Here are seven good Bible songs that you can teach to toddlers.
Jesus Loves Me by Anna Bartlett Warner
“Jesus Loves Me”, written by Anna Bartlett Warner in 1862 but was actually a poem written in 1860 by her sister, Susan Warner, in her book, “Say and Seal” in which the words were intended for a dying girl. What greater message to give a toddler than the message that Jesus loves them but by using the words “Jesus loves me,” so that they repeatedly know that Jesus loves them but they might also understand that God loves daddy and mommy too. This song supports the idea that children need love and the sooner the child knows that Jesus loves them, the better. The fact that Jesus loves them is backed up by the fact that “the Bible tells me so” and they start to associate the Bible with Jesus.
Jesus Loves the Little Children by Clare Herbert Woolston
The song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” by Clare Herbert Woolston, supports the fact that the Bible teaches that Jesus does love the little children, no matter what they look like. He was angry with His disciples when they tried to prevent them from coming to Him (Matt 19:14) and parents certainly wouldn’t want to do that by their lifestyle or language. Jesus rebuked His disciples for trying to keep the children away and reminded them that unless they are child-like in humility or humbleness, they won’t enter the kingdom (Matt 18:3). This should serve to be a reminder is for us too and not just the children. Jesus loves the children perfectly and more than we ever could but He also loves children of all color because His love is unconditional and that’s a great lesson in this song that toddlers should learn early in life. God is no respecter of persons or a person’s skin color because He looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7).
This Little Light of Mine by Avis Burgeson Christiansen
“This Little Light of Mine” by Avis Burgeson Christiansen is a great reminder of our duty as a believer to let our light shine before others (Matt 5:16) and the song is not too difficult to learn by using a clapping motion with each beat. If this song is learned early by children, they might see that they God’s children are to have an obvious light about them and the best place to see that light is in their parents.
I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart by George Willis Cooke
The song, “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart” by George Willis Cooke, is a huge song at Bible camps around the nation. The interesting fact is that you actually feel joy in singing about joy and I think toddlers should understand that to feel joy is a choice but it’s also a fruit of the Spirit of God (Gal 5:22) and the joy that toddlers see on their parents faces is contagious. It’s like paying if forward to your child and additionally, to yourself!
God is Great by John Lankin and Ricky Dillard
The song, “God is Great” by John Lankin and Ricky Dillard, seems to be based upon Psalm 95:3 which says “For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” The song is sung to the music of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” so the familiarity of the music and rhythm will better aid the toddlers to learn it much quicker. Once again, clapping hands to the music gives the child a predictable and consistent beat in order to learn the song more readily.
He’s got the Whole World in His Hands by Sue Thomas
The song, “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands” is an original American spiritual which was written by Sue Thomas but made known by Frank Warner, who later, in the 1940’s and 50’s, made it famous. This song was woven intricately within the early American society and was included among the greatest American Folk Songs and Ballads (Elektra Records) ever. This song sings of the omnipotence and sovereignty of God which should make us relax a bit about life but this song gives the toddler the concept of the awesomeness of God. Using a ball representing the world makes an ever greater lesson when teaching it to toddlers.
The song, “The B-I-B-L-E,” author unknown, has been a favorite of children for a very long time because it’s so easy to learn and so catchy that they want to automatically join in. We sang this in Sunday school in a class I taught and they kept singing it after church. It transitions into the gospel message on the second verse where it says “The B-L-O-O-D; That Jesus shed for me; Christ paid the price, our sacrifice; The B-L-O-O-D.” I love the idea of introducing the biblical doctrine of grace as early as possible. You might be surprised about how much toddlers know. They have pleasantly surprised me. Aim high and that’s where you’ll more likely hit the target.
We are responsible and will certainly be held accountable for teaching (or not) our children so by all means, tell your children and grandchildren about God so that “the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn and arise and tell them to their children” (Psalm 78:6), in the hopes that “they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Psalm 78:7). Why not start early and teach toddlers with music. The rhythm enhances the learning but the teachings are building a foundation. King Solomon wisely wrote “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6) and even though this doesn’t guarantee that the child will never depart from God when they’re older, it does work to help them “set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” when times get hard.
Article by Pastor Jack Wellman