As our son, Titus, was nearing his second birthday last year, we talked about how we could start some spiritual habits in our family. We wanted to start teaching Titus Bible stories, and decided that it was time to buy him his very own bible! He already knew what our Bibles were and they were special to us, but wasn't allowed to play with them (Bible pages are not made for toddlers hands haha). So we thought he'd LOVE one of his own. We talked about what things were important to us in a children's bible, and shopped and shopped until we found the one!
Some of the preferences we had were:
~ colorful illustrations
~ as many bible stories as possible!!!
~ explain things in an easy-to-understand way, but also remain biblical
~ be able to turn pages during the story (our toddler likes to turn pages while reading a book- if each story was only on one page, he was frustrated!)
~ included the stories of The Fall (sin entering the world) and Jesus' death on the cross as well as the Resurrection.**
**(Sadly, many children's Bibles I looked at left out these stories. We want our children to know where sin comes from and that Jesus died for them, but also WHY he had to. And that he not only died, but that He's alive today! That's the Gospel and if we neglect telling our kids those stories, we're missing the main thing!)
The Bible we ended up buying was The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories. It fit our criteria perfectly and we've been thrilled with it! Titus LOVES it! He "reads" it to himself, "reads" it to his baby sister, and brings it to us daily to read to him! It's a joy to see his love for his Bible! It's helped start so many spiritual conversations! It's also been hilarious to hear some of his questions and comments! I LOVE that there are over 90 stories, and there are ALOT of stories about Christ, as well his death and resurrection (in a tasteful way, of course!) And of course the pictures are bright and fun. (There's also a Toddler version.)
Here are some other Children's Bibles that we looked at (and we own most of these too) that are also good: (most descriptions taken from christianbook.com)
The Jesus Storybook Bible- Every story whispers his name. A Bible like no other, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation--and at the center of their own story too! The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the story beneath all the stories in the Bible. At the center of all is a baby, the child upon whom everything will depend. From Noah, to Moses, to the great King David--every story points to him. He is the missing piece to the puzzle--the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the story unfolds, children will pick up the clues and piece together the puzzle.
The New Bible In Picture for Little Eyes- Even little children can understand great truths spoken in simple words. When these truths come to life through pictures, children receive an indelible impression that can last forever. This read-aloud book will give your children an unforgettable introduction to the Bible. The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes has been a family favorite for more than 45 years. This updated version of the classic, for children ages 4 to 7, features completely new illustrations by Annabel Spenceley and simple sentence prayers to end each story. There's also a Toddler version I didn't know about!
The Story for Children- Introduce your 4- to 8-year-olds to the greatest story ever told! Featuring Fausto Bianchi's vibrant illustrations, this timeless collection brings 48 pivotal Bible stories to life for your kids. And you'll appreciate how it portrays each event as part of the big picture of God's Word---from creation to the promise of Jesus' return.
The Story for Little Ones- Now children can experience God's great love story! The Story for Little Ones is filled with vibrant illustrations and simple text that bring 31 pivotal Bible stories, including Creation, David and Goliath, and the birth of Jesus to life for children. At the end of each story, a simple message will help children personalize and remember the greatest story ever told. This picture book Bible, designed for children ages 2-5, is part of the The Story campaign presented by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee.
In doing the research today, I found a few more Bibles than I knew about a year ago when we were shopping for one. Browse Christianbook.com, but BE SURE to peruse the Bible you want IN PERSON! You want to make sure it fits everything you're looking for, especially if you have a high standard! Finding the right bible for a toddler, I discovered, can be tricky because you have to find one that's not too "over his head" but that isn't too basic. There were also a lot of "Toddler Bibles" when I was looking online just now, but I usually expect them to be too basic and leave out important stories (like Christ's death- the most important thing to me!).
So I hope this helps give you a place to start in your search for the best Bible for your little one. The most important thing is that they ultimately learn about and understand Christ, so choose a Bible that appeals to your toddler so they'll WANT to read it and one that includes stories about Him.
Providing a Bible for our kids, even at a very young age, is where a Love for God's Word begins! They have their own copy of God's Word (even if its just a compilation of stories haha), but they start to treat their Bible as special, the way Mom and Dad do! It lets them know that God's Word is not just for grownups, but it's for them as well, and they start to see the value you place on spiritual things!
I can honestly say that buying Titus a Bible is where this whole teaching theology has started for me! He's learning the stories and now he's starting to make more spiritual connections! This is where it all starts and our kids are never too young to begin learning the Bible!
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This is Day 5 in a 31 day series on Teaching Toddlers Theology. To catch up on where we've been, or view our menu of posts, go to this intro post.