our everyday life

10 Commandments for Toddlers

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

“Mommy, what does covet mean?” The 10 Commandments found in most Bibles contain words beyond your toddler’s understanding. A simple form of each commandment might help her remember not to hurt her brother or steal. She might find them easier to remember if she sings them or recognizes them in pictorial form.

God First

God is first. Explain, “God doesn’t like it if anything else is more important than he is. We always put God first and follow his rules before others.” In a pictorial form that appears as a big number one.

No Other Gods

God is the only god. You might say, “Some people worship other gods, but God says we must worship only him.” You might represent that as a calf with a diagonal line across it.

Honor God's Name

Take care with God’s name. Your toddler understands, “God wants us to use his name with love, just like you say ‘Mommy’ with love.” On your 10 Commandments picture, it is a big heart.

The Sabbath

Rest on the Sabbath. “We go to church on Sunday to sing and pray to God,” you could say. “He has a special day of rest for us so we can worship and honor him. I remind you of that with praying hands.”

Love Your Parents

“God says to love and honor your parents. He says that because we teach you how to behave and take care of you,” you might say. On the pictorial display you could use a picture of his daddy and you.

Be Kind

“God expects us to be kind and not hurt each other. Don’t hurt your pets either,” you might add. “We don’t hurt others even if they hurt us first.” She remembers this commandment because you use a bandage to remind her to be gentle.

Honor Marriage Vows

“My love for your daddy is important to God. He says we should love each other so we can love you better,” you explain. On the display you use a picture of your wedding ring.

Don't Steal

“God says not to take things that don’t belong to you, even if you want them very much. You can’t take candy at the store, a toy from another child or something out of my purse without permission.” You used a picture of hand holding a toy with a line diagonally across it.

Don't Lie

“We always tell the truth,” you explain. “It helps us trust each other and it makes God very happy.” He laughs because this picture is a tongue.

Don't Covet

You might say, “God wants us to be happy with what we have. He doesn’t want us to want something that belongs to another person so much that we do something bad to get it.” You used two big eyes for this commandment to remind her to look at what she has and give thanks for those things.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images