We live in the desert so playing in the grass in our yard is NOT an experience that our kids have, they do not get to run through the sprinklers like most other children do in the good ‘ole summer time. So, instead, we sprinkled God and spiritual things into our summer in some new ways for our family both last year and this year.
Last year we…
Fell in love with Lamplighter books, and have invested in buying not only books but the audio dramas. They held a Summer Reading Challenge that ended at the end of August. The reading challenge awarded points for each book read, audio listened to, and had awesome extra challenges that were easy for each of our boys (ages 7 and 6) to take part in easily. But, that’s not the best part, adults could participate too!
We spent family time listening to the audio dramas. We drew pictures of our favorite parts of the stories and even earned extra points for listening to them with a senior. We earned enough credits to buy many of their ebooks, that are also character oriented and Bible based with special meanings that are applicable to Christian living. Some of our favorites are The Hedge of Thorns, Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince, and Teddy’s Button, although it really is difficult for us to even choose because they all keep you on the edge of your seat at times as you listen.
We also memorized scripture with the Abeka Bible Memory Cards. These cards are the ABC’s, just with a Bible word associated with them and a verse. A is for all, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23” B is for Believe, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” We would just sit the kids down on the carpet in front of us and repeat them regularly. The awesome thing that is our 3-year-old daughter had many verses memorized and will still quote them from time to time on her own.
We did take part in our Vacation Bible School. I taught the 4 & 5-year-old class and my husband was the organizer of the event. It was a fun spy theme complete with crazy skits my husband loved to be in. The kids always have a fun time in class and participating in the Penny Race. This year we’re planning a Kid’s Crusade in the fall, so no summer-time VBS for us this year.
In a search for devotions to do with my kids, someone suggested Keys for Kids audio devotionals from KeysforKids.org. The stories are read by the friendly voice of Uncle Charlie, they offer great illustrations and examples of how Biblical living can be done in a child’s life. They ask questions at the end of the story and have a “key” for the day that the child is supposed to think about. For example, the key for today is: Be blind to outward appearance. The only thing we have to do is look up the Bible verse in our KJV, because they read out of the NKJV, and I always want to make sure they have not left anything out. The neat thing about Keys for Kids is that they have an app that can be found on the App store as well as on the Google Play store so we can listen to it almost anywhere. This has been a highlight to our summer days, making it easy to learn and listen together.
For the past 2 years we have bought the Imagination Station series of books for our boys. They are awesome!! We have all 13 books so far, and we are waiting for the next books to be published. If you are familiar with the Imagination Station radio program, these are books with different adventures for kids to read on a 2.3 reading level. Each book has something to do with cousins Patrick and Beth traveling to a Bible site or finding themselves learning about a Christian hero. Another neat thing about the Imagination Station series is that the kids can figure out a “Secret Word” from reading the book and then go to The Imagination Station website and type it in and listen to a special audio story. The boys have picked these books back up again this summer and are enjoying them for the 100th time!
In May The Ministry Papa was able to attend a Music College with Ron and Shelly Hamilton in Colorado and he came home with a set of Patch the Pirate CD’s. It was Volume 7 of the Story and Song Treasure Box with the following CD’s, The Colonel’s Colossal Character Quest, The Villain of Venice, The Kashmir Kid, and Shipwrecked on Pleasure Island. If you’re not familiar with Patch the Pirate then I like to describe them as musicals for kids. You have the story that happens with great dialog, creative voices and storyline, then all of a sudden you can feel a song coming on. Each song fits into the story with either a godly or funny theme. In The Villain of Venice, one of the songs is about how a man ate so much garlic he reeked so bad that no one wanted to be around him and his mother just called him on the telephone.
When we need the kids to have an early bedtime because they’ve been wild and wooly part of the day, then we will put them in bed at 7:30 to listen to some Patch. What I love about them though is that they are doctrinally safe, written by someone with a heart for God and children, and they always have a message that is right on. The songs will stick in your head and when you have a problem sometimes you start singing them so the kids will remember how you are supposed to do to be kind to others and love the Lord.
The Ministry Papa and I have listened to The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom on audio book and I have also been listening to The Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot. Both books have challenged me to have a better faith in God and allow God to work through unexpected or unwanted circumstances and trust Him. It is amazing how testimonies from other believers can help you realize that your situations in life are not that bad and how you can have hope and trust no matter the circumstances.
I hope that our investment in taking the time to listen, read, and take part will make a difference in the hearts and lives of our children. Sometimes it’s a trip to the zoo, or the holding of a lizard the kids caught to teach them about God’s world and His knowledge. It is always about sprinkling spirituality in not only our summer but our life. We thoroughly enjoy how we can sharpen the axes of each person individually as we do things together. The summer break has not been a break from God, it has been an open door to view life differently outside our normal day-to-day routine. This is why I love summer!
*This article does NOT contain affiliate links. Only things we like and enjoy that we would like to share with other believers.