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Image result for Hide and SeekMy kids and I did this fun week during our last break together.  I’ve done it as a monthly study (and you can read about it here), but it was super fun to do as a weekly study.  It was like an At Home Vacation Bible School!  So fun!

Here are the details of what we did and how to find the resources to make it fun!

 

Read the Scripture passage aloud and ask your child what the story was about.  Summarize the story and then talk about how important your child is to God.

MONDAY – All Treasure is hidden in CHRIST; Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl 

BIBLE STORY:  Colossians 2:3; Matthew 13:44-46

GAMES/ACTIVITIES:

  • Do a treasure hunt.
  • Make a treasure map of your home and have an X marks the spot treasure for your children to find.  (Don’t forget to hide a treasure there, though!)
  • Watch the Treasure Hunt Blues Clues.

CRAFTS:

  • Hidden Picture Challenge – Print a Hidden Picture coloring sheet from online for each day
  • Make a craft or necklace with pretend pearls.
  • Make a treasure chest craft.

SNACK:  Cinnamon Sugar Resurrection Rolls http://neighborfoodblog.com/2013/03/resurrection-rolls.html

Geode Cake Bites https://www.tastemade.com/videos/Geode-Cake-Pops  (Takes a lot of time, but yummy)

TUESDAY – Parable of the Lost Sheep 

BIBLE STORY:  Luke 15:1-7

GAMES/ACTIVITIES:

  • Play with stuffed sheep and lambs.  Do a sheep stuffed animal hunt around your house.
  • Game:  The Sheep, The Shepherd, and The Wolf Adapted from http://ministry-to-children.com/loved-by-a-shepherd-preschool/
    1. Tell the children that a shepherd knows his sheep by name.  Every sheep has a name, just like each child does.  When the shepherd calls the sheep, “Martha, Gracie, Fleece,” the sheep come running.  Sheep know and love their shepherd’s voice.  They will not run to a stranger.  In fact, they will run away from a stranger.
    2. Draw a parallel by saying that Jesus knows each of us by name also.  We are so special to Him, that He died on the cross for each one of us.  He loves us.  It’s important that we learn to hear our Jesus’ voice.  He is the Good Shepherd.  We learn to hear his voice by praying, reading the Bible, and coming to church.  It’s also important to run away from strangers, sin, and danger.
    3. If you have 1 child, place a picture of or stuffed animal wolf in between the 2 of you and call your child’s name telling him/her to go FAR around the wolf to get to you.
    4. If you have 2 children, have one child be the sheep and the other be the wolf and try and tag the sheep when he/she is coming to you when you call his/her name. Then let them swich roles.  You can have them be the shepherd and you be the sheep or wolf, as well.
    5. If you have 3 children, appoint one child to be the wolf and one to be the shepherd and you can be a sheep with the other child and try to get to the shepherd before you are tagged by the wolf. Have each person play each role.
  • Rent books about sheep and lambs from the library.
  • Look up pictures of sheep online and learn facts about them…. Especially facts about the needing the protection of a shepherd.
  • Watch Shawn the Sheep!

CRAFT:

SNACK:  Cheerio Sheep Crispies with Pretzel Legs http://everydaydishes.com/holiday/how-to-make-cheerios-sheep-snacks-for-your-next-party/

WEDNESDAY – Parable of the Lost Coin 

BIBLE LESSON:  Luke 15:8-10

GAMES/ACTIVITIES:

  • Do a coin hunt, but use only 1 coin to hunt so it’s more difficult.
  • Play with pretend money and pretend to shop for pretend food (or real food in your pantry).
  • Count pennies together.
  • Learn about different coins and amounts (pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, dollars)
  • Play a coin sorting game using an egg carton or other sorting dish.
  • Go to the Denver Mint.

CRAFTS:

  • Hidden Picture Challenge
  • Make a coin slot can out of an oatmeal or Pringles container.

SNACK:  Piñata Cookies (Halloween cut outs) http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2012/10/18/trick-or-treat-cookies-for-halloween/

THURSDAY – Parable of Lost Son 

BIBLE STORY:  Luke 15:11-32

GAMES/ACTIVITIES

  • Watch “The Wizard of Ha’s” Veggie Tale.
  • Play hide and seek.
  • Hide a baby doll and find it somewhere in the house.

CRAFTS:

  • Make a felt board with characters out of paper or felt or make or use puppets to act out the story together.

SNACK:

FRIDAY – I have HIDDEN YOUR WORD IN MY HEART 

BIBLE LESSON:  Psalm 119:11

GAMES/ACTIVITIES

  • Learn some Seeds Family WorshipScripture songs together.
  • Play hide and seek.
  • Hide a Bible and find it somewhere in the house.
  • Practice some fun Scripture Memory games together to learn the verse of the week (today’s verse).

CRAFTS:

  • Write out the Bible verse and cut out each word and help your child put it back together in order.
  • Write out the Bible verse and cut it into a puzzle and help your child put it back together.

SNACK:  Caramel Apple Slices http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/snack/other-snack/easy-caramel-apples.html

Image result for ABCs clipartGo through the Alphabet one week at a time. It takes awhile, but is SO worth it in teaching your child the alphabet.

  • There are so many books at the library on the alphabet. There is even a section at my library just for the ABCs.  Get a book you can go through together each week that gives lots of examples of things that begin with the letter of the week.
  • Hang a paper in your child’s room for each letter you cover to help him or her visualize the letters.
  • Look at pictures of animals that start with each letter.
  • Eat foods that start with the letter of the week each day – some letters require more culinary creativity than others…like “Q”.
  • Watch movies or read books with characters whose names begin with the letter for the week.
  • You can teach your child the alphabet in Spanish or Sign Language to help him or her learn in different ways.
  • Sesame Street is king of the Alphabet world, so use it!
  • There are many websites that can help your child learn the alphabet, as well!
  • Use all of your child’s senses to learn the letters to make it more fun and more practical. The more creative you are…and also repetitive, the better the chances each letter will stick.
  • You may have to go back and do some of the letters again that are tougher when you’ve completed the whole alphabet once. (UVWXY seem to be hard to distinguish between for some reason.)
  • Other great alphabet websites:

Here are the Theme Weeks I used (or thought of) for teaching our kids the Alphabet:

A – Alphabet Week (borrowed lots of ABC books from the library) (Anna study)

B – Bullfrogs and Butterflies Week (both been born again); Butterfly Pavillion (Barnabas study)

C – Creation Week (one day of creation for each day then a review – see Creation Week Theme Week)

D – Dancing Week (watched videos and did a “date with Daddy”) (Daniel or David study)

E – Energy Week (talked about lights, lightening, food for fuel etc) (Elizabeth or Elijah/Elisha study)

F – Friends Week (playdates, expectations, and prayer power) (David and Jonathan)

G – Grandparents Week (special dates, letters, phone calls, etc) (Gideon study)

H – Helping Week (serving in different ways) (Hannah study) or Hide and Seek Week

I – Insects Week (bug hunt, books, movies Hermie the Worm movies) (Isaiah study)

J – Jesus Week (birth, 12 years at the temple, teaching, miracles, death, resurrection)

K – Kinds Week (different categories, sorting, etc) (Kings in the Bible study)

L – Listening (Senses) Week (do different activities using all the senses) (Lazarus study)

M – Mountains Week (go on a hike, talk about mountain animals) (Mary and Martha study)

N – Numbers Week (counting books, The Count on Sesame Street) (Nicodemus study)

O – Opposites Week (Elmo’s World video; Up and down, inside out day) (Onesimus study)

P – Prince and Princess Week (child of God; Disney princesses; dress up) (Paul study)

Q – Quail and Other Birds Week (Bird house at the zoo; make dress up wings) (Quiet vs. Peaceful study)

R – Right and Wrong Week (good choices and bad choices scenarios; Bernstain Bears) (Ruth study)

S – Silly Week (silly hair day, silly clothes day, Silly Songs with Larry) (Samuel study)

T – Time Week (seasons, seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/months; clocks) (Timothy study)

U – Under/Over Week (umbrellas, forts-under blankets; picnics – over blankets) (Under Authority study)

V – Veggies Week (Veggie Tales, veggie variety eating) (Vashti and Esther study)

W – Water Week (swimming, longer bath play, water balloons, fish study, aquarium, Nemo) (Living Water)

X – X Marks the Spot Week (Pirates, books, Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything movie) (Xerxes)

Y – YHWH Week (Names of God, talk about importance of names & Adam naming animals

Z – Zoo Week (visit the zoo, watch animal movies, read animal books) (Noah study) & Zippers, Buttons, Ties, & Snaps Week

Let your mind run wild. There are so many options for Alphabet Weeks!

Image result for fruit of the spiritTeaching the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as a theme for 9 weeks can be a very powerful time for you and your child.

Some fun ideas:

  • Learn the sign language for each word and teach your child at the beginning of each week.
  • Attach an actual fruit to each “fruit” to help your child remember the fruit of the Spirit (i.e. Love = lemon; when you are squeezed or in tight spots, it just comes out your pores!)
  • There are so many resources on Pinterest for teaching kids the Fruit of the Spirit.
  • Define each word at the beginning of each week.
  • Act out scenarios to help your child remember how to actively bear each fruit in practical ways.
  • Make crafts with pictures of fruit or with fruit itself.
  • Play a water squirting game with lemon juice lemon containers.
  • Talk about seeds, planting, fruit bearing trees, etc.
  • Plant a garden.
  • Go to an orchard or pumpkin patch and harvest the fruit/vegetables.
  • Try different kinds of fruit.
  • Explain each “fruit” in light of a good example of it from Scripture (Elizabeth – patience).
  • Show movies and read books that can help explain each concept.
  • Talk about accountability in the Christian life like “fruit inspection.”

Enjoy the time together learning what kind of fruit you really want to bear as a family!

101_18282 BIG IDEAS:

  1.  Use The Jesus Storybook Bible to create a Jesse Tree for your family to celebrate Jesus throughout the Bible for the month of December.  We did it as an ornament exchange in our women’s group a few years ago and it was WONDERFUL!   There are 2 blog posts that explain how we did it:  Preparation and Party and Ornament Exchange Party and Dessert

2. This is an idea that works best for older elementary aged children and it takes a bit of pre-planning, but it’s really fun!  Each day of the week can be a time to focus on some aspect of the Christmas season and the week’s patterns continue throughout the month of December, so the children will know what they’ll be doing or talking about based on the day of the week.

Example:

Sunday – Advent – Tell the Nativity story using a different nativity each week.  Have your child tell the story.  Use an Advent Candle devotional to go through as a family.

Monday – Angels – Tell the stories about what each angel said when appearing to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and then to Joseph again.

Tuesday – Crafts/Gift Making – Make Christmas gifts for people (snow globes, candy cane reindeer, photo calendars, I Spy craft bottles, Christmas cards).

Wednesday – Baking – Bake cookies and other Christmas time treats to share.  (puppy chow, sugar cookies, Birthday cake for Jesus, gingerbread house, candies)

Thursday – Serving – Take canned goods to a food bank.  Take baked goods to a shut in or widow.  Shovel a neighbor’s walk or driveway.  Do chores for someone else in the family.  Pray as a family about a special gift you could give a family in need in your community then deliver it together or in secret.  Do the 12 Days of Christmas gift surprise for a family in your neighborhood.

Friday – Adventures – Drive around and see Christmas lights.  Go see specially decorated places around town (city capitol, Outlets tree).  Go to the Star lighting if you live in Castle Rock!  Go to a mall and then have a family discussion about materialism and greed verses giving and self-sacrifice.  Visit family members.

Saturday – Secret Servants (Secret Santa) – Have each member of your family pick a name and try to do fun things for that person throughout the month of December without being caught or found out.  On Christmas Eve reveal who had who.

The point of this Theme is to savor the season.  If it is too overwhelming, just pick one thing to focus on and then just enjoy the time together as a family!

Image result for sortingThis goes with the letter “K” in the Alphabet Theme Weeks.  It’s really a sorting focused week.

HOME FUN:  read Richard Scarry books about different Sorts of things.  Talk about different colors, animals, people, games, anything that has to do with different KINDS of things.  Play sorting games.

OUTSIDE ADVENTURES:  Play different KINDS of ball games.  Look for different kinds of plants.  Go to a car dealership to see different kinds of vehicles (trains, trucks, tractors, construction vehicles, cars, airplanes, etc).  Go to a mall and talk about different kinds of stores.  Go to a pet store to see different kinds of pets and animals (or the zoo).

Bible study focus:  Talk about God creating things different on purpose and calling it good.  Talk about being unique and special to God.

Image result for zippers buttons snapsThis week is about learning “manipulatives.”  It’s a very hands on and fun week.  This is the “Z” week in the Alphabet Weeks plan.

HOME FUN:  play dress up, play with blocks, play with nuts and bolts, play light bright, play with an erector set or similar toy, play board games with lots of pieces, play Wii, paint, draw with crayons, colored pencils, markers and chalk, practice with different kinds of buttoned shirts and zippers, pretend to drive in a car and push the buttons (just be careful to check everything before you drive the next time), play on a computer, get books about moving things, play with paper dolls, play dress up with dolls or stuffed animals and real clothes, there are great resources for manipulatives on Pinterest in Busy and Quiet Books!

OUTSIDE ADVENTURES: play at a playground with lots of manipulatives (Rhyolite Park in Castle Rock), go to the Children’s Museum, go to the Museum of Nature and Science Kids’ Zone

Image result for waterThere are lots of stories about water in the Bible.  You can study some of these along with doing Water Week in the Alphabet Theme Weeks.  We love to do this week during July!

 

HOME FUN: extra long bath play with different toys or Tupperware, play with kitchen utensils in a big bowl of water or in the sink, make Popsicles with koolaid, make snow cones

OUTSIDE ADVENTURES:  water balloons, slip and slide, spray grounds, Pirate’s Cove, Water World, playing in a hose, water guns that spray chalk pictures clean, bubbles

Here are some Bible Connection ideas:

  • Noah’s Ark – watch the Veggie Tale; make a boat out of a coffee table and bring some stuffed animals onboard; learn the song “Rise and Shine”
  • Moses in the Nile – make a little boat out of a styrofoam boat and a bath toy as you tell the story
  • Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea – Watch “Moe and the Big Exit”
  • Joshua and the Israelites crossing the Jordan – Watch “Joshua” Veggie Tale
  • Elijah and Elisha parting the Jordan – Read the story together and talk about the importance of other people in our lives
  • Jonah and the Whale – Watch “Jonah” Veggie Tale full-length movie
  • Jesus getting baptized
  • The Woman at the Well (John 4)

See the other ideas mentioned under Water Week in the Alphabet Weeks blog post.

Image result for flowersHere are some ideas on focusing on flowers in the spring or summertime:

HOME FUN:  plant flowers in pots inside and water them daily (look for quick sprouting plants like avocados), color pictures of flowers, make flowers out of construction paper, tissue paper and pipe cleaners, make flowers out of buttons and pipe cleaners or wire and make a bouquet for a shut-in, press or dry flowers and make bookmarks or stationary together, use cookie cutters to make flower-shaped sandwiches, watch “All in the Golden Afternoon” from Alice in Wonderland on YouTube.com, watch The Bee Movie

OUTSIDE ADVENTURES: plant flowers outside and water them daily, go on a nature walk and look for different flowers (can combine with color hunts), visit the Denver Botanical Gardens or Hudson Gardens

BIBLE CONNECTION:  Talk to your child about Isaiah 40:8,The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Image result for my body for kids worksheetsWe like to pick a different part of the body to learn about the senses each day:  nose, mouth/teeth, ears, skin/hair, eyes, fingers/hands, toes/feet

Here are some fun ideas:

HOME FUN:  hand/foot print tracing, finger painting, fingerprint people (use a stamp to make a finger print then draw a face, arms, legs and clothes – super fun), jewelry play, paint fingernails/toenails, play “This Little Piggy,” make a collage of different faces and or body parts, make a face out of foods and craft supplies, do hair different ways, sing “Oh be careful,” listen to different kinds of music and dance together, learn different body parts (good time to introduce rules about “private parts”)

OUTSIDE ADVENTURES:  kick a soccer or kickball, throw a baseball or play tee-ball, run sprints on a field, climb at a playground, do a trust walk with a blindfold and teach about using other senses

BIBLE CONNECTION:  Help your child memorize Psalm 139:14 a few words at a time!

Image result for St. PatrickI think saying that God Made Celebrations comes from Him inspiring us to celebrate.  It’s important for us to first think about WHY we are celebrating WHAT we are celebrating and remember to celebrate ALL the gifts and days He’s given us.  With that in mind, here are some ideas:

Pick a different holiday to celebrate each day of the week and decorate your house accordingly:  New Years Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day (really interesting back story), Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Halloween, Independence Day

HOME FUN:  bake a birthday cake and sing, make party hats, watch “Mission Celebration” Little Einsteins, play pin the tail on the donkey, write and send “thank you” cards celebrating people with holiday pictures on them, do things on each day you would do for specific holidays (make valentines, drink sparkling cider, give gifts, hunt Resurrection Eggs, wear green, have sparklers)

OUTSIDE ADVENTURES:  Take suprise care packages and leave them on someone’s doorstep (in the May Day tradition), do a survey to find out what is the favortie holiday in your family and why, make cookies and deliver cookie plates to your neighbors