Holy Week Activities

As we enter into Holy Week I thought you, like me, might be looking for ideas of things to do with your kids! Here are a couple I found…

Christianity Today has an activity or devotion for each day of Holy Week!

 

eHow also has a selection of activities including an idea for re-enacting the empty tomb.

 

What does your family do to mark Holy Week?

{Monica}

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Jesus Enters Jerusalem

Does anyone know the special name we use for this Sunday? Allow children to answer. This Sunday is called Palm Sunday. We are going to read about why it’s named Palm Sunday in a minute but before we do I want to talk to you about what happens between Palm Sunday and Easter. Read children “Jesus Gets Ready to Die” from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. It does an excellent job of explaining that Palm Sunday is the beginning of a sad story. Today we are going talk about how the story begins.

Have you ever seen someone important arrive somewhere? Maybe in a movie, or on TV? What was it like when that important person arrived? Allow children to answer. They may describe a movie star on the red carpet or the president’s entourage. When the people see someone important how do they act? Allow children to answer. In Jesus’ time someone really important, like a king or a Roman general, would have ridden into town on a magnificent horse…but Jesus does something different. Let’s read to find out what happened when Jesus came to Jerusalem. Read Mark 11:1-11 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B.

Jesus made a choice to enter into the Jerusalem in a different way than a king or Roman general. What did he do differently? Allow children to answer. Jesus chose to enter into Jerusalem on a donkey. Mark also tells us that Jesus plans to return the donkey to it’s owner. Which is different than what a king or Roman soldier would have done. And yet, as Jesus enters into Jerusalem he is treated like a king. Not because of how Jesus comes into Jerusalem, in fact Mark tells us that Jesus remains silent…Jesus doesn’t ask to be treated like someone special. He is treated like a king by the people! Think back to how important people are treated nowadays. You told me that people scream and cheer and take pictures. I think the people of Jerusalem also screamed and cheered for Jesus. They didn’t take pictures of course, but what did they do? Allow children to answer. They laid down their cloaks and palm branches so that even the donkey would have a soft place to walk. Every year on Palm Sunday we remember that Jesus never asked to be someone important. And yet because of the love he showed everyone, people will always remember him that way. Even now, many Many MANY years later we still lay down Palm leaves to honor Jesus.

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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.

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 {Pretty Day}

Sometimes a view just stops me in my tracks and takes my breath away. For me that usually involves a mixture of clouds and the sun. As I strive to be more mindful in my life I try to stop and enjoy the beauty, even if it’s only for a moment. After 5 full days of rain, this lovely sky deserved a minute of appreciation!

What have you noticed today?

{Monica}

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A Closer Walk with Thee {Traveling through Lent with Children}

Talking about Lent with children has always been a difficult topic for me. While Christmas is a time of celebration and joy…Lent, to me, has always seemed heavy and dark. Perhaps because we often spend so much of Lent focusing on the death of Jesus. But Lent is not just about the crucifixion. Lent is about letting go of the distractions in our lives so that we can renew our focus on God. It’s about choosing to spend 40 days walking side by side with Jesus!

In this video I share some ideas of how you can experience Lent with the children in your life!

Links mentioned in the video:

Join the discussion! How are you sharing Lent with your family? What ideas do you have for connecting fasting and giving? What forms of prayer do you use with your children? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

{Monica}

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Written on Your Hearts

Ok, I’ve got a secret. (in a stage whisper) When I was a kid I used to write on my hand with pen. I’d draw pictures or write words, and it used to really bug my mom. Have you ever done that? Do you think we could write on our hearts? I think that would be really hard to do!

Today’s Bible story is from the book of Jeremiah. In this story Jeremiah is having a conversation with God. Let’s listen to the story. Read Jeremiah 31:31-34 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. This Bible story was written for a group of people that had had a very difficult life. Some of them may have started to wonder if there even was a God. Jeremiah wanted them to remember that God is always with them in their hearts. That God has a dream for them. But the people thought they were too busy. What were some of the things that kept them busy? Allow children to answer. What things keep us busy today? Be prepared with some props of common things that keep people busy (cell phones, keys, sports balls, food packaging, etc) As children generate ideas of things that keep us busy have that child stand up and either use the prop or mime the activity. Then have one child be Jeremiah. Give that child some label stickers (like name badges) with the words “Remember God loves you.” As the child portraying Jeremiah walks down the line have him put a sticker over each person’s heart. Have Jeremiah and all the remaining children not participating say, “slow down and remember God loves you” to each person as they receive their sticker. When a child receives a sticker they should stop their “busy” activity. This story from Jeremiah reminds us that God is always in our hearts, and that God has a dream for us written on our hearts. Every day we need to slow down from the busyness in our lives and think of God’s love. I have a few more reminders of God’s love. Could you help me by giving them to others in the congregation? Have children take the remaining stickers and place them over the hearts of some of the adults. Or take the stickers with them to hand out during the day.

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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.

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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God is in the Music

There are many styles of music and different people are drawn to different types of music.  When you are listening to a good song the music seems to fill you up.  Find 3 songs from 3 different styles of music.  Be sure they are NOT the style of music you usually listen to.  You could choose rock, jazz, contemporary, tribal, or classical.  The choices are endless.  Listen to the songs as a family.  Even if the style of music is not one you usually like, let go of your negative thoughts about the style and just allow the song to fill you up.  Find something to appreciate about the music.  Share together what you liked about the song.  Remember…beauty is there…if you listen.  God is there…if you listen.

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His Love Endures Forever

Last week we learned that people have been singing about God for a long time. Does anyone remember the name of the book in the bible that has some of those songs in it? It’s called the book of Psalms. Many people feel closer to God when they sing. One way that I feel closer to God is if I sing the scriptures. So we are going to practice doing that today!

Near the beginning of today’s Psalm it says, “his love endures forever” and toward the end of the psalm it says, “sing songs of joy.” Those two lines reminded me of a song I know. Have you ever heard this song? Sing or play the first verse to “Forever” by Chris Tomlin. As you sing the song, sing the lines quietly but sing out on the phrases “his love endures forever” and “sing praise.” Did you hear how the song goes between a line of words and then the phrase “his love endures forever?” Was there any other part you heard repeated? See if children remember that sing praise is also repeated. Today instead of singing this song as it’s written we are going to sing our scripture. So I will read a line from the scripture and then together we will sing “his love endures forever” and then I’ll read another line from the scripture and we’ll sing “his love endures forever…sing praise, sing praise.” Let’s practice just those two parts now. You may want to invite the congregation to join you in singing the lines “his love endures forever” and “his love endures forever…sing praise, sing praise.”

Now that we know our parts, let’s sing today’s scripture. Remember I’ll read a line and then we’ll sing, then I’ll read another line, and we’ll sing again. We’ll keep repeating that until our scripture is done. The scripture for today is Psalm 107:1-3, and Psalm 107:17-22. Read a line of scripture and then invite the children and congregation to sing their part. If you are using the Message Bible version this is how it might go:

Oh, thank God—he’s so good! his love endures forever
His love never runs out. (I’d leave this line out because in essence you just
sung it)
All of you set free by God, tell the world! his love endures forever…sing
praise, sing praise

Tell how he freed you from oppression, his love endures forever
Then rounded you up from all over the place, his love endures forever…sing
praise, sing praise

from the four winds, from the seven seas. (again I’d leave this line out and
continue on with vs 17)

Continue until you finish Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Wow! What a beautiful job you did singing this Psalm! This Psalm doesn’t say that life will always be perfect. In fact, sometimes life is really yucky and hard. But what we have to remember is that God’s love endures forever! And because we have God to turn to in the tough times we sing praise!

————————————————————————————————

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.

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!

————————————————————————————————- 

View Cart

Share

Mindfulness Monday {Funny Man}

I’ve mentioned before that my dad had a massive stroke a little over a year ago. Saturday my boys had their first soccer games of the season. My mom and dad, along with my sister and her kids, decided to come to the game. Let me tell you, trying to maneuver a wheel chair through the grassy fields was not the easiest task.

We watched the games, we talked we laughed, and Dad sat mostly quiet. Every once and awhile he’d give one of the kids a high five, or pat me on the back. I was glad he was there, but I wasn’t sure how much he was getting out of it. My sister snapped this photo and posted it on facebook.

It took my brother in law commenting for us all to notice the bunny ears Dad put up behind my head. Look again, did you notice? I laughed out loud when I saw that. Mostly because that is SO HIM! He’s always had a great sense of humor. Since the stroke, his humor still shows itself but much less frequently. When my sister asked him about it later he just got this smirk on his face.

It’s one of those little moments I could have easily missed. It took someone else to point it out to me. Mindfulness can be like that, sometimes you need someone else to say hey look at that! And yet, that one little thing blessed my day.

Spend some time today and listen to those around you! What special moments do they see that you might have otherwise missed?

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Family Devotions for Lent

Recently a friend sent me a link to this Lent Family Devotions resource, “With GOD, All Things Are Possible.” The print copy is very inexpensive. $1.50 for the booklet, I assume there is shipping but I’m not sure. It is also available for Kindle or Nook. I chose to get the Kindle version so that I could read it right away.

The devotion for each night is short (a paragraph or two), contains a scripture, sometimes an activity suggestion, and a short prayer. There are no pictures, at least not in the eBook version. I would say that some adaptions would need to be made for using this resource with younger children. I do think it’s completely appropriate to read aloud each day with children 2nd/3rd grade and up. I would use this resource as a jumping off point for deeper discussions as a family.

I’m not going to let the fact that Lent has already begun stop me from using this with my children. Even though they are a bit younger (5 and almost 7), I’m interested in opening the door for a discussion about Lent. My plan is to skim through it each day and decide if that devotion is appropriate for the age of my children and then make adaptions as needed. Some days I may not use it at all. But having a resource at all will help guide my discussions about this difficult topic with my children.

How are you talking to your children about Lent?

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