The 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1–17 and Deuteronomy 5:4–21)are key to understanding the Old Testament and by extension the ministry of Jesus. They show us God’s moral standard for how his people should live. This is a scripture passage that kids need to memorize, but language can get in the way. Here is our way to make them understandable for even preschool aged children. As kids mature they should learn the original Bible verses.
Simplified 10 Commandments for Kids
INTRO: I am the LORD. Your God. The only one who can save you.
1. Do not put anything before me.
2. Do not make fake gods.
3. Do not treat my name badly.
4. Keep the 7th day special.
5. Give your parents honor.
6. Do not kill people.
7. Do not treat someone like you are married, when you are not.
8. Do not steal things.
9. Do not lie about people.
10. Do not go crazy about other people’s things.
This is only a paraphrase of Exodus 20:1–17 and Deuteronomy 5:4–21 to help children understand. We suggest they learn the real version as soon as possible.
Lessons Plans for Children about the Ten Commandments
Our website has thousands of free lesson plans and activities for Sunday School. Listed below are a few of our most popular related to the 10 commandments.
- Ten Commandment Sunday School Lesson
- Preschool Bible Lesson on the Ten Commandments
- Moses and the 10 Commandments Coloring Pages
- Worksheet: Learn about the LAW of GOD
- Printable 10 Commandments Word Book
- The 10 Commandments Rule Signs 1 [pdf]
- The 10 Commandments Rule Signs 2 [pdf]
- 10 Commandments Booklet [pdf]
- The 10 Commandments Mini Book [pdf]
- Moses Songs for Preschoolers
- Go Fish Guys sing the 10 Commandment Song
The 10 Commandments in Child Friendly Bible Translation (NIRV)
1 Here are all the words God spoke. He said,
2 “I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of Egypt. That is the land where you were slaves.
3 “Do not put any other gods in place of me.
4 “Do not make for yourself statues of gods that look like anything in the sky. They may not look like anything on the earth or in the waters either. 5 Do not bow down to them or worship them. I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. I cause the sins of the parents to affect their children. I will cause the sins of those who hate me to affect even their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 6 But for all time to come I show love to all those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will find guilty anyone who misuses his name.
8 “Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. 9 Do all your work in six days. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to honor the Lord your God. Do not do any work on that day. The same command applies to your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and your animals. It also applies to any outsiders who live in your towns. 11 In six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea and everything in them. But he rested on the seventh day. So the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “Do not murder.
14 “Do not commit adultery.
15 “Do not steal.
16 “Do not be a false witness against your neighbor.
17 “Do not want to have anything your neighbor owns. Do not want to have your neighbor’s house, wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey.”
You can also compare the 10 Commandments English Standard Version or the International Children’s Bible (ICB). We also think the Message has a good paraphrase. For more background, you can even read about the Ten Commandments on Wikipedia.
The Ten Commandments in KJV
EXODUS 20:1-17 KJV
1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.