The kids and I have been working through a new book for children’s devotionals, called Snuggle Time Devotions That End with a Hug! I wanted to introduce them, especially Claire, to the habit of daily devotions – reading & talking about the Bible together so I can help her connect the dots as we move through Gospel Truth.
The book consists of 52 rhyming stories that focus on Biblical stories. Each lesson has an overview of the story. There is also a “Takeaway” which is connection to the underlying truth in each story. There is also a memory verse & activity with each lesson.
Many of the activities don’t have much connection to the story, like drawing a picture of your family for the lesson that God is a forgiving God for instance. There were several activities that we enjoyed a lot, like making crafts of sheep with cotton balls to remind us that God is our Shepherd and we are his sheep, writing out a prayer and a week later revisiting that to see how God answered it, and doing something kind for someone just to be a blessing to them.
Each lesson does end with a hug and my kids enjoy that and it’s also connected with the lesson. For instance, “Give the one who believes God can do ALL things a great big hug!”
Something that was a bit disappointing in the book is that the stories are very general, watered down so to speak, with just the overarching idea of the story being presented. I highly encourage others to open the Bible and read that story together in it’s entirety. While the stories are cute, rhyming and light-hearted, I want to actually teach my kids that these “stories” are a part of real history and that they are a part of God’s inspired word, not just some fun make-believe stuff to teach morality. Therefore, in addition to this devotional, we are also going through Long Story Short for more spiritual meat (we also love Old Story New and we have The Gospel Story Bible by the same author too).
That’s really the most critical point in my review. However I also know that I have a hard time distinguishing age-appropriate material because I like the meat of spiritual things, not just the milk. My kids obviously aren’t Bible scholars so they enjoy the stories even if the stories don’t articulate very much of the actual story in the Bible. It is my choice to beef up the story/lesson time with more from the Bible each day.
It is a light-hearted and pleasant book, we really like the illustrations, they are well done. I do wish there were more “children of the world” portrayed in the illustrations so that not all of the pictures presented a traditional American (white) view of faith but that many ethnicities are worshippers of God Almighty. The cover is one of the only illustrations that present more than Caucasian people in the book and I thought that was sad.
Overall, this is a good intro to devotions for very young kids. Some work may need to be done to challenge bright young ones or slightly older than toddler aged children.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.