Welcome to chapter one of Journeying Through James: A Bible Reading Plan for Young Children! This post contains an 8 week plan (along with Scripture, questions, crafts, snacks, activities, and videos) that covers the first chapter of the book of James for your young child. If you have older children or teens, you can find their plan here.
The Scriptures provided in this Bible Reading plan are the same ones studied in The Book of James: A Hands-On Homeschooling Curriculum. This curriculum is available in both a print book and pdf format, and allows you and your child to dig even deeper in James this school year. It also includes ideas for using James throughout the curriculum in such subjects as Math, Language Arts, History, Science, and Art. If you are a homeschooling family looking for a fun yet challenging and applicable Bible curriculum, please check this one out!
If you work with children in a ministry setting or if you are a family that is looking for ideas for a weekly family Bible time, you might be interested in Journeying Through James: A 35 Week Study for Families and Churches. This study includes opening activities, a detailed lesson time, and additional activities such as crafts and snacks, and also includes a parent letter along with a complete copy of both of the Bible reading plans that you can send home each week to encourage your children to read the Bible on their own. Click here to view a sample lesson from this study.
Thanks for using the Bible reading plans, and may God bless you and strengthen you as you study the book of James with your family! Before you go, please join our facebook group and like my facebook page for more encouragement and ideas as you raise godly kids in today’s society!
Journeying Through James Read to Me Chapter One (printable pdf)
Week One: James 1:1-4
___ Day One: Read James 1:2-3. This week we are going to talk about a big word: PERSEVERANCE. Can you say that? Let’s clap out the syllables! Now, do you know what it means? It means that you don’t quit – even when things are hard. Talk to your child about times in the past when he has persevered (perhaps learning a new skill – like how to walk or how to tie your shoe). Then give your child a ball and have him practice throwing the ball up in the air and catching it. How high can he throw it and still catch it? Can he clap his hands after throwing it up, and then catch it again? How many times! Remember, don’t give up . . . keep persevering! Toss the ball back and forth as you recite James 1:2-3 with him.
___ Day Two: Read Genesis 37:2-4, 18-28. How would you have felt if you were Joseph? Joseph had a lot of bad things happen to him, but he still loved God and he never gave up. He showed PERSEVERANCE! Print off these pieces from the life of Joseph and have fun playing with your child! We will be revisiting the story of Joseph later, but if you want your kids to hear the whole story today, here is a great video for you:
___ Day Three: Read Acts 5:40-42. What happened to the apostles in these verses? How did they respond? The Bible says they REJOICED that they were suffering for Jesus. In other words, they considered their trials JOY . . . . just like our verses this week! Make a “smiley-face” snack to remind your child of how the apostles responded to persecution. You can use any food you want, and here’s a fun idea to get your creative juices flowing!
___ Day Four: Read Hebrews 12:1-2. How did Jesus persevere? How can YOU persevere? Go out and run with your child! Run around the house or around the block. When you start to get tired, say “You can do it! Let’s try to make it to the end!” After you finish running, talk about how that is like being a Christian . . . we NEVER QUIT!!! Then have a nice, cold drink of water together as you thank Jesus for how He persevered!
___ Day Five: Re-read James 1:2-3. Talk about how some Christians are hurt because they love Jesus. Sometimes they are even put in jail! Make a card to send to Christians who are being hurt because they love Jesus.. See https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/write/ or http://www.prisoneralert.com/vompw_writing.htm for further instructions on this activity.
Week Two: James 1:5-8
___ Day One: James 1:5-8. What should you ask God for? Do you know what wisdom is? Wisdom begins with loving Jesus and doing what He wants us to do! Here is a song to help you to remember to listen to Jesus!
___ Day Two: 1 Kings 3:5, 9-14. What did Solomon ask God for? What did God give to Solomon? Here is a fun video for today:
And a coloring page.
___ Day Three: Luke 2:41-52. Play a game of hide and seek with your child. Take turns being the one who is hidden and the one who is seeking. Then talk with your child about how his parents must have felt when they couldn’t find Jesus. Was Jesus trying to hide from them? No! Discuss how Jesus went back home with his parents and obeyed them. Then he grew wiser and stronger as the years went by. Pray for your child to grow wiser and stronger, too.
___ Day Four: 1 Corinthians 1:25. God is WAY stronger and WAY wiser than anyone else and there is nothing that He cannot do!
___ Day Five: James 1:5-8. This week’s Scripture compares a man who doubts with a wave blown and tossed by the wind. Make your own ocean glitter slime with your kids!
Week Three: James 1:9-11
___ Day One: James 1:9-11. Go outside with your child and find some flowers. Discuss how pretty they are, but they will not last long! Our lives on earth are short, too, and we need to make sure that we spend our lives loving Jesus – not things. Put the flowers in a vase and refer back to them often, reminding your child of today’s Bible reading.
___ Day Two: 1 Kings 21:1-10. Ahab wanted something that someone else had. This is called COVETING. Are you ever in danger of coveting? One of the best ways to help with coveting is to think of all the things you have to be thankful for! Enjoy a snack of grapes with your child and each time he picks up a grape, he has to say one thing he is thankful for before he can eat it. Here is a video for today:
___ Day Three: Luke 12:15-21. How can you be “rich toward God”? We need to love God more than anything else – even more than our favorite toys! Help your child think of ways that he can show that he loves God. Help him make his own “money” with pictures on it of ways that he can show that he loves God.
___ Day Four: Matthew 6:19-21. Talk with your child about ways that he can “store up treasures in heaven”. Help your child make a treasure chest and then fill it with items that will remind him to store up treasures in heaven. Here is one that uses an egg carton.
___ Day Five: James 1:9-11. How can being content help you to not covet what someone else has? Make a list of all you have that you are thankful for. See how long you can get that list to be!
Week Four: James 1:12-15
___ Day One: James 1:12-15. Read the verses out loud, having your child stand on every word that starts with the letter “t” and sit on every other word. Try this several times . . . seeing how fast you can do this! Then discuss what it means to be tempted.
___ Day Two: Genesis 39:6-12. Note: This is a topic that you might not want to introduce your child to yet. If you choose not to read these verses, you can simply explain that Joseph was tempted to do something that was wrong and he NEVER gave in. In fact, he RAN AWAY instead of doing what he knew he shouldn’t do. Sometimes the best thing to do when faced with temptation is to RUN! Take your child outside and practice running! Pretend to be temptation, and chase him around the yard. Teach him to run whenever he sees “temptation” coming. Have fun with this!
___ Day Three: Matthew 4:1-11. Wow! Even Jesus was tempted! He didn’t give in, though, did He? In fact, He used BIBLE VERSES to help Him when He was tempted to do something wrong. Make a Bible verse snack with your child. Take a graham cracker and split it in half. Put frosting on one half and peanut butter on the other. Stick chocolate chips in the middle and put it together as a sandwich. Say: The Bible is full of words that can help us when we want to do what is wrong. God’s words can stick to us, just like this graham cracker is sticking together, and His words are full of all sorts of good things – just like this snack. Let’s eat this snack to remind us of how sweet God’s words are, and how they can help us to do the right thing!
___ Day Four: 1 Corinthians 10:13. Help your child make a “temptation collage”. Draw or glue pictures on a piece of paper of all the things that tempt him. Then talk with him about how God can help him resist those temptations and do the right thing! Pray with him about each area, then rip up the temptations and throw them away!!!!
___ Day Five: James 1:12-15. Make your own crown craft to represent the “crown of life”. If you want to, write James 1:12 around the outside of the crown. Find a printable crown template here.
Week Five: James 1:16-18
___ Day One: James 1:16-18. Isn’t it great to know that God never changes! A lot of things we see change . . . but God will always be the same – a loving God who has a special plan for your life! Go outside and play “shadow tag” with your child. Whoever is “it” has to try to step on the other person’s shadow! Then discuss how our shadows change depending on the sun, but God will NEVER change!
___ Day Two: Genesis 1:1, 26-31. What special things did God give to us in these verses? God gave us all of creation! What is your favorite part of God’s creation? Do you know what GOD’S favorite part was? God’s favorite part was YOU! Give your child different color construction paper, crayons, markers, yarn, buttons, etc and let him create a “self portrait” using all those items. Somewhere on the page have him write (or write for him): Thank you, God, for making ME!
___ Day Three: Luke 11:9-13. How would you feel if you asked me to make eggs for you for breakfast, and instead I cooked a giant spider? You would think I didn’t care about you, wouldn’t you? These verses tell us that GOD loves you and wants to give you GOOD things! How does that make you feel? Make some eggs for your child and talk with him about the great gifts God has given him.
___ Day Four: 1 Peter 4:10-11. God has given you things that you are good at and He wants you to use those things to serve Him. What are some things you are good at? Help your child fill out a “God made Me Special” page to help him discover his gifts. Find one here: Here’s a special song for today:
___ Day Five: James 1:16-18. Make a special gift for a lonely neighbor. Deliver it and share God’s love with that person!
Week Six: James 1:19-21
___ Day One: James 1:19-21. Act out James 1:19 with your child. When you say “quick to listen” he should run really fast. When you say “slow to speak”, he should walk slowly, and when you say “slow to become angry” he should stop. Do this several times to see if he can memorize the verse. A fun song for today:
___ Day Two: 1 Samuel 18:10-11. Who was angry in these verses? What did he do? Saul acted out in anger, didn’t he. He threw a spear at David and tried to kill him! Anger can make us do horrible things! We need to ask God to help us not do bad things when we are angry! Make a spear out of paper towel tubes, cereal boxes, or whatever else you have on hand. Have your child draw ways that he can control his anger on the handle of the spear. The next time he gets angry, take the spear out and remind him things he can do to control his anger.
___ Day Three: Matthew 2:1-12. This is the story of the wise men visiting baby Jesus. Before they saw Jesus, however, they met King Herod. Herod was not happy about baby Jesus. In fact, Herod was very, very jealous. Herod was an angry man and he took his anger out on all those around him! Here is a video for today:
___ Day Four: Ephesians 4:26. This verse tells us that it’s okay to be angry. Everyone gets angry! However, when we are angry, we should not sin. What are some ways we sin when we are angry? This verse also tells us to get over our angry quickly – don’t go to bed angry! Make a sun craft with your child. Paint a yellow or orange circle on a piece of paper. Then paint your child’s hands and have him press his hands around the outside of the circle to make the sun’s rays. Write “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” on the paper. For additional fun, add a small photograph of your child to the circle (the middle of the sun) after the paint dries.
___ Day Five: James 1:19-21. Make a mouth snack with your child.
Week Seven: James 1:22-25
___ Day One: James 1:22-25. These verses tell us that we need to do what the Bible says! If we don’t do what the Bible says, it’s just like if we look in a mirror and then go away and forget what we look like! That’s silly, isn’t it? Make a special mirror craft with your child to help him remember these verses.
___ Day Two: 2 Chronicles 34:1-2, 31-33. Josiah was a person who DID what the Bible said! When he heard what God wanted, he did it! That’s what it means to be a “doer of the Word”. Are you a doer of the Word? Make a crown with your child. Decorate the crown with ways that he can be a doer of the Word. Here is a fun video to go with today’s reading:
___ Day Three: Matthew 21:28-31. Help your child act this story out using puppets. Help him make 3 paper bag puppets (2 sons and the father) and then help him act it out. Stress how it’s not what we say that shows we are obedient but what we do.
___ Day Four: Ephesians 2:10. You are God’s workmanship – His MASTERPIECE – and He has great things for you to do! Help your child make a picture frame using craft sticks and paint, markers, stickers, or whatever else you have on hand. Take a picture of your child. Then glue the craft sticks around it to frame it. Write the words “God’s Masterpiece” on the craft sticks and then let your child decorate it however he wants. Remind your child that He is created by God to DO SOMETHING special!
___ Day Five: James 1:22-25. Help your child clean all the mirrors in your house. Talk about the importance of DOING SOMETHING for Jesus! You might also want to visit an elderly neighbor or friend and clean all the mirrors in her house, too!
Week Eight: James 1:26-27
___ Day One: James 1:26-27. Our tongue is pretty important, isn’t it? Why? We need to be careful that we only say things that JESUS wants us to say! Use a paper plate to help your child think about how to control his tongue! Have your child decorate the paper plate to look like him. Then make a “tongue” out of red construction paper and glue the tongue onto the plate. Talk with your child about the types of words that should come from his mouth. Write examples of this on the tongue on the plate. The next time your child uses his tongue in a bad way, remind him of the tongue from today’s activity!
___ Day Two: 2 Kings 4:1-7. In today’s Bible reading, Elisha helped take care of a widow. (You might need to explain to your child what a widow is). He used a JAR to take care of her, didn’t he? Spend today making a special project in a jar to take to a widow you know. You can decorate and fill a jar with candy, make laundry detergent in a jar, put all the ingredients for hot chocolate in a jar, or whatever you want.
___ Day Three: Acts 6:1-3. In this story, we see the early church taking care of the widows among them. We need to still take care of the people among us who need our help, too! Can you think of some ways to do this? Help your child make cards for the elderly and then visit a nursing home with your child to deliver the cards! (Or deliver the gifts from yesterday and spend time visiting with a widow you know.)
___ Day Four: Philippians 4:8-9. What types of things are we supposed to think about? Take an old white t-shirt and make it as dirty as you can! Your child will have lots of fun making this shirt dirty! Discuss what types of things make us spiritually dirty. What are the things that we often get into that can make us look just as dirty as this shirt? Try to clean the shirt. Will the shirt get clean on its own? No, it will need extra help . . . just like we need help getting clean when we sin. The only one who can help us when we sin is Jesus. Jesus can make us clean! How can we avoid getting dirty again? THINK ABOUT the things mentioned in today’s verses!
___ Day Five: James 1:26-27. Decide on a widow that you will take under your wing as a family. Mow her lawn through the summer, rake her leaves, shovel her snow, clean her house, etc. Find ways that you can bless her and help take care of her.
Now that you’ve finished reading James Chapter One, let’s hear it one more time!
And now it’s time to begin James Chapter Two . . . . See you there!