Family Time with God
Family devotions don't have to be formal sit-down events. Use these quick ideas to connect with your kids during meals, in the car, or at bedtime. The more involved "Family Night" ideas will help you create memorable evenings (or afternoons) with the whole crew. Whether you use one of these ideas each week or only manage to squeeze in a couple during the next two months, you'll be teaching your children that any time is a great time to learn about God.
Getting to Know You
Tell your child what you were like when you were young, and follow up with questions about him. Encourage him to ask you questions, too.
- When I was your age, my favorite song was. … I liked it because. … What's your favorite song?
- I wanted to be a. … when I grew up. What do you want to do when you're grown up?
- I liked my mom because. … I liked my dad because. … What do you like most about mom and me?
Give your child a small gift, like stickers or a new book. Ask, "Do you like getting presents?" Then explain that God also gives us gifts. They are called talents. List some of your child's talents. Be sure to include character traits like kindness, generosity, or patience. Talk with your child about ways he can develop his talents and use them for God.Dear God, thank you for the talents you have given (child's name). Please help him (or her) to use these talents for your glory. Amen.
Ages: 6 and up
Needed: Pen and piece of paper for each child.
Give each child a pen and paper. Have them make a list of things they wish they could have done differently that day. When they're finished, tell them they can erase the things on their list and it will be like they never happened. Tell them you'll give a reward to whomever is the first to erase their whole list without tearing the paper or scribbling over the words. When they realize they can't erase the ink, tell them that the pen is like our actions. Once we do or say something, we can't erase it. We can ask forgiveness or do something to fix a situation, but we can't go back in time and change what we did. Ask your children why it's so important to think about what we do and say before we act.
Ages: 3 and up
Needed: A lollipop for each child.
Give each child a lollipop. Tell them that you're having a contest to see who can finish their lollipop first. Only licking and sucking on the lollipop are allowed—no biting! (If you just have one child, join in the contest yourself or simply time how quickly he or she can lick the lollipop.) Once you have a winner, talk about the lollipop. Tell your kids that love is like a lollipop: It's very sweet and easy to enjoy. It's sticky, and sometimes love gets a little sticky when we have problems with people we love. And just like it takes patience to resist biting the lollipop, love means being patient with others. We have to resist the temptation to think only of ourselves.