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Articles | Memory Makers for the Family

Articles

Words Your Kids Need To Hear

Last month we listed phrases NOT to say to our kids. This month we let’s concentrate on the words they need to hear often. Your kids will benefit from hearing these words from you as much as possible!

© Konstantin Yuganov - Fotolia.com

“What could you do instead?”
This question encourages a child to problem-solve on his own rather than asking you to do it for him.

“Yes.”
Whenever possible, try to put a positive spin on your responses. “Yes, you can go outside and play as soon as you put your toys away” is more agreeable than “No, your room is a mess.”

“You can always tell me everything.”
Remind her of this often, and try not to get upset if she tells you something you don’t really want to hear.

“I’m sorry.”
It’s important to show your kids that you’re human—and to own up to your own mistakes.

“I love you.”
You simply can’t overuse these three simple words.

 Adapted from Parents Magazine April 2014

 

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Easter Days

© Louella Folsom - Fotolia.comThis activity can be used for the days preceding Easter or any way that works best for your family. The idea is to place small items in a large plastic Easter egg, hide the egg and after finding it, discuss how the item pertains to the Easter story.

Item – mini Playdoh …“The name of Jesus”
Read the story of the Angel coming to Mary in Luke 1.   Talk about what the name of Jesus means – (Immanuel means “God with us”).  Talk about the meaning of our own names. Read Philippians 2:10 together and discuss.  Use the Playdoh to spell out the name of Jesus.

Item – Swedish fish candy or goldfish and a cracker … “Jesus feeds the 5000”
Read the story in Matthew 14, Luke 9, or John 6.  Talk about what it might have felt like to experience this miracle.

Item- toy boat … “Jesus calms the storm”
Read the story in Matthew 8, Mark 4 or Luke 8 and talk about why this is so amazing. Make a storm in a bottle (with a 2 liter bottle, oil, water and food coloring) with your toy boat or make a storm in the bathtub and try to calm it instantly—which cannot be done.

Item-  blindfold … “Jesus heals the blind man”
Read about the healing in John 9.   Note how the blind man reacted when Jesus told him who He was.   How does God reveal Himself in our lives… how should we react?

Item-  paper crown, hand sanitizer or small soap … “Jesus washes feet”
Read the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in John 13 and how he came to serve and not be served. Is that what you would expect the King of Kings to do?

Item-  sample perfume or scented lotion … “Mary Magdalene and the perfume”
Tell the story of Mary pouring the perfume on Jesus’ feet from John 12.  Talk about what a big deal it was for her to come into the house uninvited and use this very expensive perfume on Jesus. Discuss some other things that are important to us now and how we can give them as an offering to God…. time, money etc.

Item-  4 quarters … “giving/ Rich young ruler”
Ask, “What would you do with 4 quarters? How about $100?  Read the story of the rich young ruler from Matthew 19 or Luke 12 and then Acts 20:35 when Jesus says it is better to give than to receive.  Take time to discuss how it feels to give to help others.

 Item-  TWO small treats or candy … “Jesus visits Zacchaeus”
Read the story in Luke 19.  Talk about why people didn’t like Zacchaeus back then and how cool it is that Jesus not only saw and acknowledged him, but wanted to spend time with him.  Lead them to think about some people that they haven’t been ‘noticing’.  Invite them to seek out the person and share the extra treat and play with them.

Item-  Time Coupon … “Jesus loved the children”
Read the story in Mark 10.  Talk about adults in our lives that obviously love children.  How do you know and what do they do to show it?  How do you think Jesus showed it?  Find out how your child would like to spend time with you as you show your love. Fill out the time coupon together.  (Example—extra hugs, playing a game, or going on a walk together).

Item-  Kleenex – “Jesus wept.”
Read the story of Jesus healing Lazarus in John 11.   Talk about how Jesus was a real person with real emotions like us.  Talk about times when we feel sad, hurt, or scared. Thank God that He is behind us, hears our prayers, and gives us hope.

Item-  Slip of paper … “Jesus died for us”
Read the story of the crucifixion in Matthew 27, Luke 23 or John 19 and talk about how it must have felt to love Jesus and be there that day… and how it might have felt for those who didn’t love Jesus but saw what happened.  Write the word that you feel on the piece of paper.

On EASTER day:  The egg is empty … “He is RISEN!”
Read the story in Matthew 28, Mark 16 or John 20.  Talk about how God gave us the best gift when He gave Jesus. God gave His Son so He could show us how to live and so we could have eternal life—not because we deserved it, but because He loves us that much.

 

 

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Spring Activities

© EduardSV - Fotolia.com

After the cold winter months, March brings a touch of spring.  This list of activities will get you started thinking about things you can do with your family—enjoying God’s beautiful creation. Choose some or add your own, just have fun together and remember to thank God for each day.

Plant something green.                                                   Pick strawberries.

Have a picnic at the park.                                              Take a hike.

Bake cupcakes with pink frosting.                              Listen to the rain.

Decorate your home with flowers.                             Buy a fun umbrella.

Skip stones across a pond.                                             Visit a petting zoo.

Feel the sun on your face.                                               Walk on a beach.

Feed the ducks at a pond.                                               Pet a bunny.

Listen to the birds singing.                                             Play softball.

Look for four-leaf clovers.                                             Visit the zoo.

Get dirt under your fingernails.                                   Spot a rainbow.

Watch bumblebees work in a garden.                        Blow bubbles.

Plan a spring break vacation.                                         Fly a kite.

Visit the farmer’s market and buy a meal.                Jump in puddles.

Leave your windows open to catch a breeze.          Climb a tree.

Find a playground and swing on the swings.           Sit outside at a café.

Draw pictures on the sidewalk with chalk.                Ride a bike.

 

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Love Letters

© takada hiroto - Fotolia.com

How long has it been since you have written a letter? I am not talking about an email or text. During the month of February, take the time to write a love letter to each member of your family. If your children are older, it would be a great idea to personalize the following letter from their Heavenly Father as a special valentine. If you have younger children, read the letter and discuss some of the Bible verses during the month. Don’t forget how important it is to express your love every day!

My Beloved Child,

I am so proud of you. Just thinking about you makes me sing (Zephaniah 3:17). You are the apple of my eye, my son/daughter in who I have found great delight (Psalms 17:8, 149:4, Song of Solomon 4:10). Sometimes you fall down, but I love you in your struggles. Your weaknesses are beautiful, because it is from that place of repentance that you realize how much you need me (2 Corinthians 12:10, Song of Solomon 1:5).

You are unique—one of a kind (Song of Solomon 1:15, 6:9). Who is there to say that my creation is not beautiful (Isaiah 45:9)? I created your inmost being; I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). See, before I established the foundations of the Earth, I knew you. Before I parted the oceans, I was waiting for you, peering through the lattices of time: You have nothing to fear (Isaiah 41:10).

Nothing can separate you from my love (Romans 8:38-39). I am here for YOU, every day, every moment. There is nothing I would not do for YOU, because I have already given you the greatest gift of all, my Son (John 3:16). Do not be satisfied with the mediocre life that the world has to offer (Song of Solomon 2:4). Only in me can you find the abundant life you are searching for (1 Timothy 6:19; John 10:10).

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). Be still and listen. Turn off every distraction. In the secret place you shall find me (Psalm 91:1-2). Many do not know that true love is not measured on the scales of emotion, but of quiet devotion (John 14:15). So, draw near to me, and I will draw near to you (James 4:8). Even when you do not feel me, I am there. I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Rejoice, then, rejoice! Give thanks to me and praise my name! (Psalm 100:4). For “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). My love for you remains as steady as the rising sun (Psalm 103:17). It never changes, because you are my child, my creation, and I am well pleased with you (Hebrews 13:8).

Love,

Your Heavenly Dad

 

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Winter Wonderland

© Anna Khomulo - Fotolia.com

Whether you live in snow-filled place or a tropical paradise—here are some ideas for a winter party:

 Snowball Party

Take opportunities to open your home to unchurched friends! Eat ice cream or popsicles, have a snowball fight with cotton balls or wadded up pieces of paper, and make snow sculptures with tiny marshmallows. Close with a prayer, “Our Father, we know that You make every snowflake different from every other snowflake. You have made each of us different from everyone else. We are special to you. Amen.”

 

  • Snow Bowling

Give each child 10 white plastic foam cups and a black marker. Have the children draw snowmen faces on each cup. Then show the children how to arrange the cups in a 10-pin bowling pattern. Use beanbags or small balls for bowling balls.

 

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Memory Making Ideas for January

© Alliance - Fotolia.com

Chose some of these ideas to make your new year a great one!

  • Always start off the New Year with a family meeting. Even the youngest child can participate in planning activities and talking about the vision and commitment of the family.  Discuss goals with each child. Write them down and keep in a special place to review each year.
  •  Purchase a new calendar and let each child mark their birthday with a special sticker.
  •  Choose a family theme and Bible verse to focus on for a great way to begin the year.
  •  Make a tent in your den with sheets and clothespins. Use flashlights to read books and tell stories.
  •  Dress in mittens, coat, and scarf for a family picture, then have ice cream for a snack.
  •  Watch a movie with blankets, a fire in the fireplace, and hot cocoa—with lots of marshmallows of course.
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