Six ways to memorize scripture with kids

Written by Sarah Holmstrom
Published on September 15, 2023

The Bible is God’s way of talking with his kids. The Creator of the universe wants to talk with his children. The more we read it, the more we know him and know his heart. When we memorize it, we get it in our hearts even when we don’t have our Bible with us.

Have you ever noticed how you can recall the lyrics to a song you learned as a kid but can’t even remember what you had for lunch last Tuesday? Kids are like little sponges soaking up the world around them, so now is the time to teach them God’s Word.

When kids hide Bible verses in their hearts, they are storing them in their brains to use now and later on. I still have verses stored in my brain that pop up out of nowhere. In fact, whenever this happens, it’s usually a verse I learned as a child. I was a much better memorizer back then!

When my first daughter was hospitalized at two weeks old, I was terrified. She wasn’t breathing on her own, had pneumonia and bronchiolitis, and was diagnosed with a heart disease. I stayed with her in a tiny hospital room and wasn’t allowed to feed or touch her because she had a dangerously high fever. One of the doctors shared that her situation was critical and there wasn’t much they could do for her. My body flooded with panic in a way I had never experienced before. I didn’t know what to do and couldn’t think of any words to pray. I just stood there feeling paralyzed. 

Then suddenly, words I had memorized as a kid came to my mind. I began to sing, “I lift my eyes up, up to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from you, maker of heaven, Creator of the earth” (Psalm 121:1).

I learned this verse in the form of a song when I was a little girl, but hadn’t thought of it in years. As I sang, an indescribable peace came over me. God was using Scripture to show me how to take my eyes off the fear and lift them up to him. Reciting this verse by singing it over and over again helped me through when I was too scared to even think or pray.

When we help our kids memorize Scripture, who knows how God will use that particular verse to impact their decisions, feelings, choices, and even their future? Helping children learn verses is one of the most amazing gifts you can give them.

If you’ve ever had a hard time teaching your kids to memorize a verse, you are not alone. Kids are motivated by fun and variety, so here are some fun and unique ways to memorize Scripture together: 

1. One word at a time

Take turns saying one word of a verse, then have your child say the next word, back and forth. You can also play with a ball. Toss it back and forth and when you get the ball, say the next word of the verse.

2. Treasure hunt

Write out the verse word-for-word or phrase-by-phrase on separate notecards. (Or print out the verse and cut out each word or a couple of words.) You can number the words or add pictures for younger readers and hide them all around your room. Send your child to find them, then try to unscramble the words. Older kids love to be timed to see how long it takes to put the cards in order. 

3. Pop verse

Same as above, except you will roll up each word or group of words and put them into separate balloons. Blow them up and have your child pop all the balloons, then piece the verse together. 

4. Missing word

Write the Bible verse on a whiteboard and let your child erase one word. Say the verse again after each new word is erased. Eventually, the whiteboard will be completely blank, and your child will be able to recite the verse.

5. Verse hopscotch

Print out or write one word per page on different colored paper. Place the papers in a big line across the room. Have kids hop on one foot (or both feet) and say each word when they land on it. Turn over one or two papers at a time. When kids jump through the line again, they will have to remember the words that are turned over. You could also play this outside with sidewalk chalk, and erase the words with a wet sponge. 

6. Songs and motions 

Kids learn by doing! Turn verses into songs by making up a tune with some hand motions. You can even include the kids while creating the hand motions. You could choose to sing the verse to the tune of a song your kids already know like “Wheels on the Bus.” You could also search the verse on Spotify or YouTube to find a Scripture song already written. (Hidden in My Heart, Seeds Family Worship, JumpStart 3, Ellie Holcomb, etc.)

Consider a few extra resources:


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Sarah Holmstrom

Sarah Holmstrom is the co-founder of Raising Prayerful Kids, a ministry that equips parents to pray with their kids in fun, engaging, and meaningful ways. She earned her Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University and has worked as an elementary and high school teacher. Additionally, Sarah has worked in kids ministry in multiple local churches for most of her adult life. Currently she homeschools her four kids and serves as the elementary creative director at Purpose Church. She is passionate about telling God’s story to kids and grown-ups.

The Raising Prayerful Kids book is available now at your favorite book retailer!

Read more about Sarah

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