Early Elementary age is a wonderful time to develop the habit of personal daily devotions. Since Early Elementary children are pre-readers (pre-K) or emerging readers (Kindergarten and 1st grade), devotional activities are best when they are multi-sensory or visual in nature. Brevity is key. Below are some principles and ideas.
Create a transition and or spatial ritual to prepare the mind for worship. Here are some ideas...
Set out a special sign.
Sit on a special blanket, chair, or beanbag.
Stand at a special spot or corner in the house.
Turn on a special tea light candle.
Start singing a special song.
Bring out a special unlighted scented candle (for a special smell).
Build a special tent or hideout.
Store devotional activities or devices in a special container or bag. When you pull out that special basket, bin, or bag, your child will again know that it is time for worship and that we treat things related to God carefully.
Fit it in the daily routine line up.
During or after a meal
A part of bedtime
If you homeschool, maybe there is a time during the day when your child tends to slow down.
For an unmotivated child, position devotional time right before a much desired activity.
Include the key ingredients of communion, God input and my output to God. GOD INPUT: God speaks to us most clearly through His word, but His other favorite book to speak to us from is Nature.
Help your child memorize then practice the 3-picture Bible story from our monthly Sabbath School lesson.
Bible story video (Gracelink Kindergarten video covering Bible story lesson for the week)
Sacred music (video or audio - if just audio, give child something sacred to look at or hold while they listen)
Bible picture book
Bible story felts
Record your own video lesson or reading
Do this part with your child and read a Bible verse to them. It's helpful to give them something sacred to look at or something to hold while they listen.
NOTE: My favorite children's Bible for emerging readers is The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers by L.J. Sattgast (The first edition - not a board book). It has 25 stories in it. The print is kid-friendly and each page only has 4 lines of text on it. It's a great little Bible for children learning how to read. Plus it rhymes, which makes it fun to listen to and easy to memorize.
MY OUTPUT TO GOD: We can respond to God most clearly through prayer, but other ways that engage less verbally expressive children include
listening to/singing a response song
speaking a given response statement or prayer
making a choice (picking a feeling card, or choosing an object that represents what they are thankful for)
jump, twirl, or clap for joy
Patterson AVE SDA Church 3901 Patterson AVE Richmond, VA 23221
Divine Worship: 10:00 AM ET Sat. Sabbath School: 11:30 AM ET Virtual Bible Club: Fri. 6:15 PM ET