Use these 24 smart Bible study idea designed to help kids get into the Bible–made exactly for them.
I love studying the Bible, looking up verses and cross-references, diving into the original meaning of words, reading commentaries. That’s me because I’m Word Smart. It’s the way God made me.
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But not everyone is like me. In fact, Harvard professor and psychologist Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory reveals that there are at least eight different ways that people are “smart.” And using this theory when trying to get kids into the Word of God opens up tons of creative ideas.
Years ago while I was in seminary, my friend Anne was trying to help a young woman love studying the Bible. Nothing seemed to work. Finally, Anne realized that Cindy would never love getting into the Bible in the same way Anne did. Because Cindy had extensive dance training, Anne encouraged her to create a dance from one of the psalms. Cindy did, and her love for the Word of God grew.
There’s something here for us to learn about getting kids—all kinds of kids—into the Word of God. As we tap into the way God has made them each uniquely, we’ll find ways to connect them to the Bible for a lifetime!
Take a look at the eight ways that kids are “smart.” We’ve given you suggestions for understanding kids and getting them into the Bible.
24 Bible Study Ideas for Kids
A Bible study about how wonderfully God has made each child wouldn’t be complete without a look into Psalm 139 with amazing verses like these: “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it” (Psalm 139:14).
Children may be Word Smart if they have these strengths: memorization, reasoning, speaking, debating, listening, reading, and writing.
To get Word Smart kids into the Word of God, have them:
- List everything that God knows from the entire psalm. Then for each thing God knows, complete this sentence: “Because God knows _________, I know that God is ___________.”
- Debate the “hate” verses (Psalm 139:19-22). Do you agree or disagree with “O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Should I despise those who oppose you?”
- Write a story about someone who’s lost and discovers the truth that God was always with him or her.
Children may be Picture Smart if they have these strengths: sculpting, imagination, use of metaphors, art, drawing, and painting.
To get Picture Smart kids into the Word of God, have them:
- Choose a verse and paint a picture of it, such as “If I ride the wings of the morning” (Psalm 139:9) or “I could ask the darkness to hide me” (Psalm 139:11).
- Create a sand sculpture about how God’s thoughts toward us are more than the grains of sand (Psalm 139:18).
- Knit a simple pattern as they meditate about God knitting us together (Psalm 139:13).
Children may be Music Smart if they have these strengths: in tune with the nuances of music others may miss, rhythm, pitch, timbre, and sensitivity to the emotional power of music.
To get Music Smart kids into the Word of God, have them:
- Choose any passage to put to music.
- Create a lullaby about how God made them (Psalm 139:13-17).
- Play instrumental music as children read the psalm.
Children may be Logic Smart if they have these strengths: problem-solving, skill in using computers, numbers, abstract thinking, logical reasoning, and organization.
To get Logic Smart kids into the Word of God, have them:
- Discuss the issue of abortion in light of this psalm.
- Determine five things they’d say based on this psalm to someone who says that God is far away.
- Look at the developmental stages of a baby in a mother’s womb and discuss how they see God’s hand in the baby’s development.
Children may be Body Smart if they have these strengths: naturally athletic, like to participate in active learning processes, control over their body, learn best by moving, and comfortable on stage.
To get Body Smart kids into the Word of God, have them:
- Create a dance routine to Christian band MercyMe’s “Psalm 139.”
- Play Hide ‘n’ Seek and then discuss whether they can hide from God (Psalm 139:7-12).
- Make a complex design out of Lego bricks and compare it to the human body as far as complexity (Psalm 139:14).
Children may be Nature Smart if they have these strengths: like to collect, classify, or read about nature; keenly aware of environment; notice differences, similarities, anomalies; and like the outdoors and/or animals.
To get Nature Smart kids into the Word of God, have them:
- Find and present photos of every natural thing mentioned in this psalm.
- Try to count a container of sand and discuss how God’s thoughts toward us outnumber all the sand (Psalm 139:18)
- Discuss how darkness and light are the same to God (Psalm 139:11-12).
Children may be Self Smart if they have these strengths: self-understanding, reflective, meditative, self-motivated, desire alone time, aware of own feelings, and aware of own strengths and weaknesses.
To get Self Smart kids into the Word of God, have them:
- Spend time in silent prayer asking God to examine their hearts and know everything about them (Psalm 139:1) and test them and know their anxious thoughts (Psalm 139:23).
- Pray about anything God reveals that they need to confess. Have them write each thing on a scrap of paper and then destroy it as a sign of God’s forgiveness.
- Glue five grains of sand to a sheet of paper. For each grain of sand, have them write one thought God has toward them (Psalm 139:17).
Children may be People Smart if they have these strengths: cooperative, intuitive of others’ needs, friendly, enjoy people, social understanding, good at negotiating, and good at communicating.
To get People Smart kids into the Word of God, have them:
- Share with one another times they’ve felt that God was far away and times they’ve felt that God was as close as this psalm reveals.
- With a partner, try to “go before me and follow me” (Psalm 139:5). Then talk about what that was like—and how God is able to do both.
- Bring in a baby picture and share the story of their wondrous birth.
Christine Yount Jones is publisher and executive editor for Children’s Ministry Magazine.