Not Teaching Your Kids the Old Testament? 8 Reasons to Start

 

Not Teaching Your Kids the Old Testament? Here's 8 Reasons to Start.

I always have to give one of my good friends a hard time about how when we started college she didn’t realize that the David of “David and Goliath” was the same person as King David. And she even grew up in the church! We like to joke about it, but it’s kind of a shame that this fundamental knowledge wasn’t passed down to her at an early age.

So often in children’s ministry settings (and even in the big church too!) the Old Testament stories are glossed over or even altogether skipped – presumably for the sake of focusing on the “gospel.”

You might be nodding your head here – Yes, yes, we should be focusing on the gospel. After all, we are under the new covenant now – why should be focus on the Old Testament?” Or maybe you began a study of the Old Testament with gusto until you got stuck somewhere in 1 Chronicles, thinking why am I doing this again?

Great questions! Today I want to share eight reasons why I think you should teach the Old Testament to your kids (and study it yourself!). And I’m talking about in it’s entirety, not just a few of the popular stories here and there – made fluffy and given a “moral at the end of the story” like it’s Aesop’s Fables instead of the Word of God (I’m looking at you Jonah!).

So, without further ado, when your kids learn about the Old Testament they will….

1. Gain a better understanding of the full scope of God’s character

The mighty hand of God that created everything from the vast universe to the invisible atom.

His loving-kindness delivering His people from Egypt.

His justice displayed in the words of the prophets.

Studying all the different stories, experiences, time periods, and people represented in the Old Testament give you so many windows through which to catch a glimpse of God’s character.

2. Understand the full story of our sin and God’s goodness

The gospel is powerful. It is rightly the center of our faith. However, we have to avoid the temptation to believe that the gospel story begins in Matthew. Yes, it begins with Jesus – but it begins with Jesus in Genesis 1:1.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. -Genesis 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. -John 1:1-3

The story of God’s love and redemption through Christ is woven throughout the entire Old Testament. As we turn the pages of God’s story we find prophetic words, metaphorical foreshadowings, glimpses of His plan and purpose.

Through stories like Adam and Eve, Noah, and David we are brought down into the depths of the depravity and fallenness of humans. Only when we see ourselves in our place among the broken can we truly understand the magnitude of God’s love and mercy – and our need for His gospel offer.

Praying child.

3. Learn from a rich history of the saints and sinners before us

While I think that trying to tack on a neat moral to every Old Testament story does a disservice to the text, that doesn’t mean there is not a ton to learn in these pages. We learn of the characters strengths and successes and their sins and failures. We see God’s people love and obey Him, and also turn and forget Him.

One of the biggest lessons we see time and time again in the Old Testament is that God can and will use ordinary sinners just like me and you to take part in his big plans. We don’t have to be perfect to serve God, just trust Him and follow His commands.

4. Marvel at the perfectly planned lineage of Christ

To us, genealogies can often seem dry and boring. However, they too are an important part of God’s word.

Take, for instance, the genealogy of Christ found in Matthew 1. It would be easy to just skip on over it and get on to the story. However, have you ever stopped and looked at the names found in this passage?

Abraham (wife was barren) …

Rahab and Ruth (both non-Israelites) …

David (murderer and adulterer) …

… And the list goes on!

When we read of these people and their stories in the Old Testament we can see God’s faithfulness and plan in bringing his promised Messiah into the world.

5. Understand themselves in light of God’s story

Like I mentioned before, the Old Testament connects us with stories that mirror our own brokenness. We learn of our depravity in the story of Adam and Eve and see our same brokenness played out in the stories of God’s people time and time again. The Old Testament does not let us pass by without an understanding of our humanness, our dependance on God, and our lowly position before him.

However, in spite of our lowly position, the Old Testament also shows us how much we are loved and chosen by our creator. We see His plan to redeem His beloved people, no matter the cost. We see his love, patience, and mercy played out in the lives of ordinary humans. Ordinary humans that he allows to do great things for Him. Ordinary humans just like you and me … and your children.

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6. Be taught, rebuked, corrected and trained

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3: 16-17

Timothy didn’t stutter when he said “all scripture.” In fact, during that time, the Old Testament probably would have been the primary scripture he was referring to! If you skip over the Old Testament as you seek to disciple your kids you are missing out on a huge chunk of what God has given to equip them.

7. Deepen faith through wrestling with tough topics

The flood, Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son, the story of the hardships of Job – these stories (and many others) aren’t Disney fairytales. The stories of the Old Testament are big, messy, and often hard to understand. When we wrestle with these stories, the concepts they hold and the questions they bring, we deepen our faith and understanding. This provides our children with a steadfast foundation that will stand the test of time.

8. Develop a deeper awe and reverence for God (and gratitude we can have a relationship with him)

Something that can often be missing in churches and Christians these days (including myself!) is a reverence, fear, and awe of a holy God. We get so focused on his love displayed through Christ that we can easily forget about his justice, power, and holiness.

Generally speaking, as they are set before the work and grace of Christ, the Old Testament stories give us a great picture of what it looks like to be in awe of a holy God. The creation account shows his strength, majesty, and sovereignty. The accounts of worship in the temple displays the lengths to which sinful people had to go to come anywhere close to God and his glory. Over and over again God’s chosen people and prophets declare themselves unworthy to stand before him.

These accounts do two things. First, they deepen our awe and reverence for God. Second, they make us all the more grateful for the relationship we can have with God because of the work of Christ.

Ready to get started?

Hopefully these eight reasons have encouraged you to give the Old Testament a chance. There are so many great reasons to dig in!

Plus, at the very least, you’ll know who King David is. 🙂

Do you have any more reasons you’ve found for studying the Old Testament?

EDITED TO ADD: I compiled a post with some great resources for teaching the Old Testament – find it right here!

Ready for an Old Testament Adventure?

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A Heart for Service Begins in the Home: 3 Areas of Service I Want to Instill in My Children

heart for serving 1

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. -Philippians 2:5-7

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul describes Christ as taking the very nature of a servant.

The King and Creator of the entire universe came to us as a lowly, humble servant.

Repeatedly through the Bible we are called to think of others before ourselves and to act in service to one another.

It can be tempting (at least for me) to think of serving as being these big, grand acts, like being a missionary overseas, pastoring a church, feeding the homeless, making BIG sacrifices to serve in BIG ways.

While these are most definitely amazing things, the small, daily acts of service mean just as much – routinely putting others before yourself, the ability to find joy in bringing another joy, being humble and lifting others up.

Although there are many ways to serve, there are three main areas of service I want to instill in my children as they grow up in our family.

Continue reading my contributor post over at Intentional By Grace

A Heart For Serving Begins in the Home

 

Hero Training! Kid’s Character Challenge – Week 8 – Truthful

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge www.simplelifemessylife.com

It’s the last week of Hero Training! Woo! What a blast! This week is all about being truthful. I don’t know about you, but in our family telling the truth is very serious business. K knows that lying will get him in big trouble, so it was great to use this time to dig a little deeper into why we always tell the truth.

If you haven’t read the introduction to the series yet, check it out here (it has all the instructions and info you’ll need).

Get past weeks here: week one (helpful)week two (self-controlled)week three (creative)week four (attentive)week five (diligent), week six (joyful), week seven (patient)

I hope you have fun doing the challenges and, don’t forget, if you’re joining in be sure to use the hashtag #herotrainingcc on instagram and twitter!

Lesson

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge TRUTHFUL www.simplelifemessylife.com

Hero Trait: Truthful

Definition: Always telling what actually happened.

Super we : Captain America (He seems like a pretty honest guy!)

Memory Verse: “So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.” (Ephesians 4:25)

Examples of Jesus Displaying this Trait:

  • Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
  • Jesus was honest with Peter when he called him out for speaking what was false. (Matthew 16:23)
  • Jesus was honest with the Pharisees (Matthew 23)

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some ways that Jesus was truthful?
  • Can you think of a time that you were truthful?
  • Can you think of a time when you weren’t truthful?
  • Why is it important to be truthful?

Notes:

  • We talk a lot about being truthful because it is very important in our house. Lying is something that will get you more in trouble than whatever the original infraction was.
  • We talked about how Jesus said he is the truth. We should want to tell the truth to be more like Jesus.
  • The other reason for telling the truth that we talked about is that when we lie, people can’t trust us anymore.
  • Every week we listen to the song “Jesus is my Superhero” to remember who is the best super hero of them all! We talk about how Jesus is the best hero because he saved us and about how he is the only one who can do all the hero traits perfectly. I found this awesome version (Lego stop motion!) of the song on youtube and K loved it!

Challenges

Challenge #1

Memorize this week’s verse!

Challenge #2

Read the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and act it out.

I just told K the story from memory, but you can also find it here. K liked the story, but he really liked acting it out. He played the part of the boy, I was the townspeople, the baby was the sheep, and a stuffed animal was the wolf. He thought it was hilarious and it helped him remember the story.

Challenge #3

Talk with your mom or dad about the consequences for lying. 

Sometimes it’s good to review the consequences for certain behavior. We talked about what would happen if he were to lie and why we treat lying so seriously.

Challenge #4

List as many truths about Jesus as you can.

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge TRUTHFUL www.simplelifemessylife.com

 

Since Jesus is the truth, we decided to list a bunch of true things about him. I drew the outline of a cross on paper and wrote what we came up with inside.

Challenge #5

Broken Truth “Craft”

This craft isn’t really a craft, it is more of an object lesson in the disguise of a craft. I think it really helped the message sink in for K!

Supplies Needed:

  • Piece of white paper
  • Piece of colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge TRUTHFUL www.simplelifemessylife.com

First, have your child cut up the colored piece of paper. Have them make as many little pieces as possible. Don’t tell them why quite yet!

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge TRUTHFUL www.simplelifemessylife.com

Once they are done cutting, tell them to try and glue the colored paper back together just like it was before they cut it. It won’t take long for them to realize this is not possible!

Explain that the paper is like broken trust. Once trust is broken, it is very hard, and sometimes even impossible, to repair the trust like it once was.

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I wasn’t sure if K would make the connection – but he definitely did! This is his “this isn’t possible!” face. It led to a good discussion! (Note: at this point, the “craft” is over, since you can’t actually do it. Feel free to let your child continue to create with the paper and glue though!)

Character Badge

Once you’ve completed all the challenges you’ve earned another character badge! If you’ve done the last seven challenges then this is the last one! (Find the tutorial here to make your own super hero cape and character badges.)

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge TRUTHFUL www.simplelifemessylife.com

If you come up with another way of giving “badges” (or something similar) to keep track of your child’s progress – I’d love to see it! I’d also love to see how you complete the challenges! Tag your post with #herotrainingcc on Instagram or Twitter!

Well, that’s it for week eight of Hero Training! I can’t believe we’re finished! It’s been so fun, I hope you and your little ones have enjoyed it too!

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K with his completed chart!

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Hero Training! Kid’s Character Challenge – Week 7 – Patience

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I can’t believe we only have two weeks of Hero Training left! We will be finishing up just in time for you to start your Advent activities (are you doing Truth in the Tinsel?). This week we are working on a much needed virtue around here – patience!

If you haven’t read the introduction to the series yet, check it out here (it has all the instructions and info you’ll need).

Get past weeks here: week one (helpful)week two (self-controlled)week three (creative)week four (attentive)week five (diligent), week six (joyful)

I hope you have fun doing the challenges and, don’t forget, if you’re joining in be sure to use the hashtag #herotrainingcc on instagram and twitter!

Lesson

Hero Training - Kid's Character Challenge - PatienceHero Trait: Patience

Definition: Waiting without complaining.

Super Hero: Spiderman (honestly, this is the first one that I just really didn’t have a reason for connecting the hero to the trait – but K didn’t seem to mind!)

Memory Verse: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)

Examples of Jesus Displaying this Trait:

  • Jesus was patient with Paul (1 Timothy 1:16)
  • Jesus was patient with the disciples (Mark 4:35-40)

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some ways that Jesus was patient?
  • Can you think of a time that you were patient?
  • Has someone ever been patient with you?
  • Why is it important to be patient?
  • When are some times that you need to be patient?

Notes:

  • We used the peg people we made here to play out some stories of Jesus having patience with his disciples. We also talked about the story of Paul a little bit.
  • With a new baby to get used to these past few months, K has heard a lot about being patient. This was great for getting some extra practice in!
  • Every week we listen to the song “Jesus is my Superhero” to remember who is the best super hero of them all! We talk about how Jesus is the best hero because he saved us and about how he is the only one who can do all the hero traits perfectly. I found this awesome version (Lego stop motion!) of the song on youtube and K loved it!

Challenges

Challenge #1

Memorize this week’s verse!

Challenge #2

Act out a scenario where you have to be patient.

This was great for K to learn more about being patient. We role played a couple common scenarios in our house. In the first, K asked me to read a book, but had to wait patiently while I finished what I was working on. In the second, K practiced waiting for baby J to finish playing with a toy he wanted. I played the part of baby J and he thought it was quite hilarious.

Challenge #3

Learn the motions to the patience song. 

We found this really fun song that is about being patient. We listened to it a couple times and tried out the fun motions that go along with it. We listened to it via this youtube video.

Challenge #4

Make a snack that requires you to be patient.

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Make a yummy treat that you have to wait on for a while before you can eat it. We thought about making popsicles, but decided to make Jello instead. Waiting for it to set up in the fridge was a good time to practice patience!

Challenge #5

Make a glue suncatcher

Similar to challenge #4, this craft requires waiting patiently to see the finished product. If this specific craft doesn’t work for you, feel free to substitute it with any other craft that requires a little bit of waiting. We found the inspiration for this craft here.

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge - Patience

Supplies Needed:

  • Elmer’s glue
  • Plastic lids (from yogurt containers, etc)
  • Pony beads
  • Glitter

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First, fill up the lid with the glue. You’ll need quite a bit because the glue will shrink as it dries.

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Place beads in the glue in whatever design you want.

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I did one too. Couldn’t resist, it was so much fun!

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Next, sprinkle on a little (or a lot!) of glitter. I’m not going to lie, K is almost four years old and I’m pretty sure this is the first time we’ve braved the use of glitter! If you’re not feeling the glitter, feel free to skip this step. In retrospect, we should have put a tray underneath to contain the mess!

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Now comes the patient part! From what I read, they should take 3-4 days to dry. Ours aren’t quite done yet, so I’ll post an update when they are finished!

**UPDATE**

They turned out SO CUTE! This was a really fun craft and we’ll definitely be doing it again. Make sure you really fill that lid up with glue, because it shrinks a lot.

craft to go along with being patient

Character Badge

Once you’ve completed all the challenges you’ve earned another character badge! Find the tutorial here to make your own super hero cape and character badges.

If you come up with another way of giving “badges” (or something similar) to keep track of your child’s progress – I’d love to see it! I’d also love to see how you complete the challenges! Tag your post with #herotrainingcc on Instagram or Twitter!

Well, that’s it for week seven of Hero Training! If you join in, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how it is going in the comments!

Affiliate links included.

Hero Training – Week 6 – Joyful

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge www.simplelifemessylife.com

Week six is a fun one, because it is all about JOY! You know it’ll be a good time when you spend a week focusing on being joyful! 🙂

If you haven’t read the introduction to the series yet, check it out here (it has all the instructions and info you’ll need).

Get past weeks here: week one (helpful)week two (self-controlled)week three (creative)week four (attentive), week five (diligent)

I hope you have fun doing the challenges and, don’t forget, if you’re joining in be sure to use the hashtag #herotrainingcc on instagram and twitter!

Lesson

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge - Joyful

 

Hero Trait: Joyful

Definition: Choosing happiness no matter the situation.

Super Hero: Thor (because he is very joyful, always smiling and laughing)

Memory Verse: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

Examples of Jesus Displaying this Trait:

  • Jesus had joy in the cross (Hebrews 12:2)

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some ways that Jesus was joyful?
  • Can you think of a time that you were joyful?
  • Have you ever seen someone be joyful even when things weren’t good in their life?
  • Why is it important to be joyful?
  • How can we be joyful even when bad things happen?

Notes:

  • Differentiating between joy and happiness is kind of a difficult distinction for a child. We talked about how being joyful is kind of like being happy, except that we can choose to be joyful no matter what is happening.
  • We also talked about how Jesus found joy even in the cross, because he knew what would happen because of it. Like Jesus, we can remember the good and be joyful in every situation.
  • I asked K what good things would help him be joyful even when things weren’t going how he liked – he said pizza! Too funny. I followed that up with how even when everything is bad we will always know that God loves us and we can be joyful about that. 🙂
  • Every week we listen to the song “Jesus is my Superhero” to remember who is the best super hero of them all! We talk about how Jesus is the best hero because he saved us and about how he is the only one who can do all the hero traits perfectly. I found this awesome version (Lego stop motion!) of the song on youtube and K loved it!

Challenges

Challenge #1

Memorize this week’s verse!

Challenge #2

Have a joyful dance party!

Turn up some good music and get your groove on! K’s current favorite is Toby Mac. We like to look songs up on Youtube or stream radio from Pandora.

Challenge #3

Do something for someone to bring them joy. 

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge - Joyful
Making a craft to give to someone

I asked K who and what he would like to do and then I offered my own suggestion. However, he had it in his mind exactly what he wanted to do and who he wanted to do it for. My advice – if your kiddo has an idea, let them roll with it if possible. It may seem silly to you and me, but for them it will be so much more meaningful to bring their own idea to fruition.

Challenge #4

Journal about (or dictate) a time that you were sad or angry.

What made you feel that way? Is there something you could have done or thought about to help you choose to be joyful?

Challenge #5

Draw a picture of a joyful moment in your life.

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Why yes, my child did decide that his joyful moment was… eating pizza! Notice the triangles in our hands. Cause, ya know, it’s not like he’s experienced getting a baby brother, deciding to believe in Jesus, opening presents on Christmas morning, or any of that crazy business. Pizza is where it’s at. Ah well, who doesn’t love a good slice of pizza? 🙂

Character Badge

Once you’ve completed all the challenges you’ve earned another character badge! Find the tutorial here to make your own super hero cape and character badges.

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge - www.simplelifemessylife.com

If you come up with another way of giving “badges” (or something similar) to keep track of your child’s progress – I’d love to see it! I’d also love to see how you complete the challenges! Tag your post with #herotrainingcc on Instagram or Twitter!

Well, that’s it for week six of Hero Training! If you join in, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how it is going in the comments!

Affiliate links included.

Hero Training! Kid’s Character Challenge – Diligence – Week 5

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge www.simplelifemessylife.com

Week five of Hero Training is a week I have been looking forward to for a while! Many times I have told K to “be diligent” as he is working on something, yet in the back of my mind I knew that I really needed to teach him what being diligent even was! So, hooray!, a week devoted to learning about diligence.

If you haven’t read the introduction to the series yet, check it out here (it has all the instructions and info you’ll need).

Get past weeks here: week one (helpful)week two (self-controlled)week three (creative), week four (attentive)

I hope you have fun doing the challenges and, don’t forget, if you’re joining in be sure to use the hashtag #herotrainingcc on instagram and twitter!

Lesson

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge - Week 5 Diligent

 

Hero Trait: Diligent

Definition: Working hard until the job is finished.

Super Hero: Superman (because never stops working until the bad guys are defeated)

Memory Verse: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23)

Examples of Jesus Displaying this Trait:

  • Jesus worked hard at his job of proclaiming the Kingdom of God. (Luke 4:42-44)
  • Jesus carried out God’s will for him until it was finished. (John 19:30)

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some ways that Jesus was diligent?
  • Are you diligent when you work?
  • Can you think of a time that you weren’t diligent?
  • Have you ever seen someone else being diligent? What were they doing?
  • Why is it important to be diligent?

Notes:

  • We talked about how Jesus was diligent to carry out God’s job for him. We talked about how there was no car, bus, or plane for him to take from city to city – he had to walk everywhere! In Luke 4 it talks about how the people tried to get Jesus to stay with them, but he said he needed to continue on, telling people about the Kingdom of God.
  • We also talked about how when Jesus died on the cross, he said “it is finished” because his job was done. He did what he was supposed to do all the way to the cross.
  • With a little boy who easily gets distracted while working on something, we have plenty of opportunities to practice diligence!
  • Every week we listen to the song “Jesus is my Superhero” to remember who is the best super hero of them all! We talk about how Jesus is the best hero because he saved us and about how he is the only one who can do all the hero traits perfectly. I found this awesome version (Lego stop motion!) of the song on youtube and K loved it!

Challenges

Challenge #1

Memorize this week’s verse!

Challenge #2

Traverse a balance beam

Hero Training!Kid's Character Challenge

It takes a lot of hard work to cross a balance beam. You need to be diligent or you just might fall! We just happen to have a balance beam at our local park, but you can also use a piece of wood, a rope, some tape, or even a line on the sidewalk!

Challenge #3

Do a chore without any whining or complaining. 

Do your best work with absolutely no grumbling! Read Philippians 2:14-15.

Challenge #4

Learn something new.

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Whether it’s learning to tie your shoes or trying a new recipe, learning a new task takes a lot of hard work and diligence. Pick something you’ve never done before and give it a try. (We tried learning a new game) Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time, be diligent and try again!

Challenge #5

Make word art out of this week’s verse.

Your child can write out the verse and decorate it, or you can download a printable coloring page version of this week’s verse here. Display the verse near were your child has a chore chart or does most of his or her chores.

Character Badge

Once you’ve completed all the challenges you’ve earned another character badge! Find the tutorial here to make your own super hero cape and character badges.

If you come up with another way of giving “badges” (or something similar) to keep track of your child’s progress – I’d love to see it! I’d also love to see how you complete the challenges! Tag your post with #herotrainingcc on Instagram or Twitter!

Well, that’s it for week five of Hero Training! If you join in, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how it is going in the comments!

Affiliate links included.

Hero Training! Kid’s Character Challenge {Week 4 – Attentive}

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge www.simplelifemessylife.com

Week four of Hero Training brought a new word to learn – attentive! While this may have been a character trait K had never heard of, it was definitely something he needed some practice in! We kept things simple this week to pair with the learning of a new concept – but we still had lots of fun!

If you haven’t read the introduction to the series yet, check it out here (it has all the instructions and info you’ll need).

Get past weeks here: week one (helpful)week two (self-controlled), week three (creative)

I hope you have fun doing the challenges and, don’t forget, if you’re joining in be sure to use the hashtag #herotrainingcc on instagram and twitter!

Lesson

 

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge - Week 4 Attentive

Hero Trait: Attentive

Definition: Paying attention and ready to act.

Super Hero: Batman (because Batman is always attentive to the Bat Signal – ready to spring into action)

Memory Verse: Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight (Proverbs 4:20)

Examples of Jesus Displaying this Trait:

  • Jesus being attentive to the woman who touched his cloak (Matthew 9:18-22)
  • Attentive to the little children in Luke 18:15-17
  • Attentive to the blind man on the side of the road (Luke 18:35-43)

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some ways that Jesus was attentive?
  • What was a time that you were attentive?
  • Can you think of a time that you weren’t attentive?
  • Why is it important to be attentive?

Notes:

  • Although I only gave a few examples, Jesus was very attentive to what was going on around him. He was always paying attention to others, ready to act.
  • Since this was a new word, we talked about what it meant a lot. Being an easily distractible little boy, K got plenty of opportunity to practice this character trait!
  • Every week we listen to the song “Jesus is my Superhero” to remember who is the best super hero of them all! We talk about how Jesus is the best hero because he saved us and about how he is the only one who can do all the hero traits perfectly. I found this awesome version (Lego stop motion!) of the song on youtube and K loved it!

Challenges

Challenge #1

Memorize this week’s verse!

Challenge #2

Play “Simon Says

This game requires paying close attention! We even changed it to “Batman Says.”

Untitled design

Challenge #3

Come right away when called 10 times.

 

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge Week 4 Attentive

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge Week 4 Attentive

If your child needs to work on another area of being attentive, feel free to adjust this challenge to reflect that. (Side note: You can get that preschool routine printable you see on the fridge here)

UPDATE: A kind reader emailed me a fun Batman chart she made to use with her son for this challenge. She wanted me to pass it on, so if you’d like it, download it here.

Challenge #4

Go outside and pay attention.

Close your eyes and listen closely. What can you hear? Keep your eyes closed for as long as you can and then talk about all the things you were able to hear when you payed attention.

Challenge #5

Design your own Bat Signal to remind you to be attentive like Batman. 

Grab a printable bat signal here and have your child decorate however he or she would like. An older child might enjoy making a real Bat Signal.

Character Badge

Once you’ve completed all the challenges you’ve earned another character badge! Find the tutorial here to make your own super hero cape and character badges.

If you come up with another way of giving “badges” (or something similar) to keep track of your child’s progress – I’d love to see it! I’d also love to see how you complete the challenges! Tag your post with #herotrainingcc on Instagram or Twitter!

Well, that’s it for week four of Hero Training! If you join in, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how it is going in the comments!

Affiliate links included.

Hero Training! Kid’s Character Challenge {Week 3 – Creative}

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge www.simplelifemessylife.com

It’s week three of Hero Training and we are having fun learning about how to be creative!

If you haven’t read the introduction to the series yet, check it out here (it has all the instructions and info you’ll need).

Get past weeks here: week one (helpful), week two (self-controlled)

I hope you have fun doing the challenges and, don’t forget, if you’re joining in be sure to use the hashtag #herotrainingcc on instagram and twitter!

Lesson

 

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge

Hero Trait: Creative

Definition: Doing something in a new way.

Super Hero: Iron Man (because Tony Stark is an inventor who is always creating new things)

Memory Verse: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Examples of Jesus Displaying this Trait:

  • God created the whole world! (Genesis 1:1)
  • Jesus heals a blind man with mud. (John 9:1-12)
  • Miracle of a coin in the fish’s mouth. (Matthew 17:26-27)

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some ways that Jesus was/is creative?
  • How are you creative?
  • Why do you think it is good for us to be creative?
  • Have you ever solved a problem with a creative solution?

Notes:

  • This week we mainly focused on God’s creativity shown through creating the world (which Jesus was a part of – see John 1:1) – although He did have some creative miracles! We talked about how God is the most creative of anyone, because he created everything!
  • We enjoy a lot of artistic type creative endeavors, but this week we also explored how we can use creativity in lots of areas, including solving problems.
  • Every week we listen to the song “Jesus is my Superhero” to remember who is the best super hero of them all! We talk about how Jesus is the best hero because he saved us and about how he is the only one who can do all the hero traits perfectly. I found this awesome version (Lego stop motion!) of the song on youtube and K loved it!

Challenges

Challenge #1

Memorize this week’s verse!

Challenge #2

Build an invention/creation out of recycling materials (we always keep a box of good materials in the craft area).

Challenge #3

Brainstorm five ways to solve a problem you have.

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge

 

This was K’s first time trying out brainstorming. We used his white board easel and tried to solve the problem of his messy room! I suggested #5 and he thought it was hilarious. Number 6 was all his idea! haha 🙂

Challenge #4

Learn about the days of creation.

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge

First we read the creation story in the Rhyme Bible Storybook. Then, I made six square on a piece of paper and K drew a picture for each day of creation. You could also try something off of this page.

Challenge #5

Do an art project.

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge

 

 

K chose painting! We set up a big piece of paper outside since it was a beautiful day!

Note: Have a child that isn’t a big fan of art? Substitute any type of creative project! 

Character Badge

Once you’ve completed all the challenges you’ve earned another character badge! Find the tutorial here to make your own super hero cape and character badges.

 

Hero Training! Kid's Character Challenge

If you come up with another way of giving “badges” (or something similar) to keep track of your child’s progress – I’d love to see it! I’d also love to see how you complete the challenges! Tag your post with #herotrainingcc on Instagram or Twitter!

Well, that’s it for week two of Hero Training! If you join in, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how it is going in the comments!

Affiliate links included.

Hero Training! Character Challenge for Kid’s {Week #2 SELF CONTROL}

Hero Training: Kid's Character Challenge www.simplelifemessylife.com

We are back for week two of Hero Training and excited to share all the fun things we did! This week we focused on the character trait of self control.

If you haven’t read the introduction to the series yet, check it out here (it has all the instructions and info you’ll need).

I hope you have fun doing the challenges and, don’t forget, if you’re joining in be sure to use the hashtag #herotrainingcc on instagram and twitter!

Lesson

Hero Training - Kid's Character Challenge - Self Control

Hero Trait: Self Control

Definition: Doing the right thing even when you don’t feel like it

Super Hero: Hulk (because he needs to use self control to not smash his friends)

Memory Verse: A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. (Proverbs 25:28 NLT)

Examples of Jesus Displaying this Trait:

  • Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11)

Discussion Questions:

  • Can you think of a time when you needed to use self control?
  • What are some things you can do to get under control when you are out of control?
  • Can you think of a time that Jesus used self control?
  • Why is it important to have self control?

Notes:

  • This week we focused on the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. This was a new story for K and required a lot of discussion and explanation of new ideas. Since this passage wasn’t found in any of our children’s story Bibles, I did my best to paraphrase the story. Then, we opened my Bible find the three times Jesus used self control when the devil was tempting him. We talked about how Jesus was probably really tired and hungry, but he still did the right thing.
  • K is a pretty big fan of the Hulk, so we talked a lot about him this week. Amidst our many “Hulk smash!” sessions we talked about how the Hulk has to use self control to not smash his friends and he uses self control to calm down and turn back into Bruce Banner.
  • This week had a lot of good connections to times of discipline. We were able to refer back to our discussions on self control and talk about whether or not K was “doing the right thing even though he didn’t feel like it.” It also gave us the language to talk through making good choices using self- control.
  • Every week we listen to the song “Jesus is my Superhero” to remember who is the best super hero of them all! We talk about how Jesus is the best hero because he saved us and about how he is the only one who can do all the hero traits perfectly. I found this awesome version (Lego stop motion!) of the song on youtube and K loved it!

Challenges

Challenge #1

Memorize this week’s verse!

Challenge #2

Use blocks to build a city with a wall around it (in reference to our verse this week). Older kids can use Lego or try building a fort.

Challenge #3

Next time you are frustrated and angry take a breath and count to ten to calm down. (We practiced this and then used it many times throughout the week!)

Challenge #4

Do a “self-control” egg walk. 

Hero Training - Kid's Character Challenge - Self Control Egg Walk

Hero Training - Kid's Character Challenge - Self Control Egg Walk

Try walking with an egg balanced on a spoon. It takes a lot of control to keep the egg balanced! K got pretty far until his egg dropped to the ground. This was the perfect time to talk about how he needed control to balance the egg, but when he lost control and dropped the egg it broke. Just like how in life, when we lose control of ourself, we can hurt ourself or others. Some examples we thought of were: getting angry with your brother and pushing him, using mean words and hurting someone’s feelings, eating a cookie that was saved for daddy and making him sad, and eating a whole bowl of candy and getting an upset tummy.

Challenge #5

Self Control Self Portrait Craft

Hero Training - Self Control Self Portrait

Supplies Needed:

  • Large roll of paper
  • Markers (these are our favorite!)
  • Scissors

Directions:

Trace your child on the large roll of paper. Cut out the body shape. Have your child draw a face that is showing self control on one side and a face that isn’t on the other side. Then, decorate the rest of the cut-out. (Alternatively, if you don’t have a large roll of paper, you could do it on the sidewalk with chalk or draw a smaller self portrait)

Note: While K was working on this we were being silly and I was pretending to talk for the paper guy he was making. Using a silly voice, one of the things I said was, “I always use self control!” K looked at me and said “then he’s Jesus!” It took me a second to register what he meant. I had said “always” – he caught me! If his paper guy always used self control, then he had to be Jesus! I laughed. “You’re right,” I said, “I shouldn’t have said that, how about ‘I always try to use self control’?” K chimed in, “But I don’t do it all the time!” The whole conversation was so great – we have talked about this so many times and he is really getting it!

Character Badge

Once you’ve completed all the challenges you’ve earned another character badge! Find the tutorial here to make your own super hero cape and character badges.

Hero Training - Self Control

Hero Training - Self Control

 

If you come up with another way of giving “badges” (or something similar) to keep track of your child’s progress – I’d love to see it! I’d also love to see how you complete the challenges! Tag your post with #herotrainingcc on Instagram or Twitter!

Well, that’s it for week two of Hero Training! If you join in, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how it is going in the comments!

Affiliate links included.