Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Getting To Know Your Savior

Getting To Know Your Savior
 My kids are big into games and I am always seeking out new and creative ideas for teaching them the lessons our Lord has laid out for us in the Bible. Of course, we live on a budget so most of these games are free or very little out of pocket cost. Here are just a few of my favorites that the kids and I have greatly enjoyed over the years. 

Gifts Challenge:
Items needed: piece of poster board or long piece of white paper
Will your family take the 100 Gifts Challenge?
Can you think of 100 things that you are glad God has given you or provided for you?
If so, write the numbers 1-100 on the paper and keep a running list. Every time anyone thinks of something they are glad they have, add it to the list. Don't forget to add simple things like jelly for toast, running water, clean socks, etc.
See if you can think of 100 things in 1 week! (I dare you!)

Lunch Box
Just as God used the boy who shared his lunch with Jesus, He can use US to help others in need. God often uses people to meet the needs of others. If a family needs groceries, God does not throw groceries from Heaven. He uses the church family to bring meat and soup and pasta and fruit to give to the family to meet their need.
Pack a box of your favorite foods to share with a family in need; check with the pastor or elders of your church to see if they might pass it on for you.
If money is tight for your family, brainstorm ways you can share that doesn't require money—time to help a neighbor clean out a flower bed or a talent that can be shared in children's church.

The Share Award

Items Needed: small badge (made of construction paper or cardstock) that says, Share Award
Announce that one person will win the Share Award each day.
Look for examples of sharing during the day and point them out. "Thanks for sharing your popcorn with me.  Seth let Gabe play with his cars this afternoon.  Anna, that's kind of you to let your sister play with your art supplies."
Announce the winner of the Share Reward each evening at dinner and reward him/her with a special privilege—stay up 30 minutes later, choose a game to play, pick a snack, choose an extra book to read, etc. (Praise is a good way to reinforce the behavior you want to see more.)
God has given us what we have so we can share with others.
Happy Birthday!
Items Needed: birthday cake or cupcakes
Make a birthday cake or cupcakes and add candles. Light the candles and then blow them out together. Talk about birthdays.
What is the best thing about your birthday?
What do you like to do on your birthday?
What is your favorite thing to eat on your birthday?
What is a favorite gift you have received for your birthday?
Your birthday is one of the happiest days of the year, the day YOU were born into this world. Jesus came to the earth to give you NEW LIFE, so you can live forever with Him in a wonderful place called Heaven. Each person must decide to receive God's gift to go to Heaven.
Talk to each child separately to see how much he or she understands about sin and forgiveness.
Some basic truths they need to know and understand:
  • God loves you and wants you to be in His family (John 3:16).
  • We have all sinned and gone our own way (Romans 3:23).
  • Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for our sins (John 3:16).
  • We have to believe that He died for our sins and came alive again (Romans 10:9).
  • Tell God that we want to receive Him into our lives; we need to receive His forgiveness for our sins.
  • Say thank you to Him. Celebrate! Call another believer and tell him or her the good news. Write the date in the Bible.
Cut the cake and eat it!

Our Home in Heaven
Items Needed: copy or construction paper
Crayons, pencils, or markers
Optional: glitter or jewels
Read John 14:1-3.
Ask kids to draw a picture of what they would like their home in Heaven to look like.
Jesus is preparing a place for us in Heaven. He came to earth and died, so He could take away our sins and we could live with Him forever in Heaven.  Our home in Heaven will be better than anything we can even imagine! (You can read more about Heaven in Revelation 21 and 22.)

Static Electricity
Items needed: fluorescent light bulb
Rubber balloon
Do a simple experiment to learn more about lightning and storms.
Turn all of the lights off in the room. (The darker the better!) Rub the balloon on your hair for several seconds. Then hold the statically charged balloon near the end of the light bulb. (This will illuminate the bulb.)
Repeat the demonstration as many times as desired.
When you rub the balloon on your hair, the balloon builds up an electrical charge (static electricity). Touching the charged balloon to the end of the fluorescent light bulb causes the electrical charge to jump from the balloon to the bulb. This is what illuminates the light bulb.
Lightning is an electrical discharge within a thunderstorm. As the storm develops, the clouds become charged with electricity. Scientists are still not sure exactly what causes this, but they do know that when the voltage becomes high enough for the electricity to leap across the air from one place to another, lightning flashes! Lightning can spark within a cloud, from one cloud to another, from a cloud to the ground, or from the ground to a cloud.

Emergency Kit

Pack an emergency kit to have ready in case of a thunderstorm. Some suggested items: flashlight and batteries, radio, food/snacks, water, first aid, sanitation, etc.
Turn off the lights and read the story of Jesus' power over a storm in Mark 4:35-41.  Storms can be scary, but Jesus is with us through every storm! 

Jesus Is More Powerful Than the Storms
Items Needed: glow in the dark markers or paint
Cardstock or thick paper
Let kids make a sign as a reminder that Jesus is with them. Using the glow- in-the-dark markers, write a message of faith (Don't be afraid . . . Jesus is with me! or Jesus has power over storms!) on the cardstock.
Tack these up in their rooms so they can be reminded that Jesus is with them and has power over storms. Say a prayer praising God for His great power!

Too Good to Keep to Yourself
Make a yummy treat and declare that you have an announcement. "I have good news! I made a yummy treat. But I have decided that I will eat it all myself." After hearing groans and complaints, act surprised and then ask: "Would you like me to share this with you?"
Share the treat and talk about the good news that Jesus is alive.
Students should have come home with a tool or tract to share the good news. If they didn't, buy one at a Christian book store or ask them to make one by writing a Bible verse(s) about the Resurrection on a card; 1 Corinthians 15:3b, 4 is a good one.
 Discuss with whom they might share this good news and make a plan to do so. Say a prayer for the person who will receive the card.
The good news about Jesus is just TOO GOOD to keep to ourselves.

Resurrection Rolls

Make resurrection rolls to keep the celebration going and remember that Jesus' tomb was empty!
Items needed:
8 large marshmallows
1/4 cup melted butter
Sugar/cinnamon mixture (approximately 2 tablespoons cinnamon to 2 tablespoons sugar)
10 ounce can of crescent rolls

1. Open can of crescent rolls and separate into triangles. The rolls represent the linen cloths used in covering the dead.

2. Dip and roll one marshmallow (representing the body) into melted butter. The butter represents the oils used in anointing the dead body.

3. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Roll the marshmallow in the mixture. The mixture represents the spices used in burials.

4. Place the marshmallow in the center of the crescent triangle and carefully fold the dough around the marshmallow. (Pinch the edges tightly to seal in the marshmallow as it melts.) Put each crescent-wrapped marshmallow on a slightly greased cookie sheet or in a greased cupcake pan.

5. Bake the rolls in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until they are golden brown. The oven represents the tomb.

Let them cool. When the kids bite into them, they will see that the inside is empty!

Scripture Egg Hunt
Items needed: plastic Easter eggs
Slips of paper
Bible (with a marker at John 14:6)
If you have older children, let them look up the Bible verse (John 14:6) and write each word on a slip of paper. Put one word in each plastic egg and hide them. You might divide into two teams and one team will hide the eggs for the other team; kids love, not only finding, but also hiding the eggs. Don't forget to count them before you hide them.
After all the eggs have been found, open them and put the words of the verse in correct order. Say the verse together.
Put the word slips back in the eggs and repeat for the other team.

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