Create A HelloMornings Bible Study Basket For Your Children

As summer quickly approaches, I thought I’d re-share this popular post about how I help my kids spend time with God in the mornings. I hope you enjoy these ideas and if you create a #hellomornings basket for your children, tag me on instagram (inspiredtoaction) or share the link in the comments so I can “ohh and ahh” along with you.

Breakfast Time In My Home

This is the basket we keep on our breakfast table. It’s filled with Bibles, study books, journals, prayers sticks and conversation cards. Each morning at breakfast time, the kids eagerly sit down with their food, grab a Bible, a prayer stick and peacefully read and pray for 45 minutes.

Or not.

Maybe your kids do that, but in my house our mornings are a little more crazy (although it’s less crazy during the summer). My children are often reading other books as they sit down at the table. Imagine those kids that walk around with a book in their face as they attempt go about their day. That’s what 2/3 my children look like 95% of the time.

My other child is usually climbing on something. Possibly a sibling.

So now that we’ve established that there is nothing magical about my home, let’s move on to the topic of bribery.

How To Bribe Your Children

During the school year when the crazy is kicked up a notch, I often bribe my kids with hot chocolate to get them the table early enough to eat, read and pray.

That may sound awful or brilliant, but either way, it works like a charm.

Being that I’m pretty picky about sweets, my children get really excited about the hot cocoa and hurry through their morning routine to get to the table. They then sit down to have their “God Time” while they eat.

I like to think I’m creating really sweet memories (pun alert) for my children of the preciousness of early morning time with God.

What a better way to wake up than to a steaming cup of cocoa, a cozy mama hug and time with God?

The Nitty Gritty: So What’s In The Basket?

When I posted the picture of our basket on Instagram and Facebook yesterday, there were lots of questions about what is in the basket, so here is the basic run down of what is usually in there:

Jesus Calling – This is my youngest daughter’s favorite devotional.

One Year Devotions for Preschoolers – my kids have all really liked this book. It has a devotion, scripture passage and prayer for each day. When they were little, the loved the cute pictures and the rhyming prayers.

The Adventure Bible – This is a great kids study Bible. The format is incredibly fun for young readers and yet all the content is there – it’s the real Bible and not just a story Bible.

24 Family Ways – this is a wonderful family devotional from Sally and Clay Clarkson.

Sword Fighting – This is a kids devotional book by Karen Henley that was highly recommended to me. I don’t think it’s in print anymore, but you can find used copies on Amazon.

Resources from our church – we have an amazing church and they provide great resources for family and kids devotions, so we use those a lot as well. If your church doesn’t already provide that for kids, perhaps that’s something you could spearhead.

Prayer sticks – these are simply large popsicle sticks that the kids wrote on and decorated. They have the names of family and friends, our Compassion kids, leaders and various prayer topics. My children pull one or two out and pray for whatever is on the stick.

Perfection Isn’t The Goal, Faithfulness Is.


There are precious moments when my children share Bible verses that they feel God put on their heart that morning. Or funny times like when my youngest declared, “Mama! I’m gonna write a thank you note to Jesus! ….for pigs!”

Just as often, though, the kids rush through to get back to their American Girl book or to play a game of Angry Birds.

Perfection isn’t the goal. Faithfulness is.

As we make these morning times a routine, I’m praying and trusting that God is sowing truth, love and hope into their hearts.

What ideas, books and resources have you used to help your kids develop a habit of spending time with God? Click here to share your thoughts!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Comments

71 Comments

  • Avatar jamee says:

    I love this! And I love even more that you said Perfection isn’t the goal…faithfulness is!

    Isn’t that true in all parts of life?!

    Your new layout is pretty snazzy, too!

    Have a fab day.

  • Avatar Paula says:

    Our morning motto is “Feed your soul, before you feed your body.” We know that everyone needs to eat in the morning, but more importantly they need to feed their bodies with spiritual meat.
    When my kids were younger they enjoyed The Big Picture Story Bible. Currently my 6 year old son just reads a passage in the Bible and my daughters each do Kay Arthur’s Discover 4 Yourself devotionals, geared for ages 8-12. I love the Kay Arthur devotionals because they really teach your kids how to study the Bible.

    • Avatar Kat Lee says:

      I love that Paula! I’ll have to look into the Kay Arthur studies…thanks!

    • Avatar Kristen says:

      I too love your quote…perfection isn’t the goal…faithfulness is! That could apply to MANY areas of my life:) And I second the shout out for Kay Arthur’s (Precept Ministries) kids devotionals. We have several at my house and they are a very effective way of teaching kids how to study the Bible for themselves. Fun and engaging while hitting the nitty gritty! I just found Inspired to Action a a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say…I love it! Thank you, Kat, for sharing your inspiration!

  • Avatar Amanda says:

    Wow wow wow , I love this whole idea from hot choco as motivator to basket at the table to the Popsicle prayer sticks! I am so excited to put this together

  • Avatar Lisa says:

    I would add in The Jessus Storybook Bible. It is our all time favorite!!!

  • Avatar maddalena70 says:

    Kat…. First of all the new look is fantastic……. and very easy to use… A lots of compliment 🙂

    I do not have a morning routine for my little girls yet…… I am still trying to have one for me…. but I have been thinking that they were to young until now…

    Today i bought ”The dig” Luke volume 1 for them…… i think it is organized like The adventure Bible you speak about….. and i will try to use it with thwm during our holiday…..

    I wil let you know how it will go…

    Cheers

    Maddalena

    • Avatar Kat Lee says:

      Maddalena,
      The Dig is great! Honestly, there were many days when my kids were young that their Bible study time was mine too. Some days you take what you can get. 🙂 Also, kids are great accountability. If they are expecting “God time with Mama” then they’ll be sure to remind if we forget.

      I’m so glad you like the new design. We were definitely going for “easy to use” – I wanted it to be clear and simple and I think Erin did a great job.

      Have a blessed day- you’re a great mama….

  • Avatar Jamie says:

    I read the facebook post yesterday and we made our basket immediately!! The kids LOVED it and were so excited to put everything in!! We choose my small KJV bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible, a couple of blank journals and the popsicle prayer sticks. I also put in blank index cards so they could copy down memory verses they want to learn and pens, pencils and crayons. My youngest is 6 and not great at writing yet so I chose a kindergarten tablet for him. He can copy a scripture, read a story, or draw a picture. :0) I let them choose the names to write on the prayer sticks and it was such a blessing to hear them call out names of those they want to pray for! Thank you so much for the wonderful idea!! :0)

    • Avatar Kat Lee says:

      Jamie,
      I love the index card idea! I think I’ll add more colored pencils/markers to mine too, I think the my kids would like that. Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar melanie says:

    Kat,

    Inspiring as always. Thanks so much. The tiring first trimester of pregnancy booted me out of my Hello Mornings routine, but I love this idea as a catalyst to get me back into it. And since my daughter woke up and plopped herself on the couch to read her Bible, perhaps we should make it an official family time.

    One resource that I would recommend that we have enjoyed is “Praying in Color for Kids” http://www.amazon.com/Praying-Color-Kids-Edition/dp/1557255954/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343841470&sr=8-1&keywords=praying+in+color+for+kids

    It’s a neat way for them to “draw” their prayers and particularly appeals to the artistic child.

    And, though there has been a bit of a summer lull, we’ve had a journal in the middle of the dinner table to record our One Thousand Gifts (Ann Voskamp’s thankfulness charge) as a family. I just put the initial of the person next to what they said so when we look back we can remember who said it.

    And I plan to incorporate the popsicle sticks – great idea.

    Thanks again, Kat!

  • Avatar Natasha says:

    This is a fantastic idea! I totally can’t wait until my two year old is old enough to do stuff like this. One question, what are the conversation cards? Can you give examples of what is on these and how they are used? Thanks so much for your emails. I just love ’em!

  • I just found you, thanks to a FB share today! Or was it Pinterest? oh, I don’t know where I found you, but I am so glad I did! I think this idea of gathering all the morning’s Bible resources in one place is a great idea, from the youngest to the oldest.
    So here are my questions:
    –how does this look of a morning? Meaning, how do you facilitate this time with children of all different reading levels (from independent to fully reliant on you) as well as your own?
    –Do you lead a small devo for the group, or is it all independent?
    –How long did it take to come to a place where this was accepted and done without eyes rolling, deep and heavy sighs, repeated questioning of breakfast, and all that? All of which is purely theoretical and would likely never happen there…and would most certainly never happen here, especially not from my feisty 11 year old, uh-uh no way. I’m just asking, theorectically 🙂
    –When you started this, was there just one or two things you did first, then add in more? What were they?

    🙂 thank you for sharing and letting me nit-pick 🙂

    • Avatar Kat Lee says:

      Sally,
      Glad you liked the idea!
      1. I usually do my own earlier and when they all sit down for breakfast, the older two read on their own and I often read to the youngest. My youngest also likes to use the You Version app on the iPhone or iPad and listens the the Audio Bible ESV.
      2. I’d love to work up to leading a devo, but right now it’s just everyone going solo.
      3. The hot chocolate when presented in conjunction with the “God time” does wonders to eliminate the protests. I’ve always done some sort of morning Bible time with the kids. Never fancy, just regularly. Another treat they like to have during Bible time are frozen gogurts. When they were really little and didn’t sit still well, I’d give them these and it would keep them busy and listening for a good while.
      4. Finally, our church community really enourages kids having time with God, so I think it seems somewhat normal to them.

      We also have a chore chart app on the iPad (Chore Pad) that the kids LOVE checking off each thing. Bible time is one of those things so that is an additional motivator.

      Finally, we go in and out of seasons of doing it well. Sometimes it’s super short, sometimes it just gets done so they can check it off, but we just keep doing it and it’s fun now to see my kids take it on as their own more and more.

      That was a novel, but I hope it helped!

  • Avatar Kristin says:

    This is so do-able. Thank you!!!

  • Avatar Karina says:

    Thank you for this 🙂 Really encouraging, and true to life! Things aren’t always picture perfect, but you’re absolutely right, the goal is faithfulness and sowing seeds of truth in our kids’ lives.

  • Avatar Brittani says:

    I love kids spending time with Jesus! It is one of my biggest passions! Thank you for sharing, Kat. My boys are 17 months and 3 months so their “Jesus time” looks a little different. We don’t have a basket, but every day we gather in the morning for their Jesus times. Ours go like this:
    What are you thankful for today?
    Read a story from the story Bible.
    Sing a kids worship song.
    Who can we pray for today?
    What nation can we pray for today?
    Let’s listen to Jesus and ask Him to speak to our hearts.

    It literally takes about 5 minutes. I ask my son the questions and just go with whatever he says. I make up the answers for my 3 month old (or my oldest makes up answers for him).

    They probably won’t remember it, but hopefully, by the time they are reading, it will be a habit.

    Thanks so much for all of your insight. I love getting your blog every week.

  • Avatar Jenn G. says:

    Love this idea! I have a boy that’s going to be turning two in Sept. Loves books–do you have any thoughts on devotional books for someone that little? Would love to start the habit early 🙂

  • Avatar Brit says:

    I got my NIV Adventure Bibile when I was ten after getting baptized… I’m 21 and I still love reading it (-_-) It’s just soooooooo muuuuuuuuuch fuuuuuun to read!!!

  • Avatar Faye says:

    I love this idea Kat!! We have the Jesus Calling for Kids and Devotions for Preschoolers book out on a shelf near our dinner table and usually read them at dinnertime. But with school starting, and now that my boys are able to read on their own, I love the idea of them in a basket to have them look at before school. My 2nd grader will be receiving his own bible from our church later this month which will be a great addition to the basket. I also LOVE the sticks idea…we have plenty leftover from when we created our”I’m Bored” jar…plenty to use for prayers. Thanks for the inspiration and assurance that “perfection isn’t the goal…” God bless!

  • Avatar Tracy Selle says:

    Great idea! I’m curious about the conversation cards…..

  • Avatar lara says:

    Girlfriend, so so good. (and love the fresh design.)

  • Ah that’s awesome! I’d love to be able to do that for my kids. My problem is these are all new idea’s and my teen is 16 and my baby is 4… There’s hope for the baby… but the teen has one of two poses in action at any one time – dead to the world with a pillow over his head (there may or may not be drool) and a streak of person heading out the door on his way to something else (school, sport, friends, etc).

  • Avatar Dorothy Surace says:

    I have been following your site for a while now. What a brilliant idea!!! I have so many great bibles/devotionals for my homeschoolers (6, 4 & 2) and have this illogical urge to read all of them at the same time with the children. But putting the onus on them and sharing the habit of a common quite time with God solves this issue once and for all. The prayer sticks are GENIUS! Have had this idea on my mind for some time but didn’t think of the sticks. You are brilliant. Thank you for spreading the wisdom. all the way to Australia 🙂

  • Avatar Sandy Diaz says:

    I LOVE this! I am brainstorming ideas in my head right now!! We have The Jesus Storybook Bible (LOVE IT), and I’ve been looking for other resource, as well. Totally going to make the popsicle stick prayer “cards” today with them…love rainy days! I’m also so glad that I read the comments…so many great ideas! Especially adding colored pencils to the basket and encouraging picture drawing for prayers! Thank you so much!

  • Avatar Glynis says:

    Thank you! I do believe I shall borrow this idea!! I really appreciate faithfulness over perfection as well.
    Many blessings to you and yours.

  • Avatar Ursula Fagerstrom says:

    Love this idea! This year, my 6 yo son started this reading plan:
    http://colonialkids.org/images/stories/family/bible_reading_schedule.pdf

    It gets him through the NT, Psalms and Proverbs in a year without being too overwhelming. We have Bible CDs so he reads along as he listens. Then we talk about one thing he learned. At the end of each month if he has stayed on track, I take him out for a small treat (ice cream cone, smoothie, etc). He’s doing great (not perfect, but faithful!) and I love that he’s getting into the Word multiple times a day,

  • Avatar Vivienne says:

    Wow! I love how inspiring you are!
    I have 3 girls, 4,2 & 9mths and I have not being doing much with them to create their own time with God as I don’t know how and what that looks like as a mum given that my mother didn’t do anything bar going to church.
    My 2yr old has just started saying grace, but my 4yr old still refuses to pray – wants me to – whether it’s grace or before bed etc.
    Any suggestions to get her out of this phase! I assume it’s a confidence or a bit nervous about something cos she’s quite sensitive about some things.
    Thanks for showing me what my mornings SHOULD look like – now to start 1 things first to get nearer this picture just a little!

  • I love that you are comfortable enough not to strive for perfection. We also have a quiet basket that I need to re-incorporate somehow now that the kids are a year older and the girls are almost reading now. Very nice post and I love your book choices!

  • […] Create A HelloMornings Bible Study Basket For Your Children | Inspired to Action […]

  • Avatar Parthenia Fayne says:

    Great idea!
    Lord, help me incorporate your word in a consistent, fun (consistently fun) way!

    Thanks for this post. I have gone from striving for the “perfect (usually way-too-old-to-be-appropriate-or-fun) bible times” to letting them have their own bible times. We have actually had some good moments in between there, but this post serves as a great reminder to relax and trust God!
    Thanks!

  • […] Creating a basket for Stephen and Jonathan, like Kat talked about in this post. […]

  • Avatar Kristy says:

    I love this idea! We had been doing something similar before and during dinner time, but that time of day is a little busy (not that morning isn’t, but resistance is less active as they wake up). I’m pretty sure I’m going to change our little routine to breakfast time instead.

  • […] Prayer Sticks August 16, 2012 By Sam Kelley I read a post a few days {weeks?} ago about having a Bible Study Basket available for your family. I was really drawn to the idea, and decided to sit down and ponder what […]

  • Avatar bikurgurl says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I was able to find the Swordfighting book at my local homeschool consignment store and added several other new titles to our collection, but the biggest hit has been the prayer sticks! My children love choosing a stick at random and our giving an extra prayer or blessing for the chosen person, cause, or issue – thank you for the inspiration !

  • Avatar Charity says:

    Wow… I LOVE this idea! We are going to try to get more serious about personal devos this school year! You ARE making memories with your kiddos! Way to go! Also, may I recommend the Jesus Storybook, Every Story Whispers His Name. It connects Jesus to every story! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! Blessings!

  • Avatar Heather says:

    We made ours this morning. We added Big Book of Animal Devotions, Little Visits with God, Big Thoughts for Little People, Devotions for Kids, and Everyday Graces. We enjoyed making the prayer sticks together and we each pulled one to pray for this morning and they want to do that every day. Such an easy way to start the day. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I was just getting ready to put a basket together and remembered you had some great ideas. So thankful for this, and for your honest encouragement. Thanks!

  • […] found some inspiration for a Bible Basket, to be used in the morning as a primer for the day.  What a great idea!  I put […]

  • Avatar Amanda Cross says:

    I love this idea of a Bible study basket. Kat, where do you go to church? I understand if you don’t feel comfortable sharing. My son is 2 1/2 and has the Read and Share Bible. We bought it for him when we noticed they were talking about the Bible in Sunday school. He wants to read Jesus all the time. He especially loves the story where Jesus tells the devil to go away. Every night at bedtime, he says, I want to read the Bible. We often read in the day time as well. Even though I know he is stalling, I cannot say no to reading the Bible to him. There was one night in particular where we read a story that really spoke to me and ministered to me. I had been frazzled that day with looking into taking online classes. I have since decided that I need to put that aside for now. We read the story of Jesus and his best friends…Mary and Martha. Martha was angry, upset, and complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping her. She told Jesus to have her help. Jesus answered Martha saying that Mary was seeking what was important and that could never be taken away from her. I’ve been leading a Bible study with Good Morning Girls and also studying with Hello Mornings. It was encouraging to me that these things cannot be taken from me and they are so much more important than obtaining a degree. The Word will last forever. My son will only be this young for a short time and I need to invest in him while I have him home.

  • Avatar Judy says:

    What a great idea of giving an outlet for the increasing spiritual awareness and independence my 2 little ones are moving into. (4 & 6yr old). I like the idea too of the prayer sticks … keep us out of a rut, and away to keep track of their prayer requests. Thanks.

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  • Avatar jeani says:

    I would love to start a ministry for families helping them with discipleship as parents, but am not sure what to do or how to start, would you email mevand share the sorts of things your ministry includes and provides as well as methodology? Thanks in advance…

  • Avatar Laura says:

    One book that my daughter and I read together in the mornings is by Dannah Gresh-“The One Year Mother Daughter Devo”. She loves it and she gets out if bed pretty quickly to read through this with me! We do have Jeus Calling for Kids but this book was titled pretty for moms snd daughters so she favors this one right now:)

  • […] gone yourself). She also gave me the idea of teaching my children to study God’s Word. To put together a basket with study Bibles and a jar with prayer sticks. And as an “incentive” to serve hot […]

  • […] for any family, homeschooling or not.  Partly based on reading about a Morning Basket over at Inspired to Action, partly inspired by Date With God at Created 4 Care, and partly because of attending Together […]

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  • I love having a basket for our children’s Bible’s. My daughters always know where to find them. My favorite preschool Bible is NIRV Read With Me Bible. I have a song of the week and a verse of the week for my 2 and 3 year olds. This helps them consider God’s Word more and apply more to life then just thinking of it as “stories”.

  • Avatar Brandy Bunch says:

    Thank you so much for posting this idea I am going to get some things together for my son and do this. I kind of fell out of the early morning routine maybe if I do this for him it will help me get back mine. Thinking I might even try making one for the hubby and this may be something we all do as a family.
    Blessings to you all
    Brandy

  • Avatar Tara says:

    This is great! I am a night girl in a family of morning folks. Hubby and the kids are up and going while I drag myself from the covers. The kids are usually bouncing around the bed while we try to have our quiet time. Hubby is great at inviting them to sit with him… and with this basket what a great way to INCLUDE them!!
    I just bought “Gotta Have God” and “God and Me” devotionals for them. Now I know how we’ll present them!

  • Avatar jill britz says:

    this rocks!!
    i’ve been wanting something to make my kids’ God-time more regular.
    i love the idea of something yummy to drink & a basket to choose from.
    half the time, the kids can’t even find their bibles.
    i’m jazzed to set this up!
    wahooo!!

  • This is amazing! I will be using this idea. Thanks!

  • […] when I read this post (Create a HelloMornings Bible Study Basket for Your Children) by Kat from Inspired to Action, I decided to implement it the very next day. I have learned that […]

  • Avatar KellyS91709 says:

    I found it so important, so late in life, To establish a morning time with God. To start my day out and bring God in right away. How much more important is it, to have that with kids and start them out on the right path? Thanks Kat! And once again, a great post, directly to the point, getting the materials in, the reason, benefits, resources, and experiences! I love your bog. & I love your improvements on Hello mornings, it’s still very confusing, and I’m praying for God to help streamline! Please don’t throw anything away, I realize those articles could take decades to go through and organize, I’m offering my help… They’re buried in there all over but when I find them they’re good. If anyone can do this it’s you, but I wouldn’t want your priorities to be sacrificed either 😉 Ty for all your hard work. My offers sincere.

    Blessings
    KellyS91709

  • Avatar Jenny says:

    Hi Kat,
    I would have never thought of an idea like that! Wow, it’s just what we need! I ordered the Kid’s Adventure Bible off Amazon. I think it’s something my 5 year old son will be interested in. And I plan on doing the prayer sticks. Thanks so much for sharing with everybody. You inspire!
    Jenny

  • Avatar Natalie says:

    I just love the Popsicle stick prayer idea & will be trying that out on my family! I stumbled on your site yesterday & am looking forward to listening to your podcasts!

  • Avatar Caryn says:

    I love this post – very inspiring. We’ve started using the prayer sticks and my boys love them. I just came across this and wanted to share – the Upper Room also publishes a kids’ devotional called Pockets, for ages 6-12. I haven’t read a sample but I thought it looked pretty good. Another possibility for the basket.

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