Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Aren’t we blessed? We’ve been given so much, but sometimes we forget to acknowledge those blessings and the One who gave them. Do you want to help your child feel (and express) more gratitude?

Although I created this activity during the summer months, I thought November would be a perfect time to share with you a fun way to help your little one focus on being thankful for everything he’s been blessed with. This idea can be used anytime of year, and is a great take-along activity for when you need something to keep your child busy and quiet. I’ve also used it in my Bible class for when the children were just arriving.

Set-up is easy. Simply make a list of things your child is/should be thankful for, and search free clip-art for pictures to represent each item on the list. Put them all into a document and print them out.

gratitude game

For our game, I included a variety of material blessings, like houses, vehicles, toys, and books, as well as relational blessings like parents, grandparents, siblings, and pets. Some were very general, like sunshine and rain, while others were specific to my daughter, like her favorites foods (rice, bananas, and ice cream), her dog, and her two brothers and one sister. Some pictures represented physical blessings like a comfortable bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, and food to eat, while other icons stood for spiritual blessings like Christ, His Word (the Bible), and His church. (I used a building to represent the church, but wish I’d shown a group of people instead, for a more accurate representation.) I intentionally made the drawing of Jesus twice as big as all the others, and we talked about how none of the rest of them would mean much without HIM. His sacrifice for us is the greatest blessing we have!

Next, laminate the pages you printed and cut them out, adding a small magnet piece to the back of each.

magnetic pieces for gratitude game

Now, it’s your child’s turn! If you have a white board or some other large magnetic surface, great. But even a cookie sheet works in a pinch, and is nice for when you need this activity to be portable. Plus, it’s the perfect size for your child’s lap!

playing the gratitude game

My daughter was a young four when I made this for her, but it would work well for just about any age of young child. Simply give yours the pieces and allow him to choose which ones he’s thankful for. (Yes, eventually he’ll pick them all.) Each time he adds one to the board, have him tell you what it is and why he’s thankful for it. If you have tailored this to your child’s life, it should be very natural for him to express thanksgiving for each blessing, and it’s a great way to improve his verbal abilities while he has fun and focuses on all God’s done for him. Win, win, win!

One last note…Be sure you don’t use activities like this only at Thanksgiving time. We should be teaching our children that we are blessed all year, and we need to be grateful all year.

Enjoy learning together!

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Today seems like a great day to share some of the pumpkin activities we’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks. First, and most important, here’s a fun Bible lesson you can do with your children while you carve your pumpkins. As you scoop out the pumpkin “guts,” explain that those are like the sins in our lives—yucky, stinky, and disgusting!

pumpkin guts--sin in our lives

As babies, we are created pure and clean by God. But eventually, we begin to understand the difference between right and wrong. As we get older, we begin to sin, and our lives get more and more full of that yucky, STINKY sin.

stinky sin, like pumpkin guts

However, as we get to know God and His will better by reading His Word (Romans 10:17), we begin to understand how our sin hurts God, and it makes us incredibly sad. The Bible calls this being “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37).

cut to the heart--pumpkin Bible lesson

Once we get to that point, we desperately want to DO something about all that rotten sin we are carrying around, but we can’t do it on our own. We need Jesus to remove all those stinky sins for us!

fgf

Sin is like those stinky pumpkin guts–and we need JESUS to remove it for us!

As you talk with your children, be sure they know HOW this happens. Here is a fantastic explanation of how to be saved—according to God’s plan, not man’s. Not only does it contain relevant Scriptures, but the analogies of the sandwich and the door are excellent, and your child will easily understand them! Once we are saved, Jesus’ light begins to shine in us. (II Corinthians 4:6)

Jesus' light shines in us!

In fact, once we become Christians, people who look at us shouldn’t see “the old us” anymore. They should see the light of Jesus shining whenever they look at us. (Matthew 5:16)

People should see the light of Jesus when they look at us

Please note that I am NOT indicating that young children are ready to be saved, or even have such a need. In every single example in the Bible, those who became Christians were older. But, now is absolutely the time to be teaching your young children about God’s plan of salvation, because 1) they’re going to need to follow this plan themselves, eventually, and 2) they’ll hear a whole lot of conflicting information from the world, and need to know what the Bible really says. If you finish your Bible lesson and haven’t completely lost your appetite from the gunk you handled, you and your child can whip up a yummy dessert: pumpkin pie minis. You can find the recipe here, and then gather up these items, plus some milk to make the pudding:

pumpkin pie minis, ingredients

Once you provide the ingredients, your little one can prepare a lot of this dessert by himself, mixing the milk and pudding mix with a whisk, and stiring spoonfuls of pudding and pumpkin filling into the mini-crusts. If you use Cool Whip instead of whipped cream, he could even add a dollop to each mini, and they’ll be ready to eat immediately!

pumpkin pie minis

My daughter was so proud to serve these to her family, and their response provided great reinforcement for her efforts. If you want something even easier, you can try something like this mix for pumpkin spice cookies:

pumpkin spice cookie mix

Yes, I realize you could start from scratch…but when I saw this mix at Aldi for less than $2.00, I knew it would be fun to let Remi have a project she could help with that would yield super-quick results.

pumpkin spice cookies--kid baked

As you may have guessed, all these cookies came from kid-rolled balls. And they were delicious! We put some cream cheese frosting on some of them, but they were eaten up before I could get a picture. (Imagine that!) Finally, here’s a fun and easy pumpkin art project your little one can do. Get out your supply of old acrylic paints…you know, the ones you collected a decade or two ago and still have sitting around, just in case? (Yeah, those.) Put down some newspaper, or go outside—or both, as we did—and grab a few of the mini pumpkins you couldn’t resist on your last grocery trip.

pumpkin painting

And now the fun begins! Simply shake up some paint, hand it over to your child, and let the squeezing begin.

easy pumpkin painting

Remi had fun choosing the colors and layering them on her little pumpkins. It was a great way to keep her happy while older siblings were actually getting to carve their bigger ones.

pumkin art

At this point, your child could add glitter, googly eyes, or whatever else her little heart desires…but we thought these were beautiful just as they were.

kid art--painted pumpkins

I’ve seen these all over Pinterest, but will give credit to Time to Play since her blog was the first place I saw them. Of course, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to complete your pumpkin study with a trip to your local pumpkin patch!

pumpkin patch

Be sure to check out this post for Halloween fun for your child. Enjoy learning together,

So far this week, I’ve shared some fun Apple Math ideas and Apple Snack ideas, and today I want to share an apple-related Bible lesson on the Trinity. (Please note that this post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.)

The concept of three Persons in one God can can be difficult to understand, even for adults. How in the world do you explain it to a young child?

The answer: Read them this book!

It’s the best book for children I’ve ever seen on this subject.

3 in 1: A Picture of God does a great job of explaining what tends to be a tricky concept for all of us, and the best part is that once you read it, you can go back and review the subject every time you cut open an apple! The skin, flesh, and core (together, ONE apple) will always remind your child (and you!) that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are ONE God serving different functions.

Of course, the moment we finished the book, we pulled out an apple and cut it in half to examine the different parts.

parts of apple

We reviewed the function of each part, and then I had her tell me how God is like an apple and how the different Persons of the Godhead function in our lives.

DSC_5457b

Do you know of an effective way to explain the Godhead? Please share any you’ve used with success in the comments section below.

Update: You might also want to check out three more posts in this series: Apple Science, Ten Apples Up on Top, and Apple Wrap-up.

Enjoy learning together!