It can be hard to know where to start with the Bible. It’s a big book! Or rather, it’s lots of smaller books, all gathered into one. It’s full of stories, poems, law, history, myths, moral instructions, dreams, ideas, miracles, and more!
Here are some activities to help you and your family get to know the Bible generally, and to see how the pieces fit together.
Make a Bible Picture Timeline
You will need: washing line (strung up somewhere in the house that you can reach, and see clearly), clothespegs, and a whole bunch of pictures* of bible stories (if you laminate your pictures you’ll be able to use them again and again). If you want to start with a game, you can hide the pictures all over the house and then go hunting for them, and work out together what order they should go in on the washing line. Most people would go for chronological order first – starting with creation.
If your timeline was a song with lots of verses, how would the chorus go? What words would you want to include in the chorus, that go with the stories that make up the big story of the whole Bible? Have a go at writing a chorus (to a well known tune) using some of the keywords that you thought of.
More things to do with your pictures
When you’ve done that, why not try other ways of ordering or grouping the pictures – you could group all the historical stories together, all the myths together, all the stories of Jesus together etc.
You could place all the cards face down and take it in turns to turn over two – you’re not looking for a matching pair, but when you see your cards you might like to say something that they have in common, or say how they are different, or you might simply choose to recap those stories; you could also say which of the two is your favourite story and why….
*If you’re pretty confident about your bible knowledge and you’re doing this to help your children learn, you can use an internet search to look for pictures to go with specific stories. If you’re not so confident, you may want to start by buying a children’s bible cheaply from a charity shop and cutting out some of the pictures.
Make a Bible Scrapbook
You will also need a blank scrapbook and a stack of smaller pieces of paper (small enough to stick into the scrapbook), some pens and glue.
Each member of the family can choose their own favourite bible story, and either write their own version of it or draw a picture of it on a piece of paper. You can even just write a favourite bible verse if you like. Stick these into the scrapbook – you might like to add a note saying whose each picture was, and the date, just as you might in a photo album.
As you use the bible stories and resources on this site, stick into your scrapbook any pictures you draw, or anything else you produce that is in response to the bible stories.
You might like to take some pieces of paper to church so that you can draw there, too, and keep a record of what the stories of the Bible mean to you as you hear them. If there’s no Sunday School, drawing can be a great way of engaging with the readings.
If you know another family who is also doing this project, you could invite them to take part in a ‘story swap’ – they draw you their favourite stories, and you draw yours for them, so that your scrapbooks can each grow bigger and more diverse.