I Can Lend a Helping Hand: A Bible Lesson for Preschoolers

FREE Bible Lesson to teach your kids that they can help others! Includes ideas for games, crafts, snacks and more!

Here’s another Bible lesson for you to use with your littlest ones. This one teaches the concept that we can all help each other! Encourage your youngest kids to look for ways that they can help others as you teach them about a time when Aaron and Hur helped Moses.

Enjoy — and Keep Serving Jesus!

Cheri

I can lend a helping hand lesson (pdf)

 

I Can Lend a 

 Opening Activities:

1. Beforehand, blow up a bunch of balloons. Take out a balloon and say, “Today we are going to play with balloons! We need to see how long we can keep this balloon up in the air without letting it touch the ground. Are you ready to try?” Start with 1 balloon and see how long the kids can keep it in the air. When they have kept the 1 balloon in the air for awhile, add a second balloon, then a third, then a fourth. See how many balloons your kids can keep up in the air at one time!

When you finish the game, say: Great job! You guys all worked together and kept these balloons in the air! It took all of us helping out, didn’t it? Today, we are going to talk about how we can help each other . . . and our lesson has something to do with a man who had to keep his arms in the air and how his friends helped him!

2. Beforehand, put some candy corn in a bowl at one end of the room and have an empty bowl at the other end of the room. Line your kids up so that they form a line between the candy corn and empty bowl. Give each kid a plastic spoon. Say: I need your help! I want to get all the candy corn from this bowl into the empty bowl. I need you to help me by passing the candy corn from one person to the other all the way to the empty bowl. Can you help me? Help the first kid dip his spoon into the bowl of candy corn and pick up a piece of candy corn, which he then transfers to the next person in line and so on until the candy corn is at the end of the line and dropped into the bowl. See how many pieces of candy corn they can move this way in a certain period of time. When the time is up, stop the game and say: Good job! You guys were great helpers! You all worked together and got the job done! Today we are going to talk about how we can all work together and how we can help others!

The Lesson:

Beforehand, write the words “I can lend a helping hand” on several pieces of paper – or write this across a large paper or bulletin board.

Gather all the kids together for the lesson. Say: Before we have today’s lesson, we are going to play a quick game of Simon Says. Whenever I say “Simon Says”, you need to do exactly what I tell you to do . . . and keep doing that until Simon Says you can stop! Are you ready? Lead the kids in a quick game of Simon Says. At this age, no one gets out . . . you just want to have the kids do what you tell them to do. When you are ready to end the game and begin the lesson, say: Simon Says stretch your hands up in the air! Now, Simon says leave your hands in the air like that as I tell you today’s lesson. Can you do that?

Start the Bible lesson, encouraging the kids to keep their hands in the air. If someone starts to put their hands down, tell them to get their hands back up! (This is meant to be fun, so if your kids have a hard time with this or are unable to keep their hands up, don’t make them feel bad – simply go on with the lesson).

Say: Today we are going to talk about a man named Moses. Moses was a leader of God’s special people. God did some pretty cool things through Moses!

How are your arms doing? Simon Says clap your hands together two times and then keep your arms in the air! (lead kids in doing this).

One day, a man named Amalek came against Moses and God’s people. He brought his army and wanted to destroy them! What was Moses going to do?

Simon says bring your arms down for a second. Good job! Now, Simon says stretch them back up again – as high as you can reach!

Moses told his helper Joshua to get some of their men together to go out and fight against Amalek. The next day, Joshua and his army went out to fight and Moses and two of his friends – Aaron and Hur – went up on top of a hill. Then Moses held his staff and lifted it up in the air over where the fighting was! As long as Moses held his staff in the air, Joshua and his army were winning the fight . . . but whenever Moses put his staff down, the Amalekites started to win!

How are your arms? Can you keep them up much longer? Here, maybe this will help! Why don’t you sit on one of these chairs? (Bring a chair over for each child and have the kids sit on the chairs. Encourage them to keep their arms up while sitting in the chair)

So, here was Moses, holding his staff up in the air so Joshua and his army could win the battle. Well, he got tired . . . just like you are getting tired . . . so his friends brought over a big rock and had Moses sit on it . . . just like you are sitting on the chairs!

How are you doing? Are the chairs helping? Do you think you would be able to keep your arms up in the air all the rest of the day? That’s what Moses had to do! He had to keep his arms up all day long! Moses was tired! His hands were getting very tired! He didn’t know if he could keep his arms up in the air all day long!

Guess what happened next? Moses’s two friends came over to him and supported his hands. Aaron took one hand and Hur took the other hand and they supported him like that all day long! (show an example of this by taking one of the kids hands and supporting it. If you have a helper with you, have the helper take the other hand and support it).

Moses had some great helpers in Aaron and Hur! They helped him hold his hands up and Joshua and the army were able to beat the Amalekites! Aaron and Hur HELPED Moses . . . and we can help each other, too!

Okay, Simon Says put your arms down and no more Simon Says for the rest of the day!

What are some ways that we can help others? Let your kids answer.

Pass out the papers you prepared ahead of time (or, if you are using the bulletin board, pass out blank pieces of paper). Help the kids trace their hands on the papers. Inside the hands, have them draw or write ways that they can help others. If you are using the bulletin board, have the kids attach their papers to the bulletin board under the phrase “I can lend a helping hand”. Then spend time praying, asking God to help them lend a helping hand and be GOOD HELPERS (like Aaron and Hur)!

Additional Activities:

1. Use the balloons from the opening activities for this fun review game. Give each child a balloon. Have the kids run from a starting point to an ending point, keeping the balloon in the air the whole time. When they reach the ending point, ask a review question from today’s lesson. (Or, if they are having difficulty running with the balloon in the air, randomly ask questions for them to answer).

Possible review questions include the following:

  • Who fought against the Amalekites? (Joshua)

  • Who had to keep his arms up in the air the whole time the fight was going on? (Moses)

  • What happened when Moses had his hands with the staff in the air? (Joshua was winning)

  • What happened when Moses put his hands down? (Joshua was losing)

  • What did Aaron and Hur give to Moses to help him? (a rock to sit on)

  • How did Aaron and Hur help Moses keep his hands up? (they held his hands up)

  • What is one way that we can help others?

2. If the balloons haven’t popped yet, use a sharpie to draw or write ways the kids can help others on each balloon. (You can even have the kids do this if you want). Send each kid home with a balloon!

3. Do a project with the kids where they can serve as helpers! You could take them outside and have them pick up trash or pull weeds or you could have them help clean up your classroom or another part of the building. Talk with them about ways that they can lend a helping hand in their homes, neighborhoods, and communities while you are working on the project!

4. Make a fun “helping hand” take home snack. You will need clear kitchen gloves (one for each child), candy corn and other small candies. Give each kid a glove. Ask for ways that they can lend a helping hand in their families, neighborhoods, etc. For every answer, give them a few pieces of candy. They should put the candy in the gloves until the glove is full of a variety of candy. Tie the gloves closed with a ribbon. Encourage the kids to take their snacks home and, every time they eat a piece of the candy, to do something that will “lend a helping hand”!

5. Make a Moses staff snack! There are a lot of ways you can do this . . . here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Make breadsticks!

  • Use pretzel rods and make chocolate covered pretzel rods! For even more fun, add sprinkles!

  • Carrot sticks (or baby carrots and ranch dip)

  • Bananas

6. Make a Helping Hands for Jesus craft. Give the kids a piece of foam or cardstock and markers that write on foam or stickers that will stick to the foam. Put a bit of paint on a paper plate and have the kids place their hands in the paint. They then push their hands down on the foam paper, leaving the imprint of their hands on the paper. Help them write (or write beforehand) “Helping Hands for Jesus” or “I can Lend a Helping Hand” on the top of the page. Allow them to use stickers and markers to decorate the rest of the picture. (You might want to start this project at the beginning of class so the handprints have time to dry before they decorate the page.)

____________________

Bold_ A 10 Week Study for Churches and Families

God Always Keeps His Promises: A Preschool Bible Lesson

A FREE Bible Lesson to help teach your youngest kids that God always keeps His promises. Activities, craft and snack ideas and a fun Bible Lesson over the promise God made to Abraham and Sarah.

This week I have a lesson for you based on the life of Abraham. The main point to get across in this lesson is that God ALWAYS keeps His promises. What a great truth to hold onto as we go through our lives! I hope you have fun teaching this lesson — and that it will encourage and challenge you and your preschoolers to hold on —  God ALWAYS keeps His promises!

Keep Serving Jesus!

Cheri

God Always Keeps His Promises

God Always Keeps His Promises pdf

Opening Activities:

1. Play a fun “waiting” game with your preschoolers. Play some music and have the kids dance and jump around while the music is playing. When the music stops, however, they have to stand perfectly still exactly how they are and stay in that position until you start the music again. Have lots of fun with this! When the game is finished, say: What a fun game! You did a great job waiting for me to start the music again! Sometimes it can be hard to wait for something to happen. Today we are going to learn about a man who had to wait for a long time for God to keep a promise to Him. But God kept His promise to him, and God will keep His promises to us, too!

2. Get the kids ready for today’s lesson with this fun, tactile activity! Beforehand, purchase a bag of play sand. Give each child a cake pan full of play sand (or, if you’d prefer to do this with everyone working together, put the play sand in a larger container that all the kids can sit around). Let the kids spend some time running their hands through the play sand. Say things like, “How does the sand feel between your fingers? Can you hold a bunch of sand in your hand?” You might also want to provide some toys or containers of different sizes (like cups and bowls) and simply let them play in the sand for awhile. When you are ready to move on from this part of your lesson, say: Can anyone count all the little pieces of sand in your container? Let the kids try to count. That’s impossible, isn’t it? We can’t count all this sand, there’s just so much! This reminds me of a promise God made to a man named Abraham a long, long time ago. Come on over here and let me tell you more about it!

Bible Lesson:

Beforehand, gather the following props: 2 paper plates – 1 decorated to look like an old man, and 1 decorated to look like an old woman (cut the eyes out so you can put it in front of your face while telling the story), play sand in a container, a jar, water, confetti stars (or just confetti that you pretend are stars), blue food coloring

Bring all the kids to the area where you are going to tell the Bible lesson. Take out the paper plate that looks like an old man. This is Abraham. He is going to help you tell the story today!

NOTE: Have fun with this lesson! Change your voice to match the plate you are holding and become that character throughout the lesson. If you have fun with this, your kids will, too!

Hold “Abraham” over your face. Say (in an “old man sounding voice”): Hello. My name is Abraham. I lived a long, long, long time ago. I want to tell you about a time when God made me a promise.

Switch to the old woman plate. Hold this one over your face and talk in a very exaggerated old woman voice. Say: My name is Sarah. I was married to Abraham a long, long, long time ago.

Put the “Abraham” plate in front of your face. Say (in the “Abraham” voice): One day, God talked to me and told me that he was going to make me have many, many, many descendants. Do you know what a descendant is? Perhaps your teacher can tell you what a descendant is.

Take the paper plate mask away from your face and be yourself. Say: I would LOVE to tell you what a descendant is. YOU are a descendant of your mom and your grandma and grandpa. That means that you are their kid – you were born in their family after them. So when God told Abraham that he was going to have a lot of descendants, that meant he was going to have a lot of grandchildren and great great grandchildren and great great great grandchildren . . .

Put the “Sarah” plate in front of your face. Say: There was only one problem. In order to have a lot of descendants, you have to have a child! Abraham and I did not have ANY CHILDREN!!!

Put the Abraham plate in front of your face. I believed that God would keep His promise to me, though. But it took a long, long time. Sarah kept getting older, and still we had no children.

Put the Sarah plate in front of your face. Excuse me??? You got older too, old man! In fact, Abraham and I were WAY older than YOUR moms and dads and even your Grandmas and Grandpas and STILL we had no children!

Put the Abraham plate in front of your face. That’s right, we were really old. God had told me that I was going to have as many descendants as there is sand on the seashore or stars in the sky. That’s a lot of descendants! But how could that be? We didn’t even have ONE son!

Take the paper plates away from your face and talk to the kids as yourself. Say: Wow! Did you hear that? God made a promise to Abraham and Sarah, but it didn’t seem like that promise was even possible! They were really old and still didn’t have any kids. What do you think is going to happen? Let the kids answer.

Put the Abraham mask back in front of your face. GUESS WHAT? God kept His promise! Sarah had a BABY! She was over 90 years old, and I was close to 100 and SHE HAD A BABY!

Put the Sarah mask in front of your face. Say: YAYYY!!! I had a baby!! I thought it was so funny that I named the baby a name that means LAUGHTER – the name Isaac. Can you LAUGH with me? Encourage the kids to laugh.

Put the Abraham mask in front of your face. Say: God always keeps His promises. He made me a promise and He kept it – even though I had to wait a long time. Isaac grew up and had kids and his kids had kids and my descendants DID become as many as the sand on the seashore and the stars in the sky!

Put the Sarah mask in front of your face. Say: Remember, kids, God ALWAYS keeps His promises!

Put the masks away. Take out the jar, sand, water and confetti. Say: God made a promise to Abraham. What was that promise? Discuss.

Say: God promised that Abraham would have as many descendants as sand on the seashore and stars in the sky. Put a scoop of sand in the jar. Then add water and blue food coloring to give the appearance of the sky. Finally, add the confetti stars. You can mix it all up (like a snow globe) and watch the contents of the jar settle. After it settles, pray with the kids, thanking God that He always keeps His promises.

Additional Activities:

1. Make koolaid sand paint and paint with sand! This project could be messy but also oh so fun! Older kids can even help you mix the paint together! Use this on paper inside or go outside and use this as sidewalk paint.  

2. Beforehand, make star sugar cookies. Provide frosting and sprinkles and have the kids decorate their own cookies! While you are working, discuss the promise God made to Abraham and how God always keeps His promises.

3. Healthier snack option: Provide a variety of fruit and have the kids make their own stars. For example, give them strawberries and grapes. The strawberry can go in the center and then grapes (sliced) can go all the way around the strawberry in a circle to make a “star”. You can also provide bananas and let them make sand!

4. Give your kids star templates and let them decorate their stars using whatever materials you have on hand. (There is a star template included in the pdf for this lesson). You can give them cut up pieces of paper, crayons or markers, pasta, or whatever else you can imagine! As they are decorating their stars, talk about the promise God made to Abraham and about how God always keeps His promises!

5. Let the kids make their own Abraham and Sarah masks – and then let them retell the story by using their masks to pretend to be Abraham and Sarah! Encourage them to tell their families the story when they go home!

6. Have the kids make their own jars to represent today’s story! Help them scoop sand into a smaller jar (try to avoid glass jars – plastic water bottles might work well), pour water in it, put blue food coloring and confetti (they can even make their own confetti if you want). Help them seal their jars and then show them how to shake them up. Talk about today’s lesson and about how God always keeps His promises while you are working on this project.

___________________________

Bold_ A 10 Week Study for Churches and Families

A Preschool Lesson about Creation

A FREE Preschool Lesson on Creation that includes an opening activity, interactive lesson & several additional activities to reinforce this important truth!

This week our Preschool Bible lesson is about Creation. This is such an important message to share with our kids — God created EVERYTHING and the best thing He created was PEOPLE! This teaching is foundational and it is never too young to start emphasizing this truth! I hope this lesson will help you share this truth with your young children.

Keep Serving Him!

Cheri

PS. Please check out my new curriculum called BOLD. It is ten week’s worth of lessons (adaptable to all age groups and sizes) that focus on what it means to BE BOLD in today’s world. Find out more about it and view a sample lesson here.

A Preschool Lesson

God Created Everything

 God Created Everything Lesson (pdf)

Opening Activity:

Beforehand, gather a bunch of items and put them in a bag. These items should represent the days of creation. Examples of items you could use include: stuffed animals, mini-flashlight, stars, plants, tree bark, dolls or mini-figures. Make sure these are in a dark bag (or cloth bag). Play some music while the kids pass the bag around. When the music stops, whoever is holding the bag pulls one of the items out. Talk briefly about that item, ending by saying: That is an example of one of the things that God created! Today we are going to talk about how God created EVERYTHING! (Try to work this out so that every kid in the class gets an opportunity to pull something out of the bag).

The Lesson:

NOTE: This lesson is very interactive and, if you desire it to, could last most of the class period by itself (especially if you do the suggested outside activities as part of the lesson). Adapt it to fit your class as needed . . . just make sure to continually emphasize the main points – that God created everything and that WE are God’s most special creation!

Beforehand, prepare a large sheet of paper that you will use as a mural during this lesson. Gather the following materials: a flashlight, cotton balls, green construction paper (or pre-cut plants or leaves), pre-cut stars, crayons or markers, glue, scissors, a photograph of each kid in the class (optional)

Gather all the kids together in your story area and say, Sit down, I am going to tell you about what happened at the very beginning of the world!

Can you close your eyes? Close them REALLY tight! What do you see?

Do you see darkness? Keep your eyes closed! It’s dark and there’s nothing there, right? That’s what it was like in the very beginning, before God created anything. It was dark and there was NOTHING!

But then God CREATED! Open your eyes!

Hold up a flashlight and shine the light around the room. The first thing God created was light. Do you know how He created light? He SPOKE! He said, “Let there be light . . . and there was light. Turn the flashlight on and off a few times. Shine it in different areas. He created light and made day and night on the first day of creation!

On the second day of creation, God made the sky and water! Take out the cotton balls. Give each child a cotton ball. Have them bring the cotton ball over to the area where you have made your picture. Help them glue the cotton balls together on the mural to make puffy clouds. Talk about the clouds as you do this. If there are a lot of clouds out and it is a nice day, you might also want to take them outside and point out the clouds at this time. Also, add an area on the paper for water. Take a blue crayon and outline your “water.” You will use this later.

On the third day of creation, God created dirt and plants. Give each kid green construction paper (or, if they are really young, have these cut out in advance). Have the kids draw a plant on the paper, cut it out, and glue it on your mural Talk about the variety of plants while you are doing this. If it is a really nice day, take them outside and have them find some examples of plants (or wildflowers). Gather a bunch together and make a nice bouquet! Talk about how God created the plants while you are doing this.

On the fourth day of creation, God created the sun and stars! I know a song about stars. Can you sing it with me? Sing “Twinkle, twinkle little star”. Give each of the kids a cut out star and have them hold those stars up in the air as you sing the song again. Then have them glue their cut out star to the mural. Talk about the many, many stars there are in the sky and how God created all of them while you are doing this.

On the fifth day of creation, God created the fish and birds! Can you swim like a fish? Can you make fish lips? Let the kids try both of those activities. How about birds? Can you flap your wings like a bird? How about pretending you are flying like a bird? Have fun flapping your wings and “flying” like a bird. Then give the kids a minute to draw “fish” in the water and “birds” in the sky on your mural. Optional: give the kids a tiny snack of goldfish crackers at this point.

On the sixth day of creation, God created animals. What is your favorite animal? Let kids discuss. Let’s pretend to be animals. I am going to call out an animal and I want you to pretend to be that animal. Are you ready? Call out different animals and let the kids pretend to be those animals. Some examples include cats, dogs, lions, bears, kangaroos, dinosaurs, horses, etc. Then have the kids “gallop” over to the mural and draw pictures of animals (or provide animal stickers they can add). Optional: Give the kids animal crackers to eat at this point.

On the sixth day of creation, God also created His very favorite creation of all – people! God LOVES people, and made them more special than anything else in all of creation. WE are more special than plants, clouds, stars, and even animals!! We are the most special creation of all! Have the kids draw themselves on the mural (or, if you have pictures of each of the kids, have them glue those on at this time). You might also want to use one of these  “God Made Me Special” printables at this point, too. 

What did God do on the seventh day? He rested from all His work! And God wants us to rest, too. He wants us to take a day each week and think about Him. Let’s think about Him now and how glad we are that He created everything and that He loves us!

Let’s tell God how thankful we are that He created everything! Lead the kids in praying, thanking God for his creation. When you finish the prayer, have the kids shout out (on the count of 6 – for six days of creation – Thank you, God!)

What did God do on the seventh day? He rested! And it is time for us to rest, too.

Additional Activities:

1. Provide playdough and playdough tools. Let the kids have fun making examples of all that God created. You can even split this up by days – for example, “On day 6, God created animals! What animal can you make from this playdough?”

2. If you did not go outside as part of the lesson, take a nature walk together now. Walk outside and help the kids point out all the different things they see that God created. Examine items up close . . . let the kids use all their senses – “What do you see?” “Let’s be really quiet. What do you hear? Can you hear some birds? How about a cricket?” “What do you smell? Can you smell this flower? How about the nearby farm?” “Come touch this grass. What does it feel like? Is it soft? Isn’t it neat how God made so many different things – but WE are the most special of all His creation!”

3. There are many, many, many craft ideas for days of creation! Choose your favorite and let the kids “create”.

4. God created dirt and plants. Help your kids plant flowers, or provide cups of dirt and seeds and have them “plant” their own seeds in the cups. Encourage them to take them home and watch these plants grow.

5. Let the kids make their own fun creation paintings! Provide cotton balls and paint. (Make a paint pallet for each child by squeezing a tiny area of each color of paint on a paper plate). The kids will use the cotton balls to paint their pictures! Have them dip a cotton ball in the color paint they want to use and then use that cotton ball to draw on their paper! (Make sure you give them a cotton ball for each color of paint). Let the kids have fun with this and talk with them about their “creations” as they are painting.

_________________________________

Bold_ A 10 Week Study for Churches and Families

A Preschool Lesson on Sharing

A FREE Bible lesson to help your youngest children learn that God wants them to SHARE!

This week I have a Preschool Bible lesson for you on sharing! This lesson is based on the account of the early church found in Acts 2:44-47. I hope that you can use this lesson to help your youngest kids learn that God wants them to share.

I also hope you will consider using some of my other curriculum — and that you will take a look at my newest 10 week series for churches and families called Bold. This series is easily adaptable for kids of all ages and will help them learn to live BOLD LIVES for Jesus. Check it out!

Have a great day and keep serving Jesus!

Cheri

 God Wants me to

God Wants me to Share (Printable pdf) 

A Preschool Lesson Based on Acts 2:44-47

Opening Activities:

1. Give each child one crayon and a piece of paper. Say: I want you to draw a rainbow on your piece of paper. Are you ready? Go! The kids will not be able to draw a complete rainbow unless they share their crayons with each other. It would be super if your kids figure this out on their own, but if they don’t, give them some guidance through the activity. At the end, say: Nobody had everything that was needed to draw a rainbow, but when you shared what you had with everyone else, you were able to draw a beautiful rainbow! God wants us to share with others!

2. Play a game of “Red Light, Green Light”. Say: Today, we are going to pretend that we are on our way to church. We want to get to church as fast as we can . . . but we must obey all the traffic lights! When I say “Green Light”, you run as fast as you can to the church (me). When I say “Red Light”, you have to stop. If you don’t stop, you will have to go all the way back to the beginning. Are you ready? Here we go! Play this several times. When you finish, say: We sure were in a hurry to get to church! Today we are going to learn about how the first church SHARED with one another, and how God wants us to SHARE, too!

The Lesson:

Beforehand, collect several items that people can share and put them in a bag. This will be used during the lesson time. (Examples of items include food, clothes, toys, pencil, crayons, money, etc)

Gather the kids together for the lesson. Sit down in front of them and do the finger play, “Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and see all the people”. Teach the kids how to do it themselves and do it with them a few times.

Say: Today we are in church! We come here each week to learn about and worship the One True God! The church started a long, long time ago – right after Jesus rose from the dead and went back to heaven. Have you ever wondered what that first church was like? What do you think that first church was like? (Discuss)

There are a few things we know about that first church. One thing we know about the people who went to that first church is that they SHARED with one another! What are some things you think they shared?

Take out the bag with the items in it that you gathered beforehand. Take the items out one by one and discuss how they would have shared that item. After each item, say, “Can you share _________, too?” (For example, when you take out a clothing item, say: “What is this? Do you think they shared their clothes with one another? Can you share your clothes, too?”) If you have older kids, ask them how they can share that item with others.

When you finish going through all the items, say: God wants us to share with one another! Let’s sing a song about sharing.

Hold up an item from the bag and insert that name into the song when you sing that verse.

To the tune of Mary had a Little Lamb:

I can share my toys with you,

toys with you,

toys with you.

I can share my toys with you,

God wants me to share!

Ask the kids if there is anything else they can share. When they suggest something, sing the song with that item in it. Do this as long as interest allows.

End your time together by making a sharing mural. Allow the kids to draw pictures of items they can share (or provide magazines and have them cut the pictures out). If it is a nice day, you might want to go outside and let them draw pictures with sidewalk chalk. Remember, they are drawing pictures of things they can share. Encourage them to be specific . . . for example, draw a specific toy they have that they can share instead of just writing the word “toys”. Close the time by praying together, asking God to help them share with others.

Additional Activities:

1. Have the kids sit in a circle. Pass around a ball and play some music. When the music stops, whoever is holding the ball says one thing he/she can share with someone else.

2. Give the kids two candy bars (or small bags of candy) – one to keep and one to give away. Encourage them to take that candy bar (or bag of candy) and share it with someone else this week!

3. Make something together that the kids can share with the whole church! For example, gather the ingredients and have the kids work together (with a lot of patient assistance) to make a batch of cookies. When church is over, have the kids pass these out (share these) as people are leaving the church.

4. Make this cool envelope church art project. While you are making it, talk about how the early church shared with one another, and how we need to share, too!

5. Show your kids how your church is sharing with others! If your church has a food pantry or clothing closet, take a “field trip” to visit it! Talk about how people bring in food (or clothes) that they can share with others. Encourage them to bring in some food (or clothes), too! Take a minute to pray for the people who will receive the items your church gives away.

___________________

You CAN make a difference in the world! Check out my new book that is meant to encourage you to get out and SIMPLY SERVE!

simplyserve

Sixty-Six: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids of All Ages

This is an 11 week Bible Reading plan that will take your family through every book of the Bible with suggested Scriptures, discussion questions & activities for each day’s reading! Perfect for summer Bible reading!

Hey there! This is an 11 week Bible reading plan that is PERFECT for the summer. It is a bit longer than my normal Bible Reading Plans — eleven weeks/6 days a week. The reason for this is that I wanted to take the kids through every book of the Bible this summer! There is a suggested reading for each day (older kids can do the first reading, younger kids can do the one in parenthesis), as well as discussion questions and activities. When there are two activities listed, the first one is aimed towards younger children and the second one is aimed to older children/teens. You can use this plan as a family, or print it off and let your kids read on their own!

Note: The Old Testament plan is pretty much in chronological order, while the New Testament goes in the order of the books of the Bible.

I hope this plan helps your family grow closer to Jesus this summer!

Cheri

Sixty-6_ A Bible ReadingPlan for Kidsof all Ages

Print the Plan Here

Week One

Day One

We are going to start our Bible reading at the very beginning – both of the Bible and of all history! Let’s take a look at what happened when God created man and woman!

To Read: Genesis 1:26-31

To Discuss: What was special about the man and woman that God created?  What did God say about His creation? What does that mean about you? What does God think about you? Discuss how God made each person in the family exactly as He wanted them to be! Some He made girls, some He made boys . . . He knew exactly what He was doing when He made you!

To Do:

1. Have your child lie down on a large piece of paper (or tape several pieces of paper together to get the right size). Trace around his body. Then have him fill in the body to make the picture look like himself Discuss what makes him special as you are doing this. Say: God made you special – He made you exactly the way He wanted you to be. Spend time today thanking God for how He made you.

2. Think about each person in your family. What words would you use to describe each person? Take sticky-notes and write one word on each sticky note to describe each person in the family. Stick these notes on the person you are describing (Make sure you are being nice!!!) Have fun reading off the notes and thanking God for how He made each person in your family unique and special!

Day Two

Some time during the book of Genesis, lived a man named Job. Job was a man who loved God with all his heart. God allowed Satan to test Job by putting him through some horrible situations. Job remained faithful to God through it all. Let’s take a look at how this testing of Job began.

To Read: Job 1 (Job 1:8-12)

To Discuss:   Why do you think God allowed Job to be tested by Satan? Has anything ever happened to you that seemed to make no sense? How do you respond? Sometimes bad things happen to us for no apparent reason. We need to remember, however, that God loves us and will be with us when we go through these hard times – even if we never understand why these things happen.

To Do:

One of the ways that Satan hurt Job was by causing a great wind to come and kill all his sons and daughters. Make a “great wind” in a bottle.  

Day Three

The rest of Genesis takes us through the flood, the beginning of God’s chosen people (the Israelites), and the moving of these people into Egypt where they eventually ended up as slaves. The people cried out to be delivered – God heard them and used his servant, Moses, to lead them out of slavery. Let’s take a look at what happened when the Israelites were escaping from Egypt and how God showed His power in a mighty way.

To Read: Exodus 14:13-31 (Exodus 14:21-22)

To Discuss: How did God show His power in these verses?   How do you think the Israelites felt when they walked through the sea? How would you have felt? What do these verses teach you about God? Discuss how God can do anything – He can even control nature! Sometimes it takes a step of faith on our part, though! We have to be willing to go where God wants us to go and do what God wants us to do!

To Do:

1. Make blue gelatin with your child. As you are making it, have him try to separate it (like the sea was separated). Discuss how this is an impossible task for us, but NOTHING is impossible for God! Once the gelatin hardens, take it out and separate it so that the gelatin makes “walls” of water. Have fun eating it together – and talking about today’s Bible reading.

2. Is there anything in your life right now that seems “impossible”? Draw a picture of what you think it looked like when the sea was divided. Write some of your “impossible” things on the picture of the water. Spend time praying for each of these things. Remember, NOTHING is impossible with God!

Day Four

Today we are in the book of Leviticus. This book has a lot of the laws that the Israelites had to follow. It can be difficult to read all these laws and see what the people had to do just to be forgiven for their sins! Reading through Leviticus should make us thankful that we have Jesus! He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins – once and for all! No longer do we have to follow all these Old Testament Laws!

To Read: Leviticus 1:1-4 (Leviticus 1:4)

To Discuss: Why do you think the sacrifice had to be “without defect”? Do you think it was possible to have a sacrifice that was completely without defect? Why or why not? Why did the people have to place their hands on the head of this animal? How did this symbolize what Jesus was going to do when he died on the cross?

To Do:

Write down some of the sins that you have committed on a piece of paper. Talk about the process of how the people had to be forgiven for their sins back in the Old Testament. Then take a match and burn the paper (or make a fire and throw all the papers in the fire). Talk about how Jesus makes it possible for us to have our sins forgiven today. He was the ultimate sacrifice – a true lamb without defect!

Day Five

In the book of Numbers, the people have safely escaped from Egypt and are now getting ready to enter the promised land. They are given a chance to go in and take over this land . . . and Moses sends some spies to check it out first. Let’s see what happens next.

To Read: Numbers 13:1-3, 13:21-14:10 (Numbers 13:30-33)

To Discuss: What was the response of the spies to the people who lived in the land? Who were the only ones who showed faith? What happened as a result? What does this tell you about the people at this time? Even though the people had seen God do impossible things many, many times before this, they still doubted Him! We serve the SAME God!! Do you ever doubt Him? What situations make it difficult for you to have faith?

To Do:

Use toothpicks, grapes and other pieces of fruit (like bananas or apples) to make your own “giant” people. Talk about how God is bigger than any giant in our lives while you eat your newly created snack.

Day Six

Because of the people’s unbelief, they were unable to enter the promised land themselves – only their kids could enter it! The only exception was the 2 spies – Joshua and Caleb. So, for the next 40 years, the people waited in the wilderness until all the people who had doubted God had died and the kids (who were now adults) were ready to enter the land. During this time, the book of Deuteronomy was written. It contains reminders of the law that God had given the people. Let’s read a bit of it today:

To Read: Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (Deuteronomy 6:5).

To Discuss: Why do you think it was important for the people to write these commands everywhere and tell them to everyone? Is this still important today? How would you apply these verses to your life today?

To Do:

1. Help your child make a heart out of red construction paper. Inside the heart, have him draw or write ways that he can show God that he loves Him.

2. How can you show God you love Him with all your heart, soul, and might? Make a list of the different ways and then put that list into practice!

Sing along!! 

Week Two

Day One

Finally the wandering in the wilderness is at an end. All of the older generation (except Joshua and Caleb) have died and the kids are now adults and they are ready to take over the Promised Land! Joshua tells us the story of how they do this. Let’s read some of it today.

To Read: Joshua 6 (Joshua 6:15-21)

To Discuss: How did the people take over the promised land? What is amazing about this? What does this tell you about God? Are you willing to obey God – even when the instructions seem a bit strange?

To Do:

1. Act this story out with your child! Build a wall out of bricks and have fun marching around it seven times and then blowing horns and shouting. Talk about how God can do anything!

2. Act this out with food! Use graham crackers and frosting to make a wall. Use E.L. Fudge crackers as people and bugles as the trumpets. Blow the trumpets, shout, and eat the wall!

Day Two

The book of Judges takes us through a cycle of what happens after Joshua and Caleb die. For awhile, the people serve God . . . but eventually they forget all about Him. Because of their disobedience, God allows them to be conquered by other nations, where they eventually call out to God and he sends a deliverer (called a “Judge”) to rescue them. They then follow God . . . as long as the Judge is alive. But when the Judge dies, they soon forget about God and the cycle continues. Let’s take a look at one of the stories of deliverance from this book.

To Read: Judges 7 (Judges 7”19-22)

To Discuss: How did God show His power in these verses? What do you think Gideon was feeling/thinking during all of this? How would you have felt?

To Do:

1. Use a paper towel tube and aluminum foil to help your child make a “trumpet”. Have him walk through the house shouting “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon”. Talk about the power of God!

2. Make your own “comic book” style depiction of this story. Share it with the rest of your family – and then tell them the part of this story that stands out to you the most.

Day Three

In the middle of the period of the Judges comes a beautiful story of love and redemption. A young woman named Ruth (who is not even an Israelite) marries a Jewish man. The man dies, along with his brother and father, leaving Ruth and her mother-in-law alone. Ruth could have gone back to her own people, but she decides to stay with her mother-in-law and serve the one true God. Eventually, God leads Ruth to someone who can “redeem her”, she marries him, and she ends up in the line of Jesus Christ! Let’s read the part where Ruth’s “kinsman redeemer” makes the commitment to take care of Ruth.

To Read: Ruth 4:1-6. 13-17 (Ruth 4:14-15)

To Discuss: How is this story a picture of what Jesus does for us? What is significant about Ruth being in the line of Christ? What does this story tell you about God’s love?

To Do:

1. A baby brought hope and joy to Naomi. Babies often bring joy to people! Look at baby pictures of your child with him and talk about the joy that he brought to your life when he entered your family.

2. Did you notice the way they sealed their deal? They exchanged sandals! Play a game with sandals today! Take a shoe and pass it around your family while playing music. When the music stops, whoever is holding the shoe says one thing that they thank God for!

Day Four

After Ruth came a judge named Samuel. Samuel was the last judge of Israel, and he was obedient to God from a very young age! When he was three, he went and lived in the temple, where he served God for the rest of his life. Let’s take a look at what happened the first time God spoke to Samuel.

To Read: 1 Samuel 3:1-21 (1 Samuel 3:5-9).

To Discuss: Explain how God first spoke to Samuel. What did Samuel think was happening? How did Samuel finally respond?

To Do:

1. Act out this story with your child. He will love pretending to be Samuel when you pretend to be God (and vice-versa)!

2. When God finally gave His message to Samuel, it wasn’t a very fun message! How do you think Samuel felt about this message? Do you think there are things that God wants you to say/do today that might be difficult? Spend time praying for courage to always do and say what God wants you to!

Day Five

At the end of 1 Samuel, the people are no longer satisfied with a Judge. Instead, they want a King. God tells Samuel not to take it personally, that they are not rejecting Samuel but rather God, and Samuel anoints the first King of Israel – a man by the name of Saul. Saul starts off good, but doesn’t stay that way, and Samuel anoints the second king – a young shepherd boy named David. David is described as “a man after God’s own heart” and, while he makes mistakes, his devotion for God is strong. God promises David that an everlasting King will come from his family – one who will reign forever. This King is King Jesus! Let’s read about when God makes that very special promise to David.

To Read: 2 Samuel 7:8-17 (2 Samuel 7:12-13)

To Discuss: What is the significance of what God is telling David in these verses? How do you think David felt when he received this promise? God told David that this King will have a kingdom that will never end – what does that mean? Are you part of that kingdom today?

To Do:

1. This passage is about a special King – King Jesus! Help your child make a crown while talking about King Jesus!

2. God reminded David about his humble beginnings as a shepherd. Isn’t it great to know that God can use anyone to carry out His plans? Spend time today asking God to use YOU to carry out His plans, too!

Day Six

The story of Israel is also contained in 1 & 2 Chronicles. Some of the events in these book happen at the same time as the events in 1 & 2 Kings. Today, we are going to look at some of the mighty men who served King David as found in the book of 1 Chronicles.

To Read: 1 Chronicles 11:10-25 (1 Chronicles 11:10)

To Discuss: David surrounded himself with people who helped him and supported him! Who do you surround yourself with? Why is it important to have people around you who will help you?

To Do:

1. David had a lot of “Mighty Men”. These people had great courage! Play with your child, pretending to be David and his mighty men. Talk about some of the things these mighty men may have done. Have even more fun with this by using mini-figures to represent the mighty men, or making your own “army” out of “army guys” or “dolls”.

2. Choose one of the “mighty men” from today’s story and write your own story about how this person served David.

Week Three

Day One

David loved to write songs! In fact, he wrote a whole song book – what we call the Book of Psalms! Psalms is full of song lyrics – some happy, some sad, some full of praise, some full of questions. Let’s read one of these songs today.

To Read: Psalm 46 (Psalm 46:1-3)

To Discuss: How do you feel when you read this Psalm? How can you apply this Psalm to your life?

To Do:

1. Help your child make a mountain out of playdough (or a flour and water mixture, or whatever else you have on hand). Have even more fun by mixing baking soda and vinegar together at the top of the mountain to make a “volcano”. Talk with your child about how God made the mountains and volcanoes (and everything else) and about how we can trust Him to help us when things are scary.

2. What kinds of things scare you? Write your own “Psalm”, sharing how you can trust God – even when things are scary and seemingly out of control.

Day Two

After David died, his son, Solomon, became king. Solomon was very wise – the wisest man who ever lived! He, along with a few other people, put some of his wise words down in a book called Proverbs. Let’s read some of those words today.

To Read: Proverbs 16:1-9 (Proverbs 16:9)

To Discuss: There are a lot of great tidbits of wisdom in these verses! Discuss your favorites.

To Do:

1. The Lord directs our steps! Take your child outside and have him paint with his feet! Paint the bottom of his feet and let him run around on your sidewalk, making a “path” with his steps. Then talk about what it means that the Lord “directs our steps”. You might also want to play a game of follow the leader, stressing the importance of following God wherever He leads.

2. Are you a “planner”? Do you have your plans all figured out? Spend time today asking God to be in charge of your life and to show you what His plans for your life are.

Day Three

Ecclesiastes is also a book of wisdom, possibly written by Solomon. This book can be depressing to read, as the writer talks about how everything is meaningless without God. The main point of this book can be summarized in the verses we are going to read today – remember God, because, in the end, nothing else matters except your relationship with Him. Let’s read those verses now.

To Read: Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

To Discuss: Why is it important to remember your creator in the days of your youth? How can having a relationship with God when you are young impact your entire life?

To Do:

1. Talk with your child about how he is not too young to serve God! Help him come up with some ways that he can serve God today! Choose one of the things from his list and help him do that!

2. Make a poster with the first verse from today’s reading on it. Hang that poster in your room and read it every day!

Day Four

While Solomon was very wise, he also had some weaknesses. His biggest weakness was his love for women. He had many, many wives! There is a book in the Bible dedicated to one of his wives – it is a love story that celebrates the beauty of marriage. We are going to read a small part of it today – a warning about being careful in our relationships.

To Read: Ecclesiastes 3:5 (Ecclesiastes 3:5)

To Discuss: What does it mean to not arouse or awaken love until she pleases? What is God’s plan for marriage? (This is a good time to have a discussion with older kids about God’s design for marriage and purity!)

To Do:

1. Talk with your child about your relationship with your spouse. (If you are not married, you can talk about a special relationship in the past or about what you pray for him in his future relationship). This would be a fun time to go through your wedding album with your child and talk about that special day. End by praying for your child’s future spouse.

2. Take some time today to make a list of qualities that your future spouse must have (for example, he must be a Christian and put God first). Pray over this list. Then, when you are dating in the future, remember those things on this list that you are not willing to change (like must be a Christian). Spend time praying for your future spouse.

Day Five

After Solomon dies, the nation of Israel goes downhill. The nation is divided into two parts – a northern kingdom and a southern kingdom. The northern kingdom has only bad kings, while the southern kingdom only has a few good kings. In the middle of these bad kings comes a prophet by the name of Elijah. Elijah follows God and is not afraid to stand for Him no matter what. One of these times comes on top of a mountain. Let’s read about this showdown today.

To Read: 1 Kings 18:20-46 (1 Kings 18:25-39)

To Discuss: Explain what happened during this showdown. What parts of this story do you like the best? How does God demonstrate His power in this story?

To Do:

1. Help your child gather rocks, sticks, and pitchers of water. Help him arrange the rocks and sticks in a cake pan to make an altar. Pour water over the top of the whole thing. Try to light it on fire. Talk about why it was difficult and the miracle that happened in today’s story!

2. Elijah had to trust God to answer with fire. Do you trust God to answer your prayers? Take a rock and write the word “Trust” on it. Decorate the rock if you’d like. Keep that rock somewhere to remind you to trust God to answer your prayers.

Day Six

Elijah’s story has an amazing ending! He doesn’t die . . . let’s read about what happens to him and who takes over as God’s prophet.

To Read: 2 Kings 2:1-15 (2 Kings 2:11-12)

To Discuss: What happened to Elijah? What was Elisha’s response? How do you think Elisha felt watching this? How is this a fitting end to Elijah’s time on earth?

To Do:

Use cheese, pretzels, and whatever other snack foods you have on hand to help your child make a fiery chariot. Have fun eating it together while talking about today’s story. Older kids can have fun making this snack today, too!

Week Four

Day One

One of the good kings in the southern kingdom was a man named Hezekiah. Whenever he was faced with challenges, he prayed and asked God for help. Today we are going to read about one of those times.

To Read: 2 Chronicles 32:9-23 (2 Chronicles 32:20-22)

To Discuss: What did Sennacherib threaten? How did Hezekiah respond? How did God answer his prayer? Hezekiah’s first response was to pray. What is your first response?

To Do:

1. When something scary was happening to Hezekiah, he prayed! Help your child understand that he can pray about scary things, too! Help your child draw a picture of something that scares him . . . and then spend time praying about it together!

2. Make your own prayer journal (find some prayer journal pages here) and write down your prayer requests and answers to prayer.

Day Three

God was not happy with the nation of Israel. Both of the kingdoms were disobeying him and following other gods. God wanted the people to turn back to Him . . . and He sent several prophets to tell the people to repent! We are going to start looking at some of these today . . . and we will start with a very small book called Obadiah.

To Read: Obadiah 1:15-17 (Obadiah 1:15)

To Discuss: What was the warning here? Is there any hope given in these verses? How would you feel if you were given this warning?

To Do:

Part of these verses say, “As you have done, it will be done to you.” This is similar to the “Golden Rule” in the NewTestament, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Discuss both of these statements with your child. Then spend some time talking about how you should treat other people. Role play situations where it might be hard to treat people well, and use these situations to show your child how to respond to everything as Jesus would want.

Day Three

Even though the Lord was not happy with His people, He still loved them. He wanted them to turn back to Him, and gave them plenty of opportunities to do so. He also sometimes used these prophets to tell about what would happen in the future . . . in the long-distance future! Let’s look at what He said through the prophet Joel . . . and how that message is also a message to us today!

To Read: Joel 2:18-33 (Joel 32-33)

To Discuss: What were the promises in these verses? What are the promises for us today?

To Do:

These verses say that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! That means anyone can become a Christian! Spend time today praying for people you know who need Jesus!

Day Four

While all these prophets were being sent to Israel, one prophet from Israel was sent to a foreign nation. This prophet was named Jonah . . . and he did not want to have anything to do with what God was calling him to do. He didn’t like the people of Ninevah, and he had no intention of going there with God’s message. In fact, he went the opposite direction. God worked out His plan, though, causing Jonah to be thrown over the ship and swallowed by a large fish. He was eventually given a second chance, and he shared God’s message with the people of Ninevah (who, unlike the Israelites, immediately repented and followed God!!!) Today, let’s read the beginning of this story.

To Read: Jonah 1 (Jonah 1:12-17)

To Discuss: Why did Jonah not want to go to Ninevah? Do you ever not want to do something God wants you to do? What can you do to make sure you always obey God – even when it’s hard?

To Do:

1. Drape a large blanket over a table and sit under the table with your child. Talk about what it might have been like for Jonah inside the fish. Talk about how it can sometimes be hard to do the right thing, but we need to always do what is right . . . no matter what! End by eating goldfish crackers and watching “Jonah” by Veggie Tales.

2. Sketch a picture of a fish. Inside the fish, make a list of things that God might want you to do that you find difficult. Pray about each item on your list.

Day Five

Amos was a shepherd whom God used to deliver a message of repentance to His people. He was still giving them a chance to turn back to Him. Let’s read some of the message that Amos gave the people.

To Read: Amos 5:4-15 (Amos 5:14-15)

To Discuss: What were some of the ways the Israelites were disobeying God? What did God want the people to do? Does God want the same for us today? How can we seek good and not evil?

To Do:

1. Hate Evil, love good! Talk to your child about how we should RUN from evil!!! Play a fun game. Make a list of things that are “evil” and things that are “good”. Then say one word at a time. If the word you say is something “evil” your child should run away from you. If it is something “good” your child should run towards you. Have fun with this . . . but be sure to emphasize that we need to stay away from those things that are evil and run towards those things that are good.

2. God wants us to establish justice. There is a lot of injustice in the world. What is one area of injustice that you care a lot about? Do some research on it and then do something to help spread awareness for this issue.

Day Six

Another prophet at this time was a guy named Hosea. While many of the prophets were sent with tough messages about God’s punishment, Hosea was sent with a message of love. Hosea’s message was that God loved His people – even though they were unfaithful to Him. Hosea’s life demonstrated God’s incredible love for His people – as Hosea lived out God’s unfailing love through a relationship with his unfaithful spouse. Hosea showed the people that God was willing to pay a price for the people . . . and, in fact, Jesus would pay that price several years in the future. Let’s take a look at part of Hosea’s message to the people.

To Read: Hosea 14 (Hosea 14:9)

To Discuss: What is the message to the people in this chapter? How can verse 9 be applied to us today?

To Do:

1. The righteous will walk in the ways of the Lord. Go for a walk with your child, talking about how important it is to always follow Jesus . . . staying on the right path.

2. Some people will tell you that there is no absolute right or wrong, but we know that is not true. There are things that are right 100% of the time . . . and there are things that are wrong 100% of the time. Ask God to help you know what is right and what is wrong – and to always do the right thing no matter what.

Week Five

Day One

Another prophet during this time was Isaiah. Isaiah had a long message for the people . . . one which actually prophesied about Jesus Christ as well! Let’s take a look today at what happened when God called Isaiah to be his prophet.

To Read: Isaiah 6:1-8 (Isaiah 6:8)

To Discuss: What vision did Isaiah have? How did Isaiah respond to this vision? What did God ask Isaiah? How did Isaiah respond? Are you willing to respond the same way?

To Do:

1. Help your child write the words “Send me” on a piece of paper and decorate the paper. Then take a picture of your child holding that up in front of him. Print the picture off, frame it, and hang it in his room. Talk with him about what it means to tell God, “Send me”.

2. Do you have a mirror in your room? Write the words “Send me” on the mirror with a marker. Then, every time you look in the mirror, ask God to show you where He wants to send you and to help you do what He wants you to do.

Day Two

Micah was another prophet sent to warn the people of Israel. He also was given special prophecies about Jesus . . . mainly about His birth! Among his prophecies was the one that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (which he was several hundred years later). In the middle of this book, however, are a couple verses that summarize the way God wants His people to live. Check them out:

To Read: Micah 6:6-8 (Micah 6:8)

To Discuss: According to these verses, what does God desire for us? What does that mean to you?

To Do:

1. Let’s focus on loving kindness today! Help your child think of something kind that he can do for someone else . . . then help him do it!

2. Make a poster of verse 8. Hang this poster in your room.

Day Three

Remember how Jonah was sent to Ninevah with a message from God? Nahum was also sent to Ninevah . . . about 100 years later. This time, however, the people of Ninevah did not listen – and they were destroyed. Let’s read part of Nahum’s message today.

To Read: Nahum 1:1-15 (Nahum 1:3)

To Discuss: What was Nahum’s message? How does this message relate to us today?

To Do:

1. The Lord is slow to anger. Talk about what it means to be slow to anger. Play a game with your child: take a paper plate and draw an angry face on one side and a happy face on the other. The angry face reminds us that the Lord is slow to anger (and we should be slow to anger, too). Whenever you show the angry face, your child should walk very slowly. Whenever you show the happy face, your child should run – because we should be QUICK to love! Have your child stand on one side of the yard while you stand on the other. Play red light/green light . . . only using the paper plate (red light = angry face, green light = happy face).

2. Which verses stick out to you the most in this passage? Draw pictures to represent that verse.

Day Four

God sent a lot of prophets to his people! He gave them plenty of warnings! Another one of these prophets was Habakkuk. Habakkuk knew things were going to get bad . . . but he also knew that God would be with him no matter what happened, and he promised to praise God no matter how bad things got. We will see those words in today’s reading.

To Read: Habakkuk 3:17-19 (Habakkuk 3:19)

To Discuss: How is the Lord our strength? How does the Lord help us in good times and bad?

To Do:

1. Take a bunch of newspapers, pillows, or blankets and stuff your child with them to make your child look like he has huge muscles! Take pictures of him posing with big, strong muscles! Then say: It is fun to pretend to be strong . . . but God is stronger than anything or anyone! Isn’t it great to know that God is on our side?

2. Habakkuk said he was going to praise God even though the world around him was falling apart. Do you ever feel like the world around you is falling apart? How can Habakkuk’s words help you during those times? Write your own prayer to God, praising Him even when things are tough.

Day Five

Zephaniah gave another warning to the people . . . but he also told them that there would still be a “remnant” of believers. Even though the kingdoms were going to be conquered, there would still be people who stayed true to God through it all.

To Read: Zephaniah 3:12-20 (Zephaniah 3:16-17)

To Discuss: How does the Lord feel about His remnant? How do you think these words would have been an encouragement to the people who were serving God at this time? How are these words an encouragement to you?

To Do:

1. These verses say that God rejoices over His people with shouts of joy! Can you imagine God rejoicing over you? Show your child what it might be like for God to “rejoice over him” by holding him in your arms and shouting out all the things you love about your child. Say, “I love you soooo much, but God loves you even more!!” and then end your time together by tickling him!

2. What does it mean to you that “God rejoices over you”? Spend time thinking about the great love that God has for you!

Day Six

Jeremiah was the last prophet before the southern kingdom was taken into captivity. (The northern kingdom had been taken into captivity several years before, but the southern kingdom was still holding on.) God sent Jeremiah to His people with a very unpopular message – and as a result, Jeremiah was treated pretty poorly! Jeremiah never backed down, though, and eventually his message came true and the people were conquered. God did give Jeremiah a promise, though, and that was that the captivity would only last for 70 years. Let’s take a look today at the day God called Jeremiah to be His prophet.

To Read: Jeremiah 1:4-10 (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

To Discuss: When did God have a plan for Jeremiah’s life? What did God tell Jeremiah to do? How did God reassure Jeremiah? Do you ever feel like Jeremiah did? How does God help you during those times?

To Do:

1. God knew Jeremiah and had a plan for his life before Jeremiah was even born! God loves your child and has a plan for his life, too! If you have copies of your child’s ultrasound pictures, show them to him today and talk about how babies who are inside their mommies are important and loved, too!

2. Do you ever use your age as an excuse as to why you can’t do something big for God? How do you think God would respond to that? God can use you . . . no matter how young or old you are! Spend time today asking God to show you His plan for your life!

Week Six

Day One

The book of Lamentations is a lament – a book of sorrow and sadness reflecting on the captivity of the southern kingdom. Jeremiah, the prophet who warned the people the captivity was coming also wrote this book. In the middle of the book, however, is a reminder of God’s faithfulness. Let’s read those verses today.

To Read: Lamentations 3:19-26 (Lamentations 3:22-23)

To Discuss: What gives Jeremiah hope? How can this give you hope, too?

To Do:

1. God loves us SOOO much! Every morning, he has more and more love for us! Help your child make a sun craft to remind him of this. Cut a big circle out of yellow paper (or paint white paper yellow). Then cut several long rectangles out of yellow and orange paper to be the sun’s rays. Have your child write or draw one way that God shows His love to us on each ray of the sun. Then attach the rays to the circle. Write verses 22 & 23 on the circle. Hang the sun in your child’s room.

2. Jeremiah remembered God’s faithfulness and it gave him hope. What gives you hope? Write a letter to God, thanking Him for His faithfulness and mercy to you.

Day Two

The people had been warned, but they would not repent! Finally, God had enough, and the southern kingdom of Judah was conquered by “a lion from the north” – or the Babylonians. The Israelites were taken into captivity. Many of the teenagers were taken into a special program where their names were changed and they were indoctrinated in the ways of the Babylonians. This program lasted for 3 years, and then the graduates were given places to work in the kingdom. Daniel and his friends were among these teenagers. These four young men determined that they would serve the one true God no matter what, and, while their faith was put to the test, they always stood strong. Daniel stayed committed to God his entire life. He served several different kings of Babylon and was promoted to a high place of leadership. Not all the other leaders liked Daniel, however, and some of them devised a way to get rid of him. Let’s read about that today.

To Read: Daniel 6 (Daniel 6:16-22)

To Discuss: What would you have been thinking if you were Daniel? What do you think it was like for Daniel when he was thrown in the lion’s den? What can you learn from the story of Daniel?

To Do:

1. Act out this story with your child! Use paper plates to make lion masks. Then have one of you pretend to be the lions (make sure you are mean and loud!!!) and the other pretend to be Daniel. Have fun acting out the story and discussing the courage and faith of Daniel!

2. Make your own lion snack! Use cut-up bananas, oranges, and other items to make a lion’s face. Be creative! When you have the perfect lion, take a picture and then eat it up!

Day Three

Ezekiel lived at the same time as Daniel. Like Daniel, he was a displaced Jew who was now living in Babylon. Unlike Daniel, he did not live in the palace and serve the king. One day, God gave Ezekiel a vision and prophecy, which Ezekiel wrote down in the book of Ezekiel. Let’s read part of it today.

To Read: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (Ezekiel 37:7-8)

To Discuss: Why did God have Ezekiel prophesy to a bunch of dried up bones? What did this represent? What was the promise God gave to the people of Israel through Ezekiel?

To Do:

God can bring new life to even things that are dead – like the bones in this passage! Make a skeleton craft using q-tips and black construction paper. Glue the q-tips on the paper to make the skeleton. Use white paper or chalk to make a head for the skeleton. Talk about what this passage means for us today.

A song for today: Come Alive (Dry Bones) a song by Lauren Daigle:  

Day Four

The time of captivity was coming to an end. A man named Zerubbabel was a leader among the Israelites and God had a message for him. He used a prophet named Haggai to deliver this message – a message that challenged Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Let’s read some of that message today.

To Read: Haggai 1:1-15 (Haggai 1:7)

To Discuss: What did God want Zerubbabel to do? Why was this important? How would you feel if you were given a task like Zerubbabel?

To Do:

1. Zerubbabel was told to rebuild the temple of the Lord. Help your child “build” a temple today. Use blocks, legos, or boxes (or whatever you have on hand) and build a temple together.

2. The temple was important to worship in Old Testament times – it was considered the house of God. Today, however, there is a different “house of God”. What is it? (Hint: Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). How should we treat that temple? What are some ways that we can make sure we are treating God’s temple well? Make a list of ways you can care for God’s temple – your body.

Day Five

God also spoke to a man named Zechariah during this time, reminding the people of their past and sharing a message for the future. In this middle of these prophecies, God states again the importance of justice and compassion. Let’s read those verses today.

To Read: Zechariah 7:8-14 (Zechariah 7:9-10)

To Discuss: What did God want the people to do? Did the people listen? What was the result? Do you think God still cares about the widow, orphan, stranger, and poor today? How does He want us to respond to these people?

To Do:

God loves all people – and He wants us to love and care for all people, too. Make a special gift for someone you know from one of these groups. Deliver that gift and do something nice for them while you are at their house, too!

Day Six

The Persian nation had conquered Babylon and the Jews in Babylon were in the process of being set free and rebuilding the temple when a young Jewish girl back in Persia found herself in a position of power that eventually led to her saving her people from destruction! Let’s read part of her story today.

To Read: Esther 4 (Esther 4:13-16)

To Discuss: Why was Esther afraid to stand up for her people? What was Mordecai’s response to this? What do you think of Esther’s response in verse 16?

To Do:

1. Make a king’s scepter out of paper towel tubes and whatever art supplies you have on hand. Talk about the danger Esther faced when she approached the king, but how she still did the right thing. Encourage your child to always do the right thing, too.

2. Mordecai challenged Esther that maybe she was queen for “such a time as this”. What does that phrase mean to you? Do you think God could have a special purpose in mind for you . . . do you have a “for such a time as this” moment? Make a poster out of those words (“for such a time as this”) to remind you to always seek to do what God has planned for you!

Week Seven

Day One

The Persian empire is now in control of Babylon and God moves the king, a guy by the name of Cyrus, to let the Israelites go back to their original homes and rebuild the temple. Remember Zerubbabel? He is going to lead this project! Ezra is one of the prophets at this time, and he records what happens in his book, appropriately titled “Ezra”.

To Read: Ezra 3:8-13 (Ezra 3:10-11)

To Discuss: What did the people do when the foundation for the temple was laid? Why were some praising and rejoicing while others were mourning?

To Do:

1. When the foundation of the temple was laid, the people had a huge praise party! Have a praise party with your child today. Help him make some home-made instruments (you can even use pots and pans if you want) and have a parade through the house (or neighborhood) singing songs and shouting out praise to God!

2. Some of the people were praising God, and some were weeping. We should be free to express whatever emotion we have before God. What things make you rejoice? What things make you weep? Make a list and then pray about all of those things today.

Day Two

Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king of Persia. He was also a Jew and he had heard about what was happening back in Jerusalem – that the people were having great difficulty and the walls around the city were not being repaired. The king saw that Nehemiah was in great distress, and, after finding out why, the king gave Nehemiah permission and resources to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem! Let’s take a look at some of the words of Nehemiah.

To Read: Nehemiah 2 (Nehemiah 2:1-8)

To Do:

1. The king gave Nehemiah special letters giving him permission to go back and rebuild his city. Have your child pretend to be a king. Give him some paper and stamps (if you have them) and have him write or draw a special letter like the king may have written for Nehemiah. Roll it up and seal it with a stamp.

2. Nehemiah faced opposition when he set out to rebuild the walls. Do you ever face opposition when you try to do something right? What can you learn from Nehemiah’s response to opposition? Write about a time when you faced opposition and how you handled it.

Day Three

We are now ready to read from the last book of the Old Testament – the book of Malachi. After the book of Malachi is written, God is silent. The next time He speaks, He will speak to a young Jewish girl, and it will be to announce that she is to be the mother of the Messiah – Jesus Christ!

To Read: Malachi 3 (Malachi 3:8)

To Discuss: How did God say the people were robbing Him? God wants us to give our best to Him. Are you giving Him your best?

To Do:

1. Help your child make his own treasure chest or piggy bank based on whatever materials you have on hand (you can even use a can or water bottle for this). Then encourage your child to fill it up with change until it is full. When it is full, take it to church and give it as an offering to God.

2. Are you giving a regular offering to God? Find a way to earn money – and then give part of that money (or all of it) to God as an offering.

Day Four

Hooray! We are now in the New Testament! Remember how I said that the next time God speaks, it will be to a young Jewish girl? Let’s read about that today. (NOTE: It’s been over 400 years since the book of Malachi was written).

To Read: Matthew 1:18-25 (Matthew 1:18-21)

To Discuss: How do you think Joseph and Mary felt when they were told they were going to be the parents of God’s son?

To Do:

An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. Make an angel craft today. Find some cool ones here.

Day Five

The first four books of the New Testament share what happened when Jesus was on earth. Today we are going to read from the book of Mark.

To Read: Mark 11:1-10 (Mark 11:7-10)

To Discuss: How did the people treat Jesus when he came riding into town on a donkey? Why do you think they shouted these things out to him?

To Do:

The people laid down palm branches in front of Jesus to praise him as he came riding into town. Make your own palm branches today out of construction paper (or whatever else you have on hand). Write words to describe what you praise Jesus for on each of the palm branches.

Day Six

The book of Luke was written by a Doctor who researched the life of Jesus and wrote his book based on his findings. Let’s read what he reported about the death of Jesus.

To Read: Luke 23:33-56 (Luke 23:33-37)

To Discuss: What happened to Jesus in these verses? Why did Jesus have to die?

To Do:

Make a cross snack craft today. Frost a graham cracker with white frosting. Then use sliced grapes to make a cross and background on the graham crackers.

Week Eight

Day One 

John was written by one of the disciples of Jesus. He also wrote the books of 1, 2, & 3 John and Revelation. We will read about the resurrection of Jesus from John’s book today.

To Read: John 20 (John 20:11-18)

To Discuss: Discuss the different emotions that Mary felt in this chapter. What about the rest of the followers of Jesus? How would you have felt?

To Do:

The tomb was empty because Jesus had risen and the tomb is still empty today! Make an empty tomb cresent roll.   

Day Two

Dr. Luke also wrote the book of Acts. In the book of Acts, Luke writes about the beginning of the church. This also has the story of the conversion of Saul – a man who started off persecuting (even killing) Christians, but would become a great leader in the early church. But Luke begins his book with Jesus going back into heaven. Let’s read about that today.

To Read: Acts 1:1-11 (Acts 1:9-11)

To Discuss: What command did Jesus give the disciples? How does this command apply to you today?

To Do:

1. Help your child draw a picture of Jesus going into heaven. Give him cotton balls and have him glue those down on the paper to be clouds. Then have him draw a picture of Jesus going up into the clouds. Talk about how Jesus will one day come back down to earth to get us and take us to heaven!

2. Rewrite verse 8 using places that are familiar to you. What would be your Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria? Once you have it rewritten, make a poster of it and hang it in your room. Pray each day for opportunities to be Jesus’s witnesses in each of these places.

Day Three

Romans was a letter written by Paul to the church in Rome. Let’s read some of what he says.

To Read: Romans 8:26-39 (Romans 8:38-39)

To Discuss: What promises speak to you the most in these verses?

To Do:

1. NOTHING will separate us from the love of God! Play a game of hide and seek with your child. Each time you find your child, say, “Can you hide from God’s love?” NO!

2. Choose your favorite verse(s) from this passage. Draw a picture illustrating that verse. Show it to the other members of your family and see if they can figure out which verse you are illustrating.

Day Four

Paul also wrote 1 & 2 Corinthians. These books were written to the church in Corinth.

To Read: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

To Discuss: What is the promise in these verses? How does it make you feel to know that we have victory over death through Jesus Christ?

To Do:

1. Act out these verses with your child. Have him lie down on the floor and pretend to be “dead” (you might even want to cover him with a blanket as if you are burying him). Then blow a horn (it can be a pretend horn) and have him jump up. See how fast he can do this. Talk about how some day all of us who love Jesus will be with him in heaven. Help your child draw pictures of what he thinks heaven will be like.

2. Some day we will all be changed. We will have a new and perfect body that will never get sick or hurt! What do you think this new body will be like? Write or draw something to represent what you think it will be like when we are all changed.

Day Five

Let’s look at a section of 2 Corinthians today.

To Read: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

To Discuss: What do you think the “thorn in the flesh” was? How did it impact Paul? What did he learn as a result?

To Do:

1. Talk to your child about things that bother him that he wishes would change. Talk about how, sometimes, these things don’t go away easily . . . or even at all. We need to learn to praise God, even when there are tough things that won’t go away. Plant a rose to show that something beautiful can come – even in the midst of the thorns!

2. Decorate a flower pot with words and designs from these verses. Then plant a rose to remind you that something beautiful can grow even in the midst of the thorns!

Day Six

Paul wrote the letter of Galatians to the church at Galatia. Let’s read what he said to them as he closed the letter.

To Read: Galatians 6:1-10 (Galatians 6:6-10)

To Discuss: How do you bear one another’s burdens? What does it mean that a man reaps what he sows? How can you do good to all people?

To Do:

Plant a garden . . . or visit a garden and pick your own fruit. Talk about the process of growing a garden and how this relates to the Christian life. If you are able to pick fruit, bring it home and make something tasty out of it . . . and then talk about how you want to make sure the fruit in your life is good and tasty, too.

Week Nine

Day One

The book of Ephesians was written by Paul to the church at Ephesus. Today we will read a very famous portion of this book about putting on the armor of God.

To Read: Ephesians 6:10-20 (Ephesians 6:10-11)

To Discuss: What is our fight really against? What does this mean? What is the armor of God and how does it help us in this fight?

To Do:

1. What are some things we can do to make us strong? We can exercise! Do some fun exercises with your child. Then say: Just like exercise makes our body strong, there are some things that can make us strong in the Lord. Do you know what they are?

2. Make an armor of God craft.  

3. Make your own “shield of faith”. Draw pictures of examples of when people have shown great faith . . . including you!

Day Two

The next book in the Bible is Philippians. Paul wrote this letter when he was in prison! This letter is all about attitude . . . our attitude should be just like Jesus’s was!

To Read: Philippians 3 (Philippians 3:20)

To Discuss: How should we live our lives according to this chapter? What verse sticks out to you the most in this chapter? Why?

To Do:

1. Talk to your child about how our real home is in heaven. We are just living here on earth for a short time! When someone visits a country that is not their own, he needs a passport! Help your child make a “passport”. Take his picture and glue it on a small piece of paper. Write on it that his citizenship is in heaven and have him decorate the inside with pictures of his true home . . . heaven!

2. According to these verses, everything should be like GARBAGE compared to knowing Jesus! Think about all your great accomplishments up to this point. Write down all the things you are proud of and the things that you own on a piece of paper. Then crumble that paper up and throw it in the garbage! The only thing that really matters in life is JESUS!

Day Three

The next book of the Bible is Colossians. This book was also written by Paul.

To Read: Colossians 3 (Colossians 3:17)

To Discuss: How are we supposed to do all things? Will keeping this in mind change the way you do your daily activities? How?

To Do:

1. Talk to your child about the jobs he does each day. Say: Every time you do something, remember, you are doing it for Jesus – even those jobs you don’t like! Have him draw a picture of himself on a piece of white paper. Then help him make a “broom” out of construction paper. On the broom, have him draw or write different things he does each day. Glue the broom on the paper and write Colossians 3:17 at the top of the paper.

2. How do you set your mind on things above? Draw a picture of yourself from the neck up. Make a speech bubble and write different ways that you can keep your mind focused on things above inside of this speech bubble. Pray, asking God to help you keep focused on Him.

Day Four

Another letter from Paul was 1 Thessalonians.

To Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

To Discuss: What is the promise found in these verses? How does this promise make you feel?

To Do:

1. Go outside and look at the clouds. Have fun pointing out the different shapes that you see in the clouds. Then talk to your child about how, someday, Jesus will come back and everyone who believes in Him will go up to heaven. Do you think we will go up riding on the clouds?

2. Make cloud dough. Use 1 cup of baby oil and 8 cups of flour mixed together. Talk about what it will be like to be taken “up in the clouds” to be with Jesus!

Day Five

To Read: 2 Thessalonians 3 (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2)

To Discuss: What would you consider the main theme of these verses? Have you ever spent time praying for people who are telling others about Jesus? Why don’t you do that today?

To Do:

1. In the first verse of this chapter, Paul asks the people to pray for him as he serves Jesus. We should also pray for our ministers and missionaries. Help your child make a card for a Christian leader you know. Send it to that leader . . . and then spend time praying for him.

2. Memorize verse 13. Make a poster or some other representation of this verse and place it somewhere to remind you to live by it each day.

Day Six

Paul wrote 1 & 2 Timothy to a young leader in the church named Timothy. He had a lot of great advice for Timothy, and we get to read it in these books. Check them out!

To Read: 1 Timothy 6:6-21 (1 Timothy 6:7-10)

To Discuss: Does verse 7 remind you of anything (think Job . . . )? What are some ways where you can see verse 9-10 at work in our world today? How can you guard yourself against this?

To Do:

1. Help your child make his own play money. Spend time playing “store” with it. Then talk about how it is important that we not love money more than God! Have him turn his play money over and draw pictures of things he has that he is thankful for or ways that he can praise God on the back of each piece of money.

2. Play a game of Monopoly. Discuss ways that you can keep money in its right place.

Week Ten

Day One

We will start this week on the second letter Paul wrote to Timothy.

To Read: 2 Timothy 4:1-8 (2 Timothy 4:6-7)

To Discuss: How can you see these verses happening in today’s world? How do Paul’s words in verses 6 & 7 encourage you?

To Do:

1. Paul talked about the reward he was going to get in the future. Talk with your child about rewards. Has he ever gotten an award for something? Help your child design an award (like a ribbon) that might be something a person who has “fought the good fight” and “finished the race” would receive.

2. Speaking the truth in the last days will be hard, but we still must do it! We must always be ready to speak the truth . . . we must fulfill our ministry! Practice “speaking the truth” today. Choose a topic that people don’t want to hear the truth about and research what the Bible says about that topic. Practice sharing the biblical truths on that topic with the other members of your family. Doing this will help you be prepared – in season and out of season!

Day Two

Today we will move on to one of Paul’s shorter letters – the book of Titus.

To Read: Titus 3:1-11 (Titus 3:5-7)

To Discuss: How does the kindness of God change us? Has His kindness changed you?

To Do:

1. We cannot save ourselves – we are saved through Jesus! Cut a heart shape out of a piece of paper. Talk to your child about the fact that we all do things that are wrong – we all sin. Have your child draw or write different things he has done that are wrong on the heart. Say: Look at all the things that we’ve done that are wrong! Aren’t you glad that Jesus forgives us and saves us! He makes it so that we don’t see those bad things any more! Cut another heart out (the same shape as before) and glue it over top of the other one. Jesus takes our sin away!

2. How can you be ready for every good deed? Think of some good deeds you can do for others. Make a list and then choose one and do it!

Day Three

There was once a slave named Onesimus. This slave ran away from his master (who was a Christian). When he was away from his master, he met Paul, and Paul introduced him to Jesus Christ. After he became a Christian, he knew he had to go back to his master. Paul wrote a letter to his master and sent it back with him. His master’s name was Philemon and the book of Philemon is Paul’s letter to him concerning his runaway slave. Let’s read through it today.

To Read: Philemon 1:1-25 (Philemon 1:4-5)

To Discuss: Talk about how Onesimus’s life changed. How did God use the situation in his life to bring about change? Can you think of any situation in your life that God has used to bring about change?

To Do:

Paul said that he thanks God for Philemon. Are there people that you are thankful for? Make a list of the people in your life that you are thankful for. Choose one or two to send a nice letter or card (or a picture that you draw). Pray for these people.

Day Four

We are not sure who wrote the book of Hebrews. It is a longer book that is written to the Jews. Let’s read a few verses out of it today.

To Read: Hebrews 12:1-3 (Hebrews 12:1-2)

To Discuss: What is that great cloud of witness talked about in verse 1? (You might want to read through Hebrews 11 to get an idea of some of the people who make up that group). Why is it important to fix your eyes on Jesus?

To Do:

1. Talk with your child about how living life is like running a race and we need to be faithful all the way through to the finish. Set up an obstacle course in your house (or outside) and have your child run through it. Cheer him on the whole time! Relate this to today’s reading.

2. Train to run a road race – and then do it! Keep your eyes on the finish line!!!

A song for today:  

Day Five

The book of James was written by one of Jesus’s brothers – a man by the name of James. Can you imagine being the younger brother of Jesus? We know from the gospels that Jesus’s brothers didn’t always believe in him – but James came to have faith in Jesus, became a leader in the church, and was eventually killed for his faith. Let’s take a look at some of his words today.

To Read: James 3:1-12 (James 3:2)

To Discuss: Does your tongue ever get you in trouble?

To Do:

1. We need to be careful of what we say! Give your child tongue depressors (or craft sticks) and have him write on each craft stick the types of things we should say. Say: Doctors use these tongue depressors to look into our mouths . . . they help keep the tongue out of the way! We need to make sure we keep the tongue out of the way, too . . . we need to ask God to help us say only good things! Things like this (read off the words your child drew on craft sticks)

2. What kind of damage can fire do? How is the tongue like that? Use pretzels and cheese to make a “fire”. Eat the fire while talking about ways you can use your tongue for good and not evil.

Day Six

Do you know who Peter was? He was one of the disciples of Jesus. He was pretty outspoken as a disciple, and he became a strong leader in the church. He also wrote the books of 1 & 2 Peter.

To Read: 1 Peter 2:13-25 (1 Peter 2:24-25)

To Discuss: What are the main themes in these verses? What stands out to you the most?

To Do:

1. Jesus took our sins on him when he died on the cross! Help your child make a torn paper cross craft. Cut out the shape of a cross for him. Then give him several colors of construction paper (or tissue paper). Have him rip the paper up into tiny pieces and glue them on the cross.

2. According to these verses, we are to honor our leaders. How do we honor those in authority over us? Pick a government leader, write him an encouraging letter, and then spend time praying for him.

Week 11

Day One

Today we will continue on in Peter’s writings.

To Read: 2 Peter 3:3-18 (2 Peter 3:18)

To Discuss: What is going to happen in the last days? How is Jesus going to return? Why has Jesus waited so long to return? What should you do as you wait for Jesus to return?

To Do:

1. Just like we grow physically, we need to also grow spiritually! Look at some old pictures of your child with him. Talk about the ways he has grown. Then talk about how he can grow closer to Jesus, too. Sing the song “Read your Bible pray every day” with him.

2. Read “The Final Battle”, book 7 of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. How does this book reflect the verses you read today?

Day Two

Now we are back to some books written by John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. Love is the theme of these books, too. Take a look.

To Read: 1 John 2:1-17 (1 John 2:6)

To Discuss: How does keeping God’s commandments show that we love Him? How should we treat others?

To Do:

1. Play a game of Simon Says with your child. Remember, always do what “Simon Says” to do! When you finish, talk about how we should always do what God tells us to do. How do we know what God tells us to do? By reading the Bible!

2. Close your eyes and try to walk around your house. Are you very successful? Why not? John is telling us in these verses that if we don’t love people, it is like we are stumbling around in the darkness . . . we will not be very successful at getting anywhere! Is there anyone you are having a hard time loving? Pray for that person today!

Day Three

And now on to 2 John . . .

To Read: 2 John (2 John 6)

To Discuss: What is the commandment we had from the beginning?

To Do:

1. Trace your child’s foot on a piece of paper. Help him cut out the foot. Then have him draw or write ways that he can follow God’s commandments inside the foot. If you have more than one child, hang all the feet up on a wall as if they were walking in a path. Pray together, asking God to help you all walk in His ways.

2. How do we show that we love God? We walk according to His commandments! How do we know His commandments? We read the Bible! You have done a great job reading the Bible through this reading plan . . . make plans now for how you are going to keep reading the Bible after you are finished with this plan.

Day Four

And 3 John . . .

To Read: 3 John (3 John 11)

To Discuss: What should you imitate? How can you do this?

To Do:

1. Play a “mirror” game with your child. Stand in front of your child, and your child has to imitate everything you do . . . doing exactly what you do and how you do it. (Older children would have fun and a bit more of a challenge if you have them “mirror” what you do . . . they have to do it as if they are a mirror image of you). Talk about what it means to imitate what is good.

2. Write the words “imitate what is good” on an index card and tape it to your mirror. Remind yourself of that every time you look into the mirror.

Day Five

Jude was another one of Jesus’s brothers. He also came to believe in Jesus, and he wrote the book of Jude.

To Read: Jude (Jude 20-21)

To Discuss: How are you to behave in these last days?

To Do:

1. Make heart shaped cookies with your child today to remind him to live in the love of God!

2. These verses say to build yourselves up in faith. Play a game of Jenga . . . stacking the blocks carefully. When the blocks fall over, discuss some of the things that make people fall away from the faith. How can you make sure you don’t fall?

Day Six

This is so exciting! We have finally reached the last book of the Bible! This book was written by John. He was sent off to an island for his belief in Jesus, and, while on that island, he had a vision of the end of time and of heaven! Let’s end our reading plan by reading from the very last chapter of the very last book of the Bible!

To Read: Revelation 22 (Revelation 22:12-13)

To Discuss: How many times does Jesus say he is coming quickly? Why hasn’t he come yet? (remember what we’ve read earlier!) How do you feel when you think about his coming?

To Do:

1. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Sing the alphabet song with your child. Then go through each letter of the alphabet and say one thing that you learned about God that starts with each letter. (You might have to help with this – and it’s okay if you don’t get all the letters. This is just meant to be a fun way to review all that you have read together!)

2. These verses refer to the “water of life” that is available to all who are thirsty. What do you think this means? Drink some nice, refreshing water today (or have extra fun and make a smoothie). Discuss this chapter while you are drinking the smoothie!

Congratulations on finishing this Bible Reading Plan!! Find other Bible Reading Plans here.

brothers-feet4

10 Super Spring-y Ways to Share God’s Word with Your Kids

Do you want to put a little extra “spring” into your Bible time with your kids? Find 10 super spring-y ideas here!

Spring is finally here! I love springtime – the greening of the grass, the warming of the temperatures, the promise of new life after a cold, long winter. There are so many great activities that can be done with kids during this season, and so many wonderful Biblical applications that can be made. Following is a list of 10 super springy ways to share God’s Word with your kids this season.

Ten Super Springy Ways to Share Gods Word with Your Kids

1. We need to Grow as A Christian.

The Bible Lesson: Read 1 Peter 3:18 to your child. Talk with your child about when he was born. Look through old pictures, perhaps even an ultrasound picture if you have one. Ask: Are you the same size as you were when you were born? Why not? What if you were still that small? Of course you are not the same size you were as a baby – you have grown quite a bit! If you weren’t growing, we would think something was wrong with you! The same thing is true when you become a Christian. At first you are a baby Christian, but then you grow. You should always grow. If you do not grow as a Christian, we would think that something was wrong with you! What are some things that you can do to help you grow? (Read the Bible, attend church, pray, tell others about Jesus, etc.)

The Activity: Plant something with your child – something that will grow and grow and grow! My favorite thing to plant for this object lesson is a sunflower seed – one of those big ones that will grow much taller than your child. Help your child plant it in the ground and water it. Give him the job of watering it on a regular basis and pulling the weeds that might come along. As it grows, talk with him about the similarities between the way the sunflower grows and the way we grow in Christ.

The Application: Just as the sunflower needs good ground, we need a good foundation in Christ. Just as the sunflower needs to be watered, we need to read the word of God. Just as the sunflower needs to have weeds pulled from around it, we need to keep ourselves from evil. Just as the sunflower grows up high in the sky and shows the world its beauty, we need to show the beauty of Christ to all around us.

For another application of sunflower seeds to spiritual growth, see:

https://cherigamble.com/2014/08/24/to-my-boys-re-your-spiritual-growth/

10 Bible Ideas for Spring

2. Give your worries to the Lord!

The Bible Lesson: Read Matthew 6:25-34. Talk with your child about the passage you just read together. Ask: What types of things do you worry about on a regular basis? Did you know that God knows what we worry about and that He cares about each one! He loves you and will take care of you! Have your child write down several of the things he worries about (or do this as a family and write down your family concerns.) After you have written them down, spend time praying for them. Ask God to help you give your worries over to Him!

The Activity: This is an activity that will help you care for some of God’s creatures while also reminding you to give your worries over to God. Help your child collect several items which a bird could use to build its nest (such as pieces of string, tiny bits of cloth, old newspaper, etc). Hang the items you gather on a nearby tree or in another location that a bird can easily reach. Secure them enough so they don’t blow away, but make it so that the birds can easily take what they want. Then wait and see if any birds use your items for their nests! The items stand for your worries, and the birds remind us that God can take our worries away.

The Application: When we give our worries over to God, He will take them from us . . . and sometimes He will even use those situations we worried about to create something brand new!

How exciting was it for us to see that the birds that made their nest on our porch light used part of our 4 year old's blue blankie!
How exciting it was for us to see that the birds that made their nest on our porch light used part of our 4 year old’s blue blankie!

3. God can Use YOU to help others!

The Bible Lesson: This activity also uses Matthew 6:25-34, but approaches it in a slightly different way. Read the Scripture with your child again. Then discuss how much God takes care of His creatures. Say: How does God take care of the birds? Does God ever use other people to take care of the birds? How? We can help the birds by giving them an easy place to find food . . . such as a birdfeeder!

The Activity: Make a bird feeder with your child. There are so many fun ways to do this! You can do anything you want, from simply rolling a toilet paper tube in peanut butter and covering it with bird seed to making an elaborate feeder that can work year after year. There is an amazing list of creative bird feeders (there’s even one made out of legos!) from Happy Hooligans. Check it out for some great ideas:

http://happyhooligans.ca/32-homemade-bird-feeders/

The Application: God takes care of the birds, and sometimes He uses people to do it. We are worth MORE than any bird, and God will take care of us, too. Are you willing to be a “bird feeder” to the people around you? Will you look for ways to help other people who may be hurting? God can use you in amazing ways if you are wiling! (This is another object lesson that can last all year long. Every time you see birds at the feeder, remind your child of this lesson and pray for the people around you who need your help!)

4. Satan Wants to Hurt All Who Follow Jesus.

The Bible Lesson: Read 1 Peter 5:8-9. Discuss with your child how we have a very real enemy. Say: This enemy wants to destroy us. He doesn’t want anyone to come to Jesus, and he wants to hurt all who do. We can see this happening in our world every day.

The Activity: I had to include this here because, if your neighborhood is like our neighborhood, the instant you hang up a bird feeder you will have squirrels trying to eat from it. We have a squirrel that comes back year after year, climbing our feeder and eating the food we set out for the birds. Why not take advantage of the pesky squirrels and tie them in to the object lesson? The next time you see a squirrel at the feeder, remind your child that we have an enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour . . .

The Application: Resist the devil! Don’t give up your faith! Keep feeding the birds – even if the squirrel gets in the way!

Ten Spring Ideas and Biblical Applications

5. God Can Make Us Clean Again!

The Bible Lesson: Read 1 John 1:9 to your child. Say: This verse promises that, if we confess our sins, God will purify us. He will take away the sins and make us clean again! Talk with your child about the sins that he struggles with in his life. What is it that makes it hard for him to obey God? When we sin, our heart becomes stained and ugly . . . and it is impossible for us to take away that sin by ourselves. We need God’s forgiveness.

The Activity: Take your child outside on a warm day after it has rained. Find a huge mud puddle or pile of mud, and let him play in it. (Yes, this is a very messy activity . . . but it will make memories that will stay with him forever!) Have him name some of the sins that he struggles with as he scoops up piles of mud. When he has finished playing in the mud, say: You had a lot of fun playing in the mud, but look at this mess you made! You are filthy! How will you ever get clean again? Discuss. Take your child inside and help him clean himself up. (You might need to hose him off first.)

The Application: You had a lot of fun playing in the mud, but it made you pretty messy and you needed my help to get yourself totally clean again. In the same way, sin can seem pretty fun. We want to “play in it”, but it ends up making us dirty, and the only way we can get clean again is with God’s help. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin!

NOTE: Be sure to take pictures of the mud playing fun!

For a fun devotion written for kids that you can read together after your child is all clean again, see:

https://cherigamble.com/2015/03/18/mud-pits-and-river-banks-a-devotion-just-for-kids/

Use mud to help share God's Word with your kids

6. Every Good and Perfect Gift is From God – It’s As If He “Pours” Down the Blessings Into Our Lives!

The Bible Lesson: Read James 1:17 with your child. Talk about all the blessings that God has given to you. How has He blessed you this past year, month, week, day? Make a list with your child of all the ways the Lord has blessed you.

The Activity: It rains in the spring a lot, so why not take advantage of the rain while making a Bible connection that will stay with your child forever. The next time you have a warm, spring rain (without lightning), let your child go outside and play in it! As he is playing, have him shout out ways that God has blessed him . . . remind him that God has poured out the blessings in his life, just like the rain is pouring outside! When he comes in soaked, remind him how he can soak up God’s blessings and love!

A Second Activity: After your child comes in and dries off, let him decorate an umbrella or rain poncho with ways that God has blessed him. Then, the next time it rains, he can be reminded of this activity all over again – and of the ways the Lord has blessed him!

Here is a song I always think of when I think of God’s blessings pouring down on us:

7. God Can Help You SOAR!

The Bible Lesson: Take your child outside for a nice spring workout! Have him run a certain distance as fast as he can. Have him keep doing this to see if he can go any faster. How fast can he get his time? How tired is he? As he is resting, talk about how fast he ran, yet he still became tired. Say; We can become tired in our Christian walk, too. We can feel the stress of the world around us and it makes us sad and makes us lose strength. But God promises that He will renew our strength. In fact, with God’s help, we can SOAR! Read Isaiah 40:28-31 with your child. What does this say about soaring?

The Activity: Make a kite with your child. Decorate the kite in ways that will remind your child that God can help him soar. When he has a finished kite, take him out and let him fly it. Here are instructions on how to build a simple kite out of paper:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Paper-Kite-for-Kids/

The Application: Things that happen in life can be quite challenging and tire us out. Sometimes we might even feel like giving up. But God can help us through any struggle that we have. Not only will He help us run, He will help us SOAR!

8. Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven.

The Bible Lesson: Read John 14:6. Say: What did Jesus say about Himself in these verses? Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father. This is a lesson that many people today do not want to hear, but it is still true. Every other religion and every other attempt at salvation misses the mark completely. Jesus is the only way.

The Activity: Baseball is a favorite spring activity at our house, so much so that we practically go crazy with the different baseball schedules! (This year we have 5 different boys playing on 5 different baseball teams. Yikes!!!) Because of this, I simply had to include baseball activities in this list. Here is a simple, yet fun, way to help apply John 14:6 using baseball. Give your child a bucket of baseballs and a target that he will be unable to reach. Have him see how close he can get to that target by 1) throwing the ball, and 2) hitting the ball with his bat. When he consistently misses the target, say: I don’t understand, why couldn’t you hit the target?

The Application: This target was impossible to reach on your own. The only way you could possibly reach it is if you had help. In the same way, heaven is impossible to attain on our own. The only way we can reach heaven is with help . . . and that help comes from Jesus! He took the punishment for our sins and, when we accept Him, we know that we can reach the target – heaven.

Using baseball to share God's Word with Your Kids

9. Every Christian is a Part of the Body of Christ, and Together, We Can Do Great Things!

The Bible Lesson: Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. Talk with your child about how every Christian is a part of the body of Christ. Not every Christian looks the same, talks the same, dresses the same, or likes the same music, but every Christian is still part of the same body and every Christian is important. Sometimes we forget that the body of Christ is made up of Christians from all over. We spend so much time with our own group of Christians that we forget about the other groups that are out there.

The Activity: Give your child several packets of seeds. Be sure to keep them in their separate packets to start off with. Show these to your child and say: Let’s pretend that each of these packets of seeds represents a different group of Christians. They are pretty happy staying in their own packet, aren’t they? They don’t really want to mix with other groups. The green beans are happy being with green beans and the tomatoes are happy being with tomatoes. They almost forget that the others exist. However, God did not intend for us to stay in our own little groups. He wants us to work TOGETHER to do His work. Open the seed packets up and mix them together. When we work together, we can make beautiful things for the kingdom! Have your child use the seeds to make “seed art” – a beautiful picture of whatever he wants using many different types of seeds. See some excellent ideas of seed art here:

http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Food/Seed_Mosaic/Seed_Mosaic.html

The Application: When we work together, we can accomplish great things for God!

Bonus Activity: Use “grown up” foods from your seeds to make a yummy salad or meal . . . you can continue the application by pointing out to your child how bland a meal would be if we only ate one type of food. By eating all the different types of foods together, we get a balanced, delicious meal. EVERY CHRISTIAN is important to the Kingdom of God!

10. God Wants Us to Serve Others!

The Bible Lesson: Read John 13:5-17. Look at each other’s feet. Are they pretty dirty?  Say:  Back in Bible days, feet got really, really dirty. Cleaning the feet was a stinky, yucky job – one that was reserved for the lowest among them – the servant. Jesus, however, took the task of cleaning his disciples’ feet on Himself. He set an example of service . . . one that we need to continue today!

The Activity: Take your child on a service trip around your neighborhood. When spring begins, trash is often present where the snow piles used to be. Give your child a plastic bag and help him pick up this trash in his neighborhood or community. You might also want to take him to a local park for some clean up work.

The Application: As you work together, remind him that being a servant can sometimes be unpleasant, but, if Jesus was willing to wash His disciples’ feet, we should be willing to pick up trash in our neighborhood!

——————————————————————————————————

I hope you enjoy these 10 springy ideas. If you did, please share this with your friends – they might enjoy them, too! Also, come on over and like my facebook page . . . and then let me know how it goes as you try out these activities with your children! (I LOVE pictures, so send them my way!!)

The Book of James: A Hands-On Homeschool CurriculumAnd if you are a homeschooling family, please check out my curriculum over the book of James. This is a 35 week curriculum that will help your children apply James to their every day lives. Find out more information (and see a sample week) here:

https://cherigamble.com/the-book-of-james-a-hands-on-homeschool-curriculum/

Have a fantastic spring, and don’t forget to keep being intentional as you raise godly kids!

Cheri

3.14 (or so) Ways to Purposely use Pi to Point to God

3.141592653. . . . .

Do you recognize those numbers? They are the first 10 digits of pi, and this year, they will occur for exactly 2 seconds on March 14. (3/14/15 at 9:26.53 in the morning and 9:26.53 in the evening.) ( If you are really paying attention, you might even be able to celebrate down to the millisecond!)

Pi is a pretty cool mathematical constant. A number that, in all likelihood, continues on forever and ever, containing all possible numerical combinations imaginable. It is this number that allows us to find, among other things, the circumference of a circle.

I have to admit, I find the concept of pi fascinating.

And, when I think about the concept of pi, my attention is quickly drawn to an even more fascinating God.

A God who created the entire universe, setting in place mathematical formulas and scientific principles to govern the physical world, yet He Himself can not be defined by any mathematical formula or scientific principle. A God who is all-knowing, ever-present, all powerful, yet He still loves me and knows me by name. He knows every detail of my life . . . and He still loves me. To Him, I am more than just a number . . . I am His special creation, His masterpiece, His child.

So this year, when pi day comes along, I will focus on the amazing God who created pi.

And here are some ways that you can help your child do the same.

Ways to use pi to purposely point to God

1. Remember that God is eternal. This means that God has no beginning and no end. This seems impossible to many of us, and it is hard to get our minds around this fact. However, scientists would agree that pi goes on indefinitely, and most likely, forever. If a number that is used as a mathematical standard can have no ending, certainly a God who created that mathematical standard can have no ending AND no beginning. He has always been.

Activity: Read Psalm 93:2. Then draw a circle on a piece of paper (or find something that is in the shape of a circle). If you have older kids, you might choose to have them draw their own circle, then find the radius, diameter and circumference. Then have them try to locate the starting point of this circle. If it is a perfectly drawn circle, this will be difficult, if not impossible. Use this to have a discussion about how there is no beginning for God. No matter how hard we look, we will not be able to find God’s starting point. God has always been, and always will be.

2. We are more than a number to God – He loves us individually. I had heard that every possible numerical combination could be found in pi, and it makes sense. If a number continues on forever, it would stand to reason that every single combination would be present. But then I decided to search for numbers important to me. I found my phone number, not once, but 25 times in the first 200 million digits of pi. Then I searched for my birthday. That number is only there 18 times. My anniversary is there 25 times and my zipcode occurs 1,965 times. And that’s just in the first 200 million digits!!!

It is easy to feel small and insignificant when reduced down to a numerical sequence – especially when that  sequence appears so often. But that’s NOT the way it is with God. God knows MY name. He can single me out INDIVIDUALLY, and there is no one else exactly like me anywhere in the universe.

Activity: Search for numerical combinations that are important to you and your child. Try your phone number, birthday, zipcode, etc. (Find them really quickly here: http://www.angio.net/pi/piquery) Then read Psalm 139. Isn’t it great that God knows your NAME? You are not a number to Him! Help your child make an acrostic poem of his name, using personality traits or something special about him for each letter.

3. Pi might give meaning to a circle, but God gives meaning to our lives. I’m not a mathematician, so I can’t really go into all the reasons for wanting to know the circumference of a circle and all those other really important facts that pi allows you to find. I can imagine, however, how terribly exciting the discovery of pi must have been for those people who really were frantically searching for mathematical meanings. Pi answered a lot of questions for them and gave them a standard that is still used today.

In the same way, God is our unchanging standard, giving meaning and purpose to our lives. When someone discovers God for the first time and enters into a relationship with Jesus Christ, his life becomes full of purpose and hope.

Activity: Give your child a problem to solve, but don’t give him all the needed information. When he begins to get frustrated, discuss how it is impossible to find the answers without all the correct information. This is similar to how scientists and mathematicians must have felt when searching for answers without the understanding of pi. Then give your child the needed information and let him solve the problem. Discuss how this can relate to our need for God. We can never get all the answers correct in our lives until we have an unchanging standard – a living, loving God.

.14 (Well, maybe not EXACTLY .14) Do a study of some of the 3:14 Bible references. Here are few of my favorites:

1. John 3:14. Draw a snake or make a snake craft together. Divide the snake into three segments and then draw or write ways that Jesus fulfilled this verse in each segment.

2. Philippians 3:14. Make an obstacle course with your child. Have a well established finish line. Race with your child (or time your child as he runs) through the obstacle course. Reward him greatly when he finishes. Talk about how this is like life. We have many obstacles in our lives, but we must keep going to reach our goal! (To tie this in more with pi, make your obstacle course in the shape of a circle).

3. Colossians 3:14. Use magnets to experience with bonding. What types of items will bond to your magnet? Is there a size limit to bonding? Have fun trying all sorts of experiments. Then discuss how love is suppose to be the bond that draws us all together in unity. How does this happen? Draw a circle or use a paper plate to have your child draw ways that he can love those around him.

4. 1 Peter 3:14. Research the reactions to some of the early mathematical/scientific theories. Did people always believe that a number such as pi existed? Were the early researchers ridiculed for their theories? Then discuss how some people have the same reaction to Christianity. You might be teased, ridiculed, or persecuted for your beliefs, but you need to remain strong and cling to Jesus. Discuss ways to do this. Spend time praying for the courage to stand for Christ, even in the difficult times.

Do you have any other ideas for ways to use pi as a springboard for Biblical truths? I’d love to hear them! And, if you enjoyed these ideas, please share this article with your friends!

Happy pi day . . . don’t blink or you might miss the

Pi day of the Century!!!

In His Service,

Cheri