Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday School Lesson

Well, children's church actually.  The ladies at my church each take turns teaching children's church and last Sunday was my turn.  I had initially planned to buy a kit from Oriental Trading that I thought looked cute, but they didn't have it anymore when I went online to buy it.  So I had to come up with something else.

I wanted to do something related to harvesting and crops since it's fall. So, I prayed and studied my bible and the Lord gave me a great lesson!  I'm really excited about it.  The lesson compares the word of God to seeds (like the parable Jesus taught) and teaches the children how to grow in Christ. 

If you want to do this lesson you can download the template for the envelope/seed packet here, and the other materials here. The links will take you to the files on Google Drive.  Once there just click on the arrow in the top left hand of the screen to download. 

You can use small envelopes instead of making the seed packets, but I couldn't find any in the stores that I liked.  If you choose to make your own envelopes, you'll probably want to do that ahead of time.  I used construction paper for mine so the children could pick a color they liked.  Just trace the template onto the paper you're using, fold where the lines are on the template and either glue or tape it together.  Just be sure to leave the bigger flap open!  Here's how I did the lesson:

First, I explained that the word of God is like seeds and we can choose to plant them in our hearts where they will grow.  I used four scriptures to represent the seeds (Deuteronomy 6:5, Proverbs 3:5, John 3:16, Romans 10:13).  Of course you can use any scriptures you like, but I've included these in the download above.  Cut out the individual scriptures and after reading them to the children have them put their "seeds" in their packets.

Next, ask the children if they know what's on the front of a seed packet.  If they don't, explain that there is usually a picture of what will grow from the seeds inside the packet.  For younger children it might be good to have an actual seed packet to help them understand.  Then explain that when we plant these seeds in our hearts that Jesus will grow in us.  (Just make sure they understand that you're talking about his spirit and not physically.  You wouldn't want to scare any little children who don't understand! lol)  At this point you can have the children color a picture of Jesus (also included in the download) and paste it onto the front of their packet.

 Last, explain how to care for your seeds.  Just like on the back of a seed packet there are instructions on watering and so forth there are instructions for the back of these as well.  Discuss with the children how to care for their seeds.  The instructions I included say:  Pray each day, read your Bible, go to church, Trust the Lord.  Cut these out and have the children paste them on the back of their packets and you're done.

I hope this was useful.  Please feel free to share and use the materials as much as you like, and let me know if there are any problems with the download.  I've never done a download before so I'm not 100% sure I got it right.  Have a great week and God bless!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Strawberry Pickin!

This is one of my favorite times of year, spring. I love everything about it, the weather, Easter, opening the windows, flowers, spring cleaning, and the strawberries!
There's a short time from late April through May when the strawberries are in season and it's customary around here to pick your own. I loved strawberry picking when I was a kid and was very disappointed when the farm where we always went closed. Luckily, a new place opened up a few years ago and it's just down the road from our home. I procrastinated last year and we ended up not getting to go, so this year I made sure the kids got to go pickin'!

We had a great time and almost got more strawberries than we could eat. Plus, at $8 a bucket, it was an affordable family outing. I definitely recommend it to anyone. If you'd rather get the strawberries without the picking, most places sell them already picked for a few more dollars a bucket. Your local farmers market is also a great place to go. At the state farmers market in Raleigh most of the vendors give out free samples so you can try them all before you decide which ones to get, and there are LOTS to choose from! Hurry though, the strawberries will be out of season before you know it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Travel Tiger

This is Travel Tiger. Each child in my daughter's class was allowed to bring him and his belongings home for a couple of days. The idea is to take him somewhere or do something interesting with him and document it in the notebook that comes with him. It gets the kids to write and to think outside the box. It would've been pretty fun if I had gotten some prior notice of our house guest's arrival, or if it had been on a weekend.

Becca-Lynn came home with Travel Tiger on a Monday and he had to be returned on Wednesday. She was so excited, and I was nearly broke, had no ink in the printer for pictures, and had very little gas in the car. Luckily, Becca-Lynn said that lots of kids added stuff to his bag, so I knew I'd have to come up with a project quick. Either that or she'd have nothing to write about except how Travel Tiger got to sleep in the top bunk with her. I couldn't let that happen!

Another child's mom had already made a mini quilt and pillow so I decided to make him a night shirt. Travel Tiger is an odd size, however, so I scrapped that idea and it came to me! A book bag!
And of course he needed books to put in his book bag!

The book bag was made from a small piece of scrap fabric with bias tape for the shoulder straps. The little books are just folded paper that I sewed together for the spine.

I really had fun making this. I like it when I'm pushed to come up with a project that I wouldn't have had a reason to do otherwise. Situations like this can really stimulate our creativity if we let it.