Hiding God’s Word in your heart is important for your children as well as for yourself, and it always amazes me how early little ones can begin memorizing Scripture. Way before a child can read, he has the capacity to memorize. Here are some tips to help your pre-reader memorize Bible verses.
1. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The great thing about this age is that they love repetition. Any Moms out there have one or more of your children’s books memorized? I have a library in my head of books that we have read over and over and over. Children love to have things repeated. So, take advantage and repeat God’s Word to them over and over through the day.
2. Engage as many senses as possible. Let them hear, speak, see, act out and sing the Scripture. Incorporate it in as many ways as you can. Do a craft or color a page. Quote the Bible verse in a rhythm or make up your own song. Add hand motions as well (just a few; you don’t need a motion for every word). Select motions for the key concepts of the verse. For instance, when we memorize Luke 11:28, “Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it” I had them cup their hands like a book and then bring their cupped hands toward their heart. Keep it simple.
3. Use picture cue cards. When we have something memorized, we often can see the words in our mind, just as we saw the words on a page. For a pre-reader, the words won’t be there, but a picture will allow them the same privilege of recall. As they quote Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” they can recall a picture of a clean heart. This is also another way to engage the child’s senses.
I found a couple of websites with picture cue cards and other Scripture memory helps. The first site provides cue cards and Bible Games as free printables. The second site offers a pack of fruit of the spirit cue cards in a pdf format for $1.00. But you could just as easily make your own with some crayons, construction paper, and a little creativity. Just be sure to make each cue distinctive so that the child doesn’t get his cues confused.
Then, enjoy the journey of watching God’s Word take root in little hearts and begin its powerful work.