Are you ready to get your kids reading the Bible on their own but not sure where to start? Check out my picks for the best Old Testament and New Testament books of the Bible for kids to start reading.
There’s some crazy stuff that went on in the Old Testament, events in history that show just how mighty God is. But not all Old Testament books are kid-friendly, if you know what I mean. I wouldn’t start them on Song of Songs or Habakkuk! My Old Testament picks reflect God’s amazing power and the people who followed Him despite how difficult that proved to be.
I love the book of Joshua. He was a young leader who had to step into the shoes of Moses himself. Can you imagine how daunting that was? I’m sure that was not easy to do, but Joshua leaned on God time and time again and during his ministry he had the amazing privilege of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Through this story our kids will see that life presents us with choices, hard ones, but that God will never leave us or forsake us. He is always there to help us when we lean on Him. They will also read about some of the amazing miracles that God performed. I mean crossing the River Jordan? Amazing!
Here’s a few questions you can give your kids as they read Joshua…
- Name three ways that Joshua trusted God even when it was difficult.
- What are some ways you saw God’s power and might in the book of Joshua?
- What are some difficult choices you are facing and how can you trust God in those situations?
My wedding ring is inscribed in Hebrew with a shortened version of Ruth 1:16, “Where you go, I will follow.” The reason I love the book of Ruth is summed up in that Scripture. She did not have a selfish bone in her body. It would have made sense for her to return to her homeland after her husband died and I don’t think anyone would have blamed her, but instead, she told her mother-in-law, Naomi, that she would go with her.
One thing I’ve learned by watching my kids and my own behavior is that our natural instinct is to turn to selfishness. We have to be taught otherwise. I think reading the book of Ruth is a great start to learning the blessings of unselfishness! Here’s a few reflection questions…
- In what ways did Ruth express unselfishness?
- What are some ways that you see God’s goodness and love towards Ruth?
- What is one thing you can do this week that demonstrates God’s unselfish love?
I love the New Testament because it offers us the teachings of Christ Himself and we get to learn just how great God’s love is for us when He came to Earth for the purpose of dying on the Cross. I also love how Jesus tells lots of parables (teachings in story form) in the Gospels. Stories have a way of drawing us in. Jesus is brilliant at this as He helps us see the changes we need to make in our lives. Below are my New Testament picks!
I think all the Gospels are great, but I chose Luke because it contains the parable of the Good Samaritan. This has to be one of my favorite parables as it challenges me to always be kind, especially when it’s inconvenient. Here’s some questions to help apply Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Luke…
- In your own words, write out the account of Jesus’ birth and His death. How do you see Jesus’ love for you through His life and death?
- What is your favorite parable in Luke and why?
- Reading the account of the Good Samaritan, what makes him “good?” What are some ways, like the Good Samaritan, you can be kind this week?
This might seem like a strange pick for kids, but Ephesians is absolutely one of my favorite books of the Bible. Did you know that the words “in Christ” appear more than 35 times in the book of Ephesians? I think one of the most significant ways to help our children grow into adults who are secure is for them to be anchored in who they are in Christ, to walk fully in their identity in Him. Ephesians is just the book to help lay that foundation. Here are some questions to help solidify their identity in Him…
- What does the book of Ephesians say about who you are in Christ?
- Ephesians 5 tells us we need to walk in love. What are some ways you can walk in love this week?
- What are some ways you can put on God’s armor?
I highly suggest that you choose a Bible version that will help your kids understand what they are reading. Thomas Nelson’s new Color Code Bible is an excellent place to start because it was written in the New King James Version for Kids. It’s highlighted with topics arranged by color. What a great way for kids to make connections about things like salvation, prayer, and thanksgiving throughout the Bible!