Summer Fun on a Budget

It seems that God has always had us in “tight times” so we were always motivated to make the most of our situation and to enjoy the simple things.

Here are some things we have done that are very inexpensive or even free.

Play with Flour- Go outside with a cheap 5 lb. bag of flour.Sift it, pour it, mix it, throw it.

Sock wars- Save your old socks and roll each into a ball and throw them at each other

Run through the Sprinkler

Water balloons and guns

Sidewalk chalk

Mustard and Ketchup finger-painting – (to keep this from being messy, you can put a few squirts of mustard and ketchup in a baggie and seal it with tape and then press it around in the baggie)

Play dough – Just for fun or let children illustrate with play dough something from a story you just read

Goop (non toxic) –Mix 8 oz. of white glue and 6 oz. of water.Separately combine 1 tsp. of borax and half cup of water.Pour borax mixture into glue mixture and mix with hands until all liquid is absorbed and texture is smooth.

Lava pitTake all the pillows in the house and place them around on the floor and you can only get from one place to another by stepping on a pillow.

Avalanche – Take all the pillows again and build a high tower, then take cover as it comes toppling down on everyone

Nature walk – Take a walk and discover some of God’s toys like Maple tree seeds or as we called them twirly bird seeds.

Build tents inside and out with sheets and blankets

Camp out in the backyard

Picnicking with cookie cutter peanut butter sandwiches in backyard or at a park or under a sheet draped over the kitchen table

Play with Cornstarch – Mix one part water with one-and-a-half to two parts cornstarch, adding a bit of food color for fun.It is like a thick liquid; you can sink your hand into the mixture slowly, but it will not give if you punch it quickly.

Rubber band guns – Nail a clothes pin to a stick of wood to make the gun and use rubber bands to knock down army men or whatever.

Create with masking tape – Use masking tape on the floor to make roads for cars or use it to make a pretend boat for you all to get in…just use your own imagination.

Popcorn in the backyard If you have an electric popcorn popper, take it outside and place it on a sheet.Start it popping with no top on it and watch the popcorn fly.

Invent your own fun –Just recently our family invented a new twist to playing catch…every time we caught the ball, we had to say a movie quote.

Don’t be hesitant to make a mess.Sure there will be a lot of clean up, but you will be making memories together.Last year when my oldest son turned 30, he gave me a card for Mother’s Day with 30 reasons he was glad I was his mom; one was that I always let them make messes.

Don’t ever get too old to have fun as a family.Our children are all adults now but we still enjoy acting like kids.Jesus said that we must come to Him with the humility and faith of a little child (Luke 18:16-17, Matthew 18:1-4)…I think He wants us to approach all of life with the wonder and enjoyment of a little child.

Side Note: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says to speak of God and His word as we go:

And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.“

Everything doesn’t have to be related to a Bible verse, but as you play with play dough you could share, “God tells us ‘work with your hands’ (I Thessalonians 4:11).”Or while discovering things on your nature walk you could say, “Think of the wonders of God” (Joel 2:25, Job 37:14, Psalm 40:15)



Teaching Aid

My son convinced me to livestream a video. So I now have a account – my username is sheilahdaws. Look me up if you want. I’ll also post all the videos I put on there at this website.

Here is the first one I did. It is a teaching aid with songs to help teach the senses. This is simple to make out of felt and can be used with infants on up. The songs are easy to learn and children enjoy them over and over. I hope you will enjoy creating your own “Joe” and singing with your children as you help them discover that they are “wonderfully made” by God. (Psalm 139:14)

If you can’t get the video to play, try clicking this link.


Healthy Eating

The Bible story of Daniel teaches us the importance of eating the right foods. Daniel had been taken from his own country as a young boy. He remembered the teachings of his parents even in a foreign country as he refused to eat the foods that he had been taught were unhealthy.


“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way… ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food” (Daniel 1:8, 12,13,15, NIV).


It was around 600 BC when Daniel challenged his captors to study the effects of healthy eating. In June 2004, researchers at the University of Southampton did a similar study of the effects of healthy eating in over 1800 three-year-old children. After initial behavioral testing, all of the children got one week of a healthy diet without artificial food colorings and without any chemical preservatives. The results were that the children’s behaviors noticeably improved during this week.


What is a healthy diet for our children?


Children need whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins from fish, poultry, eggs, meat, or from plant sources.


Children do not need to eat large amounts of sugar. In the 1800s, the average American consumed 12 pounds of sugar per year. By 1997, it jumped to 154 pounds per year. This amounts to 53 teaspoonfuls of added sugar per day (6-18 teaspoonfuls per day is the recommended amount).


Dr. Alan Greene of Children’s Hospital of Northern California says: “Giving your child a breakfast that contains fiber (such as oatmeal, shredded wheat, berries, bananas, or whole-grain pancakes) should keep adrenaline levels more constant and make the school day a more wondrous experience. Packing her or his lunch box with delicious, fiber-containing treats (such as whole-grain breads, peaches, grapes, or any other fresh fruits) may turn afternoons at home into a delight.”


According to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, our bodies are Temples for Jesus to live in. Until our children are old enough to take care of their own Temples, God entrusts us with their care spiritually and physically. Daily ask Him for guidance as you gently and lovingly guide them to make wise choices in every area of their lives.



If you haven’t heard, Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5 year old daughter was accidentally run over and killed on May 21. Please be in prayer for this family.

Not long ago, after trying to rush through a bath time with his young daughters, he wrote a song called “Cinderella”. You can hear the song by clicking here. Please listen after the song finishes as Steven tells why he wrote the song.

We have just a short moment in time with our children so “make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.” (Ephesians 5:16)

Jesus set the example for valuing time spent with children: Then Jesus took the children into his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. (Mark 10:16) But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

I pray for you lots of time to snuggle and read with your little ones, hours of family playtime, and many opportunities to teach your children.

Building Memories

by Sandra D. Romans

So much to do – I have not time

To listen now, I say,

And hurry back to the chores

That always fills my day.

No time to listen? A small voice

Seemed to whisper in my ear…

Soon your little ones will be gone

And you’ll wish to hold them near.

I left my broom – the chores undone

And found them under the apple tree.

I held them close and listened while

Their love and we built a memory.


Power in the Name

Sunday night I called my mentor who taught me to teach children. Her name is Jo Bevington. Her love for Jesus and passion for leading little ones to Christ is infectious. Although she never had children of her own, there are many, many children who have come to believe in Jesus either directly by her, or by the many mothers she has taught to train their children for the Lord. She started working with children as a teenager and is now 85. So that is around 70 years of teaching children and teaching others to teach children. She got her doctorate in early childhood education when she was 58. She did her dissertation on building faith in the preschooler, birth through 3 years old!!!! I told her I would love to get a copy of that and she said she might try to send it to me.

She said she did research one semester on the effects of the name of Jesus on the infant!!!!! Wow!! I believe that every child should hear the Name of Jesus every day of his life beginning in the womb. I still tell my adult children “Jesus loves you”. There is power, purpose, and protection in that name of Jesus –

Philippians 2:10 … so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Sing the Name to your babies; talk of Jesus daily with your children; lead them every day to call on His name in prayer; and let His powerful Name be the last thing they hear from you at night.