About the book: Children will grow in their understanding of faith and look forward to spending time with God as they read, play, hug, and get inspired through these 52 heartwarming snuggle time devotions. Along with the short devotional reading and Bible story, each snuggle time moment features a game or activity to help kids remember the lesson and tuck it away in their heart. This book will get you and your child talking together, laughing together, and hugging together! It’s a great way to strengthen your parent-child relationship while introducing young children to the joys of spending time with God. It’s also an effective resource for helping to shape behavior and for teaching kids biblically based life principles.
My thoughts: Family devotions time is important in the Christian home. It instills Bible study in each member of the family. That is, if done correctly. There is no absolutely correct way to hold family devotions. It just needs to work and to be a time looked forward to by each member of the group. This means it should start early in the life of the child. It also means it should be geared to be understood by the child.
In mixed age families, it is harder to accomplish the goal of gearing the level of material covered and most likely the younger children would need to have a different time set aside for them and then pre-teens and teens can have devotions with parents.
For the young child or children in the family, using a guide such as Snuggle Time Devotions that end with a Hug! can ensure that their attention is captured and the material suitable for their age.
In reviewing this Snuggle Time/Hug! book, there are pros and cons. Well, nothing is perfect except God’s Son and His Word. The author, Stephen Elkins, has done a pretty good job of taking Bible stories and really breaking them down to a level for very young children. The “take away” for each section guides parents as they establish with the child that the story has merit to the child because they can “take away” a lesson they learn.
With 52 lessons, I can see this being used once a week. Obviously, most Christian homes are going to have devotions or Bible time more often than once a week. Using this only once a week can provide opportunities for other materials and variety during this time of devotions.
Now what don’t I really care about? The cover is cute and that is fine and appealing to children. However, the drawing of Jesus on the cover is just a bit too cute for me. Use cute children. Use cute animals. But please don’t cutesy up Jesus.
As far as the text and lessons inside the book are concerned, they are fine but the material for each “story” from the Bible is somewhat glossed over. Even young children can learn more from a Bible story than is shared on these pages. It is a guide, though, and parents can elaborate as much as they wish with more details of each story. The Biblical references are given for each story so it can be easily looked up in the Bible.
All in all, this is a good book and children will love it. The size is good for children to hold and the binding is hardcover which gives it durability.
I strongly encourage families to establish family devotions and stick with it. Modify it as needed for accommodating the kids as they grow. Make it interesting. Make it fun. Make it reverent because you are dealing with God and His Holiness. Don’t cram it down the kid’s throats. Give them opportunities to participate. Let them read. Let them pray. Sing. Be joyful. And don’t forget a hug is always a good part of family time.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Snuggle Time Devotions that end with a hug! from Tyndale Blog Network on behalf of Tyndale Kids and the author to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are solely mine. No compensation was received for this review.