One of the greatest joys for me as a parent has been reading to my kids. I have seen great fruit in this time from infancy all the way to my ten-year old.
I probably don’t need to tell you about the academic reasons to read to your kids. You have probably seen many of the same articles describing how reading to kids develops their speech and language skills, amongst many others.
Beyond those benefits, reading to my kids has been a great time of bonding with them. It slows us down and brings us together. Usually it involves some precious snuggling in a rocking chair, which I know I will miss once the kids grow up! And the spiritual conversations that we have had together while reading have been priceless. Reading to my kids has been one of the primary ways I have been able to disciple them.
What should you read to them? Well, just about anything! Of course, I would recommend the Bible first and foremost. It is God’s word, and we want them to grow in their understanding of it from a young age. Wonderful authors, scholars, and illustrators have put together Bibles for kids of various ages to help them learn the truths of God’s word.
Here are a few that we have used and recommend:
- Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
- The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung
- Read Aloud Bible Stories by Ella Lindvall (for smaller kids).
After the Bible, my favorite reading with my girls has been The Chronicles of Narnia series by CS Lewis. We have gone through the whole series twice! The stories are not only engaging and exciting, but they also illustrate spiritual truths in powerful ways. I recommend age 6 as a good age for Narnia, and prepare to change a few of the old British words to simpler kid words. You better prepare a good Aslan voice!
Missionary biographies are another great read. We recently read “God’s Smuggler,” in which Brother Andrew tells his stories of smuggling Bibles into communist Eastern Europe in the mid-20th century. My girls loved it! There are great kids’ versions of true stories of William Carey, Gladys Aylward, Adoniram Judson, Jim & Elizabeth Eliot, and many more that will inspire their faith.
I’m in the middle of “The Wingfeather Saga” series by Andrew Peterson, which also has me and my two daughters eagerly awaiting the next chapter every night. These are Narnia-esque tales with spiritual lessons throughout.
So, take a few minutes each day or a couple times per week to read to your kids (or grandkids or nieces and nephews!) I guarantee it is time well-spent, and you’ll never regret spending precious moments training your kids through good reading to them.