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4. Learning To Obey God

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Materials Needed

  • video of Noah’s Ark (borrow from friend, Christian book store or church library)
  • box of animal crackers or stuffed or plastic animals (in pairs).
  • brown construction paper
  • glue or stapler

Setting The Stage

There are times when it is hard to obey God, but it is very important that we do so. The story of Noah will help your children understand this truth.

Project

Video:

View the video of Noah’s Ark or take the time to explain the story to your children. The story is found in Genesis 6-9. The basic details you want to communicate to your children are as follows:

  • Noah was a man who loved God. The people outside his family did not love God.
  • God was very sad that the other people were so disobedient and mean. He realized that the only way to make the world a nice place to live in was to start all over.
  • So God asked Noah to build a big boat. A boat big enough to hold two of every kind of animal as well as his whole family. They were to get inside the boat with the animals while God sent the biggest rain storm ever. Anyone who was not in the boat would die.
  • Noah obeyed God, built the boat and filled it with the animals. When that was done he and his family got on the boat. They all lived through the storm. When they were able to get off the boat they were the only ones left on the earth.
  • They started over again, but first they took time to thank God by bowing and praying. God answered by sending a rainbow. The rainbow was his promise that he would never send such a big rain storm again.

Ark:

Cut the brown construction paper in the shape of a boat and then cut a second piece the same shape and size. Glue the two pieces together at the sides and bottom leaving the top of the boat open. While the glue is drying open the box of animal crackers, empty the contents and look for matching pairs. Once the pairs have been found, take one of each kind and place them inside your glued boat. If you don’t have animal crackers, set stuffed animals around the boat.

Discussion:

Discuss why it would have been hard for Noah to obey God. Here are some ideas:

  • There had never been any rain up to that point so Noah didn’t even understand the concept of a flood.
  • The other people around him made fun of him for making a boat so big and for obeying God.
  • Noah must have wondered whether the boat was going to work and how he was going to get everyone on the boat.

Song

Trust and Obey

(use the original tune)

Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Prayer

Pray about one area in which you have a hard time obeying. Example: Cleaning your room, coming when you are called, talking kindly to your brother or sister.

Memory Verse

Ephesians 6: 1
Children, obey your parents in the lord, for this is right.

Related Topics: Children's Curriculum, Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

5. Learning To Listen To God

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Materials Needed

  • timer
  • tape of a religious children’s song

Setting The Stage

No matter how old you are in the faith it is hard to learn to listen to God. This devotional will help your children understand what you mean when you say, “Listen to what God is saying”.

Project

Game:

  • Take a regular kitchen timer or another household item or toy that would make a similar soft sound.
  • Have the children leave the room.
  • Turn the timer on and hide it somewhere in the room.
  • Have the children come back into the room and listen very carefully until they detect the location of the timer and find it.
  • Play the game over and over giving each child a chance to find the timer.

Questions And Principles:

Question:

How hard did you have to listen to be able to hear the ticking sound?

Principle: You have to stop and listen intently to hear what God is trying to say to you.

Question:

Through whom does God speak to you?

Principle: God can speak to you through the Bible, through older, wiser people (like your parents) or through people who really know about the Bible (like the pastor or a Sunday school teacher).

Question:

In your life whom does God use to speak to you?

Principle: Learn to know the people whom God uses (therefore name specific names).

Question:

In your life what does God use to speak to you?

Principle: Learn the tools that God uses (like music, story tapes, videos, the Bible).

Practice:

Play a song from a children’s tape and ask them what is the message of the song. You will want to listen to the song beforehand to make sure that it is a clear, easily understood message.

Prayer

Ask God to help you learn to listen to his voice as he speaks to you in a variety of ways this coming week.

Related Topics: Bibliology (The Written Word), Children, Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

6. Love (Valentine’s Day)

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Materials Needed

  • scissors
  • three different colors of construction paper or enough colors so each child has one color
  • chocolate hearts
  • white paper
  • pen
  • bowl

Setting The Stage

Together you will be reminded that learning to act in love, even when it is not easy, is important because of the end result.

Project

Ahead Of Time:

Cut the letters L-O-V-E from the different colors of construction paper. Pile all the letters together in the center of the floor and sit around the pile.

Now:

First, let the children sort the letters so they have four piles with the same letter in each pile. Then have them color coordinate the letters so they have three piles (or one pile for each color), each pile having enough letters to spell out the word love. If the children still cannot spell, do a sample pile for them by taking the letters from one pile and spelling out the word LOVE. Have them do the same with their own pile. This part of the activity can be made into a game by seeing who can separate the letters by colors or words the fastest or who can spell out the word LOVE without any help.

Ahead Of Time:

  • Hide the chocolate hearts around the room (Hint: If you put out more than 10 you might find it helpful to write down the hiding spot or it could be months before all the hearts are found).
  • Explain to them how we celebrate love on Valentine’s day by doing something special for the people we love. The hunt is something special you want to do for them. Establish the boundaries of where the hunt is to take place and how many hearts they need to find, then let them go at it.

Now:

While they are enjoying their newfound hearts, sit down and talk about how some of the hearts were hard to find. Point out how hard it was for them to do a certain part of the first activity (whether it was trying to spell the word LOVE quickly or just simply separating the letters by color). Allow this to lead into a discussion of how some aspects of loving are very hard to do. Allow your children to come up with a few examples from your own family life.

Ahead Of Time:

Write out the following situations on a sheet of paper leaving space between each one. Cut the situations into strips, fold them in half and place them into a bowl. Note: The following situations can easily have an adult play the role of one of the children if two children are not available.

  • Child #1 is mean and speaks unkindly to Child #2; Child #1 pushes Child #2 down. Child #2 doesn’t get angry but speaks kindly back to Child #1 and shows Child #1 love and forgiveness.
  • Child #1 is playing and hurts himself/herself. Child #2 sees Child #1 crying and hugs and kisses him or her.
  • Child #1 has a job to do and Child #2 helps with the job without being asked (for example: picking up toys).
  • Child #1 is given a treat and he/she shares the treat with Child #2 without being asked.

Now:

Bring out the bowl and let the children take turns choosing a slip of paper. Read the situation to them and help them understand the role they are to play. Let them act it out. Continue until all the situations have been acted.

  • • Using the previous situations discuss how different it can be to always show love.
  • • Have each child choose one way they are going to show love this week.
  • • Tape the letters L-O-V-E on the fridge allowing the children to choose their favorite color out of the three or more choices. Use this as a reminder all week.

Prayer

Have each child ask God for help to show love in the way he or she has chosen in the upcoming week.

Song

“Jesus Loves Me”

(use original tune)

Jesus loves me! this I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong, They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tell me so.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals, Love

7. Joy

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Materials Needed

  • magazines
  • six different colors of construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • ball

Setting The Stage

Throughout the devotional remind your children that real joy comes from doing things that make God happy.

Project

1. Sing a song about Joy ( for example: I have the joy, joy, joy down in the depths of my heart -WHERE? down in the depths of my heart - WHERE? down in the depths of my heart. I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in the depths of my heart - WHERE? Down in the depths of my heart to stay.) Note: If you don’t know this tune, it can be sung as a chant.

2. Talk about the different times you feel real joy. Remind them that real joy comes from doing the things that make God happy. Examples: sharing, helping, showing kindness.

3. Use the magazines to find six pictures of people doing something that seems to give them real joy. Cut out the pictures and glue them onto the six different colored sheets of construction paper, one picture on each sheet of paper.

4. Take the six sheets of paper and lay them face down in the pattern diagrammed below. Make sure no one knows which picture is in which spot.

5. Have the child stand behind a line and toss the ball at the squares. Whichever paper the ball lands on is the paper the child may take as his or her own. Have the child show the picture to everyone else. Explain why the person in this picture seems to have real joy. Help the child include the perspective that the person could be doing something that makes God happy.

Prayer

Each person should choose one picture and for the coming week should try to do what is being shown in the picture. Ask God for help in doing what your chosen picture demonstrates.

Song

“I Have The Joy”

(as sung at the beginning of the devotional)

Related Topics: Children's Curriculum, Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

8. Peace

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Materials Needed

  • pots, pans and large spoons
  • sturdy toys
  • pillows
  • loud food (like chips)
  • television or stereo
  • 8 1/2” x 11” white plain paper
  • glue
  • blue and black construction paper
  • crayons
  • scissors

Setting The Stage

Peace is a quiet calm during which we can know God better. The goal of this lesson is to teach your children what is and isn’t peace and how, during these times of peace, you can talk to God and learn more about God.

Project

1. Set up a noisy section on one side of the room. This section will have four stations, each with a number so that the order is understood by all.

1 - pots, pans and spoons.

2 - loud food

3 - toys (over which to fight)

4 - television or stereo (to be played loudly)

2. Set up a quiet section on the opposite side of the room with a pillow for each child placed on the floor

3. Start at station number one. Call out GO! and have them do the activity as loudly as possible until you call STOP! When you call Stop! they are to run to the pillows and lie perfectly still and quiet until you call GO! again at which time they will run to the second noisy station and do the activity there. Continue alternating until all sections are visited at least once. Keep this pattern going for about five minutes.

4. Stop the game and have them sit on their pillows. Explain to them how difficult it is to think about anything, especially God, when we are being so noisy. Explain how precious peace is because then we can stop and talk to God.

5. Go to the table and work together on pictures that demonstrate times of peace, times when we can be quiet and be with God. While working on this part of the project discuss how they can talk to God during these peaceful times. You can do one or all of the following depending on the child’s interest:

  • Snowfall - Fold white paper in half again and again until it is as small as possible. Cut off the corners. Open and see a snow flake. Glue this snow flake onto a blue sheet of construction paper.
  • Night lime - Take a pointed object (pen) and poke lots of holes into the black sheet. Hold it up to the light and see stars shining at night.
  • Being Loved - Draw and color a picture of a parent giving a child a hug.
  • Bed lime - Draw and color a picture of a child praying before bedtime.

Prayer

Pray for times of peace during which you can learn to talk to God.

Memory Verse

Psalm 34:14b
Seek peace and pursue it.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

9. Patience

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  • one white sheet of paper
  • many different colored crayons including black
  • dull kitchen knife

Caramel Corn

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3 quarts popped corn (3/4 cup kernels)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven
Bake at 3000 F for 20 minutes

Place popped corn on an ungreased cookie sheet. In a saucepan melt butter, stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Lower heat and allow it to simmer for five minutes stirring constantly to make sure it does not burn on the bottom. Remove pot from the heat and stir in the soda and vanilla. Gradually pour caramel over the popped corn and mix well so every piece has been touched. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 3000 F. Remove from the oven at five minute intervals to stir. At the end of 20 minutes remove a piece from the oven and allow it to cool. If the caramel corn is crunchy, it is done. If it is chewy, allow it to bake a bit longer. Allow it to cool for five minutes, then enjoy!!

Setting The Stage

Help your children understand that having patience means you are willing to take the time to get the desired result and that if you are impatient and rush, the result is often disappointing. The following three activities will show them that exercising patience is usually worth while in the end.

Project

Caramel Corn

Following the recipe, make the Caramel Corn. While making the Caramel Corn spend time talking about how good and crunchy it will be at the end so it is worth the wait. Also, talk about how this is true in other areas of your life. Examples: making your bed, playing a game, talking to people.

Patience is needed when making Caramel Corn because if it is eaten too soon it is chewy and will stick to your teeth.

Stop And Go

While the Caramel Corn is baking, play the game Stop and Go. The adult stands at one end of the room, turned away from the rest of the family. The family is lined up side by side at the other end. When the adult says, “Go!” they move as quickly as possible towards the adult. When the adult says, “Stop!” they must stop immediately because as the adult finishes calling out stop, he or she will quickly turn around to see who is still moving. Whoever is caught moving must go back to the starting position. It will be advantageous in helping your child understand the principle if you catch them at least once and send them back. Play the game several times helping them understand the role of patience in winning the game.

Patience is needed in playing this game because the faster you are moving the harder it is to stop and the easier it is to be caught. The person who is the most patient will probably be the one to get to the adult first without being sent back and therefore wins the game.

Love Is Patient

While eating the caramel corn have everybody sit around a table with one sheet of white paper in the center. Everyone is to take a different color of crayon (except black) and color the sheet. The object is to use many different colors to make little sections of all different sizes. Once the sheet is covered in color, color the entire sheet again in black trying to cover the color beneath as much as possible. Take the dull kitchen knife (you will be removing the black and revealing the bright colors below) and scratch out the letters that make up the memory verse for the week, “Love is Patient.” Say it over and over together until everyone can say it, then hang the verse in a visible place (like the fridge) for the upcoming week.

Patience is needed to achieve the beautiful end result. Point out how it took a while to make this sheet with the Bible verse on it, but also how it was worth being patient and working on it until it was done.

Prayer

Ask the question, ‘When are you most impatient?” When all have given their answers, use the answers as a spring board for prayer time. Ask God for patience during those times when we are so easily impatient.

Memory Verse

I Corinthians 13:48
Love is patient

Related Topics: Children's Curriculum, Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Devotionals

10. Kindness

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Kindness

Materials Needed

  • ball
  • puppet theater or table with blanket
  • five different puppets (dolls or stuffed animals)
  • small object (pencil, small book or block)
  • markers or crayons
  • blank sheets of paper taped together to form a 2’ x 2’ sheet of paper.

Setting The Stage

Through this puppet show you will have the opportunity to show your children that kindness is a special way of saying “I love you and God does too.

Project

Ball Toss

Everyone sits in a circle on the floor. An adult starts by holding the ball and sharing one act of kindness he or she did this week. The adult passes or rolls the ball to another person in the circle; whoever receives the ball must share an act of kindness he or she did this week. The game continues until everyone has had a chance to share at least one act of kindness.

Play

If you do not have a natural setting for a puppet show, cover the kitchen table with a blanket so the blanket reaches the floor on the side of the viewers. The adult can work from behind the table so they, the puppets and the script can not be seen. Put on the following show improvising wherever necessary. Your show will be a little smoother if you assign a name to each puppet or stuffed animal before the show begins so you know which one to grab as you are changing roles.

A Day Of Kindness

Characters: Mommy, Child, Cindy, Sam, Joe (represented by puppets, dolls or stuffed animals)

Scene I

Mommy:

(to child) Today I want you to try to make your whole day a day of kindness.

Child:

How can I do that?

Mommy:

When you are at school or playing with your friends and you see a chance to be kind, stop and do what is kind ... that will make it a day of kindness. (hug good-bye)

Child:

Okay, Mommy, I’ll see you later. (Mommy waves good-bye and child leaves. Mother drops down behind the scene.)

Scene II

(Cindy is walking ahead of the child as child, returning to the scene, tries to catch up to Cindy who has a small object [pencil, small book or block] in her hand.)

Child:

(speaking to herself) Hey, there’s Cindy. I wonder if I can catch up to her. (She acts like she is running and panting and catches up to her friend Cindy) Hi! Cindy. May I walk with you?

Cindy:

(turns to see who it is and drops small object from her hand) Oh no!!

Child:

(bends down and picks up small object) Here, let me pick this up for you.

Cindy:

Thanks, that is nice of you.

Child:

(Turns to viewers and says) Wow, I just did an act of kindness!!
(both friends walk off the scene together and drop down behind the table)

Scene III

(Child out playing in the playground - Sam is sitting off to the edge of the scene by himself)

Child:

Boy, it sure is fun playing at the playground. Hey, who is that sitting over there all by himself? I have never seen him before. (Looks over at Sam) I think I’ll go over and say hi. (child moves over to Sam)

Child:

(to Sam) Hi, are you new here?

Sam:

Yes, I just moved here and this is my first day at the playground.

Child:

Well, how come you’re not playing? Hey, what is your name?

Sam:

My name is Sam and I don’t have anyone to play with so I am just sitting here by myself.

Child:

Well, you don’t have to do that any longer ... why don’t you come over and play a game of tag with me.

Sam:

(gets up and joins child) You bet! I would love that. Hey, thanks for being my friend and being so nice to me.

Child:

I am just showing kindness ... No problem at all!

Scene IV

(Eating lunch at school)

Child:

(walking with Joe to the lunchroom) Hey, Joe, I am so hungry I can’t wait to see what my mom sent for lunch today.

Joe:

(looking sad) I don’t have to look, I already know. My mom told me that she had to go shopping today and that she had nothing left in the house so I only have half of a sandwich in my bag, and I am really hungry too.

Child:

No problem. My mom always sends tons of food and I don’t mind sharing some.

Joe:

Hey, that’s great. Let’s go eat.

Scene V

(Child running into the house to see Mommy)

Child:

Mom, Mom, guess what? I had a day of kindness just like you wanted me to have.

Mommy:

(hugs child) Tell me all about it.

Child:

Well, I helped Cindy pick up something she dropped and I made friends with a new boy and I shared my lunch with Joe.

Mommy:

Wow! You did have a day of kindness and I’m so pleased (gives another big hug).

Children’s Drawings

Tape the large sheet of paper to a free spot on the wall. Make sure the sheet is easily accessible and at the children’s eye level. Give each child a section and let them go to work drawing a picture that demonstrates an act of kindness. Note: The puppet show can give them some ideas. When they are done with their drawings, let the children describe what they have drawn. If the children are too young to do a complete drawing on their own, you may sketch a scene and let them color it, explaining to you what is happening.

Prayer

Pray together that each day in the upcoming week will be filled with kindness.

Related Topics: Children's Curriculum, Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Devotionals

11. Goodness

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Materials Needed

  • one sheet of green construction paper
  • one sheet of red construction paper
  • eight small bowls (nontransparent)
  • tea towels
  • pieces of paper
  • pen
  • scissors
  • three good-tasting things to eat (small candies, cut up fruit, dried cereal)
  • three not-so-good-tasting things to eat (coffee grounds, salt, chopped onions)

Setting The Stage

It’s important for the whole family to learn to identify what goodness is so we can do it for others. Doing “goodness” means you do a good act that is not naturally easy to do but needs to be done with God’s help.

Project

Ahead Of Time:

Fill the six bowls, three of the bowls with good-tasting food and three of the bowls with not-so- good-tasting food. Then cut six circles, three out of the green sheet and three out of the red sheet.

Now:

Place the bowls in a row on the table. Give the children the red and green circles and have them place the circles in the appropriate places. A green circle means the food is good-tasting and a red circle means the food is not-so-good-tasting. Let them take a little taste of the food if they want to confirm their choices.

Next:

Have them close their eyes. Switch the order of the bowls and cover them with a tea towel. Have the children open their eyes and again try to place the circles in the appropriate spots, but this time it is a guessing game. See how many they get right. Let them play this game several times.

Lesson:

Point out to the children that it is much easier to identify what is good when the tea towel is off than when the tea towel is covering the dishes. Use this to illustrate that sometimes it is easy to see what is the good thing to do and sometimes it is hard.

Ahead Of Time:

Take the plain sheet of paper and cut the paper into strips. On each strip of paper write out the following good and not-so-good actions leaving out the word in the brackets.

  • You have a bag of candies and your sister would like to try one so you let her have a few. (green)
  • Your friend yells at you while you are playing so you tell him that it is time to go home. (red)
  • You are playing with a bunch of kids; one gets hurt and starts to cry. Everyone is looking at him cry. You go and get your favorite stuffed animal letting him hug it until he stops crying. (green)
  • You have been told to clean up your room. You go to your room and clean it up as fast as you can by pushing all the toys under your bed. (red)
  • You know of someone who is sick. You make a card for him or her and give it to the person to help them feel better. (green)

Bring out the two empty bowls and the strips of paper with the situations written on them. Place one of the green circles in front of one of the bowls and one of the red circles in front of the other empty bowl.

Now:

Explain to them that you are about to read a situation and they are to place the slip of paper in the green bowl if it is a good act and in the red bowl if it is a not-so-good act. As you read each slip, let the children take turns deciding into which bowl the paper should go. Some of the situations are harder to decide and may need to be discussed.

Lesson:

During the discussion remind them of the previous activity where when the tea towel covered the bowls it was harder to determine what was good and how this is also true in real life.

Song

“God Is So Good”

(original tune or chanting with a catchy beat)

God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me.

Prayer

Ask God to help each of us find the opportunities to show goodness to other people.

Related Topics: Children's Curriculum, Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Devotionals

12. Faithfulness

Related Media

Materials Needed

  • dolls (or stuffed animals)
  • large bowl (or empty trash can)
  • plastic food (or blocks)
  • one blank sheet of paper for each person (or coloring book)
  • crayons or markers
  • pen

Setting The Stage

Being faithful means we are diligent in doing an assigned task and are not easily distracted.

Project

Game: Set up the game following the diagram below.

  • The object of the game is for the feeder to get the plastic food into the bowl so the hungry dolls can eat their dinner.
  • The feeder must stay behind the imaginary line while trying to toss the food into the bowl.
  • While the feeder is tossing the food, the distracter lies on his/her back and waves his/her arms and legs in the air to try and stop the feeder from doing his/her job.
  • Let each person have a chance at being both the feeder and the distracter.
  • At the end of the game help the children understand how important it is for the feeder to be ‘faithful’ in doing his/her job; also how hard it is to do the job when someone is distracting you.

Drawing:

Sit down and share about some jobs that each one has to be faithful at doing. After a list has been made let each person choose one job to draw and color on a sheet of paper. Spend the next 5-10 minutes drawing and coloring. (Note: Another option is to go through a coloring book and rip out sheets of paper that have pictures of children or animals doing a job. Allow them to color and discuss the job being done.)

Discussion:

When the drawings are complete, discuss each picture deciding which things could easily distract or keep you from doing the job.

Prayer

Have the children create their own “prayer song” to God about being faithful in their chosen job. They can create their own tune and words and talk to God in this creative way.

Related Topics: Children's Curriculum, Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Devotionals

13. Gentleness

Related Media

Materials Needed

  • deck of cards
  • raw eggs (or water balloons)

Setting The Stage

We need to learn to be gentle with people and things. Through the activities of this devotional your children will receive a better understanding of gentleness.

Project

1. Together create a song about gentleness. If the children are old enough let them make up their own words. If the children are too young to do this, use the following words to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

We need gentleness, we need it every day
The way we walk, the way we talk and
the way we play.

Practice the song together. Then get out your musical instruments (see Section One Making Music to God) and parade around the house singing your song on gentleness while playing your instruments.

2. Take the deck of cards and each take a turn adding a card to make a card house. The adult will have to start the process (see diagram). Constantly point out how gentleness is needed to build the house. Note: You may want to practice building one on your own first so you have the concept of how it works.

3. To continue the understanding of the principle of gentleness, move outside and have a raw egg or water balloon toss. Have a pair start by facing one another, standing close together. They will gently pass the egg or balloon from hand to hand. Keep emphasizing the need for gentleness. Slowly move them apart, continuing to toss the egg or balloon back and forth until it breaks. (Warn the child before hand that it could get messy. You may want them to wear their raincoats for this activity.)

4. Talk about how important gentleness was while doing the activities. Discuss how we need to also be gentle with people in the way we talk to them and treat them.

Prayer

Ask God for the ability to be gentle all the time.

Song

Sing your new gentleness song again using your musical instruments.

Related Topics: Children's Training Resources, Parent Resources, Christian Education, Christian Home, Christian Life, Devotionals

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