This is not one of my typical posts, but this site is all about raising kids for Christ, so I thought I’d share some information about children who are not blessed with the right atmosphere to learn about Jesus and how we can help.
Around 158,900 children ages two to five were abused in the United States in 2019, which is the most common age of abuse victims. The number of child fatalities due to abuse or maltreatment has remained relatively steady since 2007, and in 2019, there were 1,809 deaths from child abuse or maltreatment. UNBELIEVABLE! And this is just kids ages two to five. According to DoSomething.org, 1 in 7 children experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year. It’s heartbreaking.
This is on my mind right now as my husband and I work our way through the process of becoming foster parents. Our children are grown now and with numbers like this, we couldn’t do nothing. As we go through the process we can see that it’s not possible for everyone to foster children. I am expecting behavioral issues that come from children removed from their homes living in rough situations, but I am surprised at how time-consuming it is outside of simply raising the children. The state/courts require a lot of time.
What can we do? Well, you can become a foster parent, but what if that’s not for you? No problem. There are so many opportunities. Try involving your children’s classes in service work to help children who are not as fortunate as them. Reach out to a local foster care service or children’s home. They always have a need for items such as diapers, blankets, stuffed animals, and more. Encourage kids to collect certain items for these children and take them to one of these providers. Same idea as at Christmas when you adopt a family! One provider near me has a website listing volunteer opportunities. One of those opportunities is putting craft kits together. You could take one Bible class period to share what scripture says about helping others, helping orphans in particular, then go through an assembly line to put together craft kits. There are so many possibilities.
Looking for an activity to do with your child reminding them that you love them and God loves them? Try a watercolor heart! It’s easy and lot’s of fun.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 (NIV)
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
Cut 6 pieces of string to create the body parts and set aside.
Pour stuffing into the sock.
Tie (or use rubber band/pipe cleaner) the end to keep stuffing from coming out.
Tie sections creating a head and 5 sections plus the tail
Add the antenna’s with pipe cleaners or string
Draw a face
Write the parts of a prayer on each section: PRAISE, THANKS, HELP, HELP, SORRY
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?
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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!
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.
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!
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!