Fun Way to Teach Kids Creative Recycling

Fun Ways to Teach Kids Creative Recycling - Parenting Like HannahChances 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!

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Connecting Your Child’s Schoolwork to the Bible

Connecting Your Child's Schoolwork to the Bible - Parenting Like HannahI will never forget the first time I learned something in Church before I learned it in school. It was such a fun feeling to already know the history and geography the teacher was explaining because I had learned it from the Bible years earlier. Many other Christians have shared a similar reaction in their school experiences. On some level, it adds a sense of awe and “coolness” to the Bible. (Not that it isn’t cool enough on its own – but that’s another topic for another day!)

Many times when teaching kids and teens the Bible, we focus only on the story. We get so caught up in helping the kids remember who did what to whom, we forget all of that information fits into the context of the world at large. Biblical history is not some special little isolated collection of mysterious almost invisible events. Rather it was as much a part of world history and geography as anything your child will learn in school.

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What Sheep Can Teach Your Kids About Jesus

What Sheep Can Teach Your Children About Jesus - Parenting Like HannahHave you ever thought about how often sheep appear in the Bible? From Jacob and Laban and the spotted/not spotted sheep to the first Passover meal to David as a shepherd boy, sheep play an important role in many Bible stories. Sheep are great animals. They can provide milk, cheese and clothing while still remaining alive to provide again another day. Of course when they were someone’s dinner or used for sacrifices, they needed to be replaced. So soon sheep also became a vital part of the local economy.

During the ministry of Jesus, sheep took center stage. Not just because shepherds were some of the first people to worship the baby Jesus, but because Jesus called himself our shepherd. He even said that we, his followers, were his sheep. Jesus told parables about sheep to make some important points about his role in our lives.

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Making Childhood Sticky

Making CHildhood Sticky - Parenting Like HannahRaising small children is indeed a sticky endeavor. In this case, sticky refers to memorable experiences that “stick” with your child throughout life. What I want to talk about specifically is making God, worship, Church, service and faith sharing a part of the precious memories of your children’s childhood. What can you do to make those memories special, fond ones? How can you help imprint those memories so that if your children are ever tempted to leave God and the Church, those memories call them back?

Here’s where I think a lot of people make a huge mistake. I don’t think it is about showmanship and entertainment. Parents with grown children can tell you the amount of money and “flash” doesn’t necessarily make for the clearest memories. We recently asked our daughter about some early trips we had taken when she was very young. We knew at the time her memories would be sparse, but consoled ourselves with the knowledge it was “creating wrinkles in her brain” (code at the time for increasing a child’s ability to learn later by exposing them to enriching things at a young age).

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Creating a Bible Corner for Your Family

Creating a Bible Corner for Your Family- Parenting Like Hannah

My ladies small group Bible study saw an idea in one of the books we studied years ago. (I apologize to the author, but we can’t remember where we saw it!) The author suggested creating a special Bible study area in your home (for adults). I think she called it something catchy, but it works no matter what it is called.

This summer, we encouraged the children in my Sunday school class to make a Bible corner in their own houses. We studied the story of Creation and how God resting on the seventh day led to the Sabbath. While Christians worship on the first day of the week, we discussed how it is great for us to copy a few of the habits of the original Sabbath celebration.

You see, Sabbath was a time for people to take some real rest – not veg in front of a television or run around a baseball field. They sat or took short walks and read God’s words. They talked about God’s commands and plans with each other. They prayed to God. They quietly reflected on what God’s Words meant for their lives.

We encouraged the students to take a little time each day for a bit of “Sabbath” rest. Go to the Bible corner in their house and read the Bible, talk about it with their family, pray and even have a little snack while they do it. So what does a Bible corner look like?

In most homes, there is usually a room that is seldom used. It may be a living room or a guest bedroom. Find a comfy chair or a corner of sofa. You may want to add a puffy pillow or a throw if it is cold outside. Have an open Bible that stays right there all of the time. If your children are younger, consider placing a children’s Bible like the NIrV there also. Older children and teens might want a prayer journal and pen or a Bible journal in the corner.

We had our kids design a special snack plate to add a little pizzazz to the corner. We took ceramic plates from the dollar store and had the kids use acrylic paints and paint pens to create a design that reminded them of God, creation and the idea of Sabbath. We placed part of Psalm 119:103 at the top of the plate to remind them God’s words should be as exciting and “sweet” to them as honey would be. Here are a few of their creations in process…

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Be aware your child’s plate will not be dishwasher safe. I tested some of the methods you see online and they probably only work with more expensive materials. I suggest placing another plate on top of this one for actual snacks. If you must wash it, I would be very gentle.

So grab your kids, a couple of Bibles and some other fun things and create a Bible corner in your house. If nothing else, every time you walk by it, you and your family should be reminded of where your focus should be. Who knows, you might improve everyone’s Bible reading habits, too!