28 Bible Verses for Kids to Memorize & Know by Heart

As parents, we all hope our children will grow up knowing and loving the Lord. Many of us view it as the most important aspect of parenting.

However, a lot of us are also clueless on how to do it! It’s tempting to rely on a local church program to help us teach our kids about God…—after all, these people are the professionals, right?

It’s true that pastors may know more about the Bible than you do. However, YOU know more about your own child than any pastor ever could!

That knowledge comes in handy when you teach your child about anything else—why wouldn’t it when you teach your child about God? One of the most overlooked tasks of a parent is that of teaching children scripture on a daily basis.

Our children will be far better off if they can learn the Scripture at home, from a trusted parent.

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Bible Verses Every Kid Should Know:

JOHN 3:16

"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (NIV)."

This verse explains salvation quickly and easily! A child with this verse in his arsenal can quote it to explain salvation to a buddy.

PSALM 101:3

"I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them (NLT)."

This is a verse for today’s computer/iPad/cellphone owning kids— they are constantly bombarded by the media. Since some TV shows, movies, and internet content can be harmful for young minds, this verse will remind them to stay away from anything that doesn’t please God.

LUKE 6:31

"Do to others as you would have them do to you (NIV)."

Known even in non-Christian circles as “the golden rule”, this little verse is easy to memorize. Sibling rivalry is often a big problem that kids face in childhood, and this verse can help them think twice before walloping their younger brother or sister on the head.

COLOSSIANS 3:20

"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord (NIV)."

That’s Mom and Dad’s favorite verse! Perhaps the youngsters won’t be too keen on it, but they can remember Exodus 20:12 as well, to remind them that God promises long life to those who honor their parents.

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PHILIPPIANS 4:13

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (NKJV)."

Kids going through rough times at school and at home can be comforted by this verse. If they learn to find strength and a “can do” attitude in God at an early age, there’s no telling what they can accomplish as adults.

ECCLESIASTES 7:22

"Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others (NIV)."

This verse may not be one of the most well-known, but it’s perfect for adolescents dealing with gossip. The Bible hits the nail on the head when it reminds us that we’re good at dishing out the criticism, but we don’t like to take it.

1 JOHN 1:9

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (NIV)."

Humans can be so unforgiving, but kids need to know that God will ALWAYS forgive them when they mess up!

PSALM 118:6

"The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (ESV)."

God is with us all the time! When a child is afraid, he can remember this verse and be confident that God will take care of him and help him.

EPHESIANS 4:32

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (NIV)."

Children tempted to get into squabbles and arguments can remember this scripture passage and learn to forgive others, since God has forgiven them.

PSALM 107:1

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His loving-kindness lasts forever! (NLV)."

A thankful child is a happy child. If a kid learns to be grateful while he’s young, he’ll live a much fuller, joy-filled life.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)"

Out with the old, in with the new! This verse is fabulous for reminding kids that following Jesus isn’t just about getting a “free ticket to heaven”. It’s a super-cool transformation that changes the way we think and act.

PROVERBS 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (NASB)"

Kids have a long journey ahead of them. If they learn to trust God and not their own “hunches” or “instincts”, they will make better decisions along the way.

I CORINTHIANS 15:3-4

"I passed on to you what I received. And this was the most important: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day as the Scriptures say. (ICB)"

It’s the Gospel in a nutshell! This verse helps kids remember the three major Gospel events: Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

COLOSSIANS 3:2

"Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. (NASB)"

Life is filled with material distractions. Kids need to know that “stuff” can make us happy only for a moment. But God can give us true joy that lasts forever.

HEBREWS 18:8

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (NKJV)"

A kid’s world is constantly changing. Is there anything or anyone they can count on forever? Yep! His name is Jesus, and he won’t let them down.

MATTHEW 5:14

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (NIV)"

When kids ask, “what’s my purpose in life?” This is the answer. We were made to be lights in this dark world.

2 TIMOTHY 3:16

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (NIV)"

It’s important for kids to know that God’s Word, the Bible, can be trusted. It was written down by man, but the words were inspired by God himself.

PSALM 119:9

"How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. (NIV)"

Today’s culture definitely doesn’t encourage purity in young people. But they can still follow that path by reading God’s Word and applying it to their lives.

GENESIS 1:1

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV)"

The question of where we come from is crucial. It affects our whole identity. Kids who know that God created all things understand that he created them, too, and has a purpose for their lives.

ROMANS 5:8

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)"

Kids who wonder, “Does God love me?” will find the answer in this verse. God showed us he loves us by dying for us.

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GALATIANS 5:22

"But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong. (NCV)"

When kids allow the Holy Spirit to guide their decisions, they’ll get love, joy, peace and more in their lives. Now that’s some yummy “fruit” that money can’t buy!

PHILIPPIANS 4:8

"Brothers, continue to think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. (ICB)"

Kids who have trouble with negative or impure thoughts can add this verse to their arsenal. The mind is a battlefield, so let’s fight off bad thoughts with good ones!

JAMES 4:2b-3

"You do not get what you want because you do not ask God. Or when you ask, you do not receive because the reason you ask is wrong. You want things only so that you can use them for your own pleasures. (ICB)"

This verse helps children understand that prayer works! But we need to take the time to ask God for what we want, and our motives must be right.

ROMANS 8:35

"Can anything separate us from the love Christ has for us? Can troubles or problems or sufferings or hunger or nakedness or danger or violent death? (NCV)"

If there ever was a “security blanket” in a verse, this is it. Children can find comfort knowing that NOTHING can come between them and God’s love.

I CORINTHIANS 10:31

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God. (NASB)"

“Gray areas” (issues the Bible doesn’t talk about much or at all) can confuse kids. They wonder, “Should I… (insert questionable activity)?” This verse can help with that. If you can’t do it “for the glory of God”, it’s better not to do it at all.

1 JOHN 5:3

"Loving God means obeying his commands. And God’s commands are not too hard for us. (NCV)"

Just love God! That’s what kids will hear over and over in church. But how can they love God? This verse has the answer.

ACTS 5:29

"Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! (NIV)"

Uh-oh. Mom says to tell a lie. God says not to. Both are authorities, but this verse helps kids sort out who to obey.

PSALM 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. (NIV)"

The world’s beauty standards are so unattainable. But kids can feel pressure from all around to look a certain way. This verse gives them confidence that God made them wonderful, just the way they are.

Memorization Strategies for Kids

These mnemonic devices can make memorizing a cinch. They help kids “hide God’s Word in their hearts” so they can whip it out whenever they need it.

Play Video

Write the First Letter of Each Word

This is one of my personal favorites! It’s low effort, high results. All you have to do is write the first letter of each word of the verse on a piece of paper. Then you memorize the verse in steps:

  1. Read the verse a few times
  2. Read it using first letters only, a few times
  3. Try writing the first letters only, from memory
  4. Read it again using first letters only, a few times
  5. Try saying the verse from memory

Put it to Music

If you’ve ever had a commercial jingle stuck on repeat in your head, you know that songs work. So try applying this strategy to Bible verses. There are three ways you could do this:

  1. If you’re musically inclined, you can make up a song yourself.
  2. Sing the verse to the tune of a simple, well-known song like “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”

Find a ready-made song for the verse (Yep, they’re out there!) Here’s one for 2 Corinthians 5:17.

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Make Simple Flashcards

Get a pack of notecards. For shorter verses, write one word from the verse on each card. For longer verses, you could write 2 or more per card. Then lay the cards out on a table and try to put them in order.

Once you feel more confident, try taking away several cards and supply the missing words from memory.

Use Gestures

Put simple actions to key words in the verse. For example, point upwards for “God”, pretend to stroke a fake beard for “Noah”, and cross your arms over your chest for “love”.

Don’t be afraid to make awkward movements–the sillier, the better! That’s because the stranger or funnier something is, the more likely we are to remember it.

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Catch & Repeat/Hot Potato

This strategy works best with groups. Have the kids stand in a circle. Start by saying the first word of the verse. Then toss the ball to a kid. That kid will say the next word, and then toss the ball to another kid. Keep it going until you reach the end of the verse.

Another variation of this is to have the kids sit in a circle and pass around a potato (or a beanbag if you’re keen to spare some spuds).

Play Take Away

Get a whiteboard and a marker, and write out the complete verse. Read it out loud. Then erase one word, and read it out loud again. Continue erasing words and reading it until you can say the entire verse with no hints! (This works great for Sunday School groups, too.)

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