Shortly after my daughter Louisa turned eight last fall, a friend shared with me a significant rite of passage her mother had initiated for her at 8-years-old. This wise mother had bought her daughter a devotional book and encouraged her to begin her own “quiet times” with God, empowering her to seek God’s presence without an overseeing adult.
I knew that my own daughter, a confident reader and a curious spiritual seeker, was ready to begin her own journey of daily enjoying God’s company. So I waded through a huge selection of devotional guides online and solicited recommendations from other moms, and when I presented Louisa with the book I chose, I found her eager, receptive, and honored to begin this spiritual discipline. I encouraged her to grab her journal, find a restful place, quiet her heart and mind, ask God for wisdom as she handles His Word, read, and listen for His still, small voice.
I’ve rounded up various age-appropriate resources here, and I hope you’ll find them useful in guiding your children into the welcoming presence of God. Your child may or may not be developmentally ready for private devotions. But he is absolutely capable of spending time in God’s company, and is invited into that kind of communion by Jesus Himself, who demonstrates in Matthew 19 that His desire is for children to come to Him. May God bless you as you shepherd your children toward His arms.
Crystal Bowman’s Devotions for Beginning Readers
Intended for K-3rd graders, this book is written with simple language to make devotional reading accessible for young children.
Crystal Bowman’s Our Daily Bread for Kids
This devotional for kids ages 6-10 follows in the tradition of the well-loved Daily Bread devotionals.
OLDER ELEMENTARY STUDENTS & TWEENS
Max Lucado’s Grace for the Moment
Lucado addresses foundational spiritual truths while also offering practical suggestions for living out faith (for example, finding a task you can do around the house to “serve in secret.”)
Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life Devotional for Kids
Embracing the same themes as the bestselling book, this kids’ devotional gives children an opportunity to think through God’s purposes for their own lives.
Carolyn Larsen’s For Girls Only! Devotions
I chose this book for Louisa because it deals with social situations she’s beginning to encounter at school. Written for girls age 8-12, the daily meditations include stories, Bible verses, and little activities like self-assessment quizzes.
Adventures in Odyssey’s 90 Devotions for Kids: Life-Changing Values from the Book of Matthew
Kids who already enjoy the Adventures in Odyssey series will be excited to explore this book. For ages 8-12, it’s marketed for both family devotions and individual quiet times for kids.