Helping Preschoolers Memorize Scripture

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Teaching God's word to children is an important part of children's ministry. We want them to know God's word so they know what God wants them to do when they are tempted, when they are lonely or sad, and when they eventually talk to others about what they believe. 

Think it can't be done? Take a look at this precious three year old reciting Psalm 23 from memory. 

We know that pre-schoolers may not know the meaning of every word they recite. But as we teach them to "hide God's word" in their hearts, they will always have his valuable teaching and encouragement with them as they grow and mature in their faith. 

Dawn Davis, Word of Life Fellowship, addresses the topic of how to help pre-schoolers memorize scripture. The principles taught here are practical and helpful for children of any age. 

Dawn started out with Psalm 119:11, which is a great reason for memorizing Scripture and a simple verse to start with, not only with children bit for ourselves as well.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  ~Psalm 119:11 

Take a moment to look up other passages about memorizing Scripture and write them down here. (Hint: There are at least 35.) Which ones have you hidden in your own heart?
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Dawn gave three things to remember as you help children memorize Scripture.
  1. Repetition Reaps Rewards
  2. Communication is Key!
  3. Practice Makes Perfect

Some of the ideas that Dawn gave to repeat the memorization process in an engaging way were: singing, hand motions, cheering, changing, clapping, games (sit & stand, pass a ball) and colored flash cards for non-readers. What works well for you? Are there any new ideas that inspired you?
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How are you communicating with other leaders so you're all doing it the same way? How are you letting parents know what and how you're teaching? Are you asking parents what they are teaching their children? What can you learn together to reinforce the teaching?
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The more we practice memorization with children, the more it will be embedded in all of our hearts and then will be available when it is needed. They will get it …. and we will too!

For more RightNow Media training posts, teaching videos and Children's Bible study resources, click here.