Say Thank You

God’s love flows not only when you give but also when you receive.  Encourage your child to say “thank you” when they receive.  Sit down together to write a thank you note to someone.  Perhaps for a gift given, but also consider writing a thank you to someone who is important to you.  Tell that person how and why they are special and thank them for the gift of themselves.

{Monica}

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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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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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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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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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The Good Samaritan {A Bible Box Activity}

Today I want to share another Bible Box activity with you. Even if you haven’t made your own Bible Box yet, you can still easily use this activity with your child(ren). Today let’s look at the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. I like the version in My First Bible.

  1. Read Luke 10:25-37 aloud to your child(ren).
  2. Ask them what props they want to use to act out the story. For this story I gathered a green napkin (grass), a felt path (the road), a few people, a bandaid, and some blocks (for the inn). You can use any toy people you have. Lego people, Barbies, Little People, whatever! I have Tales of Glory figurines so that is what I used. But they certainly aren’t necessary.
  3. Allow your child(ren) to set the scene with the props they collected.
  4. Read the scripture again as your children act it out with the figurines

Here’s a peek at the story in images only…let’s see how well you know the story! 🙂

Hope you and your child(ren) have fun acting out the Good Samaritan!

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Let’s Get Real

Here at Childhood Spirituality I have one main rule…this is a guilt free zone. Parents, and women especially, are GOOOD at guilt. As you read my blog I don’t want to you doing any shoulda, coulda, woulda kinda stuff. No regretting what you haven’t done or didn’t do with the kids in your life. This website is all about enriching our lives from this moment forward.

In the interest of full disclosure (ask my boys, they will be honest with you), there are definitely days that my family does no spiritual practices what-so-ever. Sorta, like maybe all summer long last year. It’s never too late to start a routine, and it’s never to late to re-start a routine. When school started back up, I started back in with our nightly spiritual practice…and my son Parker said, “Mommy we don’t do prayers anymore.” And I was like, “yes we do! We just got out of the habit over the summer, and now we are going to start doing them again.” And there have been times since then that we have gotten out of the habit…again. And restarted our routine…again.

I share lots of ideas on this site. And I do all of this stuff, at some point or another. But, believe me, I don’t do all of it every day. I do some of it…sometimes…on some days. That’s life! Don’t think that I’m some super mom with a spotless house, perfectly balanced meals, and brilliant children who never complain and always clean up after themselves while simultaneously praying to God and spouting scripture. UHHH, NOT EVEN CLOSE! Well, I am a super mom. But it’s because I love my kids with all my heart and try, the best I can, to live a Christian example.  Some days I do, and some days I don’t and that’s ok! Whatever level of spiritual practice you do with your children, the fact that you are here means that you strive to live a Christian example! And that is what counts!

So if I, the author of a blog on spirituality, am here telling you that some days I do this stuff better than others, then that should give you permission to do and be the best you can and not beat yourself up for what you don’t get done!  No guilt here!  Just fun, and living this spiritual life together!  Deal?

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A Peaceful Place

Help your child determine a place in or around your home that is their personal place for peace.  A place where they can relax, be still, pray, or just be present with God.  Allow your child to make a sign to let others in your home know that this is a peaceful place.  Decide on a house rule that when someone is in his or her peaceful place that all other family members respect him or her and leave them alone.

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Roll, Shape, Mold…God

Get out some clay, play dough, or model magic with your child.  Tell them that you are going to create something that is like God.  Ask your child, “can you make God’s love with your clay?”  If they say, I don’t know what that looks like let them know that it looks different to everyone.  They can make anything that looks like love.  Work together to make representations of God’s love.  Then talk with each other about why you made what you did.

Other things to try:  Can you make God’s peace?  What is God like?

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Using a Labyrinth

Ever heard of a labyrinth? A labyrinth is similar to a maze except that there is only one path that leads to the center (no dead ends). Labyrinths are often full size so that you can physically walk through them. The process is extremely calming and peaceful.

I’ve been considering creating a labyrinth in the corner of our yard. I have even pinned some ideas on Pinterest. (You can follow my pinterest board here if you’d like) But that is an in the future project. Yet, I wanted a labyrinth for my boys. So for Christmas I bought one for my boys. The finger labyrinth pictured above is designed for two people, which is perfect for two kids.

I often find my boys sitting and tracing the labyrinth path, which is awesome! But that’s not why I bought it. I wanted to teach my boys ways to manage their anger. My oldest especially has trouble with tantrums when he’s in trouble. Recently, in one of those moments, I took him the labyrinth and asked him to think about what happened and what he could do differently as he traced the labyrinth two times. He calmed down almost immediately. Afterwards when we were talking through the problem he told me that he after he finished the labyrinth twice he still didn’t have an answer to my two questions so he did it a third time and then he was ready to talk. I asked him if he thought that using the labyrinth helped him when he was mad. He said that it did and agreed that he would like to use it again. Now, when he is in time out I quietly bring him the labyrinth and simply hand it to him. Will it always work? Probably not…but for now it is a helpful tool for him. And that’s what I hoped for.

If you are interested in other labyrinth options click on the My Favorites tab above and choose spirituality to see what else I own.

What do you do with your children to help them calm down? I’d love to hear what works for your family!

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