I love the summer months. Although the new school schedules have eaten into some of those old “hazy, lazy days of summer”, we still tend to have a slightly more relaxed life. I love the idea of sleeping late, wearing flip flops and deciding between reading a book or walking on the beach. I hope this summer you can take some of those relaxed days and spend some time sharing God with your children.
There are a lot of fun things you can do with your child this summer that will help her grow closer to God. Some will re-inforce God’s Words, while others can re-inforce godly principles. I promise: you and your child can have a joy filled summer that will make wonderful memories while also bringing your child closer to God.
One of my favorite childhood memories was star gazing. We lived out in the country and would place lawn chairs where we could see the meteor showers of late summer. I have lived in urban areas for years now, and the star gazing is a little less dramatic. If you can’t star gaze well from your yard, I suggest a small splurge. Get a motel room out in the country somewhere for the night. If you are a camper, then take your tent to a camping area out in the country.
If you live where your children have only seen an urban sky, they will be absolutely blown away by all of the stars. Teach them some constellations, but tell them the story of Abraham and God’s promise to him. Ask your children to try and count the stars. Take a telescope and show them even more stars. How must Abraham have felt about God’s promises? Or teach them the story of Creation. How much does God love us to have created such a beautiful sky for us to enjoy?
One of my favorite parts of summer is all of the fresh, local produce. Whether you grow it in your yard or buy it from the Farmer’s Market, tell your children the story of Naomi and Ruth. Teach them how Boaz changed their lives by sharing his produce with them. Tell them how leaving some of the field’s crops for the poor was something God wanted the people to do to help others. Encourage your children to think of someone they know who could use the help of some of the produce you just grew or purchased. Take them to deliver the wonderful fresh produce to those people. Your children will not only review a Bible story, but learn to serve others by sharing what they have been blessed with by God.
In Atlanta, we have a great aquarium and zoo. Most cities I have visited have some sort of animal park or aquarium. Quite frankly our yard in the suburbs is a zoo some days, with raccoons, coyotes, hawks, foxes, deer and possum. Tell your children the story of Noah and the ark. If you want help figuring out how large the ark was or how all of those animals fit in it, check out Answers in Genesis for some answers. Have your children pace out the size of the ark. You may just be amazed yourself at how large it really was.
Have a rainy day on your hands? Find a recipe for unleavened bread and bake it with your children. Tell them the story of Passover while it bakes. Or better yet, start a batch of regular bread and a batch of unleavened bread at the same time. Which loaves finish faster? Why do they think God suggested they bake unleavened bread for the exodus? Share the second loaf of bread with a widow and read the scriptures where God tells us to take care of the widows and orphans in our midst. Why did God mention those people specifically for us to help? Who are some other people in society who may be overlooked and need our help?
Curl up in a hammock or on a porch swing with your child. Read them God’s words from a Bible written on a child’s reading level. Read them some stories they may not know or go through Proverbs and discuss what they mean. Do you want to introduce your child to poetry? Psalms has some of the most beautiful and powerful poems ever written on its pages.
Have fun and be creative, but make use of some of your fun times this summer to place God’s Words and principles on your child’s heart. It is probably the most important thing you can do with that “extra” time this summer!