Fun Mummy Family Devotional

A lot of kids go through a phase when they are fascinated with Egyptian history. Who doesn’t love mummies and pyramids? There are actually quite a few stories in the Bible that take place in Egypt or involve Egypt in some way. Why not encourage your kids’ fascination and teach them some Bible along the way?!

Making your own mummy does require a few special ingredients you need to gather before the devotional. You will need a lot of salt and enough sodium carbonate (look in the laundry section or online) and baking soda, so that when the three ingredients are mixed, they will cover the object you are mummifying. The ratios are one part salt to two parts sodium carbonate and two parts baking soda. For example, if you use ¼ cup of salt, you will need ½ cup sodium carbonate and ½ cup baking soda.

As far as what you will mummify, you can try apples, a piece of chicken or a small fish like a sardine. It’s important to remember that while the “mummy” will look dehydrated when finished, it is no longer edible.

Grab your kids and remind them of the stories about how Joseph ended up in Egypt and how his father and brothers eventually joined him. You can find some of these stories in Genesis 42-50. Point out that when Jacob and Joseph died in Egypt, they both wanted to be taken home and buried in the family tomb. At the time, Egyptians were mummifying bodies, which also made them easier to transport and kept them like the mummies your kids have seen in museums or photos, rather than just becoming a pile of bones.

Jacob’s body was carried back and buried in the family tomb shortly after it was mummified. Joseph’s body on the other hand stayed in Egypt about 400 years until the Israelites escaped under Moses. One of the things they took with them when they left Egypt was the mummified body of Joseph!

Explain to your kids a little bit about mummification from a children’s book or website. Tell them they are going to make a mummy of something other than a person. Help them safely mix the ingredients and cover the “mummy” with them. A Tupperware type of container often works best. It will take several days to mummify, depending upon local humidity, etc. You can check on its progress periodically, but make sure to recover it if it needs more time to continue the process.

As you wait for your mummy to mummify, you can use the time to check it each day and talk about other stories that involved Egypt…including the time Jesus lived there as an infant. The goal is to connect Egypt to the stories in the Bible in their minds. Then whenever they see an Egyptian exhibit, their minds will go back to the Bible stories and the lessons learned from them. It’s a great way to tie something they may see periodically to memories of the Bible. The mummy or anything from Egypt will now act as a cue to bring up those Bible memories. (Just like a rainbow reminds many Christians of Noah.)

Have fun with it! Let your kids’ curiosity spark studying other cultures in the Bible, too. It’s a great way to connect secular and biblical history.

Fun Way to Teach Your Kids About Facts, Assumptions and Opinions

If your kids are school age, you’ve probably already noticed that everything their favorite teacher says is a fact, regardless of whether or not it actually is. It can be funny if the new fact is that okra is the best vegetable ever, but for Christian parents your kids’ lack of discernment can quickly become problematic. Not being able to differentiate between the facts of God’s truths, and the assumptions and opinions of others can leave them spiritually susceptible to being led astray.

There’s a fun activity you can do with your kids to help them begin to discern between facts, assumptions and opinions. Grab a Bible and share with your kids the story of Hannah and Eli found in 1 Samuel 1:1-18. Ask your kids what Eli assumed about Hannah? What was Eli’s opinion of Hannah based on his assumption? What were the facts of what Eli observed? How did Hannah explaining the facts of what she was doing change Eli’s opinion of her?

Explain that if Eli had not taken the time to discover the facts of what was happening, he could have made a lot of mistakes based on his assumption. As it was, he added to Hannah’s distress by falsely accusing her. Had he chosen to tell others or deny her access because of his assumptions, the situation would have gotten even worse.

Teach your kids the difference between facts, assumptions and opinions. Find the dictionary definitions. Give lots of examples – especially for young children. For example: The fact was that Hannah was praying fervently to God. Eli’s assumption was that Hannah was drunk. His opinion of her was negative because of his erroneous assumption. Point out that keeping our assumptions without checking for facts, causes all sorts of problems. Give examples you have seen of people expecting the worst and causing problems for someone who was innocent. Or someone who assumed the best and believed a lie that later hurt them or others.

Then have fun with it. Play a game where statements are made or scenarios given. In each case, your kids must decide if a fact, assumption or opinion is involved. In some cases an assumption can lead to an opinion so in those cases they need to point out both. Older kids may want to create their own statements and scenarios to try and stump the rest of your family. For older kids and teens, you may want to read statements from social media or news articles. Have fun with it, but make the scenarios varied enough that your kids get lots of practice in discernment. Play the game periodically to keep your kids’ discernment skills sharp.

Fun Mealtime Family Devotional

Have you ever thought about how many Bible stories involve food? Whether it’s Abigail preparing food to take to David in an attempt to avoid disaster or the Last Supper, food plays a role in numerous Bible stories and scriptures outside of the context of a story.

The dining traditions and even many of the foods in these scriptures may be unknown to your kids. As a result, when they hear or read about those things in the Bible they have little understanding of what is being said. This can confuse them or even convince them the Bible is too hard to read. The good news is you can have fun, teach them some important food related customs and words and improve their Bible reading comprehension at the same time.

The set up for your “Bible” meal can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. If you have older kids or teens, you can have them do some research to help. The basics would involve creating a table space on the floor with fabric or a tabletop flat on the floor (card tables and banquet tables with the legs folded work great for this). Throw pillows on the floor next to the table for you and your kids to lounge against as you eat. People generally ate with their hands from communal serving dishes, but individual plates and bowls did exist and I’m sure were used depending upon the situation.

The menu can be as simple as rustic bread, dates, figs, grapes, olives, fish (some suggest sardines), lamb, quail (ask your butcher), etc. If you want your kids more involved in preparing the foods, try a lentil soup recipe (spoons did exist then!) or making unleavened bread. You can find lists of every food mentioned in the Bible and authentic recipes with a quick search online.

Want to really teach your kids some important lessons? Have a basin of warm water and wash their feet before they sit at your table. Share with them some of the stories from the Bible involving food. Talk about the things that were discussed at the Last Supper. Marvel at the miracles of Jesus feeding the 5000 and then the 4000. (Fun fact. It is believed the 12 baskets of leftovers at the feeding of the 5000 represented the 12 tribes of Israel. The 7 baskets of leftovers at the feeding of the 4000 is thought to have represented all of the Gentiles who were referred to as the 7 nations at the time.)

Have fun with it. There are so many Bible stories involving food, you can do this more than once, changing the menu to match the story. It’s a fun way to teach your kids some important lessons from the Bible while helping them better understand what they are reading in it.

Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids Bible Application Principles

There is a misconception that teaching kids the stories in the Bible automatically means they know how God wants them to live their lives. Most kids need help finding the commands and principles in Bible stories, as well as guided practice in learning how to live those commands and principles on a daily basis.

You could choose to do this through lectures, but it’s not the most effective way for kids to learn. You can actually have fun with your kids and teach them at the same time. Here are some of our favorite ideas.

  • Make English muffin pizzas. Pizza isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but taking English muffins, pizza sauce and a few toppings can give you a great forum for teaching your kids about the practical application of what they are learning from the Bible. As your kids are creating their pizzas, encourage them to talk about what is happening in their lives. Find ways to reinforce what God would want them to do in specific situations. Or instead of telling them what God wants them to do, ask older children how they think God would want them to handle certain situations. See if your kids can think of examples in the Bible when someone encountered a similar situation.
  • Complete a family project together. Whether it’s planting a family garden, cleaning the garage or serving someone, working together gives you lots of opportunities to remind your kids of relationship principles and commands in the Bible. You can also spend time teaching your kids godly conflict resolution skills or help them develop strategies for better self-control of the things they say to others.
  • Have a family game night. Competition can bring out the worst in many people. Games are a great way for everyone in your family to work on godly traits like honesty, patience, perseverance and more. Spend time after the game is over talking about the principles they can practice when they are playing games.
  • Go for a long walk or hike. Kids tend to gradually open up if you are present and available to them. Make sure the walk is long enough to give them time to relax and talk and for you to respond as needed.
  • Hang out in the yard together. Blow bubbles, play in a sand box, watch the clouds or stars go by, mall driveway chalk drawings. Once again, your undistracted availability as you do quiet things together gives them opportunities to share their thoughts and concerns with you. It also gives you a relaxed way to teach them what God wants them to know.
  • Use one of our free application activity ideas. Our primary ministry website has dozens of application activity ideas with meaningful ties to Bible stories. Just click on the application tab for dozens of great ideas. Originally meant for Bible classes, many can also be adapted for families. http://teachonereachone.org/activity-ideas/

Taking the time to make sure your kids understand the application principles in Bible lessons and giving them guided practice can increase the likelihood they will be able to live the lives God want them to live. As a bonus, you will be creating fun family memories.

Fun Family Devotional on Needs versus Wants

A huge stumbling block to raising selfless children is the confusion that often arises between understanding what they truly need and what they merely want. Not accurately understanding the difference can eventually lead to all sorts of ungodly life choices. There’s a fun family devotional you can do to help your kids start realizing God’s view of the difference between needs and wants.

Grab your kids, a Bible and several magazines with ads and catalogs or plain paper and markers. Tell or read them the story about King Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard in 1 Kings 21. Explain that Naboth owned a vineyard. King Ahab wanted to plant a vegetable garden and decided that Naboth’s vineyard was the best place to plant his garden. Unfortunately, for Ahab, Naboth was unwilling to sell his land to the king. Instead of finding another place to plant his garden, Ahab forgot he had just wanted the land, but began to believe he needed it. His wife Jezebel stepped in and made matters worse, by telling Ahab that he basically deserved the land. She had Naboth framed for cursing God and king which meant he was stoned to death and Ahab seized the vineyard for his garden.

Explain to your kids that, while we may not go as far as Ahab and Jezebel, not recognizing the difference between our needs and our wants can lead us to making poor, ungodly and sinful choices. Challenge your kids to find or draw pictures of the things they want and the things they need. With older children, it is important to also discuss levels of need. For example, I need to have clothes to wear, but do I need a hundred pairs of shoes or a dress that costs $20,000?

Younger children may struggle with understanding they don’t need a toy, but merely want it. Older children and even you and your spouse may struggle to decide when a need has crossed the line to want. While the Bible doesn’t say we can never have anything we merely want, it is important to weigh the cost of that want and how purchasing it may prevent you from helping others who cannot meet their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, etc.

Discussing needs versus wants needs to be ongoing in your home. Working with your kids to be careful to avoid selfishness and greed in pursuing their wants is key to them serving others and sharing their faith.