6 Practical Tips for Using Video Devotions with Kids in Your Home

christian parenting family prayer and worship stewardship of family Jan 28, 2024
The Weichel Family Using Video Devotions with Kids at Home

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

James 1:5


 

In many ways, now is an amazing time in history to be a Christian. Thanks to technology, we have access to so many different kinds of Christian resources! Even Bible education can come in a variety of easy-to-access forms including the ability to do video devotions with kids. 

Our family enjoys video devotions as another way to engage our kids and help them grow in their faith. There are many reasons why Bible stories or lessons in video form can be helpful. For the parents, it can be an excellent tool to disciple your kids on a day when you have less energy to give. It may also be that you are young in your faith and appreciate guidance from others in how to talk with your kids about God. 

For children, multisensory learning – learning through multiple senses at one time – has been proven to be very effective for both understanding and retention. When your kids can hear about the Bible, watch a story unfold on a screen, and possibly move their body in response as well, their senses are combined to create greater engagement and greater impact.  

Learning styles also come into play when considering the use of video devotions with kids. Some kids learn better through traditional means (reading/writing), while other kids learn better through listening (auditory), watching (visual), and/or using their bodies (kinesthetic). However your child learns, video devotions are a great tool to try as you steward your children for the glory of God. Here are a few tips from our own journey on how to incorporate these into daily life.

 

1. Find a consistent time to do video devotions with kids

As we’ve discussed before on our blog, consistency is key with children! Like all things, if you don’t have it built into your schedule, then it is less likely to occur. Selecting a specific day of the week or time of day supports a family rhythm that helps the parents remember and prioritize this spiritual practice. It encourages the kids to know what to expect and be prepared to participate.  

The point is not to be legalistic and rigid but intentional and effective when using video devotions with kids. We also recommend you choose one parent to be the point person for this activity. While the whole family can look forward to video time and help each other remember, it’s best if one parent is explicitly in charge to not forget. In our home, Derek leads this aspect of our home worship routine.  

 

2. Choose a location

Consistency of location is also good to keep in mind. The last thing you want is to announce video time and then have a fight break out about where it should happen! Since we’re talking about a video tool, it makes sense to select a location that has a TV or could comfortably accommodate everyone in front of a screen like a computer, tablet, or phone.  

This could be your living room, at the kitchen table, or in a child’s room. Make sure everyone can see the screen well and that the audio is adequate for all. If you’re using a device like a phone or tablet for video devotions with kids, you could purchase inexpensive wireless speakers to help increase the volume to a more enjoyable level. 

 

3. Set the expectations 

As you begin the practice of regular video devotions with kids in your home, take the time to establish ground rules for what your children can and can’t be doing during this time. Having clear expectations at the beginning will help create an enjoyable experience for everyone. For example, we tell our kids that they can’t have books or other devices on while we are doing the devotion and they must be in the room while the video is playing.  

Some questions to consider as you come up with some guidelines: do your kids need to be seated, or can they be lying down? Can they be sitting on a parent’s lap? Can they be looking at or playing with other items? Quiet toys or activities such as Legos or coloring can be a helpful way to keep young children still. It is important to try to have some reasonable guidelines established and to do your best to be consistent with upholding those guidelines to ensure that everyone in the household is getting some benefit from the experience.

Don’t create an unrealistic expectation for yourself or your family in any new routine. Though it is important to think it through, understand that there will always be kinks to work out. That doesn’t mean you have failed. Any attempt at bringing the hope of the gospel to your kids is a good thing – 1 Corinthians 15:58 reminds us that nothing done for the sake of the truth is done in vain!

 

4. Find a video devotion that is best for the ages of your kids

There are many different video devotion options available. You can find them for free on the internet or they can be purchased through a membership service or app.  

You will want to keep the age of your kids in mind and choose a video or series that is best suited for them when starting video devotions with kids. Most kids have a relatively short attention span, so ideally, finding devotions less than 10 minutes might work best.   

Don’t be surprised if this requires a little trial and error. It can be good to try out several different types and then ask your kids for help deciding which one to use consistently. It’s a good idea to screen the video first to see if its teachings are consistent with what the Bible teaches.   

In our family, we like to use Saddleback Kids or videos from The Bible Project as part of our kids’ bedtime routine. We often try to find a video that goes along with the family devotional story that we read that day during dinner.  

We watch the Time of Grace TV program weekly. This is usually closer to 25 minutes, but since it is only once a week and we do it at a consistent time, the kids have come to expect it and its length. We like to do this on Saturday evenings just after we eat our dinner. If we are not home, we will watch it together in our van as we are traveling.  

BONUS: The Bible Project and Time of Grace also have videos for spiritual growth for adults.

 

5. Reflect on the lesson as a family

After watching a video devotion with kids, we sometimes ask the kids one or two reflection questions to ensure that they were paying attention and confirm that they learned the appropriate lesson from the devotion. We might also rephrase the main idea from the video to ensure that they caught it. This is when the truth from the video can be made personal. We know our children well and can take this opportunity to help them reflect on their personal lives, areas of sin, or areas of giftedness. 

 

6. Use video devotions with kids to reinforce other biblical truths your children are learning 

Sometimes we try to watch a video devotion that is consistent with a message we may have read together during family devotion time or learned about in a church service. Repetition is another helpful tool for learning. When our children hear the same stories over and over, it helps them not only remember God’s truth but internalize it. Noticing different elements of the same story can also happen when listening to the same story from different sources or different perspectives.  

Reinforcing the truth of the Bible in multiple areas of life helps our kids develop a biblical worldview and growth in their faith. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)  God’s Word is living and forever has something to teach us, whether we’re reading it off the pages of our Bible or watching it animated on a screen! As you watch devotion videos, may it help you point your children and family to Jesus. 

 

Personal Story

Every evening, we try to watch short video devotions with our kids as part of their bedtime routine. We sometimes use Saddleback Kids on YouTube for these videos. The kids generally enjoy and look forward to them. While we try to watch one that coordinates with the family devotion we read at dinner time, the kids will occasionally request a specific video.  

Lily’s favorite Bible story is David and Goliath, and she requests it nearly every night. Sometimes we find different versions of the David and Goliath story on YouTube. The kids will often be sitting next to Derek, watching the videos on his phone.  They enjoy sitting next to Dad, especially Leah and Lily, as they have the love language of personal touch.  

If they are not sitting next to him, they are expected to at least be in the room, and often they will walk over to sneak a peek at the screen.

 

Key Points:

  • There are many different Christian video devotions that can easily be found on YouTube or other websites.
  • You should find a series that is compatible with the ages of your kids and is consistent with what you teach them.
  • Video devotions can be used to help reinforce a Bible lesson that the children heard or read earlier in the day or week.

 

 

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