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Parents' Corner | March 15, 2020: Going Deeper with Your Kids This Week (Toddlers-5th Grade)

connecting church and home

Dear Parents,

We want to help you make the most of this increased time together as a family. Below you will find ways to keep reinforcing this week’s teachings with your kid(s). My challenge to you is to spend at least 15-20 minutes each day this week intentionally reinforcing this week’s Bible lessons through family worship.

And please don’t worry if you miss a couple days. This isn’t meant to be an extra burden for your family. It’s simply an invitation to enjoy one another’s company as you intentionally spend time helping your kids see and marvel at the God of the universe.

BIBLE LESSON AT-A-GLANCE: PreK-5th Grade

  • Session Title: God Called Jeremiah
  • Bible Passage: Jeremiah 1
  • Big Picture Question & Answer: What is God like? God is holy, good, and loving.
  • Main Point: God chose Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations.
  • Christ Connection: God had a plan for Jeremiah before Jeremiah was born. God called Jeremiah to share God’s message about sin. In a similar way, God had planned all along to send His Son, Jesus, to show people what God is like and to rescue them from sin.

BIBLE LESSON AT-A-GLANCE: Toddlers

  • Session Title: Bible Adventure: A Happy Sunday
  • Bible Passage: Matthew 28:1-16; John 19:40-20:10
  • Big Picture Question: How can I be friends with God?
  • Main Point: Jesus makes me God’s friend because I believe He lives again.

WORSHIP TOGETHER AS A FAMILY THROUGHOUT THE WEEK:

  • Sing: Have a dance party and sing along to your kids’ favorite worship song(s). Or sing the memory verse songs. Or both! Do whatever works for your family!
  • Read: Each day, (or as often as you are able--even if just a couple days a week!) spend a few minutes reading the Bible passage together. You can read the whole chapter every day, start by reading several one day and adding a few additional verses each time you read until you get through the entire chapter, or simply read a few verses each day. Again, do whatever works best for your family, with the goal of being able to tell the story as a family without opening your Bible by the end of the week! 
    • Tip: Read from your Bible or favorite children’s Bible. It’s okay if your kids don’t understand every word. Even the youngest kids can often pick up more than we realize. As you read, do your best to explain terms, phrases, and concepts at a level your kid(s) can understand. 
  • Play: Choose one activity from the list below to complete as a family each day. Or if you’re feeling creative, come up with your own!
  • Pray: Talk to God together as a family. It’s important for your kids to hear you open your heart to your heavenly Father. Let them take turns being open and vulnerable with Him, too! 

***This does not need to take more than 15-20 minutes per day! If it does and the kids are loving it, great! The goal isn’t quantity of time, but quality. Even 15 minutes of family worship each day, where you-- the primary disciplers of your kids, are planting and watering seeds of faith can be used by God to make an eternal difference for your kids.

ACTIVITIES:

***NOTE: An asterisk (*) has been placed next to activities that can also be used to reinforce the toddler lesson. The portion of the "connect to the lesson" sections that can also be used for the toddler lesson is italicized.

Photo Album Fun*

    • Go through an old photo album and show your kids pictures of when you were a child. Talk to them about the ways God has worked in your life and the ways you have seen Him working in your children’s lives.
    • Connect to the lesson: God has a plan for our lives and is always working! In our Bible story this week, God had a plan for Jeremiah too, even before he was born. God called Jeremiah to share God’s message about sin. Jeremiah’s special job was a part of God’s big rescue plan to save people from our sin! God had a plan for Jesus, too. God sent His very own Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. Now, everyone who trusts in Jesus gets to be part of God’s family forever! We get to be God's friends!  

Self-portraits (Found here.)

    • God knew his people before they were even born and that he formed them to be who they are. You can use a craft project to help instill this message in your children. Using heavy white construction paper and crayons, colored pencils or markers, your children should all draw a self-portrait, adding things they like around the edges—for example, spaghetti, dogs and ice cream. Once complete, have them cut the picture into pieces to make a puzzle. Your children can exchange puzzles while you reiterate the message in the story about God putting them together with unique pieces that set them apart from everyone else. 
    • Connect to the lesson- Questions to discuss during the craft:
      • Who can be part of God's plans?
      • What job did God choose Jeremiah to do? (be a prophet to the nations)
      • When did God choose to send Jesus? (before the world was created)
      • How can we know what God wants us to do?

Wonderfully Made Challenge

    • Invite kids to compete in a series of unique challenges. See who can sit still the longest, jump the highest, laugh the loudest, count to 10 the fastest, say the key passage the fastest, sing in the silliest voice, and snap the loudest. Discuss how these tasks are silly, but they remind us that God made everyone unique.
    • Connect to the lesson: God knew you before you were born. He created you for a very special purpose. What job did God give Jeremiah? God chose Jeremiah before he was born to be a prophet to the Nations. Name one thing God has told His people to do. God has called His people to follow Him, love Him, and tell others about Him. God will give us strength to obey Him when He calls us to do something.

To The Nations

    • SAY • What job did God give Jeremiah? God chose Jeremiah before he was born to be a prophet to the Nations. Jeremiah delivered messages from God to nations. [Invite kids to read Matthew 28:19-20.] Christians are called to tell the gospel to whom? Christians are called to tell the gospel to people of all nations. We are called to tell all nations, not just a few. Let’s play a game.
    • Instruct each kid to toss the beanbag onto the map, identify one of the countries the beanbag lands on, and tell one thing he or she could tell the people in that country about God, Jesus, or the gospel. Allow kids to play until everyone has had a turn or as long as time allows.
      • Alternative option: If you don’t have a map big enough to do this, you can also use globe. Have the kids spin the globe and grab it with both hands to stop it. Identify one of the countries their right thumb lands on. 
      • Alternative option: Print out a world map and tape it to the wall. Blindfold each child and hand them stand a few feet away from the map. Spin them around three times and then have them walk forward toward the map with their arm and pointer finger stretched out. Identify the country their pointer finger touches when they reach the way.

Telephone

    • Sit around in a circle with your family. Whisper the main point of the story (God chose Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations) to the person sitting to your right. When the message gets back to the person to your left, they should say it out loud. Tell them whether or not they heard the message correctly. Keep playing, choosing different phrases that relate to the story. You can rotate who gets to make up the phrase each round.
    • Connect to the lesson: That was a silly game! Our messages kept getting mixed up! God chose Jeremiah as His messenger. God chose Jeremiah before he was born to tell people what God was going to do. But thankfully, Jeremiah didn’t mix up God’s message. He told the people just what God said. He told the people that God was going to punish their sin and then make them strong again.
    • ***Help your kids see God’s love even in the midst of His discipline and help them connect Jeremiah’s ministry to the ministry of Jesus. God called Jeremiah to warn the people of the judgment for their sin. Jesus also came to tell people to turn from their sin. He didn’t just tell them about the punishment, He took the punishment on Himself.

World Toss Game* (Found here.)

  • Have your family stand (or sit) in a circle. Give an inflated glober to one of the children. Start the music. When the music starts playing the song, toss (or roll) the ball to one another. Periodically stop the song. When the song stops, the person holding the ball gives the ball to another person in the circle and says, “God loves you.” Repeat steps 2-3 for as long as time allows.
  • Connect to the lesson: God is faithful. That means He keeps all His promises. Will God ever forget to keep His promises? (No.) God made everyone in the world. Hold up the globe. Do you think God loves everyone in the world? (Yes.) God loves everyone, including you! In our Bible story for this week, God chose Jeremiah as a prophet to send a message to the nations. The message may have seemed harsh, but God wanted people to turn from their sin and turn to Him instead, because He loved them.

Guess the Tool*

    • Take out a number of safe and small tools from around your house (kitchen, garden, classroom, and/or cleaning tools). Pass around one tool at a time. Have everyone in your family close their eyes and feel each tool. Once everyone has had a chance to feel each tool, have them guess what it was. When guessing, they should say them name and what the tool is used for. For very young kids, just show them the tool and ask it's name and job.
    • Connect to the lesson: Good guessing those tools and the jobs they do! This week we’ve been learning about someone God used in His plan. Do you remember his name? (Jeremiah) Jeremiah had a job to do, just like our tools have a job to do. What was his job? (God chose Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations.) You don’t have to be a prophet like Jeremiah, a pastor, or a missionary in another country to serve God. Those are definitely great jobs, but no matter what job God plans for you to do, you can serve God in it. You can help people, care for God’s creation, and tell people about Jesus. Jesus had the hardest job anyone has ever had. God planned for Jesus to rescue people from sin by dying on the cross and coming back to life. Everyone who trusts in Jesus is rescued from their sin and gets to be friends with God!

Celebration Shuffle* (Toddler Lesson ONLY)

    • Choose one person to be the leader. Play praise and worship music. The leader makes up a celebration shuffle dance. The rest of the family copies the dance. Allow everyone to have a chance being the leader.
    • Connect to the lesson: Praise God for His mighty miracle of bringing Jesus back to life! Ask the kids: How can we be friends with God? (Jesus makes me God’s friend because I believe He lives again.)

MEMORY VERSE SONGS:

Help your kids memorize the verse by listening to a song together through the week! 

  • Toddlers: Click here to listen to the Toddler memory verse from the Bible Adventure video. Or go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFB0d04oyNE&list=PL9Iu55tS3zIxQQLVZbU8DWPGK47hjZE9k&index=5&t=0s 
    • "...believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead..." -Romans 10:9
  • PreK-2nd grade: Click here to listen to the PreK-2nd grade memory verse song.  
    • “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” -James 4:8a
  • 3rd-5th grade: Click here to listen to the 3rd-5th grade memory verse song.
    • “For 'whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'" -Romans 10:13