It’s time to get outside in God’s beautiful world!

“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
Nehemiah 9:6

I love all the seasons, but especially the warmer ones.  I am looking forward to spending lots of time outside.  As you experience the beauty of God’s creation during this season, please remember to share with your children that it IS God’s creation.  Lead them to praise Him. Make up songs about it.  Here’s one suggestion:

https://youtu.be/AbWgeJOMQ4U

Hopefully you will get to take a family trip this summer, maybe to the beach to get sand between your toes. To The Sea by Callie Grant is a book about a day at the beach that young children will enjoy.  The pictures by Jeremy Tugeau make you almost able to smell the sea air. (The author’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to effectively teach their kids about God and His creation, even at a very young age.) (Check out some of her other books on this site here.) In the book the sand castle is washed away by the sea, but the boy builds one on a rock and it stands safe. Play in the sand and tell this parable from Matthew 7:24-29.

Even if you can’t get away this summer, take advantage of every opportunity around you to enjoy God’s beautiful world with your children.  Jesus used visuals from nature as he taught.
Read Matthew 6:25-33 and be ready to share His teachings the next time you are outside observing birds or looking at flowers.

Hike, explore, play in the sand. Start collecting things from nature – moss, feathers, shells, rocks, leaves, seeds, an abandoned bird’s nest or wasp nest.  Make a nature box full of items you can enjoy all year.  And don’t forget to point out that all God’s creation praise Him!

All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you.
Psalm 145:10

Nature Box
Nature Box

Side Note: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says to speak of God and His word as we go.  Everything doesn’t have to be related to a Bible verse, but as you discover things on your nature walk you could say, “Think of the wonders of God” (Job 37:14) or “all God’s works praise Him” (Psalm 145:10)

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Ideas for Day Six of Passion Week

picture from Read and Share Bible

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me—that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said.
1 Cor. 15:3-4

Day Six of Passion Week is the day that Jesus was put on the cross.  It is  the most crucial focal point in history. Think with your children about the agony He went through  – betrayal, arrest, false accusations, abandonment, beatings, harassment, and finally being nailed to a cross. –  all this for someone Else’s sins.   It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming is a video that depicts some of what was happening.

Resurrection Eggs is a wonderful teaching aid for helping your children visualize what Jesus was going through.  Each egg contains a different symbol such as 3 coins, leather strip, crown of thorns, 3 nails, etc.   It comes with a booklet telling the story related to each symbol and can be purchased at most Christian book stores.  Click here or here for excellent instructions on making your own! There’s even a video here of making the eggs.

Save your colored egg shells to make a cross like the one in this picture.  Cut a cross out of cardboard; cover it in glue; then sprinkle the crushed egg shells on it.  Share with your children as you are making this that just as these egg shells are broken to make a beautiful picture, Jesus’ body was broken for us us to make our lives beautiful and free from the punishment for sin.

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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:

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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 http://www.trainupthechild.org/?s=my+preschooler+hit+me.

Kindness

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

Songs:

Be Kind to One Another

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QRXe4HsfSMc

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kJR9THP9AM8

Books:

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)

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Job believed God is bigger than the bad things that happened to him.

Telling the Story:

Read the book of Job and tell it dramatically in your own words or read it to your children from a Children’s Bible.  My First Study Bible tells and illustrates the story excellently.

Here’s a suggested telling of the story.  “Job loved God and had been very blessed by Him with many animals, nice houses, 7 sons, and 3 daughters. He was very happy.  But one day thieves stole all of his animals.  Then a great wind destroyed the house that all of his children were dining in and they were all killed.  Then Job became sick with sores all over his body.  He was sad that God had allowed all these bad things to happen to him but he never stopped trusting God!!

His friends came to sit with him and told him that all these things had happened because he was a bad person.  Job knew that wasn’t the truth.  He cried out to God for answers.  God came to Job in a whirlwind and reminded Job how big He is and all the things He can do.  Job believed that God is greater than man (Job 33:12)  God told him his friends were wrong and then God told Job to pray for his friends.

The Bible says that after Job prayed for his friends God began to restore all that had been taken away. He gave Job TWICE as much as he had before – (Job 42:10 When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.) Job was happy again.  Job knew and loved God even more now.

Activities:

Use a circle cut from cardstock and covered in clear contact paper as Job’s face.  Glue on wiggly eyes. Use play dough to show the different feelings Job had (glad, sad, and glad again) Show the sores on his face and then show his face after God healed him.


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Lunch can be a sandwich made to look like sad Job.

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Mark two jars, one with ‘God Can’ and the other marked ‘I Can’.  Write on legos somethings that only God can do (ex. – make a fish, cause the sun to shine), and somethings that we can do (ex. – catch a fish, turn on a flashlight).  Drop the legos in the appropriate jars.

photo copy 3

Sing “My God is So Big”

 

Lead children to pray for their friends like Job did.  Especially tell them about and pray for a friend your family might know who quit trusting God when something bad happened.


(Click here for another lesson on How Big God is.)

 

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