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?
Have you ever tried to tell someone something very important to you, only to realize they haven’t really paid attention to anything you have said? It’s incredibly frustrating, and causes many of us to avoid sharing with that person again in the future.
Or have you asked your kids to do something and realized they said, “Sure!” without even hearing what you actually asked? When it happens multiple times a day, it can make even the calmest parent want to scream.
What does your child absolutely love to talk about when he or she has the chance? Do your kids have a hobby that they participate in every free minute? Do they ask for supplies for an interest for every gift giving occasion? Chances are these are your child’s passions.
Now if you have had a child for very long, you have learned childhood is often about rapidly shifting interests and passions. Actually, that’s great because it is allowing your kids to experiment with lots of different possible gifts from God. Often, it’s not until they actually try something that they may find they have a talent for it.
In Top Tips for Teaching Kids About Empathy, we shared some basic tips for teaching empathy. To really raise empathetic kids though, they need a lot of practice seeing the world in different ways. (This is in no way an attempt to water down God’s Truths, rather to understand relationship dynamics caused by different points of view.) Fortunately, there are a lot of fun things you can do to help your kids begin to develop an empathetic heart.
Here are a few of my favorites.