I remember the day I realized my two year old daughter was a sponge. As she played in the other room, I heard her sigh and say, “Alright …” It would have gone unnoticed by others, but it told me something important: that sigh and that little word, which is my habit each time I set out to tackle a household chore, had not been unnoticed by her. She was learning. She was being discipled in my habits.
This not only made me wonder what bad habits she might pick up from me, but it also reminded me of just how much she is capable of learning at this stage in her development. While others may think it’s worth waiting until children are at least three or four to start teaching them about the Lord, I knew – she’s already learning now, so why wouldn’t I teach her about the most important relationship in the world?
Teaching toddlers about God’s character may seem daunting, but here are my four favorite resources for toddlers. Each is all about God’s character, and all of them are super durable flashcards that are bright and inviting, perfect for her little hands, and some of them are even laminated!
One of the reasons I most love these cards is because they introduce the alphabet to my two-year-old. She can pick out a couple of letters by sight and tell you the sound that they make. But as she’s learning this essential skill, even as we sing the ABC song for the millionth time, I’m also taking the opportunity to teach her about God’s unchanging character. These attribute cards go through character traits that belong to God, and show how they are taught in Scripture. With simple definitions for each, it is just enough content for her to listen to and sit through (before we sing the alphabet song yet again).
These may be an unexpected source for teaching your kids about the character of God, but this famous prayer from the Bible teaches us a lot about who God is. Each card addresses one phrase from the Lord’s Prayer, teaching kids why we can call God “Father” and what it means when we say “amen.” These cards are great to keep on the dining room table or on a bedside nightstand. Anytime we pray we are reaching for them, and their simple prayer prompts have given us ample opportunity to talk about why we talk to God and what it means when we do.
These are another set of alphabet cards, but they introduced cursive letters, which I’m glad to do at almost any stage. Call it a personal preference, but I like that my child can see different styles of writing even as she learns the basics of the alphabet. The names of God throughout Scripture tell us so much about who he is, too! This simple set of cards has a brief description of the names that we see forgotten scripture, teaching kids that God is the Father to the fatherless, that he is Living Water, the Bread of Life, and so much more.
These cards are perfect for teaching kids character from a young age! The fruit of the Spirit (from Galatians) guides and directs us how to live lives that reflect the character of God. Even my two-year-old can understand what it means to love God or have a joyful heart when asked to obey a command. But the thing I love most about these cards is that they teach kids how God has expressed these attributes in his own character, and how he empowers us to mirror his character when we could not do so on our own. Even my two-year-old can understand that she is to be patient, but these cards will grow with her as she learns that God has been patient with her and that she can rely on his help to learn and grow and patience. As always, each attribute comes with a Scripture reference so that kids know that these come from God‘s word!
These are some of my favorite resources for teaching toddlers about God’s character. Let me know your favorites in the comments!