See below for creative ideas for some of the books of the Old Testament from us at NETworkers TEC.
Do you have an idea that you have done with your family? Contact us at the bottom of this page and let us know!
Included below are ideas for: Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Joshua Judges Ruth 1 Samuel 2 Kings 2 Chronicles Esther Psalms Proverbs Books of Prophecy Daniel General Old Testament Ideas General New Testament Ideas General Bible Ideas
Chapters 6-8 - Noah's Ark
Convert the measurements in the Bible to feet/yards and lay out the measurements of the ark in a field, park, or school football field.
Ark Encounter - Take a field trip to the Ark Encounter to see the true dimensions and possible furnishings of the Biblical ark.
Have a campfire one night and talk about what Noah's family must have thought and felt like the first night they came out of the ark.
Research more about the ark and Noah’s flood at these resources:
Build a tower of Babel with marshmallows and toothpicks.
Start reading this chapter in an unknown language to the children (make it up if needed). Pretty soon they will stop you or ask what you are saying. Tell them that sort of confusion was what it was like (and still is since we still have many languages) after God punished the people at the tower of Babel and gave them many different languages. Because of the people’s sin, confusion and difficulty in regards to languages and communication became escalated in the world.
12:1 - Abraham's Journey
Have a campout, either in the living room with sheets over some chairs or outside in a tent, and talk about what it was like for Abraham and his family to leave their home, travel, and live in a tent.
28:10-22 - Jacob's Pillow
Have children draw a rock on their pillow case for the rock that Jacob slept on when he was traveling to his uncle’s home.
37:3 - Joseph's Colorful Coat
Make (or find) a colorful coat for your children to wear as you read Joseph’s story. Let different children where the coat each night as you progress through the narrative.
1:14, and chapter 5 - Mud Bricks
Make a mud brick like the Israelites had to do in Egypt.
12 - Passover
Put red paper over the top of your child's door if they have trusted in the Lamb of God to save them from the punishment for their sin (eternal death). Talk about how Jesus’ blood, which was shed on the cross, was how God’s wrath could pass over us because it was poured out on Christ. Share with your child about how they can personally believe in what Jesus did to forgive them of their sin.
Research the different foods served at the Passover and eat a Passover meal with your family. Talk about the significance of each food served. Let the children dress up in clothes like the Israelites might have worn (as pictured in the banner).
16 - Manna from Heaven
Estimate how much manna was delivered to the people each day in terms the kids can visualize such as trucks loads.
17:1-7 - Water from a Rock
Estimate how much water had to come from the rock to provide for all the people and animals. Consider how many bottles/gallons of water that would have to be.
20 - The Ten Commandments
Make a chart of the 10 Commandments. Keep it up in the area where you are reading and as you continue through the Scriptures ask your children if any of the commands were broken in each day’s reading and who broke them. At some point, after doing this for a while in your reading time, ask them if they have ever broken any of the commandments. This may be an appropriate time to talk with your children about the hopelessness of our spiritual situation before God.
All of us are not as bad as we could be (we can always be more sinful) but we are all as bad off as we could be (we all have sinned and deserve death - Romans 3:23, 6:23). No one can completely keep the law and if you sin in just one point you are guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10) and deserve eternal separation from God as the punishment for your sin. That’s the bad news. That is why it is good news that salvation doesn’t come by good works (because we could never attain it - Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5). It comes because Jesus, who did keep the whole law, paid the punishment for your sin by dying on the cross and because of what he did you can put your trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin. After sharing the bad news about our sin problem, share this good news with your children and see if they are ready to believe in Jesus as their Savior (John 1:12).
When reading about the sacrifices and offerings, decorate two boxes. Label one the “Praise and Thank You” offering box and the second, “Forgive Me.” As you read through this book, encourage your children to write on slips of paper "praise offerings" of praises to God, thank you “offerings” of things they are thankful for, or sin "offerings" confessing sins that they did and what the consequences were. Put the slips of paper in the appropriate boxes.
11 - Quail from God
Estimate how much quail was delivered to the people in terms the kids can visualize such as trucks loads.
13 - The Promised Land
Enjoy grapes, honey, and milk when reading about the twelve spies sneaking into the Promised Land.
2 - Rahab Hides the Spies
Put red thread on the kids’ bedroom doors before reading about Rahab and tell them that they need to listen for what the red thread means in the story. Then talk about how it compares to the red blood over the door in Exodus 12. Hint that through both of these accounts God is giving us a picture about something that happened much later which is important to us today (Jesus’ blood shed for our salvation). See these commentaries for more information:Barnes' Notes on the Bible - Joshua 2:18 and Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible - Joshua 2:18.
6 - The Walls of Jericho
Let your kids build a wall with pillows as you read about Joshua and Jericho. When the walls comes down, let them flop down on the pillows to make the stack fall.
16:21-31 - Samson’s Death
Blindfold everyone as they listen to the end of the story of Samson.
2 - Gleaning
Visit a farm and glean after a field has been harvested.
17 - David and Goliath
Make a slingshot and then practice shooting paper wads with your slingshot. Talk about how God gave David strength, accuracy, and courage to stand alone to honor God’s name.
2:1-14 - Elijah’s Cloak
Make (or find) a cloak for Elijah that a child could wear or act out as you read this chapter.
5 - Naaman’s Leprosy Put washable marker dots on your children's hands while telling about leprosy. Then let them wash them off after reading about Naaman’s miraculous healing.
34 - Finding the Book of the Law
Hide something that is very important (like the directions to something), where no one can find it, the day before you read this chapter; then have everyone look for it. The next day when you read about the Israelites finding the book of the Law, have your family look again for your missing item. Give them a hint so that they can find it. Talk about how happy you all are to find the missing object and then how happy the Israelites were to find the book of the Law.
Draw a picture of Esther as a superhero for her courage. Talk about the difference between make-believe superheroes and real heroes of faith and why we should emulate and look up to true heroes of the faith.
Since the Psalms were originally songs to God, have your child play a worship song or hymn during your family reading time.
Make a harp with cardboard and string for the children to “play” as you read. Craft Instructions
Mark each family member's favorite verse in some or each of the chapters. Write their initials and the date next to each chosen verse if possible. It will be fun to go back later and read the chapters again and see if their favorites change.
Have dad dress as King Solomon and all other family members dress as his kids. He could read a proverb and have the kids reread (or repeat) it.
Take turns wearing “Solomon’s crown.” The one wearing the crown is the designated reader for that chapter.
Make "if-then" cards when reading these chapters. Write the “if” on one side and the “then” on the other side to quiz each other.
Mark each family member's favorite verse in some or each of the chapters. Write their initials and the date next to each chosen verse if possible. It will be fun to go back later and read the chapter again and see if their favorites change.
Books of Prophecy
Give each child a paper heart as you read the books of the prophets and see how the people’s hearts were far from the Lord and were worshipping idols. Have your children tear a piece off of their heart as you read; continue reading until there is no or very little heart left. Tell them that it made God sad that the Israelites had given their love to fake gods instead of loving him first and completely. If your child has believed in Jesus as his or her Savior, talk about what it means to offer your life as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2) and to love him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Talk about sanctification and what it means to love God and put him first in your life, as well as not loving other “idols” in your life
Chapters 1-6 - Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Talk about how Daniel and his three friends had to live in a culture that did not know God but still remained faithful to God’s commands. Talk about how they lived and treated their captors. Then discuss these question:
How can we as Christian follow these men’s walk and live in a world that does not know God but still remain faithful to God’s commands?
Based on Daniel’s and his friends’ example, how should we as Christians respond to others, including authority figures (like bosses or teachers), who do not know God?
2 - Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
Draw and label the statue, and the kingdoms it described, in this prophecy.
6 - Daniel and the Lion’s Den
Have a big box for the lion's den. Put a stuffed lion in the den and then decide who is going to crawl in with "the lion" to sit in there while the chapter is being read.
Have a meal of favorite foods when talking about a feast.
Eat nuts, dates, figs, and other Biblical types of food mentioned in your chapter.
Skip a meal when reading about famines.
If your child has play soldiers let him use them when reading battle passages.
When talking about family tribes, make a flag for your own family, a family crest, a family motto, or family sign.
Make a scroll of the chapter you read.
Eat leaven and unleavened bread when mentioned in Scripture.
Get grain, such as wheat still on the stalks, and try separating the grain from the chaff to explain as it is mentioned in the Bible.
Find a stable and go ride a horse so every time you read about David's battles you can talk about "your" horse; or give your child a horsey ride on your back as you get down on all fours yourself. Or give a camel ride by putting a child on your shoulders with your head being the hump.
While using these supplemental Bible reading books are good to begin with, don't underestimate the ability of your kids to read and understand the text of the Bible. Children, even as early as elementary school, can read through the entire Scripture, even on their own. And reading the whole Bible as a family will most certainly yield many great memories together, as well as draw your family closer together, and will interest them in the Scripture as you talk through God's Word.
Have a costume box for parents and kids to dress up according to your passage before reading your chapter.
Draw a picture for each chapter/book of the Bible and then put the pages in a binder.
The Picture Smart Bible is a great curriculum that has illustrated the major themes of each book of the Bible. Students can either color and/or fill out the pages as they read each book of the Bible. Notes are also included for the parents/teacher to teach the content of each section.
Make "warning" traffic signs and have the children raise them when they hear God’s warnings in the Bible. Make a "Promise" sign to be raised whenever they hear a promise (see Promise Chart idea below also). Can have other signs for Commands, Blessings, Curses, etc.
Make a promise chart and write God's promises on it, marking whether they are conditional or unconditional promises as you read.
Get a detailed map of the Bible area and laminate it. Locate as many sites as you can as you read.
Praise your children for a good character trait they have recently shown such as telling the truth or being loving to a sibling that corresponds to what you have been reading recently. When you read your chapter for the day, ask them to listen for other character traits they see in the story that they could emulate.
Periodically invite friends, family, church family, or neighbors over for the kids to share about what they have learned so far.
Write a prayer for each child periodically using a verse that was in the reading and pray it with them, individually, as a special time. Explain why you picked it and show them how you are praying God's word for them. Then give them your handwritten or typed prayer to keep.
Write the names of God that you read on one chart and his attributes on another.
Read by candlelight, recalling how the Scriptures would have been read or written when it was night.
To simplify the main events of the Bible, learn these simple outlines:
The ABC’s of History by NETworkers TEC. Download our ABC’s of History Posters to the right.
A - Adam (Creation)
B - Bad (Sin Enters the World)
C - Crisis (Flood)
D - Difficult (Tower of Babel, communication increases in difficulty)
E - Excellent (10 Commandments, God’s commands are excellent - Romans 7:12)
F - Fulfilled (Christ - He fulfilled the law and the prophecies about his coming, life, death, and resurrection)
G - Good (Good Friday - Because Jesus was completely good, he was able to take our sin punishment)
H - History/Here (the Church age, right now)
I - Immanuel - (For those that have believed in Jesus as their Savior, Jesus will be "God with us" forever in eternity - Revelation 21:3)
J - Justified - (At the last judgement, those that have believed in Jesus as their Savior will take heart knowing that they will enjoy eternity with God forever since they have been justified by Jesus' death (Romans 5:1), those that reject Jesus as their Savior will justly suffer the punishment for their sin because God's holiness cannot allow people to get away with sin (Revelation 20:15), and God will justify that which is wrong in the world, meaning God will make all things right - He will deal with evil once and for all.
Consider giving your child a notebook, called their "Bible Study Notebook", where they can write or draw notes about what they are learning as they read through the Bible.
Introduce to your children, as they are able and interested, such things as cross references, commentaries (see suggestions below), concordances, online websites to do word searches, and hear audio readings of the Bible.
Read commentaries beforehand to prepare yourself as you lead your children in your family reading. These are often helpful in answering questions about the passages as you read. Suggested commentaries included: J. Vernon McGee, Jamieson and Fausset and Brown, Matthew Henry, Chuck Smith, David Guzik,Charles Spurgeon, and John Calvin,.