The 23rd Psalm is a well-loved and well-known Bible verse used in the Christian and Jewish religions. The verse reminds believers that God is always with them, and it can also bring enormous comfort when a loved one dies. While your child won't fully grasp the concept of the verse until he's much older, you can still do a few activities that introduce the psalm to him. You might be surprised to hear him recite the verse on his own after just a few days.
1. Act It Out
Give your child a shepherd's costume made from a large T-shirt, a towel or sheet. Use cardboard to make a staff for him to hold. As you read the psalm aloud, encourage your child to pursue actions that go along with what he hears. Another way to learn about the verse is to let your little shepherd pretend to find his lost sheep. Ahead of time, color and cut out 23 small sheep. Find sheep clip art online or draw the sheep with crayons. Hide the sheep around your house or in the backyard and let your child hunt down the sheep. Make the game even more entertaining by making sheep sounds as he hunts.
Make a book with your kiddo that shows what happens in Psalm 23. On the first page, have her draw green pastures and quiet waters. The second page could show your child following the right path. Include additional pages that illustrate the darkest valley, the rod and staff, table, the overflowing cup and the house of the Lord. Write the words on each page of your child's book so you can read it together. Teach your child about being God's sheep by giving him a cut out of a sheep and letting him glue on cotton balls to become the wool. Find a picture of the 23rd Psalm and cut it into several pieces. Encourage your little one to put the puzzle back together.
3. Songs and Books
Sing songs about the 23rd Psalm. Search online or check out music books from the library. Many Christian book stores stock CDs that might teach your child more about the Psalm. Read picture books, too. Your library likely has a few or head to a Christian book store to find some to fill your own library at home. Consider "The Little Shepherd: The 23rd Psalm" by Bijou Le Tord or "Psalm 23" by Tim Ladwig. These books have kid-friendly pictures and easy-to-understand text.
4. Additional Activities
Recite Psalm 23 together and make up your own actions. The actions will help your child remember the words. Add musical instruments to make the recitation even more entertaining. Make puppets out of felt or paper to act out the Psalm as another way to bring it alive for your child. Plant a green pasture in your backyard. Give your child grass seeds and show him a small plot of dirt where he can plant them. Work together to water the green pasture and then watch it grow together.
- In the Beginning: An Old Testament Activity Book; Nicola Currie, Jean Thomson
- Sundy School Network: The Good Shepherd
- The Little Shepherd: The 23rd Psalm; Bijou Le Tord
- Psalm 23; Tim Ladwig
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images