I am a teacher by profession. I am also a parent, a friend, a husband, a coworker, and a member of a community. my greatest lessons are not the ones I do in front of a classroom or behind a pulpit. My classroom is everywhere… Your classroom is everywhere. Whether you get paid to teach or not you are teaching others, every day. People are always watching, observing, and possibly seeking to emulate our words and actions. If we want to help people grow and mature and become the people that God made them to be, then we need to be the people that God made us to be. Words are empty if they are not backed up by our actions. Others are more likely to behave like you rather than to do the things that you say. Let’s teach the World love by being loving. Let’s teach the World generosity by being generous. Let’s show the world who their Savior is by acting like Him.
“whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2:6 ESV
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (ESV)
Knowing the word of God is important. Teaching the next generation is equally important. But as any parent can testify, that can be challenging. When they are really young, their attention span is nonexistent. As they grow, rebellion can seek in a bit. But teaching our kids can be exciting and impactful. Nothing can replace the value of doing devotions and bible stories with our kids at bedtimes or after a breakfast meal. But sometimes we need to spice things up a bit. And that’s ok!
I’ve come up with a list of 12 activities that can help parents with children who are toddlers or teenagers. I’ve done them with kids of all ages and they are fun and they leave an imprint. You can make them as in depth and challenging as you’d like. Or you can keep them simple. Give them a try and have a blast! If you have other ideas, please comment on this post.
Make a Fort
Build a fort out of anything safe around your house, whether inside or out.
Take time to share about how God protects them like forts were used to protect people
Bible verse: Psalm 18:2
Have your kids try to balance on several objects that are really difficult.
Then place your kids on something that is really easy to balance on.
Share about God’s word being a firm and steady foundation that we can stand on.
Bible verses: Matthew 7:24-27
Standing on an elevated platform or on the floor, have your child fall back into your arms. Repeat as long as they have fun.
Talk about how we can trust the Lord to catch us in uncertain times and especially when we’re afraid.
Bible verses: Psalm 84:12, 56:3, 31:14
Blindfold your kids and give them directions so they don’t run into things. Guide them around the house or outside.
Share about how the Lord leads us, especially when we don’t know what lies ahead of us in life.
Bible verses: Proverbs 3:5-6
You need to do this outside or in the bathtub. Fill a clear container with water. Then using food color, or a dark beverage like soda, pollute the water so that it’s no longer clear. Talk about how sin does that to our lives.
Then continue to fill the container with water again until the container is full of clear liquid. Talk about how Jesus, the living water, cleanses us from our sin and makes our lives clean again.
Bible verses: 1 John 1:7-9
Build a tabernacle in your yard similar to those that were constructed during the Feast of Tabernacles from Leviticus 23. You can make it out of anything really. A canopy works great. Dress it how with lights and more!
While sitting under the tabernacle, share about how Jesus walked among us and other ways that God wants to be with us (Holy Spirit, Temple, in the future, etc…).
Bible verses: John 1:1-14
Hide things all over the house or yard and have them look for them. They should be things that are valuable to them so they are even more motivated to find them.
After they’ve found everything, talk about how Jesus pursues us when we are lost and will never give up on us.
Bible verses: any of the stories from Luke 15
Go to a local orchard in season where you can find grape vines or fruit trees.
Use them as illustrations to talk about living a life that bears good fruit and how we depend on the vine (Jesus) to make that happen. If a branch gets cut off, it dies and doesn’t bear fruit.
Bible verses: John 15:4 and Galatians 5:22-23
Have your kids try to get from one side of the house or yard, to the other, while you throw soft objects at them (parent therapyJ) and try not to get hit.
Then give them a shield of some kind and repeat the attempts. Talk about how much easier it is to defend yourself when you have a shield and how faith is that shield in life. Because to get from one end of life to the other, life will bombard us with a lot.
Bible verses: Ephesians 6:16 and 1 John 5:4
Using a bucket or bag, have them race or just try to run. Each time, add another heavy object (books or rocks work well) until it becomes too heavy for them to run. Then empty the bag and have them run again.
Talk about how sin weighs us down in life but how Jesus wants to remove the weight from us.
Bible verses: Hebrews 12-1-2
If you have girls, princess dress up works great. If boys, then it’d be a prince obviously. Same principle. After dress up, do a photoshoot.
The focus of this activity is to tell them about how they are princes or princesses of the King of Kings
Bible verses: 2 Corinthians 6:8 and 1 John 3:1
This can work anywhere from a back yard to hitting the trails. A camp trip works great too!
While in nature, point out all the amazing things that God has created for us to enjoy.
Bible verses: Creation story in Genesis 1, Psalm 95:4-5, Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:20