Today I’m excited to welcome ANOTHER Heather Brown (who is a writer and speaker) to the blog to share a little of her heart with us for faith activities for toddlers and families. Many of you mentioned being interested in hearing about devotionals for mamas, tips for incorporating your faith more with your littles and things like this so we’ll be weaving that into our content here a little bit more. I truly believe that core to our overall health is how we feel on the inside so feeding ourselves spiritually as well as physically is so important! Take it away Heather!
I am thankful for the opportunity to work with someone who has the same name as me (yep, we are both Heather Brown) to share some ideas that help us focus on our spiritual lives! I am a stay-at-home mama to Jack and Case who are five and three. This is an exciting journey the Lord is leading us on and I can’t wait to see what He is going to do!
Before I had Jack, I was a Christian but I had never incorporated a daily quiet time into my life. I prayed when I went to sleep at night or when I needed help. If I was facing a struggle, I would pull out my Bible and see if I could find words to apply to my situation (I call that “verse roulette” now). I was a little lost in that department and I didn’t know what I was missing!
When I became a mother, though, my world flipped upside down (and all the mamas said “amen”)! I felt overwhelmed by my new responsibilities. The weight of what I didn’t know combined with sleep deprivation led me to a very low place.
Thankfully, very low places are where Jesus often likes to meet people. I realized I needed a lot more of Him for this motherhood journey. That’s when I began to have a daily quiet time. Though I was low on sleep, He gave me the ability to get up a few minutes before the baby to spend some time with Him before the day began. And it changed my life.
Because of that, I now have a passion for sharing resources and helping moms grow in their faith and shepherd their kids well. Here are some of my favorite tools to encourage your family’s walk with Christ.
Maximize Your Mornings free e-book by Kat Lee. This is the system I used when I first began my morning meetings with the Lord. It teaches moms to establish Jesus-centered morning habits, in three minutes a day. If you like this idea and want to dive in head first, she also now has a physical book called Hello Mornings, which is based on the same concept.
Faith Based Toddler Ideas
Very young children are able to learn short Bible verses. As soon as they can talk, you can begin teaching them to hide God’s Word in their hearts. When my son was two years old, he was in a Mother’s Day Out program for only five hours per week where they taught the kids to memorize Scripture. To my major surprise, by the end of the school year, he could recite 26 verses! Click here for a printable list of short verses to teach your kids. Don’t forget that when you teach them, you teach yourself too!
There are lots of children’s Bibles to choose from, but our favorite is The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. Beginning this year, we read from it as a family each night before bed. There are times when it is hard for them to be attentive, but I keep reading even if they are fidgety. Progress, not perfection, is the goal!
If you prefer something with a lot of structure, a daily devotional book may be a good option for your family. A few that have been recommended to me are Read and Share Devotional, Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Grace for the Moment: 365 Devotions for Kids. If you have older kids you can even have one of them read the devotion out loud on the way to school (let’s be honest, mornings are crazy)!
There are even a couple of great apps for your phone or tablet that can help teach kids about Jesus! Be sure and check out the Bible app for Kids and Keys for Kids if you are interested in engaging your kids that way.
Building in prayer is a crucial part of teaching kids to walk with the Lord. I am training my boys that the first thing we do when we become aware of a need is pray. It doesn’t need to be fancy or wordy because God knows our needs and our hearts- He wants us to talk to Him! I admit it’s still not always my first thought to pray right away but the more I practice, the more natural it becomes. We also pray each morning on the way to school and each night before bed. It was awkward at first for my husband and I because we weren’t accustomed to praying out loud together but we knew we wanted to instill that in our kids. We pushed past the discomfort and now it is a totally normal part of our night.
It’s also important for spiritual growth to be a part of a church community. Get plugged in by joining classes or studies or volunteering to be on a team. Speaking of community, check and see if there is a MOPS group in your area to build relationships with other moms of little ones.
Podcasts have kept me sane all these years as an extroverted stay at home mom and have helped train me on how to train my kids! I love to listen to them while I’m driving or doing chores around the house during nap time. For Christian moms I have to recommend God-Centered Mom and Mom Struggling Well.
As you build specific habits into your routine, don’t be afraid to let the Lord lead you in creative ways too! Singing worship songs is a great way to teach kids about the love of God. You might want to lead your kids in coloring a picture that relates to a Bible story (Find free ones here). Take a walk and play a game of “I spy,” pointing out and discussing the different things in nature that God has made. Or, if your kids love to play dress-up, act out a Bible story! Use your unique gifts to weave Jesus into all the moments of your life!
To sum up our faith activities for toddlers post:
1) As we have a habit of brushing our teeth each day, we can have a habit of meeting with Jesus at certain times every day through prayer and Bible reading.
2) Don’t be afraid to start small and go slowly. Give yourself and your family grace when things don’t go as planned! (Because they often won’t and that’s okay!)
3) In addition to your normal routine, watch for creative opportunities to talk about and connect with God as it comes up unexpectedly.
Let me leave you with this verse to remind you that He sees you and He loves you:
“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.”- Isaiah 40:11
Please feel free to reach out and connect with me via my website or find me on the socials (mainly Instagram) @heatherbproject!
What faith activities for toddlers or your family do you incorporate into your routine? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
* Affiliate links are included in this post. If you make a purchase using those links, I will receive a small commission.