How we do family devotions with a toddler. It's possible! With a little trial and error we fell into a routine that works beautiful for our family.

How We Do Family Devotions with a Toddler

To be honest, neither us grew up doing family devotions. My husband and I have never seen them done, and we’ve only read about them in books. Getting family devotions started in our family was not easy. We didn’t know where to start, how to do it, or even what to do when we did start.

Do you do family devotions at sunrise? Breakfast? Bedtime? Three times a day? We didn’t have a clue.

But after talking and praying (and talking and praying some more), we developed a plan for family devotions because we believe in teaching our children the Biblical truths of God’s Word. After a little trial and error, we’ve fallen into a routine that works beautifully for our family.

How we do family devotions with a toddler. It's possible! With a little trial and error we fell into a routine that works beautiful for our family. -

How We Do Family Devotions with a Toddler

We decided to do our family devotions at the breakfast table. We took a cue from Carrie Ward author of Together: Growing Appetites for God on this being a great time to do devotions with small children in the home. In addition, we consistently have breakfast together. For us, breakfast is a pretty leisurely affair each morning.

However, we rarely eat lunch together as a family, and dinner is hit or miss whether we’ll go out to eat, have meetings, or something altogether crazy.

Plus dinner is always hectic and toddlers are cranky (at least mine is) in the evening. So we chose breakfast as the best time to do our family devotions.


After everyone has pretty much finished eating (the toddler will pick forever so he’s usually still nibbling), we start by singing a song together.

Our two song choices for our two year old is Jesus Loves Me and the Doxology. Simple songs with fundamental truths attached.

It’s certainly not the prettiest sound you ever heard, but we have fun and often have to sing the song about five or six times before our two year old is done worshiping. It’s cute.


Then my husband will read a short (and I mean short) passage of scripture. There is no rhyme or reason to our reading at the moment. Maybe someday there will be, but for now we’ve read The Creation Story (which was a lot of fun by the way) and Psalms and Proverbs at random.

The point for us is to just do something. We’re new at this so we’ll get more structured later (if we want), but for now we are creating a Bible reading habit for our family.


Once we’ve read our Bible, we move on to the Catechism. Samuel absolutely loves doing this. I got ours from

With our two year old, we are starting with the first five questions of the Catechism.

My husband asks the questions, and I walk my son through the answers. He just turned two and can already answer 3 of the 5 questions.

We’ve been consistently, inconsistent (like that?) with family devotions for about two months. He is catching on a lot faster than I expected! I was totally not prepared. We had plans to just do the first five questions until he was three, but if he gets them down, we’ll add five more to our daily routine.

Below is a video of us walking through the Catechism. You’ll notice we are totally informal! And yes we are working on table etiquette, but he’s all boy and it’s slow going! But this is real life…

{If you can’t see the video, then click here – Family Devotions: Toddler Learning Catechism}

Memory Verse

Next we review our memory verse together. Right now we’re working on Genesis 1:1. Once he memorizes Genesis 1:1, we’ll move on through the following scriptures:

  • Matthew 22:37
  • John 3:16
  • Matthew 22:39
  • John 14:16
  • Luke 19:10
  • Ephesians 6:1
  • John 1:1

The focus is on the fundamental truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the verses are relatively simple to memorize.

Again, I’m shocked at how well Samuel is doing with Genesis 1:1. Once he starts talking in complete sentences, this is going to be a simple task for him, I believe.

Below is a video of our toddler saying his memory verse with Daddy.

{If you can’t see the video, then click here – Family Devotions: Toddler Memory Verse}


Finally we wrap up our family devotions with a prayer. We always tell Samuel what we’re going to pray for before we start as a way to prepare him for how long the prayer will be. Then we all hold hands while Daddy prays.

This is how we do it most often. However there are days that Mommy’s heart needs to pray, or we will walk Samuel through praying himself. Right now we stick to: God, thank you. In Jesus name, Amen. Nothing fancy, but he enjoys being a part of what he sees us do so often.

Additional notes:

  • We do family devotions seven days a week.
  • We do the same exact routine every single day.
  • We don’t do them every day.
  • We accept grace.
  • Our toddler is not always so cooperative.
  • Daddy is not always here.
  • Mommy leads devotions when Daddy travels.
  • Mommy forgets to do devotions when Daddy’s gone far too often.
  • We keep all our material in a notebook beside our kitchen table.

And that’s how we do family devotions with a toddler. It’s not fancy, and quite frankly it’s often messy. We drop spoons, we spill milk, and sometimes our little two year old refuses to cooperate altogether. But we persevere by grace knowing it’s not about how it looks, but about our hearts.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

P.S. Since this post was first published we have changed a little bit with how we do devotions. Check out this post here for what we do with our preschooler and toddler.

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How We Do Family Devotions with a Toddler

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this!! It was more helpful than you know. My heart is to train up my girls in the Lord’s ways, but I’m finding that is so much easier said than done! My oldest just turned 2 and your toddler devotions, at breakfast, sound completely doable with her!! Thank you again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you for encouraging me to just start somewhere. I have found the website to be very helpful and fun when it comes to teaching my children about the bible. I think you and your family may enjoy it as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Leigh Ann are you a Jehovah’s witness? Just curious bc I’m not. I believe in the full gospel of Gods word and just love your guidance. I’m wondering if you have your “notebook” somewhere for copying or modeling after? ..the devotion one you keep in your kitchen

    2. is not a Christian website. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe Jesus is God, but believe He was a created being, which is false (Colossians 1:16-18). They support their beliefs by twisting Scripture via their own translation of the Bible.

  3. It’s encouraging to hear from another family with similar practice to my own. ๐Ÿ˜€
    One of the things that has really helped my toddler pay attention during our family worship time is integrating her catechism questions into the explanations of the Bible readings we do. The most common ones to come up for us are “What is sin?” “What is the punishment for sin” (especially in Leviticus-Deuteronomy) “What do the 10 commandments teach us?” It’s amazing how the simple toddler catechism questions integrate with so many areas of Scripture.
    My family reads through one chapter each time (longer than 40 verses we might split up), but only explain the main point of the passage very briefly.
    We do a sequential chapter from the OT most mornings and one from the NT in the evening. Other than that, it’s pretty similar to what your family does. Prayer and singing. While the sitting still part itself is not so fun for my toddler, she loves the time we spend together. I think it’s the highlight of everyone’s day!

    1. p.s. For context, my family is Presbyterian. We subscribe to the Westminster Standards as a faithful exposition of the doctrine the Scriptures teach.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this! I didn’t grow up with devotionals either, and neither did my husband. I so want to make this a part of my child’s life and didn’t know where to start either or what a two year old could handle. THANK YOU.

  5. Wow! My daughter is two as well. Totally didn’t think she would be capable to do this but after watching your videos I think I am underestimating her abilities. Can’t wait to try. It will be a challenge for us as well as my husband and I did not grow up having family devotions either.

  6. Hello! I have found your post to be very encouraging! I started this with my two year old five months ago and we are now on question 25 and she has them all memorized. But recently Iโ€™ve heard from others that it is not a great idea to catechize so young better to wait until five years old when itโ€™s not just memorization but understanding. It has discouraged me and wondering if I should quit and wait until I can help her memorize them while she can have an understanding? They say this approach I am taking now could be legalistic and take the fun out of learning. Please let me know your rebuttal to these thoughts.

    1. Hi there! Welcome to the world of many opinions on how you should parent. ๐Ÿ™‚ First, go you for being intentional to instill God’s truth into your little one’s heart. You are storing up treasures that will be there when she is old enough to fully grasp the meaning of what she has memorized. I say if you’re having fun with your daughter, then keep going, Mama.

      On a practical note, I would encourage you to check out the classical style of education. The Well-Trained Mind is a great book on this topic. If this style of teaching your child works for you, then know that many have done it before you and there is plenty of evidence to back it up as an effective strategy to education.

      You’re doing a good work.