Christmas Break

As we enter into this holiday season I wanted to let you know that I will be taking a two week Christmas break from blogging. I will still post a children’s ministry idea each Wednesday but will not share any other posts. I want to spend this time enjoying every minute I have celebrating Christmas with family and friends. It is my hope that you are able to do the same.

Merry Christmas! And I’ll be back sharing lots of ideas for living spiritual lives together after the first of the year!

~Monica

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Nativity Set

I’ve talked before about how acting out scripture helps children connect with the story. I can’t think of a better time to pull out items to help children do just that than Christmas time! A nativity version of the bible box!

Each of my boys have their own nativity set. They keep them in their rooms. But as we get closer to Christmas I also pack one nativity into our church bag for them to play with during the service. It’s my hope that as they play with the nativity, the stories they are hearing in the worship will sink in a little deeper.

When I was at Target a couple of weeks ago I saw this little nativity in the dollar section. Not sure if they are still there, but you can definitely check it out!

Below are some amazon links to the other nativity sets I own. Even if you can’t get them in time for this Christmas, you could stock up for next year!


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Don’t Worry Be Happy

Each Wednesday I release additional resources for less than $1! You get  a PDF with the lesson plan, 2 additional activities, a handout, and an image to use as a worship background. A preview of the resources and the purchase button are at the bottom of this post!

Has anyone ever asked you to do something that was hard? Allow a few children to share difficult tasks they’ve had to do. Sometimes we have to do something because we know it’s the right thing to do even if we don’t want to or if it seems hard. Share a time that you did something because it was the right thing even though it was hard to do.

Today I want to read you a story about Mary. Read Luke 1:26-38 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible – Year B. Mary was a little bit scared and worried about what God asked her to do. But she knew that with God amazing things are possible. I bet the idea of being Jesus’s mom was frightening and exciting at the same time!

The angel told Mary to be happy. I don’t know about you, but when I’m asked to do something that makes me a bit scared and I’m not sure I really want to do it, I usually don’t feel happy. In fact, I can get a little bit grumpy about it. Have you ever felt that way? Allow children to respond. But the angel said to be happy, that God was with Mary and chosen her for something special. I think that God wants us to be happy even when we are going to do something difficult. I think that God wants us to respond like Mary did. She said that if that’s what God wanted then that was what she would do. Mary was strong and brave. And we can be too!

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions. In addition to the 3 page PDF download I have created a worship background image that could be projected on the screen during the children’s moment of your worship service.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today! Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Checkout, or you can enter your credit card as a Paypal guest (no account required). Once you have made your purchase an email will be sent to you with download directions.
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

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Mindfulness Monday {Being Here}

Here’s a little something about me…I hate the stomach bug. Last week my oldest had it. And then last night my youngest got it too. Ewww! I gotta admit, when I’m in the middle of all this yuckiness it can be hard to notice moments of gratefulness. But as I was thinking about what to write I realized there was something to be grateful for. A year and a half ago I was working full time as a teacher. On a night like last night I would have been worrying about my boy but also stressing about getting a sub, writing lesson plans, and trying to figure out how long I would have to miss work. But now, as a stay at home mom, I can just be here. I may not enjoy these moments of illness, but I’m here. I can focus on his needs without stressing about what I’m not doing for work. It also means that I get to be here for the good stuff too. So today I’m mindful of the blessing in just being here!

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Pray for the Earth

Tell your child(ren) that there are people all over the world in need and that sometimes even the earth itself is in need. Sometimes the earth can seem so big and we don’t know what to do to help. One thing we can do is say a prayer for the earth and all her people in need.

Hug an earth ball in your arms, like this Plush Earth, and say a prayer of blessing. Pass the earth ball around the circle and give each member of the family a chance to offer a prayer.

 

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Look for the Good

Have you noticed that each Wednesday I release additional resources for less than $1?!? You get  a PDF with the lesson plan, 2 additional activities, a handout, and an image to use as a worship background. A preview of the resources and the purchase button are at the bottom of this post!

Have you ever felt so happy about something that you wanted to laugh and sing? Allow children to share a time they felt that happy. When we feel especially happy we often give praise to God. Listen to this scripture from the book of Psalms. Read Psalm 126. For this Psalm I think The Message Bible version is the easiest for children to understand. The people in this Psalm were so happy that they were laughing and singing. They were praising God. But there was one part that seemed a little confusing. Does anyone know what a drought is? Allow children to respond. So what do you think it means when the Psalm says “bring rains to our drought stricken lives”? Discuss with children the comparison of drought to a time in life that is sad.

It’s easy to think that the good times and the bad times are two separate times in life. I believe that there are good things and bad things always happening. Share an example of a time in your life when something good and something bad happened at the same time. Have you ever had something good and something bad happen in the same day? Allow a few children to share examples from their own lives. I think that we have the power to decide if we are going to focus on the happy things or the sad things. When we choose to look for happy things we will find them. When we choose to look for sad things, we will find those too. Which would you rather find? That doesn’t mean that you will never be sad, but you can choose to look for moments of happiness even in sad times. And when we focus on God, in our lives, God helps us find those moments of happiness.

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home. But for this lectionary year I wanted to offer you something more.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions. In addition to the 3 page PDF download I have created a worship background image that could be projected on the screen during the children’s moment of your worship service.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today!
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

————————————————————————————————-

View Cart

 

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Mindfulness Monday {Family Traditions}

As a child my family always got a live Christmas tree. I have many memories of going out with my parents to select and cut down our tree. When my husband and I were first married we also cut down our own tree. But when we had our first child we decided to switch to a fake pre-lit tree. And while I LOVE the ease, I miss the experience of a real tree.

This year my Mom asked us to go with her to choose her tree. As we were walking through the tree farm I saw the sunlight streaming through the trees as 3 generations searched for the perfect tree. I’m so grateful for this chance to begin a new family tradition!

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Countdown to Christmas

I love decorating for Christmas. And I enjoy the idea of advent calendars. This year I’ve decided to countdown in a different way. As a former teacher I have LOTS children’s books. Many of which are still in boxes in my basement. I decided to pull out my favorite Christmas/holiday books. Some are secular and some are religious. I discovered that I had 20 holiday books. If I purchase 5 more I’ll have enough to create a new kind of countdown. The 25 books of Christmas! My plan is that each night we will sit down and read one of these books. Since we read every night anyway this should be an easy thing to do. You could simply wrap each book and place them in a basket. I wanted this to become a yearly tradition so I created these bags. If you’d like to know how I made them, I posted a tutorial here.

What holiday tradition are you most looking forward to?

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