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?
- Bible Stories. In spite of the wandering nature of many in the early years of the Bible, there are still quite a few stories involving agriculture. From the Creation story and the Garden of Eden to Ruth and Boaz, many of them are actually important Bible stories. There are also several parables involving farming – primarily vineyards. Don’t forget – even the Bible stories involving eating – and especially famine – point directly back to the need for the plants to grow and thrive.
- Application Principles. Do you have room to plant a couple of grape vines in your yard? They are actually a fairly easy plant to grow in many climates. You may not get as much fruit or the quality of a professional vineyard, but you will get grapes – especially if you prune them like in the Bible. Pruning also gives you a lot of opportunities to talk about the meaning of many of the teachings of Jesus involving pruning and vines. Teach your kids how to find application principles independently by asking them what they think God wants us to learn from any Bible passage or story you share with them.
- Serving Others. If you plant more than a few plants of anything, you will probably have enough for your family and some to share. As you plant and care for the plants, talk about the people your family should serve with the food you grow. For older children, this can also be a great way to begin talking about stewardship and budgets. How much money are you saving on your grocery bill by eating the food you have grown? Can you give the money you save to help others in some way?
- Seeing God. The Bible tells us creation cries out for the Creator – God. Marvel with your kids at God’s plan for growing things and providing food for us. Plant several varieties of the same food and enjoy the creativity of God. Point out that God is still providing for us and working in our world thousands of years after He created it. Talk about His love for us as seen in the plants you plant and the food you eventually reap.
- Character Training. Gardens rarely provide good crops if we don’t care for them. Growing things is a way to encourage godly character traits like hard work, responsibility, stewardship – even repentance and forgiveness for those times when someone forgets!
So, take advantage of the pretty spring weather and sales on all things growing. Take your kids and have fun – outdoors or inside – learning about the things God wants your kids to know. It’s a great hands-on, engaging way to teach your kids a lot of important lessons.
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