My family’s attempts at family devotionals could be the beginnings of a sit-com script. We try to spend time after dinner discussing a Bible verse. After only a few minutes, the three-year-old is climbing on the table, the middle schooler’s eyes are rolling around in her too-cool head, I am distracted by the dishes in the sink, and Daddy is a little weary from the whole ordeal.
My husband and I know the importance of sharing biblical principles with our children. Family devotions give us intentional time together in God’s Word. However, we often stumble on the execution. Our children’s ages range from preschool to middle school. This makes it even harder to find content that is age-appropriate for all of our kids. Maybe that’s why we get the rolling eyes and climbing babies.
Enter JellyTelly’s family devotional series. JellyTelly, a Nashville-based media and technology company that serves Christian families, released sixteen new video-based devotionals about the life of Jesus.
In just five minutes a day, four days a week, families can follow along to discover how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, taught about life in the Kingdom of God, and died and rose again to bring us all the gift of new life in him. Each video devotional includes a Bible verse, video clip, discussion questions and a prayer prompt. The companion blog posts provide a free activity page.
JellyTelly family devotionals are available through multiple medias.
- JellyTelly Parents blog
- JellyTelly streaming video app (subscription required)
- sign up for daily email delivery via JellyTelly
- Internet TV (Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast) (with a subscription)
My family loves all things JellyTelly, so these devotionals were a hit from day one. Familiar JellyTelly characters like Buck Denver, Sunday School Lady, and Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer help tell the story of Jesus’s life. The puppetry and animation hold everyone’s attention. Complex concepts such as the Trinity and repentance are presented in a way that even the youngest viewers can begin to understand. The devotions include the context of the story giving the adults a little something to learn, too.
Repetition provides families ample opportunity to learn the memory verse each week. Discussion questions range from simple recall to practical life-application of the story. My three-year-old can even answer some of them. Prayer prompts teach young viewers how to pray. Follow-up activities include popsicle puppets, word games, and children/adult coloring pages.
A Night with the Smith Family
What does a family devotional with my family look like now? After dinner, we gather around the laptop. We watch the story, little to no parental redirection required. I snicker a little at Ian and Clive. My youngest laughs hysterically at John the Baptist eating bugs. We pause the video for the discussion questions. The kids clamor to answer first. My favorite part is the prayer time. My three-year-old presses pause with a click on the touchpad. He asks us what we want to thank God for, and he prays: “Thank you for cookies. Thank you for my race car. Thank you for going to the library.” It’s a new list every night. We leave our time together with a little more head knowledge and a deeper heart connection.
JellyTelly 5 Minute Family Devotionals does for my family what we parents find so very difficult–teach life-changing scripture to the entire family at one time. My youngest is so entertained, he often binge watches the older episodes while I wash dishes. My oldest acts a little disinterested, but she sticks around (sometimes engaging in the JellyTelly binge). My husband and I learn how to break down the principles of our faith so our kids can understand.
Where Should I Watch JellyTelly Devotionals?
After trying the videos on all of the offered platforms, I found the email subscription or blog to be the most convenient. They provide easy access to the daily activity. While the app and Roku channel are only a swipe or click away, we only get the video (which is enough for my crew to have a good family devotion).
I instantly fell in love with the catalog of wholesome, kid-friendly entertainment available through the app and Roku. We are a cable-free family, depending on streaming services for entertainment. With our monthly subscription ($4.99/mo), we have access to features like Owlegories, The Jesus Storybook Bible, Hillsong Kids, and Veggie Tales.
Using my phone or tablet, my kids can quickly access shows that teach morals and biblical values (and I don’t have to dig those Veggie Tale DVD’s out of the cabinet). Our membership also gives us access to games through the JellyTelly website. For kids ages 2-10, JellyTelly is the most worry-free, high-quality streaming service I have found.
JellyTelly 5 Minute Family Devotionals are effective, entertaining, and economical. You can’t beat free! Try one out with your family during breakfast or after dinner. Lead your family on a journey toward a deeper understanding and intimacy with God and each other.