Learning to discern God’s voice is difficult even for adults, but it is especially challenging to teach the concept to toddlers and preschoolers. When the never-ending questions relate to God, even the most spiritually based mom may throw up her hands in exasperation, plead the fifth or change the subject. Many easily distracted toddlers and preschoolers are more apt to learn about God’s voice through daily life’s lessons rather than formal instruction.
1. Story Time Activity
One of the best ways to hear God’s voice is to be familiar with His teachings. Many toddlers and preschoolers enjoy cuddling next to Mom or Dad while hearing Bible stories. Invest in one that is age-appropriate and has lots of colorful pictures to illustrate His Word. A couple of examples are “Noah’s Ark: Baby’s First Bible” by Roger Priddy and “The Bible for Little Ones” by Juliet David. Make it a habit to read from the book before helping the youngster say his prayers at bedtime. Be prepared to field lots of inquisitive questions such as “But how did God get smart enough to make the earth?” and other mind-boggling inquiries. Assure your little scholar that there are some questions we won’t know the answer to until we join God in heaven.
2. Praying and Quiet Time Activity
When your child complains that one of his friends or siblings isn’t speaking to him because the youngster is mad or stubborn, take this opportunity to explain how God yearns for us to communicate with him. Tell him that unlike busy humans, God is always ready to listen to him about any thing he wants to talk about -- large or small. Teach him that it makes God smile when the little one kneels beside his bed each night, talks to Him and shares a quiet time with Him. Kneel alongside your child and explain that this posture is showing respect and obedience to the Almighty and that many believers do this each night and first thing in the morning. They believe when they are quiet is the best time to hear God’s voice. Explain that your child doesn’t always have to kneel to get God’s attention.Tell him that God is available anytime, whenever he is lonely, troubled, bored, happy or sad.God always has His listening ear turned on for the child and all who believe in Him.
3. Roleplaying Activities
Put your arm around your child when he is feeling remorse because he was mean to someone or when he beams with pride because he helped a peer do something that was difficult for her. Explain to him that those feelings are little messages from God. These messages help guide little and big boys and girls throughout their lives. God tugs at their heartstrings when they do something bad and He sends joy into their hearts when they are helpful to others. Tell him that if he listens carefully to these messages he will often know exactly what to do in any type of situation.
4. Animal Activities
Point out to your child that even though animals do not speak a human language there are ways we can figure out exactly where they are telling us. For instance, if your pet dog scratches at the front door, family members know that it needs to go outside to potty. If the cat hisses when you pet it while it is eating its food, everyone knows it is time to back off so the cat can enjoy his meal in peace. Tell your tot that God speaks to us in the same way, not with an audible voice, but the child can still hear His voice by listening to the whisperings in his heart or his conscience.