YIKES! School’s out, the kids are home and parents need ideas! Lot’s of ideas!
Summer is a time when the kids are home, they quickly get bored and plant themselves in front of the television. Parents need fresh ideas. They want to be good parents. They want to spend time with their kids (well, at least some of the time), but they don’t know what to do without breaking the bank or without fighting their kids by acting as the T.V. police. So it has to be fun, something kids get excited about.
Be a hero with parents, the kids and with God! You have the solution right here, 25 fun activities for the summer. There are many activities kids can do by themselves or with each other to have fun outside of television, but the idea is for parents to spend quality time with their kids. Time together builds up a child’s self-esteem and makes them more comfortable going to parents with problems as they get older. None of these are very expensive, and many are free! So, print off “25 Summer God-Approved Family Activities” and send home with your bible class kiddo’s. (If you are tech savvy, download it and send as an email attachment.)
Encourage parents to try a few of these ideas and most importantly, have fun with their kids. They do grow up fast and they remember the time spent together. Encourage parents to consistently remind their kids that God gave them each other, loves each of them and will be the focus of the family.
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Learning stinks, right? Most kids think they do not enjoy learning, they do not want to go to school much less bible class. Like most of us though, they love learning when the love how they are learning. They learn best when they are having so much fun they do not realize they are learning. That’s the trick! As teachers and parents of God’s word, we have our work cut out for us. We must get creative in our teaching.
Reach all three major learning styles with one simple activity- a bible puppet theater. First, you share the lesson using your finger puppets to tell the story. Your finger puppet may be the student and you, the teacher, talk to the puppet. You tell the puppet the bible story while asking questions all along the way. Your finger puppet answers with amazement. And when the puppet does not know the answer, it simply asks the class! Get them involved. You reach the visual learner as they watch the puppets in action. The auditory learner hears the story and gets to answer some questions along the way. The kinesthetic learner is about to learn the way they do best now. You’ve been an example to this theater, it’s time to create theirs. It’s so easy!
1. Cut along all the dotted lines. This will separate the puppets from the stage and it gives your theater its windows.
2. Glue or tape your toilet paper rolls (or other items) to create the stand for your theater. These should tape to the back (unless the kids decorate them to be a part of the stage- Roman pillars?)
3. Now, decorate the finger puppets.
4. Cut them out.
5. Measure around kids fingers and tape to fit.
6. And there you have it! A finger puppet theater.
7. Let kids partner up to present the lesson. They decide who is the finger teacher and finger student.
God’s word is exciting and so very important; so let’s make learning about Him something our kids look forward to. And let’s try to create something with them they won’t leave on the seats at church or toss the minute they get home. Our goal is to keep God in their thoughts. After all, they play “superhero” make believe with each other; so why not reenacting bible stories?
I recently shared with you characteristics of an auditory learner and ways to effectively teach them God’s word (View it here). I thought we’d have some fun and make some stringed phones for you to try with your class. Tin cans look cool, but paper ones work best (and are easier) so that’s what I will do here.
Step 1: You will need your supplies. It’s just 2 paper cups and string (as long as you’d like). Oh, and something to poke a hole in each cup. I used a pencil tip but something a little smaller may be better.
Step 2: Poke a small hole, just large enough to put your string through, in the bottom center of each cup.
Step 3: Push string through the bottom of one cup, tying a knot on the string inside the cup. This will prevent kids from being able to pull the string out when tightening to talk.
Step 4: Repeat with the other end of the string on the second cup and you’re done! You’ve got a stringed phone.
Once you make a set, how do you use it to teach? Good question! As kids arrive to bible class, let them pair up with a set of stringed phones. They can talk to their partner about anything! This is just a fun warm up. If they need prompting, list some questions they can ask each other and answer, a getting to know you time. Or, you may write questions out on a bunch of cards and hand each person a set as they arrive. They simply select a card and ask that question. Examples:
- What’s your favorite animal, ice cream, drink, holiday…
- What’s food do you hate the most?
- Who’s your favorite person in the bible?
Now for the lesson, the heart of the class where you share God’s word and pray that it sticks with them throughout their lives. Enthusiastically tell the bible story asking plenty of questions as you go. Now that they have heard the lesson, it’s time to reinforce it! The kids should be in pairs (if you have an odd number, the teacher participates too).
- Ask a question about the lesson. Keep questions short enough for kids to repeat.
- One person from each pair repeats the question in the can.
- The person listening now gives the answer. If the do not know it they say, “I don’t know, do you?” Now the first person gets a chance to answer back.
- After kids are done, the teacher gives the correct answer.
- Repeat asking another question alternating who asks the question into the can.
Trust me. The kids will have a blast and learn so much!