Over the years I have made a point of adding items to my kids’ Easter baskets that represent the REAL meaning of Easter — stickers, puzzles, booklets, pencils, etc. When they were younger, I gave each of them an Easter picture book. Some good titles include:
- Easter ABCs by Isabel Anders
- The First Easter by Carol Heyer
- Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs
- Easter is for Me! by Dandi Daley Mackall
- Journey, Easter Journey! by Dandi Daley Mackall
Here is a link to some books for young children: http://www.cph.org/searchnew.aspx?SE=0&SearchTerm=easter%20books&pagenum=1&pagesize=9999&viewall=Y&cset=1&sortby=Rank%20Desc.
Last year I began a new tradition since my kids were tweens or nearly that age. I gave each of them a biography about a Christian man or woman who has had an influence in our world. Most of the books come from the Christian Heroes Then and Now series: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_16?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=christian%20heroes%20then%20and%20now&sprefix=christian+heroes%2Caps%2C310. Another series which shorter books is the Hero of the Faith books: http://www.cph.org/p-22271-hero-of-the-faith-biography-set-8-books.aspx?SearchTerm=biography.
This year I am keeping the basket simple since they are all tweens — one biography, a few small treats, and their favorite candy in a larger size.
What do you put in your children’s baskets?
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Plan a family picnic out in the cold of winter. Use this experience to talk about the season of winter – how everything seems cold and dead – yet we know that Spring is coming where life will come bursting forth. Connect this to our life in Christ. When have you gone through a season of ‘winter’ in your life? How did your faith help you through that cold time? Talk about the wintery season in Jesus’ life that lead to his death on the cross – just like Spring brings new life after winter – Jesus rose from the grave bringing new life to all who believe in him. Share your winter picnic stories by replying to this post.
Do you have a Family Mission Statement? Most families have never considered a mission statement – but mission statements help focus our time, energy, and resources on our most important goals. A mission statement can help families pass on the faith as they live out life together. Watch this video and click the PDF below for resources on writing your own family mission statement and covenant.
Writing a Family Mission Statment and Covenant (Click this link for a PDF designed to get you started)
As we prepare for Thanksgiving and the holiday season it is a great time to create family traditions that point to God. Holidays create wonderful memories for children – partly because we do things that are special and out of the ordinary. This is a great time to connect our families to faith and life development.
What are some of your family traditions for Thanksgiving? Add a comment to this post with your ideas.
Click the Link Below for a printable PDF of these Prayers
Family devotions prove time and time again to be the most effective method for passing on the faith (outside of the Holy Spirit of course). Family devotions show the importance that parents put on worshiping God in the home, as well as provide an opportunity for families to grow in their faith together. They help families take the faith they practice on Sundays and turn it into something they do everyday… following Jesus is not something we do, its who we are – and Family Devotions help kids grasp that idea.
But – how do you do family devotions?
It doesn’t have to be difficult, complex, or long. Check out this PDF called “Take 5 for Family Devotions” for easy ideas for creating family devotions in your home.
Family Devotion Page
Place your hands on the backpack and have your children do the same – then have them repeat this prayer and blessing.
Bless this backpack and all it contains.
Let this pack represent the coming school year and all that it entails.
Lord watch over me as I travel to school and back home.
Bless me with courage as I enter 2nd grade.
Fill me with a love of learning
and a passion for school.
Bless my teachers with wisdom and compassion.
Guide my choices
and keep me mindful of my actions.
Give me your Holy Spirit
that my faith might grow
and that I might love you more.
I dedicate this backpack
and this school year to you Lord,
may my time at school bring you Joy.
May my thoughts and actions
bring glory to your name.
In Jesus’ Holy Name
Continue the Blessing throughout the school year by adding notes of prayers and blessings for your kids to their backpacks or lunches. Here are some Bible verses and ideas for notes to add.
Backpack Blessing Ideas