Done well, service projects can help your kids grow, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. They can help your children start to really understand how all of those pieces of their faith fit together to form a Christian life.
Spring is a wonderful time to have fun teaching your kids about God. His beautiful creation is blooming all around us. Trees and plants that looked dead, come to life with new greenery. The birds are louder as they call for mates or chirp warnings for nest builders.
Spring is also a great time to start a garden with your kids. The great news is you don’t even have to own land to garden with your children. There are a lot of great websites and books about container gardening and raising food from plants you grow in your house. (I found Indoor Edible Garden at Costco and it’s on Amazon for just a little more.)
As you plant seeds or tiny plants, care for them and wait for them to grow food, there are also lessons you can teach your kids about what God wants them to know. They don’t have to be formal lessons. Casual conversations as you plan and work often resonate better with children anyway.
So what are some of the lessons you can teach your kids while growing things?
One of the realities of being a Christian parenting blogger is that you often find ideas you wish you had done with your children. Our daughter is a young adult now, but I wish I had known about this when she was younger.
A friend of mine actually created this gratitude idea for herself at first. She was on an extended mission trip in Africa without her family. Feeling a bit lonely and discouraged, she started a gratitude corner in her rented living quarters. It was a very visual reminder of God’s love and care.
Since then, she has gifted her grandchildren with the materials to start their own gratitude corners. The best thing is that this activity can be done on a child’s bedroom door or in a hotel room. It is portable and easy for everyone in the family to create their own or have one large family gratitude space.
Have you ever attended a child’s birthday party and watched the birthday child open presents in front of everyone? If you have, you probably noticed that what was supposed to be a nice gesture celebrating a birthday, quickly turns into a comparison contest. The guest of honor and all of his or her friends begin exclaiming over expensive gifts while basically ignoring presents that don’t compare favorably. You can almost see envy creep into the hearts of many of the children as they begin thinking about the various gifts they want or wish they had given.
My favorite part of Christmas is that our daughter has a lengthy break from college. It allows us to spend some quality time together. This year instead of spending all of that free time with your kids in separate rooms doing different things or stuck with your total attention on devices, make a difference.
How you make a difference is totally up to your family’s creativity, energy and resources. Try to involve your kids in the planning and preparing of the projects you decide to do. Bringing them in at the end for delivery is not nearly as meaningful.
Here are some ideas to get you started.