Review is a key part of any memory verse learning plan. I highly encourage you to make VBS memory verse books for all of your Vacation Bible School students. Hasten Home provides the pages for your VBS memory verse books as part of each VBS curriculum. The words to the memory verse songs are printed in the books, as well.
In this post, I will show you how we made similar fun-to-use memory verse books for use in Little Brother's and Strawbriella's personal memory verse goals. They have really enjoyed their memory verse books. The books made a huge difference in retention, as well — especially for Little Brother (who cannot even read yet, by the way).
This is a good project to do together with your children.
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- 3x5 index cards (I like the ones that are lined on one side. White or colored will both work fine.)
- pen (This is definitely a favorite pen of mine.)
- highlighter (optional, but fun)
- single-hole punch (Of course, you could do it without, but it would be much more difficult that way.)
- small, fun stickers
- 2 same-size rings for each book: binder rings [basic, colorful, sturdiest], light-duty key rings, or even paperclips
How to make your memory verse book
First, choose a title for your memory verse book. Little Brother chose "[Little Brother's] Bible Verses." Write the title on the blank side of one index card. Use the highlighter to make bold, bright letters. I started to shadow-outline the letters for Little Brother; he decided it would be fun to finish up the outlining himself. He did a pretty nice job! 🙂
Next, you will punch holes for binding your memory verse book. I probably could have used more pictures here, but I was a bit too busy doing the project! Anyway, let's see if I can explain. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
Make a stack of three or four index cards (something your hole punch can easily handle). Punch a hole about 7/8-inch from one short end and 3/8-inch from a long end (see images below). Be sure the holes are at the top of your memory verse book — above the letters on your cover and at the red-line edge of your inside pages.
Then, take one of the punched index cards, flip it over so that the hole is towards the opposite short end (the same long end). Trace inside the hole, leaving a mark on the index card below.
Flip the flipped index card back so that all the holes line up again and the marked card is on top.
Punch a second hole in the stack where you marked. Now you should have two holes punched in three or four index cards. The holes should be spaced the same distance as each other from the edges of the card.
Use the holes of one punched card as a guide to punch the rest of the index cards for your memory verse book (15 or 20 pages in total).
Then you will add the rings to bind your memory verse book. If you have binder rings, that's awesome — super simple. If you don't, two other options are: lightweight key rings and paperclips. The key rings are more durable and nice; the paperclips are cheaper and easier to put on.
To get the key rings on, you will need some sort of tool to hold the ring open as you get started: the end of a flat-head screwdriver, a key (which you would slide in sideways or take off at the end), or sturdy letter opener (which is what I used). Don't pry the key ring open too much or it will get permanently bent out of shape. You only need enough space to slide the stack of index cards in sideways.
Get the stack started onto the ring; then remove your tool and carefully slide the cards the rest of the way around.
To use paperclips, choose two same-sized clips. While just about any paperclips will do, vinyl-coated No. 1 (33 mm) clips are quite nice. We have used this method at Vacation Bible School because this type of paperclip is cost-efficient, reasonably durable, and very colorful.
Carefully slide the stack of index cards, sideways, into the clip. Continue around the first bend, and let the cards rest at the second bend.
Optionally, you might bend the paperclip into a sort of criss-cross triangle. (If you don't, many of the children will. 😉 ) This works either before or after assembling the memory verse book; it doesn't matter too much.
Once your memory verse book is all put together, start adding Bible verses. If your child is old enough to write the verses himself, definitely let him. Writing a verse is a big help in memorizing it. If not, go ahead and write the verses for him.
Start with verses your child already knows. Then add a new one for him to work on. Build on the memory verse book over time.
Finally, one of the children's favorite parts: adding stickers! Most children greatly enjoy stickers. They are both fun to put on and fun to look at later.
Turns out, they help with memorization, too.
Little Brother quickly memorized which stickers he had chosen for which verses and could "read" through his memory verse book with very little prompting. I thought that was pretty cool.
The only thing left now is to use them! Read through your memory verse books often. Let the children share a favorite Bible verse for family worship from time to time. Quiz each other on the verses. Have fun!