My All-Time Favorite Kid’s CD

I grew up listening to Hide ‘Em in Your Heart, Vol. 1 & 2 but had nearly forgotten all about it until my sister gave me the two-for-one CD for Christmas.

My first thought was, I’m going to be so sad if my kids don’t like it.

So, before I popped it in my CD player,  I said “Guess what?!?  This was mommy’s favorite music when I was a kid, and now we can learn the songs and listen to it together!”

Then I skipped right to my two favorite songs as a kid:  “God loves a Cheerful Giver” and “Encourage One Another.”

At first, my kids ONLY wanted to listen to those songs for the first day or two, but then as the songs played without them noticing, they eventually fell in love with ALL of the songs.

This CD has been a GREAT teaching tool because when my little girl is afraid of “sharks” and “alligators” at night, we sing “When I am afraid, I will trust in HIM.”

Or, when they are complaining, I sing “Do everything without complaining.”

It is a great way to introduce and memorize Scripture naturally and regularly which is my favorite way to do things.

My kids are under 5 so it is really appropriate for them, but I remember liking this CD as a 10 year old child.  I can’t promise that your kids will love it because I know Kid’s bop and Disney music are kid favorites these days, but it is worth a try because the content it priceless.

I hope you like it as much as we do!

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What Does Not Belong?



Find the Hidden Pictures that don't belong in the Nativity Scene.



Recently, at a birthday party, Sean Patrick was given a little activity book of hidden pictures as a party favor.  We had a great time working on this little booklet together and we ended up talking about the bigger pictures on each page as well as the hidden images.

So, I wanted to make a “bigger picture” that led to even better discussions.

This can set up great conversation for discussing the nativity setting (where the birth of Jesus took place).  The “characters” (who was at the birth of Jesus) including who is not pictured.  And much more.  Leave a comment if you do this so I can learn from what came out of your conversations.

You can also talk about what was not there – a car is “silly” to be in the picture because when Jesus was a baby people went from place to place by walking.  They didn’t have cars.

People wore sandals not tennis shoes. I’m trying to give you ideas here discussing the hidden images as prompts but I’m kind of running out haha.

The Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, not pencils and paintbrushes.

Visual discrimination is a great skill for kids to learn.  They have to concentrate, focus, and isolate objects which is easy for us, but difficult for kids who are still learning what the objects are called.

You don’t have to print this… you can pull it up on your computer and you can search for the hidden images on the screen and click “edit” on the PDF and put a circle image around it when they find each picture.

Click HERE to get it!

 

Daily Devotions: Week 4

We are absolutely loving our daily devotions!  The kids are finally not protesting them anymore (before they just wanted to run off to watch TV after homework), but now they jump up and down asking what type of activity we are doing (not every day, but some)!  This week, we even did a science experiment as one of our activities!  Have you ever related God to oil?  Haha… maybe it was a stretch, but the kids loved it and totally got my analogy, so that’s what matters!

When my husband got home, the boys couldn’t wait to tell him what they learned which sparked my husband’s Daddy Teacher side (he taught math, science and engineering to high schoolers before he became a mechanical engineer).  He ended up creating a science experiment that will be my next post in a few days.

Day 1:  An Adventure with Me

“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” -John 14:20

If you have any matryoshka (nesting) dolls lying around your house, this verse can be perfectly portrayed by using those dolls.  If not, any type of nesting toys such as blocks or cups can be used just fine.  For your older child, you can label the big nesting doll “God,” the next size “Jesus,” the next your son/daughter’s name, and the next “Jesus” again.



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This one took some convincing for my 3 year old to understand that God was not an LSU football player, and to get past the fact that each doll has a “shirt” (top) and “pants” (bottom).



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Me: “Leyson, so where is Jesus?”
Leyson: “He is wearing my pants.”
Me: “No, he is inside you. Inside you.” ::sigh::

Next lesson: the difference between “where” and “wear” and maybe we’ll just use nesting blocks instead of the nesting dolls. 😉

“For in him we live and move and have our being.’  As some of your own pets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'” -Acts 17:28

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.”  -Colossians 2:6-7

Day 2:  Never Changing

“God is not a God of confusion but a God of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33

The devotion talked about all of the distractions we face daily…hourly…and how one thing always remains the same:  God.  He is a constant in our lives.  While we are growing and changing, He is the one thing we can count on to always be there for us.

Today, I wanted to do an illustration on things that change and things that remain the same.

Materials:  2 bowls, oil, water, food coloring

I pulled out 2 bowls and filled one with water and one with oil.  I explained to the kids that we are like the water, always growing and changing, learning new things, adjusting to new situations.  James added food coloring to our water to see how the water automatically changed to blue.



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Then I explained that God is always the same, always there for us.  He is not going to be changed or influenced by distractions like we are.  He is not going to walk away from us even when we mess up.  His love for us remains the same.  Leyson added food coloring to the oil and the oil did not change.  It did not spread and turn the oil blue like it did the water.



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“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

Day 3:  I Am the Light

“I am the light of the world.  The person who follows me will never live in darkness.  He will have the light that gives life.”  -John 8:12

Today’s discussion was about the Light that fills our hearts and the darkness that can overtake it, if you let it.

Materials:  black paper, pencil, glue, glitter, tray or box with sides (to limit the mess)



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Draw a large heart on the black paper.  Talk about how hate, jealousy, rudeness, disobedience, dishonesty and disrespect can all darken the heart.  Let your child paint the inside of the heart with glue and fill it with glitter.



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Talk about how Jesus’ love for us and our obedience to follow Him will fill our hearts with light.  My kids had a great time waving their hearts around to see the light dance against the glitter.



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“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” -Psalm 32:7

Day 4:  No Other Friend Like Me

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  -John 15:13

We pulled one of our favorite Disney songs to help us with today’s devotion.  We compared the love and friendship that Andy and Woody have with each other to our relationship with Christ.  We also closed our eyes and listened to the words of this song describing their friendship and talked about how that relates to us and our BFF, Jesus.

“I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  -John 15:14-15

Day 5:  Depend on Me

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”  -Ephesians 6:10

God is the ultimate superhero – putting it in 6-year-old boy terms here.  He is super duper strong, like an ant.  We discussed how strong ants are in comparison to their bodies, and how big and heavy the things they carry can be.

Materials:  stirring straws, cheerios, glue

We pretended our fingers were little ants and made dumbbells to pump some ant iron and show their strength.  Cutting the straws into 3 inch pieces, we slipped cheerios onto each end.  James decided 3 cheerios on each end was about what an ant can carry (he thinks he is Wikipedia and knows everything).

Then my 6-year-old know-it-all decided to multiply the weight that the ants can carry times a million trillion billion because that’s how strong God is.



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“The God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  Genesis 1:26-27

If you are doing Bible studies with your kids at home, we would love to hear from you!  Are you following a specific kid’s devotional or study, or making your own up as you go along?  Comment below to tell us all about it!

Catch up on previous weekly devotions below.

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1

 

Daily Devotions: Week 3

Thanks for joining us on our daily devotions journey!  I gotta be honest, doing this daily with our kids, our activities are hit or miss.  My kids are not always cooperative, my activities are not always the most exciting, and yes, apparently looking back at the week, we completely forgot to do it on Monday!  I didn’t even realize that until I started writing this post!  So, hang in there!  Bible study is not going to be perfect every day – some days it will be so far from it, but your children are still hearing God’s word and are seeing you set an example for daily obedience.

If you are just now following us, here is a recap:

Week 1

Week 2

Day 1:  Messy Days

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”  – Psalm 105:4

It can be hard to “visualize” Jesus when we have never met him face to face.  For kids, this can be hard for them to understand that He was born into this world like you and me yet, though he no longer walks as we do on this Earth, we can still have this amazing relationship with Him.

Ask your kids to describe Jesus and what He looks like.

Google some images of famous paintings and images of Jesus.  Talk about the likenesses between them and how this is what some believe He looked like when He was here.  This will help your children visualize Him when they talk to Him.

I know I like to visualize Jesus holding my hands when I pray.  It helps me to feel more connected to Him.  Describe to your children what it feels like to feel His presence.

Pray with them and ask them to visualize Him when they do.

Day 2:  Autopilot

“Your world is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  – Psalm 119:105

Today, we made compasses – simple compasses.  I drew a circle and cut out arrows for them to glue “point the way to Jesus.”

I scaffolded the activity for the different ages of my boys.



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“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”  Psalm 63:7-8

Day 3:  The Light of the Son

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it.  The glory of God is its light, and the Lamb is the city’s lamp.” – Revelation 21:23

We found a box that just so happened to have a hole big enough for the kids to peer into.  “What do you see?”  Well, there’s really not much to see inside of a dark box… it’s dark and empty.  We saw nothing.  Without Jesus in our lives, everything would be dark like the inside of the box.



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I opened the box and put a flashlight inside and closed it again.  We looked through the hole once more and saw the entire inside of the box!  Jesus lights up our world so we can see and live and so our spirits will be filled with light.



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Take this a step further if you have prep time before your devotion begins:  draw or tape pictures to the inside of the box so that when you turn on the light inside your kids can see what they couldn’t see when it was dark.



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“Many are asking, ‘Who can show us any good?’ Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.  You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.  I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  – Psalm 4:6-8

Day 4:  Before You Work

“Depend on the Lord in whatever you do.  Then your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3

Today we made a challenge for ourselves to remember to pray before we get started in the morning.  Write that challenge down and post it somewhere, maybe on the kids’ bedroom door, so that you all can see it first thing before you start your day.  It is one thing to say we are going to do this, and intend on doing this, and quite another to follow through.  So set an alarm on your phone if you need a daily reminder and teach the kids to come gather around so you can pray over them for the day.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples:  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens; They do not sow or reap they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26

“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.”  Ephesians 6:12

Day 5:  The God Who Forgives

Practice role playing forgiveness with your kids.  If you have multiple children, have them role play this back and forth: one who makes a mistake and the other forgives.  Pray with your children and teach them to ask for forgiveness and also to ask for help to be able to forgive others.  Just as God forgives us, we need to forgive others, too.

“Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?  Where can I run from you? . . . If I rise with the sun in the east, and settle int he west beyond the sea, even there you would guide me. With your right hand you would hold me.”  – Psalm 139:7-10

– Genesis 16:7-14

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17

 

 

Daily Devotions: Week 1

Since school started this week, we have been doing a short daily devotional after homework – our “Bible Study.”  We are following the devotions in the book Jesus Calling:  365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young.

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Now, my young kids don’t always understand all of the concepts of the devotions… I’d say this book is great for upper elementary to high school… but it does offer some great scriptures for my kids to know and gives me a skeleton of where I can begin a Bible lesson for the day.  Besides, I’d rather them understand the scripture than what the devotion says about that scripture.  I paraphrase the book a lot for my kids.

What my 3 year old is learning:  Right now, I am just trying to get him to follow along.  Each kid has his Bible open and I am teaching Leyson how he should be acting during a Bible study.  I open his Bible for him and just get him to stay on the page long enough for us to read the scripture (he loves to flip through ALL the pages).  I am teaching him how to treat his Bible.  He has to hold his finger on the chapter number and search for the verse number.

Goal:  to sit still and listen.

What my 6 year old is learning:  James is learning to look up the verses in the Bible.  He has (mostly) memorized the order of the books in the New Testament so if there is a verse in there that we are studying, he can search for it by himself.  Yesterday, I taught him how to use the Table of Contents to search for the books in the Old Testament.  What a great concept for reading and number awareness!

Goal:  to find the verses on his own.

Below I will share some simple activities that we have done to follow the verses that we study in the devotions.  We take one concept from one of the verses in the devotion and do a project that relates to it.  The activities are super simple and not planned in advance (and I have to have the supplies somewhere in my house already).  If we ever come to one that I can’t think about what to do, we will just do a writing assignment.

I will try to share our journey on here as much as I can!  So here is our first school-week’s worth of verses and SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE activities that we did to accompany them!

Day 1:  Like a Candle

“He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.” -Isaiah 42:3 (NLT)

We glued birthday candles to a piece of paper and drew flames above them.  We also lit a large candle while we were doing the devotion (which my 3 year old promptly blew out) so then we had to relight it to show that God would never blow out our candles, the light inside of us.



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3 year old:  For him, I wrote the verse and he traced it.

6 year old:  I wrote the verse on my own paper and he copied.  When he has mastered this, he will then begin to copy straight from the Bible.

“‘Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ says your compassionate Lord.”  Isaiah 54:10

Day 2:  Enjoy Life

“A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy.  But I came to give you life–life in all its fullness.”  -John 10:10 (ICB)

I asked my kids what Jesus did to ensure that we have eternal life.  My 6 year old said, “He died on the cross,” so we made crosses out of popsicle sticks.  (See?  I said these activities were simple)



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“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”  -John 10:11

Day 3:  Rock-Solid

“Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.  They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing . . . . But you are always the same; you will live forever.” -Psalm 102:25-27

My friends just recently shared with us a great pre-dinner prayer time ritual that they do with their 3 kids.  They use prayer sticks that each have a different prayer request or person to pray for written on them.  Each person gets to pick out a prayer stick from the cup and lead the prayer for the person/request on the stick.



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I wanted to get some prayer sticks right away, but did not have time to make it to the store.  “Ah well, we’ll make prayer sticks eventually.”   The very next day our Bible verse was about God being rock-solid and our neighbors just happen to have a driveway full of rocks.  So we made “prayer rocks” instead of sticks.  The kids had a blast finding the perfect rocks to write our prayers on!



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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  – Hebrews 13:8



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My 6 year old decided to put a lantern in the middle of our prayer rocks.  At first I asked him to remove it because, well, they drain all of the batteries out of our flashlights and every time our electricity goes out we can’t find any working ones, but he told me…

James:  “But Mom, God is the light and He will answer our prayers.  We need to put His light around our prayer rocks.”

Can’t argue with that one… I let him keep it there, of course.

Day 4:  The Position of your Heart

“Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.” -Psalm 55:17

“Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to You at a time that You may be found.  When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him.”  -Psalm 32:6

“Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him.  God is our refuge.”  Psalm 62:8

Day 5:  Focusing Your Thoughts

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  -Philippians 4:8



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The boys had to look through their binoculars to focus in on the positive things in life.  We then looked at our house rules, gave examples of each, and related them to the verse above – if we follow these things and “dwell” on them, then the “God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:9)



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“but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:31

“I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire:  to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple.”  Psalm 27:4

I will try to keep up as much as I can with sharing our Daily Devotions with you!  Bare with me, life with 3 is cray-zee!  Please share any pictures of you and your little ones studying God’s word on Facebook!



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