Great Resource from Creator of Veggie Tales – What’s in the Bible ?

I just found a great resource to teach children the Bible.  It is from the creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer.  This is not just random and familiar Bible stories, but it’s the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation.   There are videos, free downloadable coloring pages and activities, and even a whole curriculum for Sunday School and VBS.

I love the fact that it covers the whole Bible so children can get the complete picture of God’s story!

Please check out What’s in the Bible? for a comprehensive and FUN way to teach your children the Bible and even answer some difficult questions about it! Watch this trailer:

And if you are shopping for curriculum for your church, get special discounts here. Watch this trailer:


Teaching Young Children the Message of Hope in the Book of Zechariah

I just taught one of the hardest Bible lessons I have ever taught to preschoolers! I have to brag on those 3 and 4 year olds who sat quietly and listened intently –  they now know things about God’s Word that many adults never study 🙂  The lesson is from Zechariah 1-14 about the 8 visions that God gave the prophet.

Zechariah was sent by God to encourage the people of Israel as they began to rebuild the city of Jerusalem after returning from 70 years of captivity.  They were facing adversity as they attempted this difficult task.  Zechariah had 8 visions which were special messages from God to bring encouragement to continue their work.

Visuals are so helpful to interest the children in a story.  I put 8 objects, representing each of the visions, into my purple bag I use each week for visuals. As we began our story time, the children were very intrigued by my bag which was obviously much fuller than usual.   I pulled one object out at a time as I talked about each vision and its message of hope to the people of Israel.  The children were such great listeners that after the lesson, they were able to tell me about the visions as I pointed to each object! Oh the power of visuals 🙂

Screenshot 2014-09-14 17.02.171.   A man on a horse (1:7-17)
Meaning:  A messenger bringing the message that God still loves Israel and will restore their land

url2.  A dear antler to represent the 4 horns (1:18-21)
Meaning:  God will defeat 4 enemies of Israel – Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia

images-13.  A rope to represent a surveyor who was measuring the city (2:1-13)
Meaning:  Jerusalem will measure larger and safer than before it was destroyed

etwog424.  A Bible character figure to represent Joshua the high priest  whose filthy clothes were exchanged for clean (3:1-10)
Meaning:  God will send the Great High Priest, the King of Kings, to cleanse us from our sins.

images5.  A candle holder to represent the golden lamp stand which was used in the Temple for worship (4:1-14)
Meaning:  The Temple will be rebuilt and God will dwell among them.

Scroll6.  A scroll made out of paper and sticks – the flying scroll (5:1-4)
Meaning: Those who were disobeying God’s law and stopping God’s work would be punished

Screenshot 2014-09-14 17.08.437.  A small basket with a lid to represent the woman in basket (5:5-11)
Meaning: Sin will be carried away

Carthaginian_chariot8.  A horse-drawn chariot to represent the 4 chariots (6:1-8)
Meaning:   God will overcome evil in the 4 corners of the world and bring rest

If you notice, all the visions spoke of hope.  The main take-away or actual life application was that God always gives us hope in our difficult times.  At this point we talked about some difficult things that we might face and that God gives us hope in the midst of them.Jesus riding on a donkey into Jerusalem

My final visual was a picture of Jesus.  The ultimate hope for us all was predicted by Zechariah (this book has more predictions of Christ than any of the other minor prophets). In Zephaniah 9:9, Zechariah predicted 500 years before it happened, that Jesus would come riding on a donkey into the very town the returning exiles were rebuilding at the time.  God sent Jesus to us all to take away sin and give hope!!!

If you are struggling with discouragement, read Zechariah. It is full of verses to give you hope.  Here are two of our favorite verses from the book that brought much encourage to us during some difficult times:

Zech. 4:6  Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.

 Zech. 9:12 Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you. 


For background info on Zechariah check out these sites:


Here’s a great pattern for making a booklet of the 8 visions:


(Appreciation goes to for challenging us to go deeper in God’s Word with our children)



A Lesson on Kindness

Train Up The Child is dedicated to helping you fulfill God’s commands to parents. Deuteronomy 6:7 instructs us to teach our children as we go; Isaiah 28:10 instructs to teach ‘here a little, there a little’.

Begin this lesson by creatively making a poster of Ephesians 4:32 and place it on the fridge all week.  Read the suggested passages for Bible stories and tell them in your own words.  I have given you suggested things to share about each.  Do at least one of the suggested activities each day.  I am sure you can come up with better ideas on your own – this is just to get you started.

You can find more helpful information and songs related to kindness in a previous blog


Bible Verse: Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another

Bible Stories:

Luke 10:30-35 A man was walking down a road and some bad men jumped on him and beat him up and hurt him so badly he couldn’t move.  Then they left him all alone.  A man came by later but he would not help the hurt man.  Another man came by, but he wouldn’t help either.  Finally a man came by and felt sorry for the hurt man so he stopped and helped him.  He bandaged his hurt places and took him to a nice, warm place to stay.  Which man was being kind?

 Ruth 2 Ruth and her mother-in-law had just moved from another country to Bethlehem.  They didn’t have a garden to raise any food, so they were hungry.  Ruth went to a man’s field of wheat and asked if she could have the left-overs from his field. The man’s name was Boaz. Boaz told her she didn’t have to get the left-overs, but she could have whatever she needed.  Was Boaz kind?

 Daniel 1 The bad King Nebuchadnezzar had put Daniel in prison.  He was being mean to Daniel and his friends.  But one of the king’s men felt sorry for Daniel.  Instead of being mean to Daniel like the king wanted him to, he was kind to Daniel and helped him to show the king that God is good.

1 Samuel 18 through 2 Samuel 5 King Saul had been chasing David everywhere.  He wanted to kill David because David was so good.  David hid in a cave.  King Saul came into the cave and didn’t see David.  This was David’s chance to get Saul back for being so mean to him.  He could have hurt him but would that have been kind?  No, David let Saul go unharmed.  When Saul found out, he told David, “You have been kind, but I have been evil.”

John 4:6-29 Jesus was sitting at a well where people came to get their water.  A lady came to get water while he sat there.  She was a Samaritan lady and Jesus was a Jewish man.  The Jews did not like the Samaritans and would not talk to them or have anything to do with them at all.  In fact they were sometimes very mean to them.  But Jesus wasn’t mean to the lady.  He began to talk to her and tell her about God and how she could be saved.  Jesus was kind to the lady.

Prayer: Help us to show kindness by hugging, helping, sharing, and saying kind words to one another

Activities for younger preschoolers:

Act out the story of the Good Samaritan with bandages and bandaides

Feed birds or ducks or pet animals and share the verse

Share the verse while changing diaper and point out the kindness you are showing by
caring for him.

Teach him to hug and kiss – share the verse.

Play with ball and talk about playing kindly and sharing

Activities for older preschoolers:

Act out the story of the Good Samaritan with bandages and bandaides

Make a bird feeder out of a pine cone covered in peanut butter and rolled in bird seed.
hang outside in a tree.  Watch for birds and share the verse.

Have him draw a picture and send it to someone just to show kindness.

Bake cookies and take to someone – share the verse as you work

Make or buy playdough and tell them you did it just to show kindness to him.

Describe situations or show pictures of different situations and ask if it is showing
kindness or unkindness –ex. Pushing, sharing, listening to parents, helping someone who falls down, telling someone, ‘I love you’, kicking someone


Be Kind to One Another

Kindness, Kindness is God’s Idea you see (tune of Goodness on Music Machine: The Fruit of the Spirit)


The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes Gift Edition

The Story of the Good Samaritan – Arch Books

The Angry King: 1 Samuel 18-2 Samuel 5 for Children

Jesus and the Woman at the Well – Arch Books

Jesus Teaches Me Kindness (An Arch Books Series)


Lesson from the book of Judges – God hears us when we cry over and over and over and . . .

Whenever the Lord raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering (Judges 2:18 NLT)

O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries (Isaiah 30:19 NLT)

God hears us when we cry  (Is 30:19) (paraphrased for younger children) 

The Israelites had made it to the promised land, led faithfully by Moses and then Joshua.  When Joshua was about to die, he charged them to choose to serve the Lord forever.  Unfortunately, after he died, the people abandoned God.  This began a cycle that reoccurred 7 times over a period of several hundred years.

These cycles can be labeled ABCDE Cycles.  A cycle was:

Abandoning God
Bondage to their enemies
Crying out to God
Deliverance by God
Ease in the Land

Cycles in Judges

Download the PDF Cycles of Judges to make the picture above.  Cut out a circle from a sheet of card stock.  Then cut the individual circles out of regular paper and glue on the circle in the order they happened. Use this to visualize and explain the cycle the Israelites continually repeated.  Emphasize God always heard their cry for help each time they got into bondage after having left Him.  He always took pity on them, sent a judge to deliver them, and then gave them years of rest.  When the judge would die, they would walk away from God, thus starting the cycle all over again.

We all follow similar cycles in our personal lives when we wander away from God and get bound up by things of the world. The lesson we should learn from Judges is clearly summarized in Judges 2:18 and stated in Isaiah 30:19  – God will compassionately and mercifully respond to our cry for help over and over and over no matter how many times we walk away from Him!!  Lead your children to memorize these verses and declare that ‘God hears us when we cry’.

Read the book of Judges to see the record of the 13 judges sent by God to deliver the people, beginning with Othniel and ending with Samson.  Tell in your own words the interesting stories about some of the judges; your children will love hearing you enthusiastically relate the way God miraculously used them to deliver the people from their enemies!

A fun way to reinforce this story is to draw a big circle on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.  Then draw the 5 circles in the large circle.  Jump from circle to circle as you talk about the cycle the Israelites went through.  Do it over and over again – children love it.

Click here for some children’s books you can order about individual judges.

Click here for an excellent site to aid you in teaching children about the judges.

Don’t miss this opportunity to tell your children about the ultimate deliverer, Jesus Christ, who came to set us free from bondage to our sins and the punishment for them!
If you desire a more in-depth study of Judges for yourself, check out this site:


Jacob and Esau


Jacob and Esau



Read the chapters about Jacob and Esau in your Bible. (Gen. 25-35) Then find the stories in your children’s Bible and share them with your children

Jacob and Esau were twins born to Isaac and Rebekah.  They were very different. Jacob was fair-skinned; Esau was hairy. Jacob grew up to love cooking; Esau grew up to love hunting.

Esau was a few minutes older than Jacob so the blessing of the father would go to him, but Jacob tricked Esau into giving him the birthright and he lied to his father to get the blessing from him.  Talk about sibling rivalry!!  Ephesians  4:25

Joseph had to leave town to get away from his angry brother.  On his journey, when stopped to rest, he had a dream – God told him that He was going to bless him with more children than the sand, just as He had told Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, that He would bless him with more children than the stars

Isn’t it amazing to think about the fact that after Jacob had just lied to his dad and stolen the blessing from his brother, God still promised him blessings and His presence wherever he went.  Wow – what love, grace, and forgiveness! Nothing we can do will stop God from blessing and loving us, just as nothing your children can do will destroy your love and care for them.  Please emphasize this fact with your little ones.

Jacob worked 7 years for a wife only to be deceived by Rachel’s father when he gave him his daughter Leah instead.   He then had to work another 7 years to get Rachel.

Interesting that Jacob deceived his father and then he was deceived by his father-in-law and later by his sons Galatians 6:7

After many years Jacob cautiously traveled back to see Esau who lovingly welcomed his brother home Ephesians 4:32

This website has some Jacob and Essau activities to do:

Act out the story.  Here’s what I did with our grandsons on my last visit with them. I used what yarn that was available to make Esau hairy 🙂