Imagining God’s Story through Motion and Play: The Play-Along Bible by Bob Hartman

With a growing toddler, I am all about having him engage in plenty of sensory activities. Since he already loves books at such a young age, The Play-Along Bible offers him a chance to enjoy the best of both worlds–acting out the book while he reads it.

The Play-Along Bible inspires children’s imaginations while growing their understanding of and love for God’s Word. Through simple hand motions, facial expressions, verbal exclamations, and funny noises, kids can participate and respond to God’s amazing story. Whether it’s acting out the dawn of creation by making a funny fish face or belting out a giant roar while pretending to be a ferocious beast in Daniel’s lions’ den, kids will encounter hundreds of fun ways to actively engage with the Bible. Using this fresh and easy, multisensory approach, you’ll be surprised how well your child will recall and absorb the Scriptures. Adding to the experience are delightful full-color illustrations from British artist Susie Poole.

Bob Hartman is a pastor, author, and storyteller with a rich history in publishing and whose books have sold more than 1 million copies. Primarily he's written children's books with a strong moral theme or Bible story books. Bob is best known for The Lion Storyteller Bible, which sold more than 200,000 copies, and The Wolf Who Cried Boy, with more than 90,000 copies sold. He is also the author of You Version's Bible App for Kids, which has been downloaded over 5 million times. Bob is married to Sue, and they have two married children and three grandchildren.

The colorful illustrations by Susie Pool are absolutely precious–depicting the many characters and events in the Bible. The text is comprised of fifty specially chosen Bible stories from Genesis to Revelation. Each story is an abbreviated version, written in a way that's easy for younger children to follow along to. Below each title of the story, you'll also find the scripture verse numbers that correlate.

The main concept that really sets this book aside from the others is that your child will not only learn amazing Bible stories, but they'll be able to perform a set of activities relating to each one. Almost every line of the story ends with an invitation to perform some sort of action. These suggestions are not only highlighted in separate colors, but placed in parentheses to set them apart from the actual story text.

An example of one of our favorite stories to act out is the one titled, In God's Image–relating to events in the Book of Genesis:

God said, "Animals!"
And there were wild animals, (Roar like a lion)
farm animals, (Moos like a cow)
and creepy, crawly animals, too. (Move your fingers like a spider)
And he created a man (Say the name of a man you know)
and a woman (Say the name of a woman you know)

Above is just a sample of what you'll find in the book. From wiggling toes, to making a fish face, to pretending to pet a donkey's head, The Play-Along Bible contains tons of multisensory play ideas that children can engage in while learning the many stories of the Bible. We honestly have tons of fun reading it! Regular books are always great, but if you're looking for something that's going to step it up a notch by offering fun interactive play involving your little ones, then I highly recommend The Play-Along Bible.

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