Chances are you grew up hearing stories from some older relative who made mud pies or dolls from sticks because they were poor. The Great Depression and World War II taught many of our grandparents and great-grandparents how to make something out of nothing. The relative prosperity in our lifetimes has eroded the skill set our ancestors had developed.
In my last post, I talked about the need for teaching our children to be good stewards of God’s world. One easy way to do that is to reduce the amount of things thrown into garbage dumps. There is a fun project you can do that will not only teach your children how to actively think about good stewardship but also give your kids some practice being creative and clean your house at the same time!
Set an egg timer for five minutes (you may want to make the time shorter for very young children). Give each of your kids a bag or box and tell them to go around the house (or their rooms!) and find things no one has used in the last year. Once the items have been brought back to your meeting place, sort through them and remove any items you want to keep (kids are famous for not “needing” winter coats and other essentials!).
Put the items that remain in the center and have your family sit in a circle around the pile. Take turns choosing an item from the pile. Have everyone shout out new and creative ways your family could use the item instead of letting it sit in a closet or a drawer. It’s okay to have fun with it, but encourage practical answers too. You may even want to break up in teams and compare lists of ideas or have votes and small prizes for the best ideas.
After discussing an item, decide whether your family will actually use it in one of the new ways or whether it will probably sit in the drawer unused for another year. If your family deciders it will remain unused. place it in a box to be donated to others who will use it.
If your house is like ours, this game could take an entire day with multiple rounds! Use it to reinforce good stewardship principles with your kids. You will have fun, create memories, teach important godly concepts, help others and end the day with a much cleaner house. Now, that’s a good day!
P.S. If you add some Bible verses or stories about stewardship and helping others, you can turn this from a game with a lesson entwined into a family devotional.