Whether you are having family Bible studies, your kids are reading the Bible independently, or both, if they don’t remember what they are exposed to, it can’t help them. Studies have found that drawing can help improve memory. Instead of pulling out all of your art supplies, why not teach your kids a fun little variation that only requires pen and paper?
Some kids naturally doodle when listening, while others will be new to the idea of doodling. It’s important to define doodles as little scribbles, so there isn’t any pressure to be an artist when doodling. Teach your kids to pick out a key verse or idea from a Bible passage they think would be helpful to remember. Then encourage them to jot it down and draw a doodle next to it.
The doodles need to mean something to the child, so each of your kids might draw something different for the same verse and that’s okay. Verses that don’t have something concrete in them may prove a more challenging doodle to create. If they struggle with how to doodle an abstract concept, talk about a doodle that might represent the idea, like a heart for love.
If they enjoy doodling scripture, they may get to the point where the doodles themselves have enough meaning that they don’t need to write down the words, too. They will also pick up speed over time. Encourage them to try doodling a sermon and see if they can capture the main ideas.
There is at least one doodling devotional journal you can purchase if you want a little more structure, The Devotional Doodle Journal by DaySpring. Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary, but if you want the extra structure it can help. Each two page spread is a scripture and a doodle prompt with space to create the doodle. The main downfall is since doodles are a bit personal, the one they chose for a particular scripture may not be as meaningful as something else to your child.
Have fun with it. See if you can guess the scripture by merely seeing their doodles…or if they can guess one you have done. Use it as a fun way to encourage independent Bible reading and memorizing or at least remembering the summary of scripture passages. Every child won’t find it helpful, but for those who do, it can make a huge positive difference in how they engage with scripture.