Daniel is an amazing example for us in scripture, especially when teaching kids. Daniel was exiled to Babylon when he was young. He was taught all the ways of Babylon and ended up on King Nebuchadnezzar’s good side early on all thanks to Daniel’s faith in the one true God. When King Darius came along, Daniel was still highly favored by the king. Unfortunately, there were some others who were quite jealous and tried to get rid of Daniel by tricking the king into signing an order that would not allow Daniel to pray to the one true God.
How might Daniel have been feeling during this time? Help kids really think about it. All Daniel had to do was hide when he prayed for the next 30 days. That’s not very long. Surely God would understand, right? This was a scary time because the consequences were painful- he’d be fed to a den of hungry lions. But Daniel did not seem to worry. No stress! He remained faithful prayed every day to God. You know the rest of the story. Although thrown into a den of hungry lions, God sent an angel to protect him. Daniel was safe.
To get kids excited about bible class this particular Sunday, we made stress balls. Well, I made the stress ball and they drew a lions head. I was not sure how “stress-free” class would be for my teachers with a bunch of kiddo’s trying to get flour into a balloon. The kids loved their lion stress balls and it was a great time to talk to them about not worrying about the consequences. We need to do what is right all the time and let God handle the rest.
I do not particularly like “crafts” in bible class because they just get thrown away. With that being said, I do like crafts when they draw kids in and cause them to invite friends.
Kids love to paint. Let’s be honest. If there is a chance of getting messy, most kids love it. When we find something they love, I am all about incorporating it into learning about God. So this week I am sharing a fun cotton ball painting that is simple and a lot of fun. Basically, we are sponge painting with cotton balls on the end of clothes pin. Take a look and see what you think.
Nearly eight in 10 parents believe that they have a more complicated job in raising their kids today than their parents did raising them, says cultural commentator Andy Crouch in The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place, which was written in partnership with Barna research.
Why is this? 65% of parents said technology or social media. Combine this with the 52% who believe the world is more dangerous and 40% who believe it’s a lack of common morality, and we’ve go a mess on our hands! I believe parents today face a real challenge. Look at these startling statistics shared by Bark, a company helping parents navigate this crazy online realm:
What can do as parents to protect our children? It is unrealistic to think we can just take away all avenues to technology. It’s a part of this world today. It’s used in schools and businesses. Kids need educated. But how often do our kids listen to us when their feelings are on the line? So what is the answer?
When my kids were in middle school and early high school, I used a monitoring app called TeenSafe. It helped me stop a lot of things before they happened, but I had to constantly read everything- texts, posts, etc. There was no privacy and personally, I would prefer not to see all of their communications. And it was time consuming! Recently I came across something new that I love so much that I asked to become an affiliate. I want to share it with every parent!
Bark, an award winning app created BY parents, FOR parents to keep kids safe online. In collaboration with child psychologists, youth advisors, digital media experts and law enforcement professionals, Bark created a terrific solution for families. Parents do not have to read every posts either. Kids keep their privacy while alerting parents anytime it detects cyberbulling, sexual content, depression, anxiety, talk of self-harm or suicide, and even notifies you if it detects talk of violence. Depending on your platform, Android or iPhone, Bark can do different things. It can monitor Messenger, Instagram, SnapChat, Chrome, YouTube… the list goes on. This app is amazing! And it is only $9 a month per FAMILY. You read it right. I said per family, not per person.
This year I plan to teach my kindergarten through fifth graders to serve like Jesus. I do not know that Jesus ever sat down to make Valentine’s for the elderly, but he instructed us to care for the widows and orphans. (James 1:27)
I am printing these Valentine cards on card stock and will pre-cut out for the kids. On the back of each one, the kids will write a kind note or for those that are too young, they can draw a picture. I will have our congregations name printed out for them to hand write, “Love, Leander Church of Christ” just so the elderly can share with family and friends where it came from. Next, we will attach one card to a box of SweetHearts candy with mini Glue Dots. (I also thought about carnations but we will save that for another time.) It is super simple and the kids will have fun serving.
Just before Valentine’s Day, I will take a handful of the kids to the assisted living and memory care center that several of our members now live in to hand deliver. We will personally deliver a Valentine to the members of our congregation so the kids can see the joy they are bringing and feel good about what they worked on. We will leave a bunch of extra at the front desk for them to hand out to the others.
Feel free to download and use these Valentine cards. As always, I am on the lookout for new ideas. Please share things you have tried.
Looking for a unique way of teaching kids the story of the birth of Jesus, our Savior? Here’s an idea we I am using tonight with our K-5th grades. They will learn about the most amazing gift ever given, our Savior. I wanted them to have something to take home to remember the story and I wanted it to be something they wanted to share with others. So what did I do? Story Stones!
“What are Story Stones?” you ask. These are simply stones with pictures that jog the memory to tell the story. I included a 2-sided page of backdrops to accompany the stones just for added fun. All that is needed is some smooth stones, 8 per person for this story, and permanent markers. I had some left over used for pumpkin drawing that worked perfectly. I have a page with all the super simple drawings for each stone so kids can copy onto their stones. They enjoy this part! If they mess up, tell them to flip the stone over. They get two chances. Once done, pass out the backdrops and begin telling the story in your most engaging story telling voice. Instruct kids to follow along placing their stones in the story as you go. (I had some glossy gray stones leftover that I used but would love to use the glow in the dark ones next time. I know the kids would eat this up telling the story in the dark with a black light!)