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Introducing Playtime with Jesus!

  • January 15, 2021
  • By Donielle
Introducing Playtime with Jesus!

I am so excited to have my first book in print! Pre-orders start today! Playtime with Jesus, Devotions for the Littlest Ones is available to pre-order in Kindle version from the Kindle store now, or pre-order through me personally, if you want to be the first to get a traditional, printed paperback copy. Paperbacks will be available for order on Amazon in a few days.

How to use Playtime with Jesus

So what’s this book about?

Playtime with Jesus, Devotions for the Littlest Ones is a devotional to use with infants and toddlers up to 3 years old.  It is designed to introduce children to Jesus at an early age, in a play format perfect for short attention spans.  I want my children to know who they are in relation to God and others, and to associate God with relationship, love, and affection, as well as have a foundation of accurate theology (truth) which is best taught in story format (goodness). 

Each devotion has a fun, interactive fingerplay. Not only are they intended to enhance a little one’s knowledge by engaging multiple senses, motor skills through finger play, and brain development through movement and sound, but also they are also created to help little ones feel warm and loved during prayer and Bible reading time, with engaging songs or rhyming couplets and hand motions. Put baby on your lap and cuddle during devotions! Either stay on the same devotion for a week, discovering all you can about the art and music, and memorizing the Bible verse or cycle through the book every 10 days. Toddlers are all about repetition and so is this book.

Why did you write Playtime with Jesus?

The lack of quality materials on the market to share Jesus with my baby, as she sat in her high chair each morning, with bright eyes and Cheerios, drove me to write Playtime with Jesus. Toddlers will look forward to, and make a habit of, a daily time devoted to God’s Word and prayer. 

I used a cute board book called Highchair Devotionals when my teens were tiny, but it is out of print. I could not find anything else engaging yet theologically accurate (and not goofy) on the market for very small children. Kids like to wiggle and move – and the fingerplay format takes advantage of this to enhance learning and retention. I incorporated simple prayers, as well as answers to questions that plague our society: origins, identity, and purpose, laying a foundation on which apologetics can later build.

Do I have time for this?

This is a time saver! It establishes a healthy habit of Bible and prayer time at the earliest of ages. It knocks out a bit of solid theology, art appreciation, music appreciation, learning to observe (useful later on for science study), critical thinking, and brain development all in about four minutes a day! My hope is that parents will feel confident that they are making the optimal use of their time, educating their little one’s soul and mind, as well as incorporating the classical virtues.  The interactive devotions also prepare them for musical family and corporate worship later. 

What’s with the fancy art?

The illustrations are fine art found in the National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, all in the public domain, as a gentle way to introduce the very young to the wonder and beauty of art in a way that fosters appreciation. They can view larger versions on-line and maybe even visit their favorites at these galleries someday (check on-line for current exhibitions)! Cheesy, cartoonish children’s illustrations are cute, but do not do anything to help the child appreciate beauty. The art covers a wide variety of styles and artists. Cassatt, Van Gogh, Pissarro, and Klimt are a few of the artists you may have heard of.

What about the music?

Each devotion has a related classical music listening suggestion. This will foster an early appreciation for good music. We want our kids to listen to time tested classics, but we often don’t know where to begin. All of the suggestions are readily available on YouTube or any music app. Alexa will even play them for you! Let the music play in the background throughout your morning or play a short bit of it right after devotions and dance or bang on toy instruments to the rhythm! Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, and Beethoven are a few of the composers you may recognize.

Should I buy the Kindle or the print version?

Since we are working with small children, I am not a fan of screens. But the reality is, sometimes that is the only way we are not going to lose the book and actually get the devotions done! My test toddlers preferred the print version.

I have worked hard to make sure the book is affordable – not an easy task with quality color printing! If money is no object, get the print version and the Kindle ebook as a back up. I honestly make more money on the Kindle version, but if you must choose, I recommend buying Playtime with Jesus in print. The nature of the e-reader does make the format a tiny bit wonky on Kindle.

If you have Amazon Prime, it is cheaper to buy it straight from the Amazon store in print. If you live locally, shoot me an email and I will get you a copy, skipping shipping costs. The print book is available for sale in my site store.

By Donielle, January 15, 2021
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