Recently I started something new for our family devotions. Instead of reading from the Jesus StoryBook Bible, I got out a real Bible and opened up to the book of Mark. I told my girls to go get their Magna Doodles and sit with me on the floor. They were excited as I explained to them that as I read from the Bible they could draw pictures of what they hear. So I started reading about John the Baptist and Jesus getting baptized. I stopped after this section and asked them to tell me what they drew. Then we talked briefly about John the Baptist and the reason why he came and why Jesus was baptized. After that I told them to erase their pictures (which was really easy on their Magna Doodles) and start a new picture as I read some more. So I continued on and read about Jesus being tempted by Satan and then Jesus calling his first disciples to himself. Once again I stopped after this section and asked them about their pictures as we discussed together about how we can be tempted to sin and how Jesus wants us to follow him just like his original disciples. I've only been doing these "Magna Doodle Devotions" for a short time but they have proven to be fruitful for our family. As a former teacher and Christian Ed guy, I'm always looking for ways to make the truth stick into my kids' lives. I know that only God can ultimately bridge the gap between head knowledge and heart change, but he uses means. And one of those means is employing the various senses in the learning process. I have one girl that is more of an auditory learner. She began reading at an early age and hears something once and doesn't forget it. My other girl is more of a visual and kinesthetic learner. She likes to see it and do it. So hands-on activities are best for her. My little boy is only 1 1/2 so he's all over the place! All that to say, these Magna Doodle Devotions have provided a way for my kids to be engaged in the stories of the Bible. Plus it's fun to see their creative side come out as children made in the image of a creative, Creator God.
One more thing. My girls will often take their Magna Doodles to the worship service with them on Sunday. I encourage them to draw pictures of what they hear during the sermon. Sometimes they end up doodling, but that's okay... they're kids! Plus these Magna Doodles are less messy than the pens in the pew and you never have to worry about them dropping and rolling all the way to the front of the sanctuary!