Books to Stock in your Church Nursery or Preschool

Reading books to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers helps them build language, learn about the world around them, and develop listening skills. Even reading to babies is important to help them begin developing the tone and rhythm of language. So as you're snuggling with babies and playing with preschoolers, here are some books I recommend for your church nursery or preschool classes. Are there any you recognize? Are there any you'd add to these lists? Nursery Books: Good News! God Made Me! by Glennys Nellist (this is one of my toddler's favorites!) Thank You, God from A to Z by Pamela Kennedy Baby's Hug-a-Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones First 100 Words by Roger Priddy Psalms of Praise: A Movement Primer by Danielle Hitchen and Jessica Blanchard All Day Long, God Loves Me by Mikal Keefer First I Say a Prayer by Crystal Bowman...

Book Review & Giveaway: You’ll Find Me at the Ocean

This week, we're teaming up with Martha Black from Martha Black Ministries to share about her new book: You'll Find Me at the Ocean - A Journey of Grief through the Eyes of a Child. Martha is an author, blogger, wife, mom, and a public elementary school teacher, who lost her mom to cancer in 2015. She felt God leading her to begin a grief ministry for others who were also hurting from the loss of a loved one, and she wrote this book as an extension of that ministry. (Learn how to win a free copy below!) The book tells the story of young Beth, whose mama is dying of cancer. Mama shares with her daughter how she will always be near, even after she has passed away from her earthly life. Mama reassures Beth that she can always be found at the ocean: in the seashells, the salty breeze, the sunrise, and so many more places. One of my favorite...

Resources for Talking With Kids About Race

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Racism is a sin. In an episode of The Kids Ministry Collective Podcast, Mahogany Dudley-Finley labels racism for what it is: a sin. She encourages children's ministry leaders to recognize that and then approach teaching about racism the same way we teach children about other sins. (Listen to the full podcast episode here.) As we examine our own hearts regarding racism and equip the families we lead to do the same, here are some resources to facilitate conversations and change on a personal, communal, and global level:[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion][vc_tta_section title="Resources to Share with Families" tab_id="1591196869353-de23a9f8-e82a"][vc_column_text] Resource Roundup - An entire blog post about talking with kids about race including developmental studies (babies as young as 6 months notice...

Book Review: The Family Board Meeting

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In January, I shared my KidMin Reading List for 2020, and I wanted to tell you about the first book I read: The Family Board Meeting.  My friend Joy Canupp sent me this book when we announced our pregnancy back in August 2019, and as my husband and I are now a month in to life as new parents, this book has already given me so much to think about, pray about, and implement as our family grows. And with kids across the country at home this week from Covid-19 school closings, the book's emphasis on quality family time is relevant for everyone.  It's a nice, quick little read (not even 100 pages), but it's full of encouragement and ideas for being intentional at home, even in the midst of the busy-ness. As a ministry leader, I know you know the challenge of balancing family and ministry, and this book had...

KidMin Reading List for the New Year

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I'm an avid reader, and reading is one of my favorite ways to learn about ministry and leadership! Now that I've completed my seminary degree (woop woop!) I've got even more time to read books of my own choosing, so here are the kidmin/leadership books (in no particular order) I'm hoping to read in 2020, with one book for each month! What's on your reading list for this year?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="21689" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://amzn.to/2Pxp2ra"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] Sustainable Children's Ministry: From Last-Minute Scrambling to Long-Term Solutions - Burnout is such a problem in ministry, and especially in children's ministry. I'm hoping this...

Giveaway: Breakfast with Jesus 100 Devotions for Kids

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]'Tis the season of giving, so we're having another giveaway! Breakfast with Jesus: 100 Devotions for Kids About the Life of Jesus is a brand new, just-released kids devotional from Vanessa Myers that encourages kids to start their day with Jesus. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and now breakfast can provide physical AND spiritual nourishment with this devotional! Each devotion comes from one of the four Gospels, and they encourage kids to put themselves in the disciples' shoes, ready to learn from Jesus' teachings. The devotions are short enough to complete over breakfast, and practical enough to keep kids (and parents) engaged and thinking about them throughout the day.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="21496" img_size="full" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]Each day’s reading...

Christmas Resource Review & Giveaway: Confusing Christmas Activity Book for Kids!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This week, I'm teaming up with the authors over at Kid-tivity Books to offer our followers a giveaway! Kid-tivity Books provides beautifully designed resources to help kids and families engage with Biblical truths, and this week, we're giving away a free copy of their most popular Christmas resource, Confusing Christmas, to one lucky winner! It's the perfect gift for families at Christmas! Order a single physical copy here, or download the digital version to print unlimited copies for your families here![/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="20978" img_size="full" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]I got my hands on a digital copy of Confusing Christmas, and this 30-page activity book teaches kids the Christmas story through interactive activities, a unique family story, and coloring pages! In this book...

Worship as a Way of Life

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When I say "worship," pictures of waving arms, jumping, and Yancy may pop into your head. And while those are very real aspects of worship, if we let kids believe that worship is ONLY singing songs of praise to God, we're missing the mark.  Worship is more than just singing songs; it’s a way of life! It's a whole-life response to God and His greatness. Sometimes that means singing praise songs, but it also means so much more. We can worship God through our actions, our words, and our songs. When we serve, we are worshiping. When talk about God to others, we are worshiping. When we spend time thinking about how awesome God is, we position ourselves into a posture of worship. Worship doesn't just happen on Sunday mornings. It's the moments walking in between when God stirs our hearts with His presence and...

Help Grandparents Pass on Stories of Faith: Heirlooms Resource Review

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Deeper KidMin family is growing! My husband and I are expecting our first child, due in February, and we could not be more excited! When we shared the exciting news with my parents, I wanted to find a gift to help them start preparing for their first grandchild, and Tina Houser's new book for grandparents was perfect! Heirlooms encourages grandparents (of all circumstances and styles) to share stories and experiences with their grandchildren. Stories draw out emotions, help us relate to each other, answer questions, and show God’s faithfulness. And when you share stories of your life and faith with your grandkids, you help them develop their own stories of life and faith. Tina reminds grandparents: You have a story. Your story is important. It’s important to you, it’s important to the people you...

Faith Without Sight Experiment

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Want a taste of some of the super activities in Conquering Fear Kids Devotional from RoseKidz Publishing? The author and publishers gave me permission to share a free activity with you! Check it out![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download printable version here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F08%2FDKM-Faith-Without-Sight-Experiment-.pdf||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text] Sometimes it's hard to have faith in Jesus because we can't physically see him anymore. Do this experiment with a grown-up to show how seeing is not believing. Materials: 1 package of yeast 1/4 cup warm water 1 teaspoon sugar Directions: Mix the yeast, water, and sugar together. Wait for about 10 minutes. See what happens! Isn't that incredible? Even...

Conquering Fear Kids Devotional Resource Review

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Box office numbers don't lie, and they tell us that superheroes are in right now. So why not give kids a devotional that uses this superhero fad to develop a super incredible faith? Conquering Fear from RoseKidz Publishing is a 52-week devotional for preteens ages 10-12. Each week includes 6 days of lessons and activities to help kids become one of God's superheroes. Each week has 1-2 Scripture-based devotionals for kids to read and respond to, and then the other activities for the week invite kids to explore the main idea in a variety of ways, including through art, building with Lego's, journaling, and even decoding secret messages! I love how the activities encourage kids to apply scripture in a variety of ways - every kid can find something they enjoy in this devotional! Since each page and activity...

Victory in Jesus Book Review

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I'm already a fan of Anne Marie Gosnell and her books on object lessons for kids (check out the OT object lessons book here) so when I heard she wrote an object lesson book all about the life of Jesus, I couldn't wait to check it out! Victory in Jesus did not disappoint. The 21 interactive object lessons are written for kids ages 5-12, and they're designed to last 20-30 minutes. That may seem like a long time for one object lesson, but several of the lessons also include background information (so you can teach the story in context), geography information (so kids know where the story happens), and a life application (so kids know why it's relevant). I love these additional resources with each object lesson to help round out the lesson and give kids a deeper understanding of the big picture of Jesus'...

Resource Review: Pray Like This – A Guided Prayer Journal For Kids

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I'm always looking for new resources teaching kids about prayer, so I was pumped to stumble across a brand-new guided prayer journal for kids: Pray Like This. Pray Like This walks kids through a daily time of prayer that includes a portion of the Lord's Prayer, Scripture, a short explanation, a prayer prompt, and space to journal/write/draw in response to the day's idea. In the intro, it encourages kids to make this journal their own, giving them the freedom to doodle, underline, draw, or color in the book to their heart's content.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="13982" img_size="large" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]Throughout the journal, kids have the chance to break down the Lord's prayer, learn what each piece of the prayer really means, and pray about ways they can apply the prayer in their...

Rock Stars Book Review and Giveaway

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="12049" img_size="medium" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2CSaJ99"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Rock Stars: Inspiring a Team of Unstoppable Volunteers By KidMin Nation (Editor: Tina Houser) My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: April 2019[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you lead volunteers, you want to encourage and equip your volunteers My thoughts: This book came at the perfect time! We just finished up Admin April 2019, focusing on all things volunteers, so I loved reading this book that gave me new ideas and perspectives on volunteers too. This isn't the first time I've been honored to have a chapter published...

Lean In Giveaway Results & Your KidMin Goals

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In the latest giveaway for this book from KidMin Nation, I asked you to tell me about one of your goals for the year and how you plan to accomplish it. And boy do you have some big goals! I love seeing how you’re thinking big and starting small with your plans for the year ahead.  Congratulations to Kristina in Washington State for winning a free copy of the book! Kristina said her goal for the year was all about volunteer management: I want to learn how to train and empower my volunteer team. I really struggle with this area in the past. Working toward this goal by strategically planning our bi-annual trainings (the purpose, what we will cover, how to appreciate them). What do I teach them? And how/what do I teach them depending on the age they teach. I'd like to find ways each month to do this rather...

Lean In Book Review and Giveaway

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="8992" img_size="medium" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2CSaJ99"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Lean In: Leverage Your Influence for Ministry Impact By KidMin Nation (Editor: Tina Houser) My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: December 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you are a leader, you want to grow as a leader, you don't feel like a leader but want to My thoughts: Third time's a charm! I'm so excited to have had another chance to be included for publication in a KidMin Nation book. While the first book was all about connecting with parents (see more details here) and the second book was all about connecting...

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women (Lit Lowdown)

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="7254" img_size="medium" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2ShLiI4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Beloved: 365 Devotions For Young Women By Lindsay Franklin My rating: 4/5 stars - I really liked it     Reviewed: November 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you are a woman of God, you are (or know) a woman in her teens and twenties, you are looking for a devotional about what God says about women in the Bible My Thoughts:  I love that this devotional speaks to women specifically, highlighting the way God wired us uniquely. “Your identity as a woman matters to God, beloved daughter, so let’s see what He has to say about it.” It’s geared...

You Can Never Have Too Many Object Lessons: Irresistible Giveaway Results and Responses

I loved doing another giveaway for KidMin Nation's second book Irresistible: How to Engage Kids and Point Them to Jesus. To be entered to win, KidMin leaders from across the globe had to answer one question: What is one of your favorite object lessons for children’s ministry? One of my favorite chapters from the book was all about object lessons, so it was the perfect question. And man was I blown away by the creativity and passion for helping kids connect biblical truths to every-day things. I plan on using some of these ideas in the future, and I hope they spark some creativity for you too! "My favorite object lesson is on salvation. You write on a dry erase board with a Sharpie marker. You can write specific sins or just the word "Sin". Talk to the kids about how we can't get rid of our sins by ourselves, and sometimes our sin feels...

Irresistible Review and Giveaway

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="5024" img_size="medium" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2FUWbcZ"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Irresistible: How to Engage Kids And Point Them to Jesus By KidMin Nation (Editor: Tina Houser) My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: June 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you lead or teach children in a Christian setting, you want to know how to help kids connect with Jesus, or you want to learn about engaging kids in a variety of ways. My thoughts: It happened again! I’m thrilled and honored by this opportunity to have a second chapter published in a KidMin Nation book (missed the first one about equipping...

What God is Doing: OT Object Lessons for Kids Book Review

As a children’s pastor, you can never have too many object lessons. Object lessons are so important for reaching kids on their level and connecting Biblical truths to everyday things. What God is Doing by Anne Marie Gosnell of Future Flying Saucers is an excellent resource for finding and implementing object lessons that will stick with your kids. The book contains 25 different object lessons for Old Testament stories, with each lesson including 25-30 minutes worth of activities including the object lesson itself, the Bible lesson, a life application (so important), and finally a comment box for you to evaluate how the activity went so you can improve in the future. It even comes with additional resources like coloring pages, access to digital posters, tips on being a good Bible teacher, and more. Use this book sporadically or use the...

Raising Passionate Jesus Followers (Lit Lowdown)

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="4697" img_size="medium" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2G4UEQF"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Raising Passionate Jesus Followers: The Power of Intentional Parenting By Phil & Diane Comer My rating: 4/5 stars - I really liked it     Read: April 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you want to raise passionate Jesus followers, you lead children, youth, or families in developing their faith, you want both theoretical and practical advice for raising children in the Christian faith My Thoughts: I do not yet have children, so my responses and thoughts to this book can only be hypothetical at this point, but serving as a children’s pastor includes...

Equipping Parents – Ideas from Leaders Just Like You

I had a great response to my giveaway of Home Grown, the new book from the KidMin Nation Library. To be entered to win, KidMin leaders from across the globe had to answer one question: What is one way you equip the parents in your ministry to be spiritual leaders in their homes? And the responses were excellent! Both rookie and veteran leaders shared their thoughts, and their honesty, vulnerability, and creativity blew me away! So I wanted to share some of the answers leaders posted, and I hope they spark ideas and creativity for you too. This is something that's been pulling strong at my heart here lately. I'm a brand new children's ministry director and unfortunately, there's never been a plan of action to equip parents. This is something I would love to implement asap. Thank you so much for the blessed opportunity to win this great...

Home Grown Review and Giveaway

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="4365" img_size="medium" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2MCjw3B"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Home Grown: How to Equip Parents for Spiritual Leadership By KidMin Nation (Editor: Tina Houser) My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: March 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you serve in children's ministry, you think parents are an important part of discipleship, you want more practical ideas for equipping parents that you can implement today. My thoughts: As a contributing author to this book (check out chapter 4 for my thoughts on being a parent cheerleader), I am a little bit biased. But there really is so much good stuff in this...

Faithful Finance (Lit Lowdown)

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="3703" img_size="medium" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2B6TUaq"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Faithful Finance: 10 Secrets to Move from Fearful Insecurity to Confident Control By Emily G. Stroud My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: January 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you are a Christian who spends money, talking about finances stresses you out (two hands raised over here) but you know you need to know this stuff, or you want a Godly perspective of maintaining your personal finances that is simple enough to understand and apply. My thoughts: I will be the first person to admit that talking about finances gives me heart...

May the Faith Be With You Kids Bible Review

In a galaxy not so far, far away, ZonderKidz (a branch of Zondervan) just released a brand new Bible for children with a Star Wars theme that invites kids to "apprentice under the Ultimate Master himself - Jesus Christ". In the May the Faith Be With You Bible, the colorful inserts invite kids to "use the force" of God's Word in their everyday lives and look deeper into "master moments" that highlight God's role as the Creator and Jesus' role as Savior. Many of the inserts seem similar to inserts found in other ZonderKidz Bibles, just updated to fit the overall theme. It includes the complete text of the NIrV version of the Bible, which takes the NIV and uses definitions for big words rather than the words themselves and is set at a 3rd grade reading level. I like using this version when teaching, but wouldn't want it for a child's Bible...