Help kids learn that there is one true God who alone deserves worship with this activity page and at home Bible study from TeamKid.
By Jana Magruder
If you are in kids ministry, you know that one of the most critical pieces of your role is connecting the Church with the Home. Many times, we think of the Church first, meaning how we engage kids when they are with us for small groups or Sunday school, VBS, etc. and then thinking that the purpose is to link what you are teaching kids at church to the home. Your strategy in doing this may be to connect with parents about which Bible stories kids are learning and how they can continue the learning at home. All of that is completely fine and good—until a pandemic hits! Suddenly, the whole model most of us have established is completely flipped. So now, we think of home first. Even if kids are starting to come back to church, we know that this next year is going to be uncertain, and we want families to be discipling at home, because this has really been our goal all along. We know the “why” behind family ministry is to equip parents to be the primary discipler of their children because it is a biblical command in Deuteronomy 6. Most of us have been banging this drum for a long time, and now is our time to truly call the families we serve to action whether at church or at home. And right now, especially at home. How do we do this? Here are 3 guiding principles for you to implement in your ministry right now:
- Make it easy and accessible. We know parents are busy and even overwhelmed right now. Many of them are working full-time on top of monitoring kids learning at home. So, if we want them to disciple their children at home, we need to make it as easy as possible. One idea for this is to send them one link per week. What’s in that link is up to you! It might include Bible story videos with follow-up questions, family activities, or a prayer prompt. Whatever you choose to send them, consolidate your resources to one link and either email it to them or use a social media platform for them to access it.
- Give them God’s Word! Research tells us that the number one thing that affects spiritual growth in both kids and adults is reading the Bible. Let’s challenge families to gather together and read Scripture. Now more than ever, we need the comfort, wisdom, and truth about the authority of God over our lives. An idea for how to do this is to ask families to commit to reading a book of the Bible together over the course of a month while choosing one verse to memorize. It would help if you went ahead and chose that book and verse for them—maybe even sending them a daily reading plan in that one link from point 1. Have fun with it! You can even create a calendar and fun social media posts reminding the parents you serve to read the Bible with their kids.
- Connect back to the gospel! We want our families to talk about the gospel together—often! So we need to equip them to be comfortable with having gospel conversations throughout the week. Everyday situations usually have a connecting point to Jesus. The idea here is to use a simple format to help parents explain the gospel to their children. This could be done in the format of a video of you modeling a gospel presentation or a printable PDF explaining the gospel in age-appropriate ways.
The best way to reach families at home is to make it easy, give them God’s Word, and connect back to the gospel. If you need more tangible ideas for how to do some of the things suggested, check out our At Home resources that come with any of our curriculum resources including The Gospel Project for Kids, Bible Studies for Life: Kids, or Explore the Bible: Kids. Each of these have specific, one-link resources for you to send your families to engage their kids with the Bible and ultimately point to Jesus. Let’s face it, He is where our hope comes from, and the families you serve need the hope of Christ now more than ever.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of LifeWay Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Kids Ministry that Nourishes and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.
Looking to connect with volunteers or families in your ministry in a way that feels a little more personal than an online meet-up? Here’s a fun way to let them know you’re thinking about them. Pick up drinks from your favorite spot, attach these tags with a note, and deliver them to doorsteps. You’re sure to bring a little extra cheer to their day.
Step 1: Print out the PDF with the correct lid size for the drinks you’re purchasing. (Tip: For a Sonic Route 44, you would choose the PDF for 44 oz. drinks. For a Starbucks Venti, you would choose the PDF for 24 oz. drinks.)
Step 2: Cut along the dotted line of each circle. Don’t forget to cut out the hole in the center as well. (Tip: Use a hole punch to make this easier!)
Step 3: Write a personal note on the blank space of the tag.
Step 4: Purchase your drinks & tape the gift tags to the lid. (Tip: Sonic drinks are currently half-price any time if you order through their app.)
Step 5: Deliver your drinks to volunteers or families! Call or text ahead of time to let them know you’ll be dropping off a treat. Please remember to adhere to all social-distancing guidelines.
Kids ministry looks a lot different than it did a few weeks ago. It seems now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we stay connected with kids, families, and volunteers. We’re here to help you do that with free digital curriculum resources, helpful blog posts and podcasts, and today we have an easy, fun way to keep in touch.
Download and print these free cards to mail to kids, families, or volunteers in your ministry. It’s an easy way to let them know you care.
by Kayla Stevens
Sunday mornings are busy at my house. Usually my alarm wakes me at an early hour. I enjoy the sunrise as I drive to church to prepare for the hours ahead. Usually this is the time I revisit the session I will teach one more time, pray over the small chairs in my classroom, clean and sanitize the room, hang new posters for Bible stories and main points on the walls, and make sure everything is ready to welcome the faces that will walk into my classroom for Sunday school.
But recently Sunday mornings have looked differently for all of us. And while I am still getting used to the slower pace of Sunday mornings, I deeply miss those smiling faces and I can’t wait to hear the music of my alarm on an early Sunday morning again soon.
In the wake of COVID-19, we find ourselves in uncharted waters of changing schedules, social distancing, and creating new mindsets of how we do ministry. Perhaps now more than ever, we have unique and creative opportunities to connect with families, encourage family discipleship, and reach out in creative ways to help families connect to their neighbors, one another, and their church.
Consider these options as you connect and encourage the families in your ministry in the coming weeks:
Social distancing does not mean social isolation. As you encourage your families to distance physically from others, remind them of the great opportunities they have in the weeks ahead to encourage their family and neighborhood in unique social engagement.
- Encourage families to decorate their homes in anticipation and celebration of Easter.
- Consider hanging Christmas lights to add cheer on evening walks.
- Create chalk art with a different message of hope and encouragement every few days.
- Guide your families to consider regular prayer walks to pray for neighbors. Introduce yourself to new neighbors (from a safe distance) and begin praying for opportunities to be a good neighbor and meet needs that you can meet of others.
Kids ministry leaders have an expanding opportunity to facilitate and resource families with healthy discipleship patterns that can continue long after normal patterns return. Help the families in your ministries navigate the uncertain days ahead by guiding them towards regular rhythms of spiritual discipleship through family led devotions, Bible reading, prayer, and Scripture memory.
- Consider printing out a world map and hanging it in your home. Let kids color the various countries and spend time each day praying for people who are experiencing suffering and hardship around the world because of COVID-19.
- Resource your families with LifeWay’s 7 Day Coronavirus Prayer Guide. Plan time each morning or evening to pray for the needs listed.
- Encourage families with fun Scripture memory challenges that will encourage them and remind them of their hope in God. Create a social media hashtag or additional ways for families to share the Scripture memory they are learning and include other families.
- Resource your families with trustworthy tools they can use to participate in discipleship and worship at home. Create a music streaming playlist of worship music families can use to worship together. Encourage families to post pictures of their family’s participation on social media and link your church’s information.
Parents and kids have big questions and they are looking to you for answers. In the midst of uncertainty, remind the families in your ministry of the certainty of who God is and His control over His creation.
- Reassure your families and kids that you are here for them, and that you aren’t going anywhere. Give information of your church’s operations and how you can be reached through several platforms (email, video, social media, cards, or letters). Let families know you want to hear from them and provide opportunities for virtual conversations through technology.
- Encourage families to practice healthy habits: social, mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional. Reassure them that this new season is temporary. Guide them with helpful topics of family discussion to help navigate difficult questions with biblical truth.
- Plan for fun! Help families look beyond the next few weeks and plan for fun activities they can participate in both now and in the future. Laugh with the kids and families in your ministries, even if it is through silly videos on social media. Bring hope and laughter to their worlds and remind them that this season is temporary.
As you lead and connect with the families in your ministry, reassure them of the steadfast love and character of God. Lead them to practice healthy habits in the weeks ahead, to hold fast to the hope within them, and to look for opportunities they have as a family to love and encourage those around them.
Kayla Stevens is the Content Editor for LifeWay Kids Discipleship. She is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and William Carey University. Kayla lives in Nashville, Tennessee and has served in Kids ministry for over 10 years.
Many churches are pushing pause on gathering their congregants for weekly worship services during this season of coronavirus risk, including children’s ministry classes and groups. While many of us might be tempted to enjoy a break from church, that’s the last thing we really need. At times like this, we desperately need God’s Word to reassure us that He is in control; we need to sing songs that remind us of His power; we need worship.
The Bible teaches us to “watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together (emphasis mine), as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, CSB) We know, as Christ followers, that we are called to gather together as the Church—the bride of Christ Himself. However, as we retreat to the safety of our houses under city ordinances and precaution, we should look around and recognize that the very people we live with in our homes are part of that same calling—our family. We should continue (or start) to gather together to worship as a family.
Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or friendly neighbor, you can still gather together for a worship experience. This may sound intimidating to you, like something you are not equipped for, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact now is the perfect time to start doing a family worship time, and to keep doing long after coronavirus leaves us.
If you read the portion of Deuteronomy 6 sometimes referred to as the Shema, it’s easy to see that family discipleship is a scriptural command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (emphasis mine).”(Deuteronomy 6:5-7, CSB) So, let’s face it. Many of us will be “sitting in our houses”—with our kids or other family members—for longer periods of time than we are currently used to, as some schools may close and workplaces may go to a temporary remote work model. Chances are, your family might be experiencing some anxiety in this unprecedented situation. Use this extra time wisely and talk about God’s Word—the ultimate soother of our souls and healer of our hearts!
Try this to get you started: read, pray, sing—repeat! In his little book, Family Worship, Donald S. Whitney gives a simple formula for how to have a family worship time. Most of us are capable of doing this. Just gather your crew, open your Bibles, read a chapter or two aloud, say a prayer, and sing a song!
- Read: You might choose to go through one of the Gospels together, or read a Psalm and a chapter from Proverbs. The ages of your children might dictate the content you choose. If you have younger children, consider grabbing one of their Bible storybooks and selecting a Bible story to read aloud while showing pictures. Older children and teens can help read aloud portions of Scripture. Everyone can add to the discussion by asking questions and offering comments. And guess what? If you don’t know the answer, that’s ok. Acknowledge the great question and offer to do some research and report back next time. Of course kids and teenagers are really good at asking questions that we would all like to know, but simply won’t have the answer this side of Heaven. It’s okay if that’s your answer too.
- Pray: End your Bible reading and discussion time in prayer. You can ask your family what they would like to pray for. Are they worried and fearful about the coronavirus? Are people you know in your community actually sick with COVID-19 and need prayer? Is anyone in your family lonely and feeling isolated from friends and classmates? Is there too much sibling conflict from being cooped up? Offer prayers of hope and encouragement, repentance, and intercession.
- Sing: Close your family worship time by singing a song or two. Singing together might feel strange if you’ve never done so before. You might start by playing a worship song your family is familiar with from church worship or the radio. Ask everyone to sing along. Or, sing simple hymns that everyone knows—no accompaniment necessary.
Now, repeat the routine. It will get more comfortable each time. Try gathering weekly and work up to bi-weekly or even daily. This habit could change your family forever.
It may be inevitable that your church cannot gather for one or more weeks, but that does not mean you shouldn’t gather as a family and experience the one true God together through His Word, through prayer, and through song. As an extension to your family worship time, my team at LifeWay Kids has put together a family worship experience for you, which includes a Bible story video and life application videos, as well as a discussion guide and activity sheet to download. Simply follow the steps below.
Step 1: Go to digitalpass.lifeway.com.
Step 2: Register if you are a new user or log in if you already have an account.
Step 3: Look for LifeWay Kids at Home and LifeWay Preschool at Home in the “Watch Now” section
This article originally appeared on Christianity Today.
“He has type 1 diabetes.” No parent wants to hear these words, and neither do the grandparents. When our younger son married his wonderfully sweet wife who has type 1 diabetes (T1D), we knew that they would encounter some unique challenges. What none of us expected was that their firstborn son would be diagnosed with T1D as a young toddler.
While that fact has changed the dynamics of our family, our church family has made adjustments too. Our church has adapted well through the years to minister to families of kids with diabetes. In fact, my grandson is the third preschooler I have taught at church who was diagnosed with T1D at a young age.
Recently, after meeting a mother at a church in another state whose preteen daughter has T1D, I began thinking of the pervasiveness of this complex disease and how churches can seize opportunities to minister to families of preschoolers, kids, and teens with type 1 diabetes. So, I decided to ask the parents of four children with T1D how the church can better minister to their families. Here’s what they said:
What is your greatest fear when you leave your child in the care of others at church?
- That my young son would have a serious low and no one would know what to do. We didn’t even come back to church for like a month.
- That a high or low blood sugar episode will be perceived as bad behavior. Most of the time these episodes can be avoided if a child wears an insulin sensor, but not every child has that opportunity. This makes it harder to determine whether or not the behavior is blood sugar related or just bad behavior.
- That my child will have a severe low. We also worry the impact that will have on other kids in the children’s area and the teachers/caretakers. It is so important that anyone who is with our child knows she is diabetic, and when she says she is low she needs a snack (it should not be taken lightly).
- The overwhelming feeling of knowing at any moment our child could be taken from us. Our greatest fear when we leave our daughter is that her sensor would be giving an incorrect reading, she would have a dangerous drop, and nobody would know.
What do you want your child’s teachers at church to know about your child and her needs?
- An understanding of symptoms of highs and lows and knowing when to call his parents. I also think a comfort level so that the teacher isn’t panicky is a good thing. Diabetics need normal lives and parents need to feel comfortable leaving them so they can enjoy class as well.
- My son’s needs vary from those of the average child. Sometimes he needs lots of water or an extra snack during class time. Also, being diabetic means he has to potty more often. His moods can change based on how high or low his sugar is, and that can happen very quickly.
- Like all children, our daughter has a special need. We want her to be like all the other kids, but anyone who works with her needs to know that she is made “extra sweet” by God. So it should not be something you worry about, but teachers need to be diligent and pay attention to her needs. Workers need to know that EVERY carb needs to be treated and our child should be able to have what the other kids have as long as she is treated for it. Also, she needs to be able to have water when she asks because water will naturally bring high blood sugars down. Just like children who take medicine for other needs, our daughter does not want attention. She wants to be discreetly told carbs, and she might get defensive when asked about her insulin pump and sensor. She wants to be treated like everyone else. Also, we want leaders and teachers to always reach out to us if there are any questions or concerns.
- We want our daughter’s teachers to know signs and symptoms of a problem, what to do and how to contact us. We want them to know it is a matter of life and death—it cannot wait, no matter what. Her friends are aware of these signs and symptoms and have notified an adult in the past. When our child is dropping she cannot make sense or speak normally. We also would like her teachers to know she doesn’t need to be questioned when eating a donut or any food distributed during an activity. She has the ability to communicate with us and to verify the dosage she puts into her pump. I appreciate it when I get a text from a leader giving me a heads up about what food will be offered during an activity.
What would keep you from allowing your child to participate in church activities on or off the church campus?
- If my child couldn’t independently manage his diabetes, then I wouldn’t be able to let him attend functions such as lock-ins, off-site gatherings, retreats, etc, unless someone could help with that. This is still true in the youth years. My child is now in 9th grade and has yet to go on a retreat, in part because of this.
- Depending on the activity, he might not be able to participate if there is a lot of energy involved in the activity. If someone was not there who could check his sugar or know when he might need to eat something to keep his sugar up, it would worry me that he might go low. Also, if the activity went long enough for him to have to eat something, someone would have to be able to count carbs and give him insulin based on his carb ratio.
- If we felt that someone was not caring for her, that would make it harder for us to let her participate in an activity. We have never felt that way at our church. We have always felt that everyone goes above and beyond to look out for her. For us, the hardest church events are overnight and week-long trips. The church has always allowed me to go to summer camp with the kids to provide support. To be honest, I think we could trust the camp nurse, but as a family we are not ready for that step. I think the most important thing for anyone who is caring for our daughter to know is that if she is not responsive to get medical attention.
- Her safety being compromised could keep us from allowing her to participate in certain activities at church. As she enters the youth group in 1 1/2 years, we will have to rethink Disciple Now, youth camp, scavenger hunts, etc. We will have to figure out how to fly under radar and give freedom while keeping her safe.
What is your church doing well in relation to caring for your child?
- My church has always been amazing where my child is concerned. His teachers have always been interested in knowing what they can do to help so that he is able to attend class.
- Our son’s teachers and those he comes into contact with are constantly aware of what he is eating and how much. They then relay that information to us, his parents, so we can give him insulin. They are also attuned to his moods and check his sensor if his mood changes. They are very flexible and patient when it comes to dealing with him.
- Communicating and doing what is needed to protect our daughter.
- Our church is doing a fantastic job in caring for our daughter. We can text her leaders and/or staff members if anything is needed. They even have provided us with a monthly date night that has been a tremendous blessing. She enjoys this “Preteen Night Out “ more than any other activity! She’s just like every other child when she’s at church because of what our staff does to make this possible. If a children’s ministry is run like a recreation center then this built-in protection doesn’t work. Our staff plans strategically and effectively executes the ministries that operate within the umbrella of the children’s ministry. It is because of clearly communicated information, safe environments, and highly trained volunteers and staff that I can honestly say that we are 100% confident in our church’s ability to respond to our child’s medical needs.
In what ways could your church improve in ministering to your child and your family?
- Honestly, your child being diagnosed with diabetes is devastating. It takes you completely off guard and changes every single thing about life as you know it. I remember feeling helpless and lost. I could barely function for months. It was probably the worst period of my life—or at least akin to some of the worst things I’ve ever been through. You feel so alone. People really don’t understand. I sat awake many nights watching my son breathe in those early days because I was terrified that he might die in his sleep. It was crippling. The financial burden can be quite heavy. I think just verbal support, maybe a care team, meal train, a pastoral visit, cards, etc. would be great. Even people who are willing to learn how to take care of your child and offer to babysit would be so welcomed. You can’t leave a diabetic child with just anyone. There were years that it was me, his dad, or my mom that could keep him and that was absolutely all the help I had.
- Always make sure there is someone in the room (especially during Extended Teaching Care) who knows about my son’s condition and will know if and when to contact us (his parents) for help.
- We are very fortunate—or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it—to have several families impacted by T1D. I can remember two different moms calling me or finding me at church to grieve with me. One of those moms told me that it is almost like you are grieving because you know that your child will never be the same. It is important for the church family to be there for the parents as they navigate a whole new world.
- I realize not all children’s ministries are run like ours. Certain things must be in place to have an effective plan for children with T1D. The things that must be in place are consistent staff with an awareness of the disease, consistent teachers, and a plan of action in the event of an emergency. A non-chaotic environment is a necessity. I think an annual meeting with a staff member, the child, and his or her parents, would be good to evaluate what went well and what could use improvement. I want to know how to better put her leaders at ease and educate them. I want to know how I can make things easier on staff if there is something that is complicated. I think churches should have an awareness of what T1D is and isn’t, and the amazing role they can play in loving a family and shaping the heart of a child.
Is there anything else you want churches to consider related to children with diabetes?
- Caring for a child with diabetes is not something to be feared. If teachers and caregivers have an understanding of what they need to do to help the child, the child with T1D will be able to function and learn about the love of Jesus just like any other child.
- The biggest thing is to treat diabetic children just like the other kids but be aware that they may need special treats, extra water, or a text message to mom during VBS asking the carbs in the snack.
Parents of kids with T1D want their church family to love and accept their child, be aware of their child’s special needs, respond to those needs appropriately, help their child have as normal of an experience at church events as possible, and always communicate regularly with parents.
Remember, kids with T1D don’t want to be coddled or singled out. So, let’s partner with parents to ensure that all kids can have fun with friends as they learn about Jesus at church.
Landry Holmes is the Manager of LifeWay Kids Ministry Publishing. A graduate of Howard Payne University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Landry served on church staffs before joining LifeWay Kids. He is a church leader, writer, workshop facilitator, and publisher. Landry also teaches children at his church in Middle Tennessee. He and his wife Janetta are the parents of two adult sons and two daughters-in-law, and the grandparents of four adorable grandchildren.
Words matter. The words parents use have great power to give life to their kids. Here are 30 life-giving things parents should consider saying to their kids on a regular basis.
In the Book of James we read that the tongue, although quite small, can do great things. We are also warned to control the tongue, because it can just as easily do terrible things (James 3:2-12). When we think of controlling the tongue, we often think of stopping it from saying harmful things, but sometimes the greatest harm a parent’s tongue can do is to be still. It’s not enough for kids not to hear life-taking words, they also need to hear life-giving words. Here are 30 life-giving things parents should consider saying to their kids on a regular basis.
- I love you.
- God loves you.
- I will always love you no matter what, because you are my son/daughter.
- You are a blessing, a gift from God.
- I am proud of you.
- I am glad that you are my son/daughter.
- If God would have let me choose whomever I wanted to be my son/daughter, I would have chosen you.
- When you grow up, you can be whatever God calls you to be.
- You matter because you matter to God.
- You can tell me anything, and I will listen.
- God wants you to make much of Him right now wherever you are in whatever you do.
- I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?
- I forgive you.
- I trust you.
- I like who you are.
- Mistakes happen.
- God forgives.
- Trust in Christ.
- What are you reading about in your Bible?
- What are you talking to God about when you pray?
- You are an image bearer of God, a person of infinite worth.
- Why you do what you do matters as much as what you do.
- How can I pray for you?
- Have fun and laugh today.
- You have my total attention.
- What do you think?
- (Grades, sports, etc.) is not most important; God is.
- Let’s do that together.
- You give me joy.
Brian Dembowczyk is the managing editor for The Gospel Project. He served in local church ministry for over 16 years before coming to LifeWay. Brian earned an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his family live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Depending on where you live, the winter months can be brutal, with temperatures so low that taking the kids outside isn’t an option unless absolutely necessary. Even if you live near an indoor amusement park or an indoor swimming pool, those can get crowded during the winter months—which is also the height of flu season!—and the entry fees and/or costs to play can add up.
On days when you’re all stuck at home, what can you do to keep the kids—and yourself—from getting cabin-fever? While letting your children watch TV or play video games for a reasonable amount of time is fun for them and gives you some time to yourself, plopping your kids in front of screens all day isn’t good for them, can trigger waves of guilt in you, and does nothing to promote your family’s bond.
The benefits of family bonding are well-established and far-reaching. Making time to communicate positively with your children can boost their self-esteem and lower the incidences of childhood depression and anxiety. Moreover, making time to establish a close bond with your children can improve their school performance, problem-solving skills, and relationships with teachers and peers.
There are many ways to spend quality time at home with our children that include bond-building communication and fun, and exclude reliance on screen time. Here are 5 fun (and cheap!) activities to do at home with your kids when it’s too cold to go outside.
At the end of the games, be sure to hand out prizes to each child whether the prizes be homemade medals or, if you can plan ahead, inexpensive pre-ordered gold medals.
- Set up an indoor campground. Bring the sleeping bags and tents up from the basement or down from the attic and turn your family room into an indoor campground. No sleeping bags or tents? No problem. Create a campground by arranging chairs in rows of two in the family room, draping a bedsheet over the chairs to create the tent, and piling pillows and blankets underneath to create a sleep area.
You can make your indoor campground as elaborate as you’d like with items you already have in your home. String Christmas lights across the top of the tent to create a starry night scene. Enjoy the glow of a campground “fire” made with paper towel tubes, tissue paper, and LED candles. Set up lawn chairs outside the tent and serve hot dogs, chips, and trail mix; play cards and board games; or do an easy craft like making beaded necklaces or braided bracelets.
Add to the camping aura by having the kids help you make indoor s’mores in the microwave, oven, skillet, or, for a more “outdoorsy” experience, over a well-ventilated sterno flame.
- Host indoor Olympic games. If you look in toy boxes and closets, you’ll probably find that you have enough games and activities at home to arrange back-to-back and create a challenging obstacle course for your kids to compete in, tantamount to a kiddie indoor Olympic course!
You can kick off the indoor “Olympic games” with an opening ceremony in which each child gets to parade onto the course to a theme song of his or her choosing. Depending on your child’s age, he or she may want to grab a favorite teddy bear to serve as his or her Olympic mascot. At the close of the opening ceremonies, get your stopwatch and scorecard ready and time your little Olympians as they compete in consecutive games of skill and physical fitness such as: a ring or beanbag toss, a mini golf course competition (a broom, a Ping Pong® ball, and a plastic cup can be used in place of a golf club, golf ball, and hole), or a ball throwing competition into boxes of decreasing sizes, with a point given per successful shot for each of these activities:
- a sack race or a boiled egg and spoon race with a demarcated finish line and points given to the first person over the finish line;
- a hula hoop competition with a point given for each second the competitors can hold up their hula hoop
- a pyramid cup-stacking race with points given to the first person to successfully stack his or her cups into a stable pyramid;
- a physical endurance competition where points are given for the number of jumping jacks, push-ups, and sit-ups the child can do in three 30-second intervals; and
- a mad dash crabwalk to the final finish line of the indoor Olympic games.
- Send the kids off on a scavenger hunt. Staying indoors can be a blast when the kids are set off on a scavenger hunt to seek and collect common household items. The scavenger hunt can be subject to a time-limit where each child competes alone or are organized by teams to see which team collects the most items first. Print out a free indoor scavenger hunt checklist listing 40 everyday household items for seekers to find here.
- Throw a costume party. Let your kids raid Mom and Dad’s room for hats, scarves, and costume jewelry to put on a costume party. Add snacks and a tea set to make it a tea party-themed costume party. For a quick and easy costume, take out several rolls of toilet paper and wrap your kids up like mummies (without covering the nose and mouth area). For a fun competition with several family members, split the group up into teams where one person volunteers to be the mummy while the other does the wrapping. The team that can wrap up their mummy the fastest and the neatest wins.
- Hold an art show. Grab smocks for your kids and spread out watercolors and brushes, crayons, markers, and colored pencils on a table along with poster board and construction paper. Provide glue sticks and safety scissors to allow for added artistic touches. Once your little artists have created their masterpieces, hang up the artwork and host an art show complete with glasses of apple juice “champagne” and hor d’oeuvres.
Make spending a cold day at home fun and educational for you and your child with these activities and remember that carving out quality time for your child is important at any time of year, in any weather!
Dolores Smyth writes about parenting and faith. A perfect day for her includes running, reading, and spending time with her husband and three kids. Follow her on Twitter @LolaWordSmyth.This article appears in the January 2020 issue of ParentLife. For more information or to order, visit www.lifeway.com/parentlife.
Winter is knocking on our doors. As you approach this season of long days stuck inside with bored kids, take some time now to prepare for a little fun.
Box O’ Fun
Purchase a tub and fill it with tons of creative supplies. At our house this tub contains:
- Construction Paper
- Blank Paper
- Colored Pencils
- Coloring Books
- Play Dough
- Kinetic Sand
- Washi Tape
- Pipe Cleaners
- Googly Eyes
- Ink Pads
- Glitter Glue
Make a visit to your local dollar store and load up on any craft supplies you can find. Keep the TV off for a few hours and encourage your kids to craft their hearts away! Make thank-you cards for Christmas gifts, use cardboard boxes to make robots, cars, or homes for stuffed animals. The possibilities are really endless and you will be amazed at the creations your kids will come up with.
Living Room Slumber Party
Tell your kids to throw on a fresh pair of pajamas and bring their pillows and blankets to the living room. Pile everyone up on the floor and turn on your family’s favorite movie. Make sure to pop some popcorn and grab a sweet snack to share. When the movie is over, let each child pick a board game to play. Everyone gets a turn! Our favorites include Hedbanz®, SushiGo®, and Chutes and Ladders®. Looking to really surprise your kids? Pillow fight! The laughter is sure to ensue.
Indoor Snow Storm
Keep a spare ream of white copy paper and a large bag of cotton balls around the house just for days like this. Give the whole stack of paper to your kids and encourage them to make as many paper snowflakes as they can. When they’ve finished, tape them to the windows and anywhere else you want! Cover the house in snowflakes. You can even string them from light fixtures, stick them to bathroom mirrors, and attach them to your door frames. When the house looks like a snowstorm hit it, divvy up the bag of cotton balls and throw an indoor snowball fight! Let your inner child come out as you play along with your kids!
Nancy Cornwell is the content editor for ParentLife magazine and the mom of three kids. She is always looking for good ideas to keep them entertained at home.This article first appeared in the December 2019 issue of ParentLife.