When looking for unique ways to engage kids in worship, don’t forget about the 5 senses! The ideas and activities included here will allow you to invite your kids to worship through using their five senses.
Worship through Movement ::
One way to express worship is through our movement, and sometimes kids are the best teachers!
Invite your kids to dance and run and play for the glory of God this week.
Do it :: Put on worship music and invite your kids to express themselves in worship through movement! In other words — “dance it out” to the glory of God!
Especially those who communicate through movement will find it easy to express themselves in worship as the music plays. Others may need some guidance. Our kids love the worship videos on Jelly Telly for guidance!
Worship through Hearing (and Music) ::
The type of music you use can help your kids focus on God.
Energetic songs can motivate reserved kids, inviting them to praise God enthusiastically. Quieter, simple music can lead kids to listen to the Spirit, and you can teach them to copy the type of calm, reflective posture that can be helpful for focusing on worship.
Do it :: Put on some worship music and invite your kids to sing to God and come before Him in prayer. Click here to listen to some of the kids’ worship our family has really enjoyed.
Worship through Touch ::
Using a prayer maze, holding a cross or globe, or coloring your prayers can all help a child stay focused while they pray.
Do it :: Try out one of these tactile ways to pray with kids.
Worship through Taste ::
We see it in Communion with the bread and the wine and in the Seder meal of the Jewish people — God uses taste to lead us in worship and help us remember Him and how He’s led us.
Even now, tasting something bitter can remind us of the hard things in our lives or the bitterness in our own hearts. Something sweet can be a reminder of God’s lovingkindness and generosity toward us.
When we eat bread, we can remember He who is the Bread of Life, and thirst-quenching water can remind us of the One who eternally satisfies our thirst.
Do It :: This week, memorize together the James 1:17 ::
Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.”
Each time you taste something good this week, remind each other that God is the giver of every good gift, and thank Him together.
Worship through Seeing ::
Shortly after college I read Henri Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal, a book containing his reflections on the Biblical account and Rembrandt’s famous painting. God so moved in my heart through that book and the painting, I can no longer see that famous work of art without worshipping! Other works of art are similar.
Art, architecture, nature, design, creation — beauty is on display all around us. May that beauty lift our hearts to worship a God of order, design, and immense creativity!
Do it :: Develop the habit of responding to beauty with the worship of God. Memorize together Psalm 103:1, and when you see something beautiful, respond in praise with this verse!
Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. (Psalm 103:1)
Worship through Smelling ::
It might sound silly to think of worshipping God through smelling, but we see over and over again throughout Scripture how God used scents!
Incense played a key role in Old Testament worship, and we read often of the aroma of a sacrifice being pleasing to God.
Even today, we are called to be a pleasing aroma to God — through our prayers, our witness (2 Corinthians 2:14-16), and our love for others (Ephesians 5:2)
Smells can also lead us into worship or deeply root us to a memory of God’s faithfulness. For example, a friend of mine always burned a certain candle during our prayer gatherings. Now whenever I smell that specific scent, I’m transported back to those intimate prayer times with friends, and my heart praises God and is drawn to prayer.
Burning incense, using essential oils, or even the aroma of varied flavors cooking in the kitchen can be triggers to lift our hearts in worship!
Do it :: Talk about the power of smell to draw in or to repel. Brainstorm how our actions can do the same. Come up with at least one way you and your kids can become a “fragrant offering” to God this week.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when brainstorming ways to worship God with our fives senses. What ways have you helped your kids engage in worship in a sensory way?