More Bible Resources for Kids

A little while ago, I shared some favorite Bible resources, but I knew I would end up wanting to share more.

This year for Easter, we really wanted to give our children books that would help them learn more about the Bible.  I felt like I spent hours looking at books on Amazon, and then Seth and I spent some of our date night last week looking at books at a local Christian bookstore.  I was really pleased with what we found, and judging by how much time our children have already spent with their books, I think our kids are pleased too.

Bible Resources for Kids

For our older two children (2nd and 3rd grade), we wanted to find books that would be tools to help them study the Bible.  Here’s what we found:

  • Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids – This Bible dictionary is full of lots of great Bible terms as well as people and places.  Elijah immediately saw the pronunciation guides for the words and thought that was wonderful.  It also has maps that Elijah loves.  We thought it was a great reference if they get stuck on a term, person, or place in their Bible reading.
  • The Action Bible Handbook: A Dictionary of People, Places, and Things – While the Action Bible Handbook is also a dictionary it also tells you where you can find that term in the Action Bible as well as the actual Bible.  I keep finding Ruth cross-referencing from the Handbook to the Action Bible to her real Bible.  It also has entries about each book of the Bible (time period, author, or main themes of the book).

Even though the Holman Dictionary has 750 words and the Action Bible Handbook has 700, we were surprised by the lack of overlap between the two.  Both are great tools for our big two and will hopefully be used for years to come.

For my beginning-to-read boy, we wanted to find him Bible stories he might be able to read himself (at least with help).  I’m pleasantly surprised by how much he loves this little Bible book.

  • Early Reader’s Bible New Testament is written so simply.  Even though Isaiah couldn’t read all the words, he is excited to read it, wants us to help him with words he doesn’t know, and is more than willing to re-read pages to everyone around him (practicing his new words).  This book has got him more excited about reading than I have seen yet.  If I had ordered on Amazon, I would have bought the Early Readers Bible instead since it also has Old Testament stories, but I do like to shop in a local Christian bookstore when I can.  I can’t wait to see my little boy take off in his reading, and I love how excited he is to read his Bible.  

For our 4 year old non-reader we found:

  • God Helps Me Sticker Book which is just fun.  It has colored illustrations of many Bible stories and talks about where God helped people throughout the Bible.  The stickers are easy to use, and Gideon has had lots of fun matching up the stickers with the appropriate places.  He studies the pictures for each story and really seems to enjoy this simple, age-appropriate Bible sticker book.  I like that the book points out God’s provision throughout many stories.  It’s also a great book to remind Gideon of Bible stories or to review stories with him.

Have you found any great new Bible resources for your children?

 




Resurrection Cookies: Our Failure and Triumph

The other night, I set out to make resurrection cookies with the kids.  I was so excited to have a gluten-free Easter option, and we really enjoyed the Bible lessons with each of the ingredients.  Then, we put them in the oven.  I suspected by the very flat shape that we had done something wrong.  Sure enough, in the morning we had “resurrection pancakes” that were still wet and mushy on the bottom.  Yuck!

003What had I done wrong? Well, first of all, I didn’t use the right beater for my mixer.  Seth took one look at what I used and said, “Why didn’t you use the wire one?” Not using the right tool is definitely a problem.

I also think I should have beaten the ingredients for even longer.  I think I waited 13 minutes, but however long it was, it wasn’t nearly enough.  No patience on my part.  I didn’t follow the instructions very well.  They said to have stiff peaks, and I had sort-of peaks.

Then I put the cookies on unheated stone trays.  That didn’t help.

We fail when we don’t follow the directions and use the right tools.  

For running this race God has set before us, He has given us instructions in the Bible.  Our tools are our God-given gifts and talents.  Am I using my instructions and tools?  

Thankfully, we had time to tackle this project again.  The bonus of getting to make them a second time this Easter is that my children could explain to us what each ingredient represented and which part of the Easter story we were covering.  We followed the directions and used the right tools.  Ah, much better.

My children really got into the sealing of the tomb.  They even added guards and an angel (on top of the stove).

guards

Angel with the "empty tomb"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning, the cookies weighed practically nothing, with hard and cracked looking on the outside, and hollow in the middle.  This was just like they were supposed to be so that they could remind us of Jesus’s empty tomb.  Triumph!

Praise the Lord that the failure the disciples felt when Jesus was in the tomb didn’t end with Him in the grave.  Their weight of defeat turned to joy when Jesus triumphed over death and the grave.  Also, we can praise the Lord that He provides the way for us to conquer our failure (sin) through trusting in Jesus as our Savior.

I’m so thankful that I’m not in charge of making my own way to heaven.  I couldn’t even make cookies to teach my children a lesson about the Resurrection without messing it up.  God made the way to spend eternity with Him through His Son Jesus’s death and resurrection.  All we have to do is accept His free gift of salvation.

Thankfully, even when we fail as Christians, God is faithful to forgive us of our sins.   Using the directions and tools that God gave us, we can start again.  His mercies really are new every morning.  May this Easter be a time that you can reflect on God’s great gift!




Easter Activities Even At The Last Minute

If you are anything like me, sometimes holidays sneak up on me.  I’ll have great intentions of doing a million activities and then, all of a sudden, it’s the week of Easter, and we haven’t started.  I’m a bit more on top of things this year with thinking about Easter a week and a couple days ahead.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite last-minute ideas for celebrating Easter with your children (and a few that I hope to remember for next year as well).  We are hoping to get to most of these activities in the next week.

Easter ideas

Easter countdown:

  • We just bought a really fun Easter countdown from Dayspring.  It actually counts down for Christmas and Thanksgiving too.  We even remembered to start it 12 days before Easter.  There are little cards that go in each box counting down toward the holiday.  The boxes are numbered 1-12, and you turn them to start forming a picture after you finish the box.  I may even use this countdown for other events or holidays if I get creative enough.

Baking:

  • We have really enjoyed making resurrection rolls for years.  Now that our home is gluten-free, the kids will make them with Grandmom while Seth and I are on a date.  These are definitely fun and easy to make.  Since these rolls use canned crescent rolls and  marshmallows, they are also very economical.  There are a ton of great instructions for resurrection rolls, but this is the one we used in the past.  I like the inclusion of Bible verses in it.  With younger children, here’s a “scripted one” for little ones.

taping the oven_crop  Easter 2009 310_crop

 

 

 

 

 

  • Resurrection cookies are a bit more labor-intensive.  My sister-in-law and I did these with our children when they were quite little, but I think it was a bit over their heads.  I’ve very excited to do these again this year though because they are GLUTEN-FREE.  So, so excited!  I just need to add some almonds or pecans to my shopping list.  The throw back pictures are from our first try with these cookies 5 years ago.  I love Isaiah “taping” the oven (tomb) shut in the middle of the glass.  UPDATE:  I shared about our failure and triumph in making these cookies here.    

For Your Listening Pleasure:

  • Grandmom gave the kids A Very Veggie Easter CD a number of years ago.  Between the kids learning great Easter hymns and the Easter Bunny Hop, we always have a great time getting out this CD each year.  We also love the song about the empty egg reminding us of the empty tomb.  The only place I found this CD for sale is as part of A Very Veggie Easter Collection (a 2 DVD, 2 CD collection) but it’s under $10 for all of that.  I don’t know anything about the rest of the collection, but we love this CD.

For a Craft:

  • 146You can always make a resurrection garden.  One year, a friend planted this one for us, and the kids had a blast finding sticks for the crosses.  Another friend of mine used moss so you don’t even have to plant ahead of time.  I’m hoping we have time to collect sticks at least.  Maybe we’ll make a rock garden version this year.

 

For Teaching the Easter Story:

So many of these ideas help to teach the story of Easter, but Resurrection Eggs are always a favorite.  Our set is pretty beat up at this point.  If you don’t have time (or money) to buy one, here’s a paper printable version.

Whatever you do to celebrate Easter with your children, let us not forget the reason for the celebration:  Jesus Christ is risen just as He said!      

Do you have any favorite activities, books, dvds, or crafts for Easter?