Help your child realize: God loves me so much... he is good to me all the time.
Topics for discussion: Blessings, patience, and emotions.
A note for parents: Socio-emotional learning is very important in quarantine. It might seem silly to talk through and mimic different emotions for your child, but your child can only benefit from the added exposure. Your family members are all spending more time together and less time with friends and classmates, so they are not practicing conversations, conflict resolution, and voicing opinions in ways that will help them grow. They are missing recess, lunchroom chats, and classroom etiquette that is necessary for them to be successful communicators. By playing simple games and talking about how different scenarios "would make us feel," we are modeling important skills.
Job is a great example of a man who was very intuned with his emotions- even in chaos! Your children will get a great example of leadership and thankful attitudes by discussing how Job handled his trials.
Bible Reference- Job 1:1-42:17
A long time ago, there was a righteous man named Job. He lived to serve God with his whole heart. The Bible says he was “perfect and upright” (Job 1:1) He lived in a land called Uz with his wife, 7 sons, and 3 daughters (consider using counting pieces to show little ones that this equals 10). They were very blessed and very rich. They had many animals:
And enough servants to take care of them all! (The Bible says a “great deal” of servants) But the most important thing was that Job loved God with his whole heart.
One day, Satan came among the sons of God to present themselves before the Lord. The Lord asked Satan, "From where did you come?" Satan said he had been going back and forth on the earth. The Lord asked Satan if he had considered His servant, Job. The Lord said that there was no man like His servant Job in all of the earth. Satan said that Job only served the Lord because Job was given much, but if all of Job's 'things' were taken away, then he would curse God. God said that everything Job had was now in Satan's power, meaning he could take anything of Job's away from him, but he could not put his hand on Job or hurt him in any way.
One day, all of Job’s children were eating at his oldest son’s house (Job was not with them). A messenger came to Job and said that all of the oxen and donkeys who were feeding near his house had been stolen by the Sabeans. All of the servants who took care of them had been killed, except the one who delivered the message.
While that messenger was still talking, another messenger came and told him that fire from the sky had come down and burned up all of the sheep and servants. They all died except the messenger who delivered the message.
While the second messenger was still talking, another came up and told Job that the Chaldeans (another nation) came in and stole all the camels and killed all of the servants, except the one who delivered the message.
While the third messenger was still talking, there came another messenger up to Job and told him that while his children were eating together in one house that a great wind blew in from the wilderness and struck all four corners of the house and when the roof caved in on them, they all died, except the messenger who was telling Job the news.
Job was devastated (extremely sad). He tore his robe, shaved his head, fell down on the ground, and worshipped God. Job said that he came into this world with nothing, and he would go out of this world with nothing. The Bible says that in all of the things that happened to Job, he did not sin or say that it was God's fault all the bad things had happened. (Consider stopping here to ask your child how they would’ve felt. Remind them of Job’s great faith and God’s love for Job. The story doesn’t end sadly!)
Another day, Satan came again with the sons of God. Satan said that Job only served the LORD because he was healthy, but if his bone and flesh were touched, then he would curse God. God said that Job had was now in Satan's power, meaning he could do anything to Job, but he could not take Job's life. So Satan struck Job with boils from his head to his toes.
Job was in such pain and misery. He took a piece of pottery and scraped his boils and then went and sat in a pile of ashes. They did not have medicines like we have today, but ashes were clean and helped ease the pain a bit. While, in his pain, Job's wife was very discouraging and not at all helpful. She said that Job should curse God and die! Is that what Job should have done? NO! Job said she spoke as one of the foolish women. Job asked her if they should only receive good things all the time and not bad? In all that was said during this time, Job did not sin or blame God for his troubles. Job was very patient.
Consider taking a break to ask your children about Job’s reaction to the boils. How would they feel if they were covered in boils? Ask them what it means to be patient.
Job had three friends who had heard of all the bad times Job was going through and they all came by to visit him at the same time. Job was in such bad condition and looked so badly that his friends did not even know Job until they were very close to him! When they saw Job, they cried, tore their clothes, and put dirt on their own heads because they were sad that Job was going through so much pain and suffering. So the three friends sat with Job for seven days without saying a word. They gave him comfort by just being there with him because they could tell that he was hurting a great deal.
Then Job and his three friends had very long discussions. They scolded Job because they thought that he must have done something very wrong, but the story of Job teaches that bad things happen to good people. Believing in God and his promises doesn’t make life easy for us. We just must learn to be patient and never blame God.
Finally, the LORD talked to Job, and Job listened to God. Job humbled himself before God and recognized the fact that the LORD could do anything! God was powerful and had--and has--control over all things on the earth and in heaven.
In the end, the LORD restored Job's health, his riches, his servants, and Job even had seven more sons and three daughters. The only thing different than at the beginning of the story of Job is that the LORD blessed him with twice as much as he had before! All of Job's friends came to see him and brought him gifts. Everyone brought him a piece of money and an earring of gold. So everything was better for Job in the end compared to the beginning. The Bible mentions that Job's daughters were more beautiful than any in the land. Job lived 140 more years and saw his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, and his great-great-grandchildren grow up. Then Job died being old and full of days.
Talk about how you can be happy and praise God even when you are stuck at home. Remind your children that God’s love never stops and that they have many blessings.
Story Review: The video is posted under this entry.
*I was very excited to share this video with you after hours of trying to upload it (12 minutes to film, and two hours to upload to any platform - oof!) and when I finally viewed it after it was published, it showed UPSIDE DOWN. Today I will be thankful for patience (very timely this week!) and that it is available to your family. Thank you for understanding!
Weekly Challenge: Gratitude Tree
Your children explored Job’s life and how he praised God in hard times. In order to model gratitude and praise in quarantine, your family can make a gratitude tree just like the one seen below. The children will be challenged to make their trees unique and pack it full of “blessing leaves.” This is something that can be completed in one sitting or can become a daily exercise for your family. Please consider sending your trees to our email so we can see how you used your resources!
*Video linked at the bottom. This one is the correct orientation :)
Help your child realize: God loves me so much... he gave me my body.
Topics for discussion: healthy choices, persistence
A note for parents: The book of Daniel opens up many learning opportunities for your children. No doubt they’ve heard about the Fiery Furnace and Daniel in the Lion’s Den. This story shows young people doing the right thing and serving their Lord to the best of their ability. This week all of our activities are based on healthy living and being persistent in mind, body, and soul. You and your children are trying to find a new normal, just like Isreal when they were taken into captivity in Babylon. One thing that should never change, except to get stronger, is your prayer life. This week also has a focus on being a prayer leader.
Say to your child: “Daniel was a prayer leader (Daniel 9). We see many prayer leaders in the Bible. They don’t sit and worry when things go wrong, they PRAY about it. You can read about prayer leaders, but you can also be one! I want you to grow to trust and fear God before worrying and trying to force things to go your way.”
I will also come full circle because by asking your child to be a prayer leader, you will also be spurred on to be a prayer leader. This is more than praying before meals and before bed, it is helping your child get into that constant dialogue with God. We don’t have all the answers, but simply saying “I’m not sure, let’s pray about it.” and finding solutions together helps you focus your eyes heavenward. Putting God first in this way will help you to find peace in quarantine and long after.
Bible Reference: Daniel 1:8-21
A long time ago, God’s people the Israelites were taken to a place called Babylon. God warned them again and again that if they didn’t obey Him he wouldn’t protect them from their enemies. God’s enemy in this story is called King Nebuchadnezzar, who was king of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar took most of Isreal to be his servants in Babylon. Four of these prisoners were named Danial, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. They were good boys who loved God. They obeyed God’s laws. They worshipped God and prayed. They were also careful to obey all of God’s rules about which foods they could eat and which foods they could not eat. Now they were prisoners! They had to leave their parents and go live far away in the city of Babylon.
King Nebuchadnezzar chose the strongest and healthiest young prisoners to be his special servants. The four boys were chosen and began training right away. They had to learn how to live like the Babylonians. Their names were changed to Babylonian names – Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They learned science and maths and all about the stars. While the boys were learning, the king put an official in charge of them. He told the official to give the young men the best food in Babylon.
The official was afraid that the king would get upset if he found out, but he liked the boys and wanted to help them. They always worked hard and tried their best. Daniel had an idea. He told the official to perform a test. Daniel and his friends would only eat vegetables and drink water for ten days. At the end of ten days, the official could judge to see if they were as healthy as all of the other young men at the palace.
Daniel and the other three boys ate only healthy vegetables and drank only water for ten days. At the end of ten days, the official noticed that these four boys were healthier than all of the rest of the young men at the palace. From then on he allowed them to eat the food that God allowed. They did not have to eat the king’s food.
At the end of the study time, all of the young men were brought before the king so he could test them with questions. The king decided that Daniel and his friends were the best of all the young men in the palace. They were wise and intelligent. They were ten times better than all the magicians and wise men in the entire kingdom.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego became wise men of the king’s court. They always loved God and tried to obey his laws. Even though they were prisoners God blessed them and took care of them.
Ask your child to tell the story back to you. As you continue to ask questions and discuss details you can use a couple paper plates as visuals. On the backside of the plate, draw the four young men in our story. On the back of another plate draw some other young men (the ones who didn't eat vegetables). Ask your child to tell you what is different about them. Some examples: they are from different places, Daniel and his friends believe in God, and at the end of the ten days Daniel and his friends were stronger. Turn the plates over and ask your child to draw/glue pictures of healthy foods on Daniel's plate and unhealthy foods on the other plate. Introduce terms like "sometimes foods" and "everyday foods."
Weekly Challenge: Make a menu together and then work together to cook it.
No doubt that your children have been becoming more responsible as they spend more time at home. They have more chores to keep them busy and they feel important helping out! Ask your child what items you should include on your menu for the day and help them realize the difference between "sometimes foods" and "everyday foods." They will cherish this time learning to cook new things with you and will use these healthy habits into their adult lives.
Help your child realize: God loves me so much… he gives me tools to serve him
Topics for discussion: Being prepared to serve Jesus,
Note for parents: Here are sections of scripture that don’t need to be taken down a level. Enjoy some time reading it to your children and talking about each part of the armor and each fruit of the spirit. The picture language is exciting and relatable to children. Consider exploring these two places in the Bible at separate times, so they can really focus.
Ephesians 6: 10-18 The Armor of God
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
Galatians 5:22-23 The Fruit of the Spirit
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law."
There are many ways to review! This week I decided to combine this section with Activities so that I don’t repeat myself too much!
Ask your children to draw/build/describe the armor of God in a creative way. Challenge them by asking them to label each part of their creations. Each day, add a prayer written by your child about each part of the armor, thanking God for these tools and asking Him for strength to use them! Remember- we want to see them!
Help your child realize: God loves me so much… He gave me friends.
Topics for discussion: compassion, friendship
A note for parents: The topic of compassion and loving our neighbors is a great topic surrounding all the turmoil that is going on in our country right now. It’s so important that we educate our children on how to show love to everybody, even the people that don’t treat us so nicely. This week all of the activities have to do with showing love to others or helping others. It can be easy to show compassion and love to people when we feel like it, there seem to be rewards for doing so, or when the other person is nice to us. The difficult part comes in showing love and compassion to people even when we don’t feel like it, we aren’t getting anything out of it, or the person isn’t nice to us or even maybe makes fun of us. I know I struggle with this everyday and the only way to do better is by working to make a change within ourselves day in and day out. We can’t do this alone though, praying to God to help us make changes in ourselves is the only way we will see a sure, lasting change. We should strive to show compassion to others in the same way that Christ shows compassion to all.
Bible Reference: Luke 10: 25-37
One day, in Jesus’ days, there was a lawyer. This lawyer tried to test Jesus by saying, “Teacher, what must I do to get to heaven?”. Jesus told the man to do what the Law said.
The lawyer replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus said, “You have answered right, do this and you will live.”
But, the lawyer was trying to make himself look good so he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered the lawyer with a parable, an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus said, “A man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho and he was attacked by bad men trying to steal money from him. They ripped off his clothes, beat him up and left, leaving him half dead. At this time, a priest, like a pastor in Jesus’ times, was walking down the same road but when he saw the man that was beaten up, he walked past him on the other side. A Levite also walked by the man, but instead of helping him, he walked by him too. Finally, a Samaritan came to where the man was and felt sorry for him. He walked over to the man and put bandages on his wounds and cleaned them with oil and wine. Then he took the man and put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn to take care of him. The next day, he had to go so he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. He told the innkeeper to “Look after him and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” (Luke 10:35).
When Jesus finished the story, he asked, “Which of these men was a neighbor to the man that was robbed?”
The lawyer answered, “The one who had mercy on him and took care of him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”
Option 1: Good Samaritan Video
I really like this video for a quick review of the story. It hits all the major points and has fun illustrations to help your child picture what was happening.
As your child is retelling you the story, help them make a chart that lists the three different people in the parable. Then when your child is describing each person, help them write down different qualities about that character. After your child finishes telling the story, have them discuss whether or not each quality is a positive quality or a negative quality. If it’s negative, ask your child what the person could have done differently to change the negative into a positive.
Work with your child to come up with at least one way they can show compassion this week. While in quarantine it has definitely been more difficult for children to see other people. This could be a great way for your child to see someone else and practice being compassionate. This could be by helping an elderly neighbor by watering flowers, making some cookies to take to a grandparent, friend, or other relative, or even by sending someone a card. This is a great way to show your child that it’s fun and rewarding to show compassion and make someone’s day.
Agree or Disagree: Tell the children that you are going to read some statements that might be ways to love your neighbor. Ask them to stand if they agree. If they disagree they should sit down with arms crossed. Relate each example back to the idea of loving your neighbor.
Prayer Journal: Praying is always something we want to encourage children to do. What better way to show compassion to someone than by praying to our Almighty God! One great activity to go along with this story is a prayer journal. You could use an actual journal, a notebook, or even just a piece of paper. Have your child write down specific things or people they want to pray for and what they want to pray about. This is also a great way to look back and see how God answers our prayers.
I found this craft and love how it incorporates a physical way for children to show compassion! The rolls could also be used to complete the weekly challenge!
Create-Your-Own Picture Books:
Children love to read picture books. This activity helps to show them the process of creating a picture book and lets them try it out themselves! Cut a regular sheet of printer paper into 8 equal squares. On each square, have your child illustrate and write a portion of the story. They can color their pictures and show off their wonderful creativity! After they have finished, stack each square on top of each other and staple together to form a book.
Children love to feel like they are helpers. When they help, they are also showing compassion to the person they’re helping. Help your child make a chart of things they think they can do around the house to help you out. This way they get to practice showing compassion and you get help around the house! On the chart leave a space big enough next to the task so that every time they complete a task, they can draw a helping hand.
Who is My Neighbor?:
This is a very powerful activity that shows children that each person God created is our neighbor and we should love and treat them as such.
Here is the link to this activity.
Who Is My Neighbor Activity
Who Is My Neighbor Material
Help children realize: God loves me so much…He has a plan for me.
Topics for discussion: Being faithful to Jesus, obedience
A note for parents: The book of Ruth has very familiar stories, but as I was reading the verses, I noticed that there were so many details that I had forgotten or never thought of before! There are many cultural details that I had to look up to understand better- like barley! We use barley today mostly as food for animals, but during the days of Ruth and Boaz, this was considered a poor man’s food. A simple detail, that I never really focused on. This story is a great way to wrap up our theme on God’s love. This perfect love is shown through God’s plan for Ruth and Naomi, and through the genealogy of our Savior. It is important that your children see that God’s will is always done- even when it seems impossible! Ruth was a good friend and servant to Naomi. She served God by being faithful to Naomi. Boaz loved Ruth- a poor widow from another country. Boaz wanted to care for her and Naomi and was faithful to both of them, and their son Obed. God was faithful to his people and brought them a Savior through the line of Ruth and Boaz. Your children will learn that God has a plan for His people. We might not understand it now, but we trust that He is working for the good for us.
Bible Reference: Ruth 1-4
Long, long ago, in a place called Moab, there lived a family of four. Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons moved there because there was more food there than where they used to live. After a while, Elimelech died, and ten years after, the sons died too. Her sons were married to two women from Moab. Their names were Orpah and Ruth.
Naomi called her son’s wives and told them, "I am going to go back to where I used to live and I would like you to go back to your family where you used to live. May God show you kindness as you have shown me." All the women cried and hugged each other because they were such good friends.
Orpah didn't want to leave Naomi but Naomi told her not to worry, she would be fine. So Orpah left to go back to her family. But no matter what Naomi said to Ruth, Ruth would not leave. "Don't ask me to leave. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your friends will be my friends and your God will be my God."
So Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem together. It was a good thing Ruth went with Naomi because Bethlehem was very far away and Naomi couldn't have traveled all that way by herself. Notice that Ruth never complains but is a good friend to Naomi. She wasn't expecting anything in return, she just wanted to help. When they got there Ruth decided that she should do some kind of work. It was harvest time, so she worked in the fields following behind the harvesters and picked up any barley that they had dropped. Barley is a crop that looks like long grass. It is used today to feed animals. In Bible times, poor people would eat this because it was much cheaper than wheat.
The owner of the field came by to greet the harvesters and noticed Ruth in the field. He asked one of the harvesters who she was. "She came back from Moab with Naomi, that's all I know." Lucky for Ruth the owner of the field was Boaz, he was a kind man who believed in God. He had also been related to Elimelech (Naomi's husband that died).
Boaz went to go talk to Ruth, he said to her, "Don't go work in any other field but stay here with the other servant girls. I will make sure you are safe and whenever you are thirsty go and get a drink from the water jars." When Ruth heard this she bowed down to Boaz and asked, "Why are you being so nice to me, I'm not even from here."
Boaz replied, "I know what you've done for Naomi, you left your family and moved to a place you've never been. May the Lord reward you for your kindness."
Ruth thanked Boaz and continued with her work in the hot sun. Boaz even ordered his workers to drop extra barley so Ruth could have more for herself.
Ruth took all the barley home and shared what she had with Naomi. Naomi was very pleased because Boaz was a close family relative. He was a family redeemer, which is a person who takes care of family members when someone dies. She gave her instructions to go see Boaz on the threshing floor. She would hide until he had eaten and drank, then go uncover his legs and lie on his legs. Ruth said to Naomi “All this I will do!” She trusted Naomi and God to provide for her.
So it happened just like Naomi said, and when Boaz was startled awake, he found a strange woman laying on his legs!
“Who are you?” Boaz asked?
“I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your covering on your servant for you are a family redeemer.”
Boaz really cared for Ruth, so he wanted to marry her and take care of her and Naomi. He knew that there was another man in line before him, so he made plans to ask him the next day. He and Ruth fell asleep again, and Ruth left before it was light enough for anyone to notice her.
Boaz met with the other family redeemer and several of the village elders. The two men agreed that Boaz should redeem the land and marry Ruth. God had provided protection for his servants Ruth and Naomi and had given Boaz a companion in Ruth. Later, they had a baby boy named Obed. This baby would become the grandfather of David, who was in the line of Jesus.
Weekly Challenge: Barley Basket
Challenge your children to create a place to hold their “barley.” Whether you weave paper, use paper plates, or decorate a box, your basket should be able to hold barley prayers. This week, you should remind your children to pray for God’s plan for their lives. They’ll have fun praying for strength, courage, and the ability to faithfully serve their Lord!
This weeks activities are outside the box to say the least. We didn’t want to say “make barley out of this, now make more barley… barley, barley, BARLEY!” So we found fun object lessons and games to
Fizz Prayer Activity- For this activity you will need:
-water, (for extra fizz you can use sparkling water!)
-Alka Seltzer tablets, (generic is fine)
- and clear glasses, (to watch the magic!)
This is similar to the Coca Cola/Mentos experiments that we've all tried. Have you ever noticed how this mini explosion makes people really excited? They know what will happen, but the fizz always brings giggles and shouts of happiness and surprise. This activity helps you make the connection of how excited God is to hear your prayers. Say this to your child:
"I see that the fizz made you excited! When we pray to Jesus, He gets so excited to hear from you- because you are His dear child."
Hidden Cross- Have you ever started something and not known what the result would be? YES! I think of mind puzzles, paint by numbers, new jobs, and trying something new! Your child will benefit from hearing this message, and the story of Ruth and Christ's genealogy make it very timely. For this activity you will need:
-and paper (preferably cardstock, so that the tape doesn't rip your masterpiece!)
Remind your child that sometimes we don't know or understand God's plan, just like Ruth. Remind them that there was one man who started with the end in mind- Jesus! First, have your child use the masking tape to make a shape or a picture on their paper. Then let them have fun painting! Carefully remove the tape later and you'll have a unique picture. Now have your child look at a picture you've prepared with a hidden cross made out of masking tape lines, or have them paint over a masking tape cross you made for them. The result is the same- they will be reminded that Jesus knew the "end goal"- to save us by dying on the cross! Ruth and Boaz couldn't even fathom that they were ancestors to the Messiah, but they knew God had a plan. This week your family will get to talk about God's plan in quarantine.
Puzzled- I love this activity, and if your family loves puzzles, you'll get a kick out of it! This is great for memorizing Bible passages. You will need:
-A puzzle, (depending on your children's age, I'd start with a basic square puzzle with a small piece count. If you want, you can use a piece of paper and cut it up to make a homemade puzzle!)
-a writing utensil,
-and a Bible passage. (This week our suggestions for study of God's plans in the Bible are: John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11, and Isaiah 41:10.)
First, write your passage on the back of your puzzle. The words should flow together and make it easy to read the passage when it is all put together. Next, scramble it, and try to decode God's messages to you!
For little ones who need shorter passages try Psalm 46:10a, Psalm 23:1, Philippians 4:13, etc.