27 Ways to Get Kids to Memorize Scripture

1.  Have parents read over the next week’s verses with their child before they go to bed on Sunday nights.  Are there any words or phrases he doesn’t understand? Define them or explain them to him. (You might have to read over the verses before hand to study any words or phrases you might not know.)

2.  Have parents read the verse with their child while emphasizing different words. This especially works with younger children who will mimic your voice and tone. For instance in James 2:10 say, For whoever keeps the wwwhhhhhooooollllleee law, drawing out and emphasizing “whole.” Kids pick up on that (as do teens and adults), making the verse easier to learn.

3.  Create pictures to represent the words of the verse (or have the child draw the verse).

4.  Put the text to music.

5.  Give the verses a title. For instance, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 are the Gospel verses. Proverbs 3:5-6 are the Trust verses.

6.  Record (on his/her phone) your child saying the verses. Send the video to Grandma or someone else who would appreciate it.

7.  Write out the verse. Cut each word into a separate piece and have thechild put the words together like a puzzle.

8.  Write the verse on an index card or small piece of paper and have the child put it in her pocket to have it with her (to study) wherever she goes.

9.    Have parents make use of car time to review verses.

10.  Write out or print the verse on the computer each day of the week.

11.  Ask your child to teach the verse to the parent. (Sometimes teaching someone else helps us learn the verse ourselves.)

12.  Tape the verse on a bathroom or bedroom mirror, someplace the child looks at every day.

13.  Make a memory game of the child’s verses. Write out the verses on one side of the card and the references on the other. Have the child match the references with the verses.

14.  Have the child look the verse up in the Bible. This not only helps them get used to looking up verses but also emphasizes the verse is from God’s Word and not from some storybook.

15. Encourage the child to say the verse out loud. Sometimes saying the words makes more of an impact than simply reading them.

16.  Encourage parents to say (or read if they must) all the verses the child is learning for this week’s lesson—every night at the supper table.

17. Look online and find the verse in a different language. For fun, read it together and see if you can match up the words. Don’t spend a lot of time on this (unless you really, really want to), but doing this might make some of the  English words stick in the child’s mind.

18.  Design a memorizing trail through the classroom or home. Write out the words of the verse and attach to different objects.

For instance –  Psalm 100:1

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  “Make a” can be placed on the kitchen counter – as in “making” dinner.

Joyful noise” could be placed on a piano or guitar or other noisy something.

“To the Lord” could be placed on a Bible.

 “All the earth” could be taped to a globe.

Have the child walk around, stopping at each point to say the verse.

(I did this with a teen when she was stuck on a difficult verse. By the time we had walked through the house a few times, we both knew the verse perfectly.)

19. Write the verse down on card stock, highlight (in color) key words and draw pictures around the edge to illustrate the verse. Then hang in a visible place.

20. Write the first letter of each word of the verse on a card or whiteboard. After your children review the verse several times, challenge them to say it by looking at the letters. Ask them to do it that way a few times and then without any help at all.

21.  Do a word jumble with the words of the verse. Once they unscramble all the words, have them put the verse itself together.

22.  Write the verse in code. (You can use the alphabet with each letter one off from what it should be. For instance “for” would be “gps.” Challenge children to decode it!)

23. (This is an old favorite) Write the verse out on a whiteboard or chalkboard and then read with the child a few times. Then erase a word and read through again. Again erase a word and read through again—until there are no words left.

24. Make up hand motions for the verses.

25. For older kids: Put the verse on their phone or computer as a screensaver.

26. For older kids: Record the verse as a wake-up alarm message.

27. For older kids: Challenge them to periodically program reminders into their phone to say the verse.  

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lweddle@churchleaders.com'
Linda serves as part of the writing team for Awana. A 30-year KidMin veteran, her insight and influence have shaped the Awana curriculum at all levels. Linda is also a frequent speaker, writer, and workshop leader on issues relating to all aspects of children’s ministry.