Because God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps 119:105), putting it to memory is a really good idea, especially for our kiddos.
And yes, scripture memory can be fun! I’ve gathered a list of games to memorize Bible verses (plus other tips on how to use art and music to memorize scripture).
You’ll love how easy it can be to hide God’s word in your child’s heart!
This guest post by Caroline Boykin of WellVersedLiving.com is Part 2 of 2 in a series on helping kids effectively memorize scripture. You can read Part 1 (“3 Keys to Easy Scripture Memorization for Kids”) here.
Try these engaging games, songs and art ideas with your kids, and discover how quickly (and joyfully) you can make scripture memorization a fun part of your regular family life.
Games to Memorize Bible Verses
Word Wipe Out. Write your memory verse on a chalkboard or dry erase board. Say it together. Erase one word. Say it again. Keep going until the whole verse is erased.
Verse Shuffle. Write the verse or passage on index cards – one word or phrase per card. Shuffle the cards. Take turns putting the verse together in order.
Word Scramble. Print the verse as a word scramble on a piece of paper. For example: heT odrL si ym hpeeSdrh (“The Lord is my Shepherd.” Psalm 23). See who can be the first to unscramble it.
Gotcha! Quote a verse incorrectly to your kids, omitting or changing a key word. Ask them to shout, “Gotcha!” when they catch the mistake. Then quote the verse accurately together.
One-Minute Pit Stop. Gather the kids for a speedy pit stop to refuel with God’s Word. Using a timer, each child gets one minute to practice their memory verse out loud while the others listen. (A helpful activity for auditory learners.)
Toss Across. Toss or roll a ball to one child. Have him say the first word of the verse before tossing or rolling the ball to someone else, who then says the next word, and so on. Continue until you complete the verse. If the ball is dropped, start over again. Time how long it takes to finish the verse; and try to beat the previous time.
Verse Puzzle. Write the verse or passage on heavy paper or cardboard, and then cut it into puzzle pieces for your child to assemble.
SMS Scripture Codes. Write the memory verse out on a piece of paper using only the numbers used to write the words in a SMS message; i.e. the numbers that correspond to the letters on a phone keypad. For example: “367 93 9255 29 32484, 668 29 74448” = “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). If a child has a mobile phone, let them use it for this game to help figure out the code. See who can be the first to decode the verse and write it correctly.
Clap-a-Word. Display the verse on a piece of paper. Say the verse together a few times. Then have one volunteer leave the room (or turn his back). Have another volunteer point to one word from the verse so the others can see it. Then the first volunteer returns to the room, but is not allowed to see the verse displayed. The group says the verse, but claps on the selected word without saying it. The first volunteer says which word was skipped. If he gets stumped, let him look at the verse display. Take turns clapping on various words.
Scripture Skits and Charades. Create skits that show how the Word might be applied to a real life situation. Or play a good ‘ole game of Charades with your memory verses.
Music to Memorize Bible Verses
Music is an exuberant and effortless way to memorize Bible verses. Did you know we were fashioned for music? Yup. The melody (which means “to praise God”) is the main tune of a song, including the lyrics, and it engages our mind. The harmony, with its various major and minor keys, affects our emotions. They rhythm is the toe-tapping beat that appeals to our body. Our Master Musician is pure genius!
Check out these terrific word-for-word Scripture CDs. They’ll put a skip in your step, a smile on your face, and God’s Word in your heart.
Seeds Family Worship CDs and Videos I’m a fan! Songwriter Jason Houser puts verses to a contemporary sound the whole family can enjoy. (Seeds CDs are available at the Well-Versed Living store or on Amazon.)
Children’s Scripture Memory Songs CDs Catchy, well-produced Scripture songs by award-winning songwriter and worship leader, Jim Spencer. There are two: Scripture Memory Songs 1 and Scripture Memory Songs 2.
|Hide the Word CD Series Over 190 Scriptures set to a variety of worship-style music; arranged by Senior Pastor and songwriter, Mark Altrogge.|
|Hide ‘Em In Your Heart Vol. 1 & 2 Steve Green puts scripture to music and makes it easy for kids to memorize classic Bible verses. You can even purchase both volumes of these classic CDs in one album!|
Make up your own Scripture ditties. Sing a passage to a hip-hop beat or familiar show tune. For example:
Sing The 10 Commandments (paraphrased) to “Do-Re-Mi” from the Sound of Music.
One, don’t worship other gods.
Two, no idols are allowed.
Three, don’t speak God’s name in jest.
Four, the Sabbath is for rest.
Five, respect your mom and dad.
Six, don’t ever, ever kill.
Seven, be faithful to your spouse.
And don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t want your neighbor’s things.
Art to Memorize Bible Verses
Bible Verse Poster. Choose a memory verse or passage as a theme verse for your family. Together, write it on a piece of poster board. Decorate the poster with pictures or drawings for linking and living the passage. Display the poster where it can be seen often, like a common hallway. Create a new poster each year or season.
Bible Verse Collage. Using magazines, catalogs, and junk mail, help your kids cut out the words of a verse along with pictures that link the verse for memory. (For hard-to-find words, cut out individual letters.) Assemble the verse, and then glue the words and pictures to a sheet of construction or scrapbooking paper. Display the verse art on an easel or frame.
Book It. Help your child write a verse or passage on blank sheets of paper, or print the passage on your computer, one line or phrase per page. Staple the pages together. Have your child illustrate each page. Read the book at bedtime and admire your child’s handiwork. Over time, your child will link each verse with the pictures he has drawn, helping him remember the verse sequence. (Try this with Psalm 100.)
God’s Promises Pillowcase. Purchase an inexpensive cotton pillowcase. Use permanent markers or fabric paints to personalize it with reassuring and comforting verses. Tie-dye it or sew soft ribbon or lace around the edges to make it more decorative. Consider verses such as: “He who keeps you will not slumber” (Psalm 121:2) or “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe” (Psalm 4:8 NLT).
Scripture Placemats. Make Scripture memory placemats out of 11” x 14” construction paper or poster board – one for each family member and a few extra for guests. Write a different verse on each placemat, decorate them with correlating pictures and drawings, and laminate. Take turns saying the “placemat verses” before or after dinner. Create memory links with food-themed verses like, “But the fruit of the Spirit is…” (Galatians 5:22-23) and “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life” (John 6:35).
Treasure Chest of Truth. Purchase an inexpensive wooden box or index card box to hold your memory verse cards. Spray or brush paint the outside antique brown. Hot glue plastic coin pieces on the top. With marker or paint pen, write Psalm 119:72 on the side, “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Store your memory verse cards inside. Keep the treasure chest on the kitchen table or on your child’s nightstand for handy review.
Sidewalk Art. Give your kids some colorful sidewalk chalk and let them create delightful verse art on your driveway or sidewalk.
Want more Bible memory tips and tools? Check out The Well-Versed Family: Raising Kids of Faith through Scripture Memory (2nd Edition)! You’ll find everything you need for hiding God’s Word in the heart of your home: music, games, motions, learning links, family devotionals, 90 scripture memory verse cards, and more.
How can you use games to memorize Bible verses in your family’s everyday activities? Which will you try? Share with us here!