How about setting up a simple space for your child to meet with God? Kids learn quickly to do certain things in certain places. For example, they know what to do at the dinner table, at the park, in a rocking chair, in their bed, at their desk, and so on. Even if you double up, for example eating and doing homework at the kitchen table, they pick it up quickly. This association is so strong, that at a friend’s house, they still know where everything happens! At school, same thing–their desk in their classroom is for learning, the cafeteria is for eating, and so on.
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You can really use this natural tendency by setting up a space for your child to meet with God. It can be very simple, and it will go a long way in making Bible study, quiet time, or any other time with God come more naturally.
Everything on this list isn’t going to be right for your child, right now. Just pick out what you think will work, and get the printable (at the bottom) for reference as your child changes.
Pro move: If you have your child help set up this space, they’ll be a lot more invested. A lot!
Where in the house?
Look for somewhere with enough space to leave their stuff permanently. If they have to drag their stuff back and forth every time, it’s a hassle. And it doesn’t feel like a special place just for spending time with God. If you had to take everything to do laundry back and forth every time, your laundry room wouldn’t feel as much like a laundry room, right?
Getting a Spot
Besides having enough space for them to sit and do whatever they’re going to do, some other features that would be nice (but not necessary) would be:
- Wall space to hang papers or tack up index cards
- A hook for a light jacket or blanket
- A small shelf
- A plug if they’re going to use technology for reading, reference, or music
- Decorations they like (for example, paint, vinyl wall decor, etc.)
Here are some ideas for places to look for a little spot. Remember, you’re not dedicating an entire room to this, just an area in a room. Just be sure you find a spot where you can keep that spot “roped off.”
- Their room
- The kitchen
- A home office
- Your room
- The backyard
- The guest room
- A sparse closet (They would LOVE this! Kids like places that feel secret, where only they can go.)
- A tent, bought or homemade (Same as the closet, they love this kind of thing. There’s a reason that making tents or forts out of chairs and sheets is such a classic.)
- Look around for other little nooks–utility rooms, breakfast nook, entryway, etc.
Getting the Stuff
It is not important to spend a lot of money or a lot of time gathering materials together. These are ideas to help you do this quickly. What matters is how your child works best, how they focus, what motivates them. What do you like for your time with God?
- Bible– If this is the only supply you have, you’re all set! Need help picking out a good Bible? See if this helps.
- Carriers and organizers like caddies, pencil bags, pencil cups, desk organizers, a shoe box, a jelly jar
- Bible storybooks for younger children. Here are some that are great: Jesus Storybook Bible, Big Picture Story Bible
- Bible dictionary for kids
- Kids’ Bible study or workbook (Here are some suggestions: Precept’s Discover 4 Yourself series, 13 Very Cool Stories and Why Jesus Told Them)
- Pens, pencils, highlighters, markers, erasable colored pens
- Spiral, notebook
- Index cards
- Sticky notes
- Blanket, jacket, or lovey
- Chair, cushion, bean bag (Target and Ikea are great if you’re looking to buy.)
- Printed prayers
Now, Make It Part of the Routine
See? It’s not difficult, and it can be a lot of fun to get this set up. Once it’s ready, decide together when your child is going to use this special space, and help make it part of the routine. Kids are great with routine, so if you can help get it started, you’ll be surprised how quickly they keep it going with their own momentum.
I would LOVE to see your space! If you already have one, please post a picture. And if you get one set up, come back and post a picture. Let’s see if we can get enough pictures to add a gallery to this post to inspire other parents!