Early Childhood Activities Anchored to Truth and Stability

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

More than anything, I want my kids, throughout their lives, to know how loved they are. I want them to savor the beauty of God’s creation, to know His peace, and to pour out His love. With recent school closures and social distancing guidelines, reorienting myself and my family to the new normal has added complications to my already messy life. I’ve also wrestled with what to share, how to share it, and what to omit for my kids’ protection to anchor my family more intentionally to Christ instead of fear. While our regular schedules have been upended due to the current pandemic and worldwide angst, we’ve also been given a unique opportunity to go back to a lifestyle that was commonplace before the 19th century—a time of embracing familial tasks and sharing with our neighbors and loved ones in an intimate way.

This newly given gift of more time with our families is a canvas upon which we can pause to notice God’s serendipitous surprises. Knowing that our salvation is secure, we can rest in a foundation that is constant and unchanging—Jesus’ presence among His people. This knowledge frees us to focus on what is lasting and what endures forever instead of focusing on the mess which is ever-changing in ourselves, our homes, and our world. With this focus in mind, I’ve put together a list of everyday ideas for making the most of the extended time at home with young kids.

Ten Ideas for Transitioning to More Time at Home

  1. 5-5-5
    • In the morning, set aside five minutes of praise, followed by five minutes in God’s word, and five minutes of prayer. This catchy, simple way of organizing morning devotions was shared with me by my dear friend Bethany Lepe.
  1. Create
    • Gather items from nature, old magazines, and stationery supplies. Thicken washable paint with shaving cream to make whipped paint. Old fruits and vegetables can be cut and used as stamps to create interesting patterns and shapes. See what kind of art can transpire.
    • Take the extra time to cover your kitchen table with flour and teach your kids how to make Grandma’s egg noodle recipe.
    • Throw a blanket over the back of two dining chairs and take turns putting on a puppet show with stuffed animals or homemade puppets.
  1. Share with Neighbors
    • Each day, share a note, treat, or walk with a neighbor.
    • My friend Linda Kam and I have a “food exchange” whereby she will share a meal or snack with our family, and I will return the container within the week with food I have prepared. It adds flavor, an element of surprise, and joy to my week, and we delight in talking about our shared recipes. We photograph the meals for an added element of fun.
  1. Say Thank You
    • Thank-you note writing is an easy way to share Christ’s love and keep a perspective of gratitude.
  1. Practice Sabbath Hour
  1. Create Fellowship
    • Walk the neighborhood and offer the gift of conversation to those you see. Share God’s love with your neighbors by showing interest in their tasks and lives and listening to their concerns.
    • Invite one other family over for a devotion; keeping in mind the current restrictions, you could also do this over your preferred video chat method. Take part in the enduring practice of sharing in fellowship within the home.
  1. Plan a Kids Bible Study
    • Set aside a forty-five-minute slot each week to share in God’s word, a snack, and a craft. Share prayer requests and follow up on these requests in the coming days. In studying Daniel, we might remind our kids that they may find themselves surrounded by fear and danger in this life, but Christ gives us His Spirit of peace that surpasses understanding.
  1. Designate Family Prayer Time
    • I was inspired to make family prayer a part of our evening routine a year ago when our downstairs neighbors, Tsige and Wondimu Mathewos, shared their comprehensive family prayer schedule:
      • Monday: nuclear family
      • Tuesday: extended family
      • Wednesday: friends
      • Thursday: governing authorities
      • Friday: missions and missionaries
      • Saturday: Sunday worship services, pastors, and church ministries
      • Sunday: the next week and vocation
    • Our kids often pray for the toilet, stuffed animals, forks, and trees. We giggle but are also reminded that God cares about every aspect of our lives, including physical gifts of provision.
  1. Teach Stewardship
    • Clean out your closets and make plans to donate unwanted or unneeded items. Taking care of the gifts the Lord has given us teaches our kids to be good stewards. More time in the home provides the opportunity to slow down and focus on one or two ways we might help our kids to grow in this area.
  1. Enjoy Quiet and Rest
    • Embrace this new schedule as a time to notice the coloration in each others’ eyes, the scrumptiousness of your children’s cheeks, and the splendor of the newly blooming magnolia. Unplug more often than not. Allow yourself to rest, knowing that God is in control in the midst of the mess, and He covers us with love. Soon enough, life will again involve carpool and packed lunches, but for now, we hold one another, knowing Christ anchors us.

If I’ve shown my kids they are loved in times when they hear too many worries for their little ears, and by whom they are loved, and if I can encourage them to pour this love out to others, then I have done my job, and my kids have received a good education. I know there is a time and season for everything, and in this season, I am reminded to come back to home, dig into what I have, love my people, and give myself permission to breathe, create, and even rejoice.

Scripture: ESV®.

Get children moving and learning about God’s Word 

with Wiggle & Wonder

Picture of Jessica Wrasman
Written by

Jessica Wrasman

Jessica and her husband, Andy, and their two young children currently live in St. Louis. You can track their adventures on Instagram by following @Jessicawrasman.

Subscribe to all CPH Blog topics (Worship, Read, Study, Teach, and Serve)