evangelism and persecution. It’s presented in an age-appropriate way and seems like and effective way for kids to start thinking seriously about the role of God in their lives. It also gives comfort and advice in hard to manage situations.
- Cool Bible Tools: Of course, after our latest unit, I’m a pretty big sucker for Cool Bible Tools and this Bible has plenty of them! They include: the Dictionary, Subject Guide (with page references to corresponding devotionals), and a place to take notes at the end. Kids seem to love those Bible maps, so it would have been nice to see a few of those thrown in, but its certainly not worth complaining about.
All in all, a great buy and a two-thumbs up recommendation for the elementary age!
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