I understand that creativity is not everyone’s strength. So when I say the next step is to imagine creative ways to teach the theme what I really mean is: Google.
First, decide on a method that will work best for your family. If the thought of a gallon of glitter spilled on your carpet makes your blood pressure soar, then your version of creativity shouldn’t include sparkly crafts.
We were not always very imaginative. Very often we simply talked together with no special activity at all. The important thing is that you get your family communicating about spiritual things. But if you can plan ahead to do it in a way that they will be more likely to remember it later on–that is a definite plus.
There are so many resources for ideas online to creatively teach lessons to kids of all ages—even teenagers. Use them!
- Sunday School lesson plans
- Homeschool Bible lesson plans
- Science Projects
- Movie Clips
- Family Ministry websites like Focus on the Family
- Student Ministry websites like YouthMinistry.com
- Make something up!
For our theme on LIGHT, I wish we would have thought of something like this:
Genesis 1:3 Have everyone sit around the table. Ask everyone to close their eyes and/or rest their eyes on their arms so all the light is blocked out. Talk about blindness and how for some people that is how everything appears. Darkness all the time. Talk about things that would be missed if we couldn’t see them: sunsets, flowers, snowflakes, Christmas lights. For older kids: Obstacles that would cause danger. Words on a page to read. Musical notes on a score to play. The television, our pets, our loved ones. While they are still in the dark, place a surprise of some sort in front of them: a $1 coin, a cupcake, a hot wheels car, or simply a phrase on a note like “Bowling tonight 🙂.” Talk about the Bible verse from Genesis. Discuss how amazing it is that all God had to do was say the words and POOF! He gave us one of our greatest gifts—the gift of light by which we can see all the other good gifts. One by one let everyone open their eyes and see the good gift in front of them. (Pro Tip for dads: “Foot massage” or “I do dishes tonight” will definitely be considered a good gift if mom opens her eyes to something like that!)
John 8:12 Sit in a dark room (make it as pitch dark as possible.) Gather the kids around you and tell them there are _____ number of things hidden in the room (stuffed animals, cans of soda, candy bars, dollar bills etc.) Tell them they are free to go looking for them (but make it too difficult even for older kids to find any—maybe they are up too high and wouldn’t be found with searching hands). Little kids won’t even want to venture far from mom or dad. Then call everyone back to the couch or table. With the room still dark, give everyone a flashlight. Allow them to search without even moving around and show how it is possible with the light but was impossible without it. Discuss the ways that Jesus helps us see things more clearly (depending on the age and understanding of your kids you will talk about more concrete things (how to share with friends, how to obey) and move into more abstract concepts as your kids get older (how to put God first, how to serve). Being able to follow Jesus is only possible because he brings the light to our path.
The next and final step is also the most fun: It’s when you get to actually lead your family through a Christmas Family Meeting.