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Oriental Trading

Prayterpillar

Prayterpillar

Prayer is so important. It brings us closer to God. How often do you find yourself forgetting to pray, getting sidetracked in prayer, not sure what to pray for or even just repeating the same ol’ things without much thought? What about our kids? Can we teach our kids to develop a strong prayer life? Absolutely!

I LOVE hearing a child pray. It is usually so heartfelt. Seriously, they thank God for EVERYTHING; for Mom, Dad, the dog, the cat, their grandma’s cat, the lizard they saw running across the lawn and every other thing they can think of. Prayer is about more though. It’s our lifeline to our Heavenly Father.

I created a PRAY-terpillar to remind kids to pray and guide them to think about praying for certain things.

  • PRAISE: Praise God! He is our rock, almighty, powerful, loving, amazing and so much more. Help kids to think about this. It sets the tone for the whole prayer when you remember who you are talking to and what God is truly capable of. They may not fully grasp us (I’m not sure any of us ever do), but they’ll begin to develop an understanding that grows with time.
  • THANKS: Thank God for everything. All good things come from him. Let’s remember to take the time to tell God how much we noticed and appreciate his blessings.
  • HELP OTHERS: Teach kids to think of and pray for others. God hears their prayers. How great would it be to have hundreds of children praying for a sick friend or family member? This is also the time for them to notice when someone is sad or fighting and pray for them.
  • HELP SELF: And now we remember to ask God to help us. Are they struggling to behave and need help? What about a big test coming up? Are they sick? Are they trying to learn something new that they might ask God to be with them and help them with?
  • SORRY: And finally, “I’m Sorry.” Jesus loved us so much that he died for us. He offers us grace and forgiveness. Acknowledging we messed up and telling God we are sorry helps every one of us grown, including our children.

Let’s get started making a PRAY-terpillar from a sock. (There’s a paper option too for those who want to do this in a bigger setting without the mess.)

Supplies: Long Sock, Stuffing (stuffing, rice, beans, bean bag balls, etc.), String/Pipe Cleaners/Rubber bands, Permanent Marker

  1. Cut 6 pieces of string to create the body parts and set aside.
  2. Pour stuffing into the sock.
  3. Tie (or use rubber band/pipe cleaner) the end to keep stuffing from coming out.
  4. Tie sections creating a head and 5 sections plus the tail
  5. Add the antenna’s with pipe cleaners or string
  6. Draw a face
  7. Write the parts of a prayer on each section: PRAISE, THANKS, HELP, HELP, SORRY
  8. Yay! You’re PRAY-terpillar is ready to pray with you!

CLEANER, SIMPLER OPTION: Have kids make 6 circles with paper. Now, draw the face on the first circle and write the parts of the prayer on each section of the body. They can hang it up in their room. OR get a pillowcase and markers to draw on cloth. Draw all of this on a pillowcase and they’ll see every night before they go to bed… and every morning when they wake up!

Want More Activities Like This One?

For only $7.25/MONTH, you will receive video-guided activities every week. For a limited time, immediately download 12 Play-Doh mats to accompany The Rhyme Bible Storybook!

Churches- We’ve got special pricing packages for you so your families can particpate.

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Bible-Focused Activities in 10-minutes a Day

Bible-Focused Activities in 10-minutes a Day

It comes up a lot. Parents want to raise their children to love God and have an unshakable faith, but…

  • Aren’t sure what to do or where to start
  • Life gets in the way and there is no time, of course, that makes us feel guilty
  • Kids aren’t interested in thinking God’s boring, video games are fun
  • Parents are afraid of the questions kids may ask

It’s MUCH simpler than you may think. For starters, begin including God in everyday, normal conversations. This is probably the most important and simplest thing to do. It may feel weird at first, but you’ll get used to it. Doing this keeps God at the forefront so kids begin thinking of Him first too.

Next, try some of these activities. Busy parents may not have time for long Bible devotionals every week, but everyone has ten minutes a few days a week to “play” with their kids. It just so happens this play will also teach kids about God and they’ll love it. They’ll learn quickly that God is far from boring.

And scary questions? Let kids know they are asking good questions and even parents don’t know everything so you’ll see what you can find out. Then, ask away! Send me an email. Ask in the private Facebook group. We’ll get you some answers.

Here are a few activities you can try today. Want to receive activities like this every week? How about three of them? Join for only $7.25 per month. It even comes with a 7-day free trial making it a no-brainer to sign up!

Bubble in a Bubble – Jesus Lives in Me
Fish Appear in the Net – A Miracle of Jesus

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Sharing the Easter Story

Sharing the Easter Story

Every year there are new videos, new skits, new curriculum… all kinds of new ideas to share the Easter story. This year, I wanted to do something that would have our kids sharing the gospel long after the Easter egg hunts. That’s how I came up with the Easter Story String.

God must have been preparing because along came COVID-19 keeping kids and teachers at home. Many states are banning the gathering of 50 people or more. In my county, it’s for eight weeks which goes right through Easter. I’m not sure how my congregation is handling this yet, but whether we are sent home or not, this is what I’ll be doing! I will provide every child with an Easter egg that includes a string and a link to the videos: Story (as seen below) and 5 step-by-step videos teaching the to make a star, mouth, cross, Jesus rising and a heart. (BUY NOW FOR $7)

You are welcome to share this video. If you’d like access to the instructional videos and downloadable story with a link to place in Easter eggs, click here. The cost is only $7 and you can print as many copies as you’d like. For those who do not want to part with $7, you can probably find instructions online for each trick; but, here, everything is in one place with easy to follow video instructions. Plus, you get the downloadable Easter egg inserts that provide a brief overview of the Easter story as well as a link so kids can log in and follow instructions to learn all five string tricks. They will be sharing the gospel for months with string because it’s fun!

Just add string! You can purchase string from Amazon here. My string is 60″ long; however, 40″-60″ is recommended. Kids may do best with 40-45″ since their hands are a bit smaller. Shoestrings may be a perfect fit. Just tie the ends of one shoestring together, pull tight then clip off the ends.

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Teach Children with The Rhyme Bible

Teach Children with The Rhyme Bible

I’ve been working on a project for my congregation that begins in January and I want to share it with you. I mainly work with K-5th grades, but am about to embark on a journey to provide our families of K-5th AND toddlers AND pre-schooler’s with family bible studies to do with their kids. One parent introduced me to The Rhyme Bible and I love it! So, for toddlers and pre-schoolers…

I am creating activity mats to go with each bible story rhyme. Of course, the first rhyme is called “A New World” and is all about creation. I am amazed by this author’s talent! The rhyme’s are cute and catchy while holding to scripture- perfect for the little ones! Today I am sharing the first activity mat to accompany the book. You don’t have to purchase the book to tell these bible stories and play with your kids to teach them the scriptures, but it’s a fun way to do it. You can purchase the book here: The Rhyme Bible and download the FREE activity mat here.

As for the activity mats, be creative. Print as many copies as you’d like and to make them last longer, laminate them or put them in these cool plastic pockets. Have fun learning from God’s word using play-doh, play foam, silly putty, thinking putty, kinetic sand, wikki stix… anything that let’s you form something. The idea is to make talking about God with your kids normal for your family. We want our kids growing up knowing their God loves them and that they are part of His great big plan.

Remember, studies show that families who pray together, serve together, talk about matters of faith regularly and have family devotionals outside of dinner time are more likely to raise children with an unshakable faith! This is the message I will keep on spreading because it is so important, especially in a world that keeps declining in morals and spiritual truth.

If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to download the Holiday Planner with Weekly Family Devotionals for November & December. Sign up here… it’s FREE!

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Satan’s Battleground & Protecting Our Children

Satan’s Battleground & Protecting Our Children

We live in Satan’s territory. We are in a war to win souls on Satan’s battleground and he and his army have done a phenomenal job in crafting lies that many, many people have bought into. These days, we seem to have trouble calling sin what is, sin. I’m sure you’ve heard it, “A loving God will accept me for who I am” or “I know what the bible says, but it doesn’t really mean that anymore” and my favorite, “God made me this way so he must accept me.”  Of course, God loves us and meets us where we are, but God does not accept the willful sin (Hebrews 10:26).

I’m sure you’re wondering, “What does this have to do with our children?”  Our children are growing up in this world, in a world that over the years has allowed sin to take more and more souls every day. We can’t escape it. Turn on the television, even a children’s cartoon and see if it holds all the values you do. See what your kids are learning at school.  At one time the church was in an uproar because science taught evolution, but not creation. Then God and prayer was removed from schools. Now, our young elementary children are being taught they may be born a boy or girl, but how do they feel? They are being taught at this young age, early elementary school, that they have a choice to make. Confusing? I think so. My point is, the world is taking over and God is being pushed aside.

So, what can we do about it? Step up as children’s ministry leaders, teachers and parents. If a church is able to provide a healthy, biblical atmosphere for learning, that’s great! But most churches aren’t in this position; so, we need to really teach and train up our children in the way of the Lord. Parents who raised children faithful to God shared what they did. The thing that stood out most to me was that matters of faith were part of normal, everyday conversation. God wasn’t a separate conversation, but part of regular conversations. Their children grew up learning that God was naturally a part of every aspect of their lives. The other thing they did was have family devotional time and they prayed together. They spent time together as a family with what matters most, God.

Now, you will have to intentionally work to make God a part of your conversations; but I’ve got a solution for family devotionals. During November, I have weekly family devotionals teaching about gratitude.  In December, we’ll learn about the spirit of Christmas. It’s free so sign up and choose an evening each week to study God’s word as a family. All you need is 15 minutes (more if you want to spend time together doing the game or activity as a family)! You pick the night. Study in your pajamas if it’s easier… it’s all about sharing God as a family.

This is the one major way families can combat sin in the world. Train up your children to have an unshakable faith in Christ. Set up an atmosphere where your children come to you with questions before they accept sin as normal. Parents and Children’s Ministry Leaders have an incredible job, an important job. What an amazing opportunity!

Join the challenge to Focus the Family on God this holiday season. Many of you have already joined and I pray that your family is already being blessed by these times together with God.

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Teach About God With Jack-O-Lantern Activity Mats

Teach About God With Jack-O-Lantern Activity Mats

There are so many fun ways to work with the holidays to teach Christ to our children. This October, I wanted something hands on for my kindergarten through third grade children that could work as a short devotional and activity parents can do at home AND something I could use to fill the time in children’s church when the preacher gets a bit long winded. I LOVE activity mats so I came up with a simple Jack-O-Lantern Activity Mat.

I will share verses from Colossians 3:9-10. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Then, we can dive into the devotional. I want our children to understand that with Christ, we get rid of our sinful self and become a new self. A self that loves God and is an example of him to others. We dig out of the pumpkin all of the gross insides. We make it clean just like Jesus makes us clean, free from sin. Now we are ready to really do God’s work! We will turn our plain old pumpkin into a happy Jack-O-Lantern!

It needs eyes to see those in need, a nose that’s not stuck up (it’s humble), a mouth to share the word of God, and even some ears to hear the word of God. A pumpkin that’s been cleaned out of all the seeds and yuck is clean and ready to serve. The light we put inside shines for God! Expound on each one and you’ve got a full lesson that kids can apply in their week.

Download a FREE copy of the Jack-O-Lantern Activity Mat here. (Use with play dough, play foam, wikki stix, slime and more. Laminate it and you could even use dry erase markers.) Already a subscriber? You’ll receive this in your email automatically!

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