Teaching Children the 10 Commandments

If someone asked you to list the 10 commandments right now – could you? Would you get 8 right? 9 right? Or all 10?
This summer we have decided to memorize one commandment a week as a family. So by the end of the summer we should have the entire 10 commandments memorized.

In the picture you’ll find two tools we are using:

1. The book titled Carved In Stone by Craig Peters (my Sr. High Youth Pastor – and a graduate of my Alma mater, the Moody Bible Institute. This is a book written to teach children the 10 commandments. So each week, we sit down as a family and my husband reads one chapter from the book out loud. Then we memorize that one command for the week and discuss it.

2. Our Memory Verse Box – as you can see in the picture – it’s a simple cheap box – that I have placed index cards in. We have used this box for over a year. It contains all the verses we have memorized in the past (plus extra cards for adding new verses) and it sits in the center of our kitchen table. Over lunch we usually review a few verses for fun. We also discuss the verses and it makes for good conversation.

Since the summer is young – we are only on commandment number 2, but already we have had a lot of great discussions about what God requires of us. If you don’t have a summer plan for memory work with your kids – then why don’t you start by teaching them the 10 commands? They are in Exodus chapter 20.

My elementary school librarian heard I was teaching my children the 10 commandments and she called me up and taught me this cute little jingle that moms, grandma’s or Sunday school teachers can use to teach children. So I thought I would pass it on.

Sing the song to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell” and hold up the appropriate number of fingers for that commandment.

Commandment number one, commandment number one:
There is only one God
Commandment number one.

Commandment number 2, commandment number 2:
Worship no one else but God,
Commandment number 2.

Commandment number…

3:Use God’s name in special ways
4: Use Sundays to honor God
5: Respect your mother and father
6: Never kill anyone
7: Love the person you marry
8: Never steal anything
9: Don’t tell lies at any time
10: Be content with what you have

And for older children, teens and adults, I found a neat finger play to teach the 10 commandments at Run Watch Play Wait – check it out here!

Walk with the King!


  1. Courtney, while trying to make sure I've "covered" everything, I don't believe I've taught my girls the 10 Commandments. How could I not and assume they would know? I need to do this! Thank you for the great reminder.

  2. Thanks so much!! This idea is really good. I'm going to do this w/the kids. I'm excited to get started.

  3. Thanks for the shout out! It reminded me to go update that post – the link to the larger pictures has expired, so I explained at the bottom what we do for each one. Hope that helps make it clearer.

    At three years old, Alayna already really has a good grasp on the 10 commandments – she particularly seems to understand coveting, which is amazing. We talk about coveting when we go to the store and she's whining for something, when we watch Madame Blueberry, etc!

    Keep up the good work!!

    FYI, the children's paster at my parents' church wrote a fantastic 10 commandments song for the kids. They sold it at their information center just to cover the cost of the cds – I'm going to see if it can be ordered online, because it's the best kids' song I've heard for teaching them.

  4. Wonderful! Wonderful! I'm going to do this with my almost 4 year old this summer. Thanks for sharing :o)

  5. This is a great idea. Right now we are memorizing some of the Psalms, but I am going to save this idea for when school begins again. Thanks!

  6. I got in touch with the pastor about the book and he's got one on the way for me. Thanks for the info!

  7. Although I respect your teaching of your daughters, I disagree with your translation of the 4th commandment. It is to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy…not Sundays.

  8. Remember the Sabbath. The catholic church moved the day. If you want to teach your kids what was carved in stone, please do so accurately.

  9. Hi Courtney,
    I’m having trouble locating the “Carved in Stone” book. Do you happen to know where it might be available to order or as an eBook?

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