09 August 2013

Scripture Study with a Toddler

When we visited family in May I was impressed with their ability to incorporate their non-readers into their family scriptures study each evening. (The kids in the family were, at that time, eight, six, four and two.) Eric's brother would read a verse a couple of words at a time, and the toddler would repeat after him. The method was the same for the four-year-old, but with more words strung together at once. The toddler wasn't really involved in the rest of the reading, but I liked that he was involved in part of it. I resolved to start doing scriptures with our little boy. But how?

We don't have older kids, so we were free to arrange this as very Ike-centered. I liked the idea of doing kid versions of scripture stories, but part of me was resistant to that idea. Initially I couldn't figure out what it was, but with time I realized that I wanted my child to be immersed in the language of the scriptures. Okay, maybe not immersed since he has the attention span of a fly, but I wanted the archaic language to become familiar to him. Illustrated scripture stories simplify the language, which is great, but it didn't fulfill that very strong requirement I had.

After much thought (and then, let's be honest, plenty of feet-dragging), I created this method. I chose a few verses, and I wrote them (or pertinent sections of them) on large index cards in different colors. Ike knows colors, so each night he can choose which color he wants to read. Usually he holds the card (and crumples it) while we have him repeat one or two words at a time.When we're done, we put the scripture back in the envelope that's taped to the back of his door.

We've had these same three for a while, so it's about time I add new ones to the mix. He can do a few words here and there without us prompting him.

This second picture is a little deceiving. In actuality, Ike can be pretty ornery about doing scriptures at night, because he wants to skip straight to the part where we tell him stories about dinosaurs, dragons, or sharks. He has never asked me to get the scripture cards out when it isn't bedtime (or even when it is bedtime, for that matter). Still, this is a method that works well for our very young family. Ike is becoming familiar with the language in the scriptures, and he understands that reading scriptures is something our family does every single day.


Jenn said...

This is a great idea, Sherry. I might copy it. Currently, we read stories from the kids Book of Mormon reader (is that what it's called?) and we watch lots of scripture videos. We also tell scripture stories that Libby can "act out" with her toys and blocks (i.e. any story that involves a tower, a wall, a building, etc.) because she loves to build things.

I love your idea of using the actual language from the scriptures, though.

Erin Gong said...

I like this idea and it seems like it will help him start memorizing. we do improv scripture dramatization at our house, with a few quoted verses thrown in. works well in first Nephi but gets harder after that.

Janssen said...

Good for you.

We have a book of scripture verses set to music (by my dad) that we do a couple of each night - it's so cute to hear Ella sing an entire verse of scripture. And then we recap a chapter and read a few verses (sometimes having her repeat them after us).