This is one of the most common questions I get – how do you make time for reading the Bible with little kids around?
When you’ve been used to sitting down for a nice (actually quiet) quiet time in the mornings, with a hot cup of coffee and an open Bible, it can come as a shock when all of sudden, the mornings are loud and frantic, the coffee is cold, and you barely have time to even open your Bible.
When you have a baby, time is more available because they (usually) sleep so much. But your brain is foggy and it’s hard to concentrate. Or you’re so tired, you need every spare moment to catch up on sleep.
When you have toddlers and little kids, there is so much noise and movement all the time. You barely sit down before you need to get up again and make some food, wipe a butt or break up a fight. And if you do get to sit down, it won’t be long before someone is climbing up on your lap.
You throw your hands up in the air, and think “how am I even supposed to have a quiet time any more?”
Let me encourage you that it IS possible to keep reading your Bible with little kids around. And more than that, it’s very important that you do.
Here are some of the strategies I’ve used over the years to keep reading the Bible with little kids around.
Let go of your expectations
When you find that your life situation changes, like it does when kids come along, let go of your expectations for what your Bible reading should look like.
Let go of everything “extra” and only keep the essential. What’s essential?
Reading the Word. (And studying the word, but for this post, we’ll just focus on the reading part!)
The coffee, the long periods of quiet, the pretty stationery, the early mornings. It’s all “extra”.
So let it go. Enjoy it when you can. But let go of the need for everything to be perfect in order for you to read your Bible.
Read aloud to your babies
This might sound silly, because babies can’t understand many words yet, but let me tell you, when you read the Bible aloud to your babies, amazing things are happening:
- You’re interacting with them. Your baby is hearing your voice, seeing your facial expressions and hopefully, getting a bunch of eye contact, too!
- You’re taking in the Word. Even if you feel like you’re not, your brain is. And when you read aloud, you engage more parts of your brain than if you just read silently. Which makes it even more likely that you will recall what you’ve read later.
- Your baby is learning the building blocks for language and communication. Not only is the Bible God’s word, it’s also a great work of literature.
Soundtrack to your day
If you’ve got toddlers and little kids, a great way to get in your Bible reading time is to put on the Audio Bible while you go about your day.
Play it in the morning while you all have breakfast. Pop it on while you put away clothes. Listen to it while you chop vegetables.
This is what I do with the Bible Reading Challenge I’m part of. There are about 6 chapters to read every day, and I find this an effective way to get through them.
Sure, you might not take in every verse, but this is a great way to move through large chunks of Scripture at a fast pace, getting a good overview of the text. You can also play the same section a few times during the day to help you to absorb more of what you’re hearing.
Read aloud to your kids
If you try to sit down for some Bible time but your plans are thwarted by tiny cuddle monsters, go with it!
Scoop them up onto your lap, and read from the passage out loud.
You can stop to ask them simple comprehension questions to help them follow along, like, “what did Jesus do for the man who couldn’t see?” or “what should we do always?” (rejoice!).
And as they get older, you’ll find they have questions of their own. This is good! It means they’re listening AND taking on board what they hear.
Audio Bible and Bible verse colouring
This is a great activity for when you just want to do something quiet and peaceful with your kids. It makes a good after lunch activity when you’ve had a busy morning.
Turn on your audio Bible to whatever passage you’re up to, pull out your Bible colouring pages and markers, and colour while you listen to the passage being read.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to absorb more of what I’m listening to when I’m doodling, sketching or colouring. I think it’s the same for kids.
It can be very hard for them to concentrate on long readings if they have to sit still. But adding in the colouring activity gives you all something to do with your hands while your minds can engage with the Word.
Download my free kids colouring book!
Bring it back to the Bible
Make a habit of quoting scripture to your children throughout the day, as it applies to the situation. You don’t need to always rattle off the full text with the chapter and verse reference. Just get used to using Biblical language to talk about your day to day life.
Ask “what does God say about that?” and then let them see you looking it up in His Word.
Show them that the Bible is not just for Sundays and one quiet moment each morning; it’s for all of our lives, throughout the day.
Most of all, Mamas, show them the joy you have in reading and studying the Word. Our children’s eyes are always watching and taking us in. They see what we delight in and what we’re disgusted by.
Let’s leave them no doubt in how we feel about God’s word and it’s place in our lives.
How do you make time for Bible reading? Which of these tips could work on your life?