Need a Little Summer Boost
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Is Summer’s weather & longed-for flexible schedule starting to heat things around your house? Are quarters closing in? Has “bored” entered the picture? Watch my discussion with other moms on the “Say Something Show” with host Kay Wyma

Amazing Animals
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I hope you enjoyed a wonderful 4th of July with family and friends.  Isn’t it wonderful to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation?  Remember to pray often for our nation and our leaders.  Pray for God’s protection, guidance and blessing.  May we be diligent this entire month of July to encourage our kids to pray daily for America, and also to thank the Lord for the ways He has already guarded, blessed and cared for us.

 

As we continue with theme week ideas this would be a great time during the summer to declare Animal week! Each day choose a different animal to study and explore.  You can read books about the animals, dress up like the animals, watch videos, play animal games and do animal crafts.  A visit to the zoo or local pet shops would add a great adventure to the week.  Here are some activities to consider for younger kids.

 

Rabbit Day – Make bunny ears out of poster board and attach them to a headband, put white socks on hands and feet and make a little cotton tail too.  Draw nose and whiskers using make-up pencil. Eat rabbit food (fruits and vegetables), do the bunny hop and visit rabbits at the pet store.  By the way, this is a nice quiet day, because bunnies don’t make a lot of noise.  Lovely!

 

Lion Day – Practice roaring (okay just for a little while), make a lion’s mane using a brown paper sack, cutting into strips or use yarn or mop.  Add a tail using a long tube sock.  Watch Narnia videos.  Find interesting facts about lions on line.  Visit lions at the zoo.

 

Dog Day – Make doggy ears using felt attached to a visor or headband.  Watch a dog show video and 101 Dalmatians, play fetch, eat trail mix out of pretend dog bowls.  If you do not have a dog, visit a friend who has one.

 

You get the idea.  Think about a Crocodile Day,  Tiger Day, Elephant Day, Zebra Day or Horse Day.

 

Animal devotionals can include a study of God creating the animals in Genesis 1, or Noah’s ark in Genesis 6,  Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22, or God talking to Job about creating the animals in Job 39 – 41.


A Star-Spangled Week
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It’s the week of July 4th and the perfect week to celebrate our country, our heritage and our freedom.  If your neighborhood doesn’t already have a 4th of July Parade, I would encourage you to generate one.  It’s easy.  When we moved into a new neighborhood many years ago, we recognized that if a parade was going to happen it was up to us to get the ball rolling.  We printed up simple fliers on special decorative paper, and invited all our neighbors to join in a neighborhood parade starting at our house on the morning of July 4th.

 

The response was tremendous!  Kids, grandkids, parents and grandparents all gathered at our front driveway. We decorated our bicycles, played with sidewalk chalk and bubbles, enjoyed cookies and lemonade.   When it was time to start the parade, I piped in some Star-Spangled music from a portable stereo.  We slowly made our way down the street and back to our house again.  Cooling off by running through the sprinklers is a great way to cap off the event.  The parade was a great success as it brought together neighbors and allowed us to celebrate our nation’s independence.   The parade became a tradition every year.  Such joy and so easy to do!

 

As a family you can also build the week of 4th of July fun by serving red, white and blue food throughout the week.  Consider colorful pancakes for breakfast (just add food coloring to the batter), enjoy blueberry, strawberry, and banana fruit salad, and make a red, white and blue cake using colored icing.  I’m sure you can think of even more fun ways to eat red, white and blue.

 

Be sure to check out books at the library for the kids which teach about our country’s heritage.  One of my favorite books is The Light and the Glory and From Sea to Shining Sea  both by Marshall and Manuel.  Excellent books which teach about our true beginnings as a nation.

 

Of course there are also wonderful riches about freedom found in God’s word.  Read in Exodus about the freedom the Israelites experienced from Egypt.  More importantly teach your kids about the freedom from sin which we experience through Christ.  If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.

Happy 4th!

Theme Week: Bible Week
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Creating a “theme for the week” during the summer months makes memorable moments for your whole family and encourages engagement and creativity. In the next few weeks, I want to give you some ideas to use for Theme Weeks with your kids. You can build a theme around anything – Water Week, Bug Week, Cooking Week, Sports Week, to name a few. Here’s some simple ideas to create a Bible Week with the objective of inspiring a love for God and His Word.

How about starting off  with a Bible Theme Week for your kids next week. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to look at a different Bible character each day of the week. Read the story from the Bible or a children’s Bible, do arts and crafts that reflect the stories. You may even want to do skits to act out each story and/or watch portions of The Bible video series together each evening (with popcorn of course).

Monday – Adam and Eve – Read Genesis 2 & 3. Talk about the perfect garden, how sin entered the world and our need for a savior. Activities: gardening, decorating flower pots, visiting the arboretum, flower shop or farmers market. Arts and crafts: Tree bark rubbings, drawing trees, stamp art using apples, creating flower pictures or floral arrangements.

Tuesday – Noah – Read Genesis 6-9. Talk about sin, God’s saving grace and God’s promises. Activities: act out the story, visit aquarium, zoo, farm or pet store (danger, you may come home with a new pet). Crafts: make rainbow art projects, animals out of foil, stick animals, animal puppets out of socks, animal ears and face painting, build an ark with blocks or legos.

Wednesday – Joseph – Read Genesis 37-50 Talk about the themes of forgiveness, resourcefulness, perseverance, growing through difficulty, trusting God, God’s favor. Activities: Act out story, make crowns, visit an exhibit about Egypt or ancient east, make a coat of many colors using duct tape or men’s t-shirts and markers, make popsicle stick figures for all the characters, bake bread together.

Thursday – Daniel – Read Daniel 6. Talk about leadership, courage, faith and prayer. Activities: Act out the story of Daniel and the Lions Den, prepare to celebrate Fourth of July by reading stories about the faithful and courageous forefathers of our country, make Fourth of July decorations and decorate bikes and trikes. Crafts: make a lion costume using felt and face paints, make angel costume with sheets and gold pipe cleaners, draw pictures of Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Create a lunch, dinner or a smoothie with the Daniel diet (Daniel 1:12) of only vegetables as your basis – just for one meal – be creative.

Friday – Jesus – Read John 10:1-19. Talk about Jesus as the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep. Talk about how much the sheep depend on the shepherd for everything. Activities: dress up like sheep and act out Psalm 23 with one person playing the shepherd. Costumes can be black socks for the feet, white towel over the back, black felt ears attached to a headband, face paint a sheep nose. Crafts: Make edible sheep using marshmallows, licorice and toothpicks or try ice cream sheep made from vanilla ice-cream rolled in coconut and pretzels dipped in chocolate for legs, chocolate pieces for face and ears.

All of these ideas are simple, home-spun fun to encourage a love for the Bible and inspire interest in God’s Word. Allow the Bible theme to open up engagement and conversation with your kids, so that their interest in the rest of the Bible will be ignited.

Family Fun Ideas for the Summer
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Happy active children jumping

Summer is in full swing, and I have a feeling you may be looking for a few quick ideas to do with the kids. Here’s a some home-spun, creative fun:

Squirt Bottle Showdown – Have super soak wars using squirt bottles from the dollar store. Begin by allowing each child to decorate their own bottle with stickers and permanent markers.  Fill the bottles with water and create fun competitions. Try pushing a beach ball simply by squirting it. If you have a group, stand in a circle and try squirt-pushing the ball toward each other. If the ball touches someone, they are out of the circle. Shaving cream or soap foam can be added. Simply cover each other with foam (below the neck) and then have fun squirting each other clean. No squirting in the face.

Wacky Wardrobe– For indoor amusement, create silly hats and crazy outfits using items you have around the house. Foil, paper towels, gift bows, cereal boxes, wrapping paper. Use tape or string to hold it all together. Gallon jugs make great super hero helmets – just cut away the handles and cover the helmet with foil.  Allow your creative juices to flow as you design a wacky wardrobe. Show off with a fashion show, and don’t forget to video it.

Space Rock Scavenger Hunt – For indoor or outdoor fun, create a unique hunt with or without clues depending on the ages of your kids. All you need is some aluminum foil. Take a square of foil and crumple it up into a ball – and voila – you have a space rock.  Now hide the rocks just as you would hide Easter eggs around your house or yard. You can also put little items inside the foil (candy, favorite little toys, money, trinkets). You may want to give your super space heroes a helmet as they go on their scavenger hunt using the idea from Wacky Wardrobe (above).

Kitchen Kreations – Together with the kids, choose an interesting and delightful recipe from Pinterst. Make your shopping list, go to the store and then make the creation together.  Be sure to take pictures. You may want to assign one child at a time to pick the creation that everyone will make together. Be sure to divide responsibilities of pouring and stirring.

 

Don’t forget to be deliberate about good hearty discussions around the dinner table or in the car during those long vacation trips. Here’s a few conversation starters.

 

  • If you could choose to be any person in American History, who would you be and why?
  • If you could fly like a bird, where is the first place you would visit?
  • Which super-power do you wish you possessed?
  • Where is the one place in the world you never want to go?
  • Describe the movie you would create if you were a Hollywood director.

 

For more ideas and conversations starters, check out Fun House and Table Talk.

Click Here for more details.

 

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