Children love presents. It’s fun to get the things you want without having to work for them. Christianity is about the tremendous gift Jesus gave us, but it’s also about us giving generously.
How can you help your children begin to understand about God’s gifts to them and how they can share those gifts with others? There is a fun family devotional you can do to help even very young children begin to understand. You will need a Bible, plain white paper, various colored papers, scissors, markers and glue sticks.
Tell your kids the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors found in Genesis 37. Point out that the coat was a very special gift Jacob gave Joseph to show him how much he loved him.
Give your kids the paper and markers. Have them draw themselves large enough to cover the sheet of paper. Give them the colored bits of paper. Have them think of gifts God has given them that they can use to help others and show God’s love to them. Encourage them to think of talents they can use to serve others as well as material things.
They can write each gift on a strip of colored paper and used the strips to create their own coat of many colors to represent the gifts God has given them. Have them share their finished artwork. If possible, encourage them to share at least one of their gifts to serve someone within a specified time period. Then review the story and what they did when the deadline is reached.
Encourage your kids to use their gifts from God to serve others and share their faith whenever they can. It’s a great habit for everyone in your family to have!
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.