This year, for the first time ever, I’m trying to do a bit of teaching on Lent with my kids. We talked a bit about Ash Wednesday and how people put ashes in a cross shape on their face. When they went to bed I traced a cross on their foreheads with my finger, which got a little weirded-out chuckle from them. BUT they did remember it for a few days! 😉 The next day we started our own version of “giving up for Lent”. Every time they do something kind or sacrificial for someone they get to put a dry bean in a jar. The plan is that the jar will be full of beans by the time Easter comes around. They are really getting into it, and both older boys got to add a couple beans today. At supper, Daddy accidentally knocked over the salt, and Dodger (age … Read More
I first heard of Lent waaaay back when I was about 20. That first year, I decided I wanted to try celebrating Lent by giving up something: sugar. That was SO hard. And to be honest, I didn’t really understand why I was doing it. Since then, I’ve learned a bit more about celebrating Lent. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here are a few myths and truths: Myth #1: Celebrating Lent is only for Catholics. Truth: Lent is observed by Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians alike. Lent is an ancient practice that began long before Christians used such labels to define ourselves. Myth #2: Lent is 40 days long. Truth: It’s actually 46 days! Those extra 6 days are Sundays, when tradition says that you can break your fast. Myth #3: Lent is about fasting. Truth: Well, that one was partly true, but Lent isn’t just about giving up something. There are 3 traditional Lenten … Read More
Help your kids experience Lent in a whole new way with these activities.
(1) Participate in a fun Shrove Tuesday (or anytime-before-Easter) activity that will help your kids find the thrill in Easter Sunday.
(2) Learn about sin, repentance, and forgiveness with this engaging (and short) Ash Wednesday activity.
Both activities can be done in the home or in a school/Sunday School setting.
NOTE: This is a downloadable file only. Once payment has been processed, you will receive an email with a download link. The document is 3 pages in total.
The season of Lent covers the 40 day period before Easter. Each year it starts on a different date (because Easter moves around), although always on Ash Wednesday. If you are looking for Lent activities for families (either your family, or the families in your ministry), check out this comprehensive list! It is said that the 40 days reflect Jesus’ time of fasting and prayer in the wilderness after his baptism. Many people sacrifice something during Lent (like coffee, sweets, or shopping) as a way to tune their hearts back to God. The point of sacrificing something important is to remember that God wants to be the most important aspect of our lives. When we come to depend on a sugary snack rather than prayer during the mid-afternoon slump, Lent reminds us of our waywardness and calls us back to our first love. Would you like to observe Lent with your … Read More
Learn how to host your first Messianic Passover Seder meal with this instructional video and an easy-to-follow Seder meal script. I sat in my scratchy nylons at a long wooden table. All the other 12-year-olds from my Sunday School class sat in similar plastic chairs along the table. Together, we dipped a green vegetable into a bowl of salt water and scowled as we briefly tasted it. We winced at the bitterness of horseradish and secretly took an extra scoop of the apple/nut mixture. We raised our glasses of grape juice and broke the flatbread as one. And then, I forgot all about it. It was my first glimpse of a Jewish Passover celebration, but because I didn’t see the connection to my Christian faith, it was buried deep in my memories. Those memories resurfaced a few years ago as I did research on the Passover Seder meal and its … Read More
The following is a list of do-able crafts, simple snacks, Easter egg hunt additions, and Easter books will help your family celebrate a meaningful Easter in a fun way. Without further ado, here’s the list of fun Christian Easter activities for families and children’s ministries! I worked in paid children’s ministry for 15 years, and before that I was a volunteer for many years. I also have kids of my own that I have experimented on extensively. 😜 These ideas are ones that I think would work well in either a children’s ministry or home context. Contents: Teaching the Easter story Easter Crafts Easter Snacks Christian Easter Egg Activities Object Lessons and Experiments Teaching the Easter Story Let’s start with the basics – teaching the actual Easter story. Here are several ways to do it: Directly from the Bible (that’s the easiest place to start!). You can find the Easter … Read More
INSIDE: how to explain the resurrection to a child, and a free printable conversation guide! Resurrection Sunday happened shortly after my kidney surgery. I went to church to see my kids in the choir, but this year I observed much more than I participated, unlike most years when I’m scurrying to run programs for kids. Here’s what I saw: Incredible joy permeated the room. In a church that normally needs serious incentive to clap, there was spontaneous clapping, hand-raising, and even a bit of whooping. Have you ever felt like whooping and clapping and praising when confronted with the truth of the resurrection? Why does Jesus’ resurrection make us feel this way? I’m not sure most of those in the room could really put a finger on the reason they felt such joy, but they were feeling it most profoundly. But in order to bring that joy into our daily … Read More
Every child has a love language. Learn to speak your child’s love language with these tips and gift ideas. We all learn languages as children: We learn to speak words, like English or Dutch or Cantonese. We learn body language and how to understand what adults and friends are saying without words. We also learn a primary love language. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages“, our primary love language develops as a function of the home we grew up in. If your parents were extremely affectionate, your primary love language is likely to be physical touch. But if no one in your house was a hugger, you are less likely to interpret physical touch as love. Instead, your language might be gifts, acts of service, quality time, or words of affirmation. Of course, personality also comes into play, which is why we can have 3 … Read More
Reading with your toddler can take incredible persistence! All the gnawing and grabbing and drooling can destroy your books. Thankfully, many of your favorite children’s books have been made into board books, and there are many new selections being published exclusively as board books. If you’d like to combine READING time with teaching your little ones the Christian faith, check out this list of the BEST Christian board books from 2019! As I’ve connected more with other authors over the past year, it’s been my immense pleasure to watch them put out book babies into the world! There have been many excellent new board books this year, and I want to highlight a few. The “Good News!” series The new “Good News!” Series from Our Daily Bread and Glenys Nellist is delightful. All 3 books came out this year. Good News! God Made Me! has two major things going for … Read More
I’d like to welcome Kristin Vanderlip today to talk about how to help kids process their emotions. For years, I defined my life by its struggles—and I let them define me. I watched as the color drained right out of my life. My life with Jesus didn’t feel full or abundant. Instead, I felt empty and weary. This was not how it was supposed to be. So I leaned in and dug in and began to open myself up to deep soul work with Jesus, therapists, and mentors. Out of this work came my first journal, Life Worth Living: A Daily Growth Journal, the pages of which both absorbed and acted as catalyst for growth and transformation. As I learned and grew and wrote in my Life Worth Living journal, my kids (then ages 4 and 7) drew near and grew curious. What’s that mommy? What are you doing mommy? What are you writing … Read More