Schools don’t start here for another month or so, but school supply areas are already filled in box retailers. school supplies now cost pennies on the dollar compared to what they cost the rest of the year. You can buy a lot of supplies for not much money at all if you watch the special sales that they often add to the already lower prices. Then bring the supplies home and have some fun in these last hot days of summer using them to teach your kids about God.
So what are some fun things you and your kids can do with school supplies and learn more about God and what He wants from us and for us in the process? Here are some of my favorites:
- Creating prayer and gratitude journals – spiral notebooks or those folders you can add notebook filler paper to, make great inexpensive prayer and gratitude journals. Have your kids decorate the covers and create special pages for different categories. Then put the finished product where your family will remember to add to them regularly. Talk about prayer and how God deserves our gratitude as you work.
- Making child created faith sharing books – I found packs of these little blank books in Target Dollar Spot – eight for $3. Your kids could use these to create picture books to share with other children. They could illustrate their favorite Bible stories or tell and illustrate a story of a time they saw God working in their lives. They can even use them to create a family devotional including an illustrated Bible story and an activity for the entire family to do together to reinforce the story.
- Collecting and packaging school supplies for children who can’t afford them. Call a church or school in an area in your town where many of students are on the Federal free lunch program. Ask what supplies a student in the same grade as your child needs. Or many stores have supply lists displayed. Get your kids to help you shop for the items needed for one or more students. Bag them together and mark for which grade the supplies are meant. Take your kids to deliver them to the church or school who will give them to students. As you work, talk about all of the scriptures in the Bible about helping the poor.
- Teaching godly money management skills. Give your kids their supply lists for the year. Discuss how being careful with your money allows your family to give more back to God and share it to serve others and share your faith. Challenge them to look through adds and coupons and find the best deals on what they need. Don’t forget to factor in gas money and time. Introduce them to the concepts of budgeting and that we are stewards of everything God gives to us.
- Identifying, developing and using gifts to serve God. God has given your children one or more gifts to develop and use to serve Him. Have a budding artist? Blank notebook and inexpensive pencils can give them lots of opportunities to inexpensively begin developing the gift. Have a potential writer? Once again, cheap notebooks and pens can give them inexpensive ways to practice. What other gifts can be developed using school supplies? Spend time talking about the parables of the talents and then thinking of creative ways your kids can use their gifts to serve God 9and other ways they can continue to develop them.)
- Making goodie bags for other children. The same school supplies your kids enjoy can entertain children who are ill in the hospital or are foster children waiting for appointments. Adding some stickers can make your goodie bags even more fun. Placing them in a reusable tote will make it fun that can also travel with the child. Spend time talking about ways your family can find ways to find people to serve when you create special gifts like these. How can you effectively share your faith when giving the gifts?