I used to feel guilty that our family did not have a family devotion time. Then I realized that we actually do, I just enjoy it so much that I did not consider it an official discipline. Each night we read a Bible story and pray together as a part of our kids' bedtime routine. We sometimes add additional activities during special times of the year like Advent and Lent. Our five-year old enjoys some parts more than others, but reading a Bible story is usually our favorite.
We have used various Bible storybooks over the past five years, but my favorite is The Jesus Storybook Bible. We started reading this like we usually read Bible storybooks: pick a story and read it. After a couple of nights we realized that this book was actually intended to be read from beginning to end, so we went back and started at the beginning. Each chapter explains the story's significance as part of God's great rescue plan. The writing is simple enough for children to understand but creative enough to keep the attention of kids and adults. The illustrations are very well done, too. They reflect the ethnicity of the characters, which is something our family appreciates. Jesus is portrayed with dark hair and eyes and looks fairly ordinary, a nice break from portrayals of Jesus as strong and handsome with blond hair and blue eyes.
I love this book! I think the best feature is that each story focuses on God, which is a refreshing change from Bible stories that make each and every story about you, the reader. Instead of using the stories to convince the reader to be more obedient or faithful, these stories focus on God's redemptive work throughout history. I sometimes get a little weepy while reading. And the true test; when we get to the end of each chapter our five-year old is eager to read the next chapter. We peek at the next page, showing just a glimpse of what is to come, then close the book saying, "Oh, we can't read that yet. That story is for tomorrow."