We all want the best for our kids, right? But sometimes that’s difficult. Since we know more is caught than taught, then figuring out how to build your kids devotional habit right, like most things, relies on your own personal devotional habit. and yet, we struggle with that too sometimes.
God looks at the heart, because the Why is the most important part. The book list below is a tool. The important thing is the desire to draw closer to God as a family and individuals.
Which is why we’re going to get a little creative here. Let’s unlearn the rigid “you must” to-do list approach, that leads to “or you’re not doing it right” feelings.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.
How to Build Your Kids Devotional Habit Right
The first step to building your kids devotional habit is not ‘We must do this every day or we’re bad Christians!”
No, it’s more about living life with a Biblical Worldview. Creating a habit of reflecting together on God’s commands, and how they intersect with and shape our world, actions, choices, etc.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Deuteronomy 6.7 NIV
So if you have a discussion with your kids that draws their attention to God’s character, will, love, etc, and how that influences and impacts their real-world experiences, that counts as devotions.
You’re not a failure if you don’t have a 45-minute church service style devotional time every day or family devotions every evening. (Talking to myself here, don’t mind me.)
Devotions for Kids: Strategies for Success
When it comes to devotions for kids, or anything for that matter, involving more than one of the senses is helpful. And doing things when the kids are physically busy, but mentally not really, can be a great strategy.
For example: During a meal, or when they are coloring/building with Lego/playdough time you could read a devotional and start a conversation. Talk about how creativity is a gift from God and how we are imitating him when we create something.
If you can take a walk, or when you’re at a park/aquarium/zoo, there are plenty of natural tie ins (including some of the devotionals below). We like to imagine all kinds of animals peeking around the trees when we take a walk. It’s fun to then look up facts about those creatures, and admire God’s design.
Best Children’s Devotional Tips
Some of the best children’s devotional tips I’ve found helpful include doubling up, as I shared above, as well as some of these ideas:
Maybe you already have a designated story time, and you could add a few minutes in a devotional book or kids Bible story book as part of that time.
Try including a snack, or a spoonful of honey/honey stick. Because God’s word is ‘sweeter than honey’ right?
You could make an appointment with your kids, giving them some say in when (and where). This gets their buy-in, too.
Adding music that can be danced with and learned from, or for falling asleep to, whether that’s an Andy Griffith Hymns album or Seeds Scripture, or something like Patch the Pirate that includes songs and story, it’s just that much more fun!
Best Kids Daily Devotional Picks
Jesus Listens: 365 Prayers for Kids is a simple one-page prayer for each day of the year, starting with a verse, followed by a personal prayer inspired by/discussing the concept. Simply put, and powerful. I love that there are a variety of prayer endings. Not just “In your precious name, amen” all the time. No, there’s not 365 endings, as they do repeat, but they are appropriate to the prayer.
- “In your Joyful Name, Jesus, Amen”
- “In your Lovely Name, Jesus, Amen”
- “Mighty Name
- “Wonderful Name”
- “Delightful Name”
- “Saving Name”
There are also other verses to look up, if you want to dig more into a topic as a devotional. I’m really excited about this one. I plan to keep it by my spot in the living room for daily devotional reading. I think it’ll be as good for me as for the boys! I’ve read a few at random, and am very impressed. One of the most powerful things we can do is to pray God’s Word back to him, and this teaches kids from a young age HOW to do that. And reminds busy moms that we can too!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
Adventures in Odyssey 90 Devotions for Kids is a new find as well. I was so excited to see this at my local library fundraiser book sale! And I’m loving it. The story hits home even for me as an adult, and the daily challenge is very practical. The themed memory verse for each week is printed on each page, so even if you don’t memorize it, you’ll at least read it 7 times, and be familiar with it. It’s organized with 13 themes, including Salvation, Jesus, Discipleship, Prayer (wow, the example of placing an order like at a restaurant, but as prayer-OUCH), The Bible, Exercising Faith, forgiveness, Giving, Witnessing, Worship, Going to Church, Serving Others, and Overcoming Sin.
The weekly word puzzle and daily character spotlights from Whit, Eugene, Connie, and Wooten are a wonderful addition, and make this extra engaging!
365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids is a page-a-day answer to all kinds of questions like Is there really a lost ark of the covenant? What’s the point of memorizing Bible verses? and several “how can I know for sure____ type questions in addition to some questions related to more recent events, miracles, traditions, and people.
Science Devotions for Kids
There are some really cool resources for connecting the dots between Faith and Science available these days. Some of my favorites that are devotions for kids are:
Dinosaur Devotions: 75-Day Dino Discoveries is SO COOL! I just picked up a copy at Ollie’s the other day, and have flipped through it. Below I’ve included a couple of pictures because you have to see it to believe it. The way Dino facts are presented from a Biblical worldview, and linked with Bible verses and concepts is so exciting and well done. If you have a dino lover, you’re going to have a hard time making this one last the full 75 days, because they’re probably going to be asking for you to read another one!
Indescribable 100 Devotions about God and Science is one we really like around here. The facts about the world, and the direct application to our lives, packaged in such a short devotional is very nice. The humor woven in makes it memorable. I like that it’s randomized, but includes a chart of page numbers under 4 categories (Space, Earth, Animals, People) so you can easily follow a child’s interests. This chart is even hyperlinked on Kindle versions.
How Great is Our God: 100 Indescribable Devotions about God and Science is the sequel to the one above. With another 100 devotions for kids that tackle the whole “God and Science” intersection, it’s going to be fun to dive into soon.
Devotions for Boys
Now, I believe both boys and girls will benefit from these ‘devotions for boys’ because the scriptural principles are RARELY separated by gender. There are things that more commonly appeal to one or the other, but that doesn’t mean they can’t, or shouldn’t read each other’s devotions. And if you have both sons and daughters, I suggest alternating which type you read together!
God’s Mighty Warrior Devotional Bible by Sheila Wash is full of Bible stories, paired with Armor of God concepts, as in how to wear/use this story, and interactive activities to help cement things. I really like this one, and the way it’s written TO the kids, as if more like one side of a conversation than reading a book can tend to be sometimes.
Daily Devotions for Brave Boys: 365 Short, simple, but powerful devotions. A verse, a few paragraphs, and a brief prayer. It takes less than 2 minutes to read each day’s devotion, making it great for breakfast or bedtime, or anytime. I read a few of the devotions from my NetGalley review copy, and am really liking it. It’s designed for boys ages 8-12, so it’s not quite applicable yet for my oldest, but I really look forward to diving in with him in a couple of years!
I received a review copy from NetGalley, All thoughts are my own
A to Z Devotions for Brave Boys is a short read, but packed with good things! Character traits for each letter of the alphabet are discussed, followed by a challenge of how can you do that, and a verse. I like what they did with Q. Quiet and boys don’t seem to go together. But they don’t expect boys to be always quiet. Just find times to be quiet before the Lord. And Young, for Y? But it’s a young attitude that’s not hardened into ‘my way’ but full of energy and willingness to serve God.
Thank you Netgalley for providing a review copy! All thoughts are my own.
Devotions for Girls
As I said, I think the marketing here does not overrule the fact that the scripture concepts normally apply across the board. But these devotions for girls are pretty cool, and so are the ones ‘for boys’ so enjoy! I don’t have daughters, so this is a smaller selection that has crossed my path than that for boys, but these are the ones I’ve seen and loved!
Daily Devotions for Courageous Girls: A match in format to the Brave Boys devotional above, this one’s 365 devotions especially for girls ages 8-12. A verse, a few paragraphs, and a brief prayer. It takes less than 2 minutes to read each day’s devotion, making it great for breakfast or bedtime, or anytime. They cover real, everyday situations and deep topics like self-control in very specific circumstances. Practical, short, and very good. I accepted this NetGalley review copy to see if I would buy hard copies for my nieces, and I definitely would!
A to Z Devotions for Courageous Girls is a shorter collection of 26 devotions based on Character traits kids would be wise to develop. I believe this covers the same topics as the one for boys, but with a more feminine design. I did not get a copy of it to be sure. But I really like the one for boys, so I think this one would be good, if you have girls.
I got to do a book tour a few years ago, for the God’s Word Coloring Bible for girls. Aimed at 8-12-year-olds, it’s very nice, and I would definitely recommend it. That link goes to my full review, including the reasons I like and dislike it. This is a Bible, not exactly a devotional, but in context here, I thought you’d like to know about it!
Morning Devotions for Kids
Love Does for Kids has 46 chapters of love in action. Each story, from Bob’s childhood, wedding, parenting, etc. Is an example of love. Whether it is patience or kindness or “I’ve got your back” moments this book had me laughing, crying, and thinking. I think my favorite was the extravagant gift that Richard chose to give to the kindergarten class at his school. His focus wasn’t on his limitations (knowledge, finances, time…) but on what would be the most awesome way to show them how important and special they are. I would suggest a chapter per week as a family. Again the illustrations are beautiful.
Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado is a 365-day one-minute devotion. I think it is a wonderful set of morning devotions for kids because it takes only a minute to read, but has a daily challenge, a “grace for the moment” to think about and try to accomplish during that day, like writing your prayers and reading over them later to see what God has been doing, or playing hide and seek and thinking about how God seeks you!
The Purpose Driven Life Devotional For Kids is based on the Purpose Driven Life book for adults, but broken down into 365 one-minute devotions, with a one-sentence prayer to end with. Helping kids get a mental hold on why they’re here is going to set them up to avoid all kinds of confusion and drifting later in life. I love how simple and clear this one is.
Coloring God’s Love for Me Devotional: I think this is a fantastic coloring devotional (100 pages). I really like the variety of coloring activities. Some are complex, and others are very simple. There are a few other things like mazes, connect the dots, and free-draw/writing spaces.
I really like the devotions, and the way they draw simple and practical parallels for some complex truths, making them very accessible to kids, and busy moms who maybe get so distracted they forget.
For example, day 4, uses hot air balloons to illustrate a portion of Psalm 146.8, which says that the Lord will lift up those who are troubled (or oppressed/bowed down depending on the translation).
“Next time a problem is keeping you down, talk to God about it. When you spend time with Him, His warmth will make you feel lighter. He will lift you out of the confusion around you. Your problem may still be there on the ground below, but you’ll feel his quiet peace.”
Or day 22, which talks about how God never stops working, even behind the scenes when it seems like nothing is happening. The lesson on how we can wait actively by putting on the Armor of God, and memorize scripture, and sing worship songs while we wait, preparing for whatever God has in store.
If your kids enjoy coloring, this is a fun and practical 100-day devotional. Even if they’d rather not color, the devotion and illustration are great. (as a mom of 2 boys who don’t particularly like to color that much, I’ll probably be the one who does the coloring, but we’ll still enjoy unwrapping these promises of God’s love together.
I received a copy of this book from Tommy Nelson and Netgalley and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
Goodnight Warrior by Sheila Walsh is full of good bedtime devotions for boys and girls. With good size print and simple style, it tells an abridged Bible story, followed by a practical devotion and prayer. It’s written to the kids, and not at them, which is very nice!
Containing 80 Devotions working through the Bible from Creation to Paul, and having prayers, promises, and reasons to pray throughout, this is a good devotional for independent readers, as well as a family bedtime read-aloud.
God’s Words to Dream On by Diane Stortz calms, quiets, and opens hearts to hear faith-building Bible stories and prayers. Over 50 stories—from the Old and New Testaments—create an overview of the Bible with a focus on God’s love, care, protection, trustworthiness, and power.
The illustrations are beautiful, the stories are short enough to keep kids focused, and each story has a blessing, a prayer, and a scripture. The verse may or may not come directly from the story, but it applies well, reminding us that God’s word confirms itself.
I really like that the stories don’t always focus on the most common aspects. Like with Isaac and Rebekah, the focus is on the servant’s trust that God will guide him. Also, it’s not just the same top 20 Bible stories. Like when God provided for Elijah both at the river (fed by ravens) and by the widow of Zarephath.
It shows how the Disciples were a lot like us, arguing over Who is Greatest…and ties a few stories together that we might not think of.
And the Bedtime Routine and Reading Tips sections in the back are great! Simple, maybe, but helpful, tried, and true.
How Do You Do Kids Devotional Time?
What tips for doing devotions with kids would you have to share with us? I’d love to know! And have you found some spectacular devotionals or strategies that we could benefit from, as we navigate helping our kids grow their faith one page, one action, one day at a time?