I need a simple lesson plan explaining the origin of Easter eggs and bunnies.
I don’t think much explanation is necessary. Since the eggs and bunnies have nothing to do with our Christian celebration, I think the simplest explanation is that they related to springtime when we are happy that winter is over. Spring also represents that new life will be coming forth from eggs, and nothing seems to represent new life as cutely as a bunny. However, as Christians, we think nothing represents new life better than JESUS, who proved he can not only bring new life, but he can even raise up the dead to new life!
I completely ignore the history of pagan celebrations with children. They are irrelevant and confusing to kids, and they are really just ancient history that has no bearing on today’s culture anyway. That isn’t why the eggs and bunnies are here today, so it’s a bit of a straw man. I would guess most of my non-Christian friends would take a slight offense at (or just laugh off) me accusing them of decorating with eggs and bunnies because of some ancient secular celebration that they probably know little about either!
So keep it simple, and quickly bring things back around to Jesus! Note in Galatians 6:15, Paul didn’t waste time on cultural debates, and instead said, “…what counts is the new creation.”
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Tweet, Facebook and E-mail this URL to all your friends and family: www.kidology.org/hunt Easter is a pretty big holiday, and while it doesn’t get the attention that Christmas gets, it’s a pretty important event! In fact, all of Christianity rests on this historic event! And yet, often kids don’t know all the important details of this story as well as they do Christmas. So I sat down with my wife a few months ago and we brain-stormed, “What would be a fun game to help kids learn the details of the Resurrection Story in an exciting way?”
We came up with a game based on the classic CLUE game and we think you and your kids are going to LOVE IT! We hired the top artist in children’s ministry, Todd Hampson, who has worked on What’s in the Bible, JellyTelly, Order of the Ancient, Yancy (not Nancy) videos and more – and then got our very own webmaster Steve Tanner, who is a CLUE game connoisseur – and came up with a game that is both fun and educational. Next, I asked a new friend I met at CPC in Orlando, Stanley Mearse, to team up with me on writing twenty short devotionals on the places, objects and people of the Resurrection Story, and he came up with the idea of adding QR codes to the game to add an extra element of interactive fun. Others helped with editing, design, game input and tweaks, and in the end, the collaborative process has resulted in one of the most creative and fun projects from Kidology yet! It is called: Resurrection CLUE HUNT!
Ladies… if you really want to impress your husband for Christmas this year. Don’t get him a tie. Get him something, anything, from Scottevest.com
I’m serious. And no, I’m not getting paid for this blog post, and get no benefit from it. I’m honestly just doing all the ladies out there a HUGE favor.
Your man loves his gadgets. But he doesn’t want to look like a nerd or dork carrying them around. He loves his iPad, but he doesn’t know how to carry it around without looking like he is taking work with him. He doesn’t want to be one of those guys… You know the type, with the batman utility belt filled with gadgets (like the step dad in Night at the Museum)
And he’s not going to wear some STUPID tech belt like I saw on my last flight in Sky Mall Magazine:
Are you kidding me? RIGHT.
But with a Jacket, Trench Coat, Sport Coat, Vest, Hoodie, Shirt or even boxers from Scottevest – your huck of love will be able to hide his tech gear and look like a normal sharply dressed man you won’t be embarrassed to be seen with. (Until he pulls out that iPad in the middle of the movie* from that hidden pocket to check IMDB to see who that actor is.)
So make this the Christmas you score major points, and tell ‘em @Kidologist sent you in the check out. (Just for fun)
How do you help kids develop an “Attitude of Gratitude?” Every holiday seems to get derailed with the wrong focus. Christmas is about getting presents and Easter is about candy – and Thanksgiving can end up being about FOOD!
MANY many years ago I wanted to develop a game for my students at church that would help them focus on being thankful, but in a fun and engaging way. I also had the issue of it being a low attendance Sunday with families traveling and as a result I often was short on volunteers. What to do?
I ended up creating a large group game that became so HUGELY POPULAR it became an annual tradition. The game has been available on Kidology.org for over ten years in my “home made” version – but we finally decided to create a “real” version worthy of the FUN that it creates and make it available for wider use!
If you have ever played Parker Brother’s classic card game of PIT – you will already know the basic rules – and get a mental image of how fun the game is. But instead of just a few players yelling out, “One! One!” or “Three! Three!” around a card table – picture a room filled with 100 kids milling around all calling out, “Two! Two! Two!” or “Four! Four!” or “Oh, no! I got a Gimmie!”
For you see, instead of collecting commodities, the kids are collecting things they are thankful for! And instead of inserting a “Bear” or “Bull” card there are some “Gimmie! Gimmie!” cards that must be avoided at all costs. Once kids have collected a set of one item they are thankful for, they sit down. The goal is to not be the last kids left stuck with the “Gimmie! Gimmie!”s.
In the end, everyone is a winner – and the chaos turns to a short but fun lesson on how important it is to be thankful for what we have, and to avoid the “Gimmie Gimmies” – that attitude of focusing on what we can GET instead of what we can GIVE (or already have.)
If you are looking for an easy and FUN activity for this month in Kids Church or even with your family – check out Kidology’s new downloadable game, “GIMMIE GIMMIE!” It comes in full color or grey scale and includes customizable playing cards so you can modify the game as you wish! Full game instructions included.
Tonight was the night for our annual family pumpkin carving. Which means, I carve two pumpkins and Sara carves out hers. (I’m not letting Luke handle a sharp knife just yet!) But we did let him design his pumpkin on paper first.
It was fun looking at pumpkin designs online first – and boy oh boy are there some amazing pumpkin designs out there! So much potential in a simple pumpkin! You start with this plain ol’ pumpkin, and yet it can become anything you want it to be. It all depends on how creative you are willing to be, how patient you are willing to be, how careful you are willing to cut away at it, how much time you willing to spend on it, and how unique you want it to be. You can settle for something like everyone else – or you can decide to be different and unique. And of course, practice helps you improve over time. My least favorite part is cleaning out the insides – but it is a necessary evil if you want the light inside to shine out!
It kind of reminds me of how we build our ministries. There is so much potential! And how effective we are all depends on the same factors. Are we willing to look at others to see what they have done? There is lots of help online available too! From Kidology.org and other great websites. And if you are willing to be creative, patient, and carefully cut away at it, and put time and effort into it – you can build a pretty amazing ministry! Are you just going to build a basic one like every other church? Or do something unique and different that will draw kids and families? And of course, practice will help you improve over time. And don’t forget, if you really want God’s Light to shine through you and your ministry, you must be willing to get rid of the junk that that distracts. The good news is – inside that junk, are seeds that can result in spiritual growth!
So how did our pumpkin carving go?
I went with a SCARY pumpkin!
Sara was much more creative and artistic with hers….
Luke made his throwing up…. (totally his idea!)
If we were having a contest, I think Sara won!!
Pumpkins won’t last… but your ministry will have eternal results! If we can put this much time and energy and fun into something so fleeting… what are you doing to make your ministry creative and lasting?
It’s not a contest… but it does matter! BE CREATIVE!
Some might be surprised that I would write a curriculum for October that addresses Halloween – especially four weeks worth – a few offended even, others thankful. So in advance of it’s release I want to explain why.
The decision regarding whether or not to write this unit was not an easy one. I understand that the feelings surrounding Halloween and how we are to respond to it as Christians run strong on both sides. On one end, there are those who decide to completely ignore the ‘holiday’ (in quotes for it is hardly a ‘holy day’), and on the other end are those who wish to take advantage of the opportunity to reach kids and families through outreaches and Fall events, with many views in between.
By writing this unit, I am in no way condoning the events and practices surrounding Halloween that Christians disagree with and even sought to be very cautious in the images selected to both reflect the season while avoiding anything that is contrary to our belief system. I therefore focused more on bats, pumpkins, spiders, and items that exist in nature and that the kids enjoy.
But why do it in the first place?
There is a part of us that enjoys being “scared” – it is one way we deal with our fears. It is why we enjoy roller coasters and scary movies. By confronting our fears, or putting ourselves into fearful situations, we can feel a sense of control – at least that way, we are scaring ourselves rather than being a victim of something beyond our control.
As our culture’s obsession with Halloween continues to grow with each passing year, some reports claim that it is now surpassing Christmas in retail sales and in decorating investment by Americans. My desire is not to add to that focus, but instead, to acknowledge that interest and counter it by preparing our children with a biblical perspective on death.
It has always been my belief that the reason almost every culture has a “festival of death” of some sort is because of the unspoken fear of death that those without Christ carry around with them, perhaps even so deeply that they don’t consciously acknowledge it. Movie directors like Tim Burton create dark movies that constantly delve into death and the afterlife, and Hollywood pumps out one “end of the world” scenario movie after another because at everyone’s core lies the ultimate question, “What happens to me after I die?”
Though many parents might, I won’t take my son to movies like the upcoming “Frankenweenie,” but I do want to teach him, and equip others to teach their kids, about the One who trulyCAN raise the dead!
Halloween provides our culture with a way of making light of death. We laugh at death. We mock it. We decorate with skeletons and ghosts, we dress up with blood and gore, and we put on costumes of monsters and other frightful creatures and go door to door asking for candy. But after it is all said and done, that piercing question goes unanswered. And quiet nagging questions remain… “What will happen to me after I die? Will I really just return to dust? Will it all really just have been for nothing? Is there a hell?”
This unit is an opportunity to give kids the Answer. For praise God, there IS an answer. Jesus conquered Death. Death is NOT the end! And there is life after death! We owe it to our children to stand up to Halloween and teach our kids that there is an alternative to mocking the fear of death. Instead, we can teach them that we know a Savior who faced death and destroyed it and can raise us up too!
HERE IS AN OVERVIEW OF THE LESSONS:
Lesson 1: A Dead Girl Rises (The Raising of Jairus’ Daughter) Scripture: Luke 8:40-56 Scream Theme: “Have No Fear, Jesus is Here!”
Lesson 2: A Dead Man Walks Out of a Tomb! (The Raising of Lazarus) Scripture:John 11:1-44 Scream Theme: “When Jesus Nears, You Can Wipe Your Tears!”
Lesson 3: A Dead Man at a Funeral, Wakes Up!
(The Centurion’s Faith and The Raising of the Widow’s Son) Scripture:Luke 7:1-17
Scream Theme: “Death Must Run, When It Meets God’s Son!”
Lesson 4: Dead Man Raises Himself, Claims He Can Raise Others
(The Resurrection of Jesus) Scripture:Luke 24:1-53 Scream Theme: “Death Has No Sting, When Jesus Does His Thing!”
I’m excited to teach on the Resurrection at a time other than Easter, since it is so central to the Christian Faith! It is a powerful lesson, and a great opportunity to present the Gospel to the children. In every lesson, the kids learn not only how Jesus has power over death, but also how He has a plan for our lives, how He is caring and how He sees our needs and moves to meet them.
I have fun with the theme, while avoiding ghosts, zombies, witches and things I think will be the most offensive, though I realize this unit won’t be for everyone. I’ll give a refund to anyone who after buying it doesn’t agree that it is a powerful unit that will teach SOLID BIBLICAL LESSONS THAT SHOW JESUS HAS CONQUERED DEATH AND EVIL! So there is no risk if you’ll take a chance with me. I’ve allowed sever skeptic friends of mine see advance drafts and every single one of them have been exceedingly pleased with the result. I’ve been relieved with their feedback!
But know, it does allow kids to have fun with the scary theme. Camp fire stories, glow in the dark games, an optional (and short) funny “Mr. Bones” skeleton video to summarize each lesson. (Sample below) If you are familiar with DiscipleTown, which I write – you’ll see many of the same familiar elements: A PowerPoint template, an editable letter to Parents to help them understand why you are using a Halloween theme as well, object lessons and other helpful elements.
In the end, I think this unit will not only be fun for kids, but will help re-frame a season we tend to just cringe through and endure. Instead – why not seize it and say, “We’re not afraid of Halloween! For we know the One who has looked Death in the face and conquered it! Let’s stand up and tell our kids so!”
Every lesson follows a S.C.A.R.Y. outline:
Scary Story (Bible Story)
Crazy Fun (Game)
Afraid? Not! (The Lesson)
Relate Time (Small Group or Discussion)
Yes God! (Application)
and ends with R.I.P. = Respond In Prayer.
It’s a very fun unit your kids will enjoy, BUT it is PACKED with solid biblical lessons that are powerful and will hit hard on topics that are not often addressed as directly and creatively as this unit enables.
It is my prayer that this October thousands of kids will look at Halloween and the Power of God in a whole new way!
MR. BONES VIDEO from Lesson One:
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the curriculum, feel free to post them in this discussion on Kidology.org. (link coming soon) However, I’m not looking for arguments about Halloween. I respect those decide to not do anything with the holiday, that is a valid decision. This curriculum is for those who choose to address it.
The curriculum will also come with a complete Trunk or Treat Fall Outreach Planning Guide written by myself and two other children’s pastors as an added bonus!
Kidology.org‘s Mission is to EQUIP and ENCOURAGE those who minister to children – part of that equipping is gathering together the BEST resources for special events, and every year we pull together the best Easter Resources. Here is a sample of just three of the Easter Resources we highlight over on the Easter Resource Guide on Kidology.
CHECK IT OUT:
We know you use Kidology for great ideas, such as those found in our Easter Zone. If you are looking for more resources, such as helpful curriculum, here’s a guide to some Easter products in the Kidology Store you should explore!
Tadpole Tails brings bring you a 4-week, sitcom-style video series featuring the news team from Breaking Action Daily News. This small-town newscast is dead last in the ratings until the skeptical producer, Bentley, orders news anchor Walter Riley to report that Jesus is a fake.
With the help of a young boy and a mysterious janitor, Walters investigative reporting leads him to a pastor, professor, physician, and printer. Each episode sheds new light on the fact that Jesus is real! While this may be “good news” to Walter, it causes lots of tension with the B.A.D. news team.
X-treme Feats, a 4-week Easter unit from River’s Edge, can also be used any time of the year. Explore John 3:16 in a fresh new way as kids learn about Jesus’ birth, Nicodemus and spiritual birth, and Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Kids will walk away with not only a deeper understanding of John 3:16 but will learn how belief in Jesus transforms their lives.
The lessons include Plungerman (drama), X-treme Feats trivia, X-treme Feats performer story, Bible Story, Prayer, X-treme Feat (illusion/science experiment), X-treme Stunt along with optional activities – craft, snack, comic strip, Bible memory activity, small group questions. A one-page X-treme Feats Herald is included for kids to take home. The Herald gives parents ideas for discussions and activities to do at home.
CSI Jerusalem is a 4-week Easter unit from River’s Edge. Through fun, hands-on forensics science activities, explore the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. Investigate the lives of those who knew him well and their reactions to the events.
As we learn about Peter, Mary Magdalene, John and Judas’ actions and reactions, we are challenged to not only believe in Jesus but to allow him to transform our lives through his forgiveness and his love.
The lessons contain drama, puppets (optional), interactive Bible stories, forensic lab activities, object lessons, games, crafts, snack ideas, Bible memory activities and parent take home pages.
That’s what this weekend is all about. It’s about the Grace God showed us by looking past our short-comings, our failures, and our imperfections… and loving us anyway.
It’s about wanting us to be Family in spite of us. It’s about Him DYING to make us Family, even though we were wrapped up in ourselves and our needs.
We’ve all got people in our lives (and families) and drive us nuts and who are wrapped up in themselves. People who have let us down. People who don’t deserve a second chance. People who don’t deserve forgiveness. People who are a “lost cause.”
Christ was demonstrating for us what He expects of us by what He did for us. While WE were a lost cause, beyond hope, undeserving, selfish and wrapped up in OURselves – He died for us, and then did the biggest “come back” in His-Story to redeem us.
We have no excuse to hold anyone at arm’s length or hold a grudge. Those who have truly experienced Grace, find it so much easier and natural to extend Grace – for they have been to the foot of the Cross and begged for it.
This Easter, look around for who you can be Jesus to… someone perhaps you’ve overlooked, forgotten, or even given a cold shoulder too… and welcome them back.
After all, it’s what Jesus did for you and me on the first Good Friday and Easter not so long ago. (In God’s eternal timing)
What am I giving my son for Easter? Of course he will get up and wonder where we have hidden his Easter Basket – and we will play our annual “Hot and Cold” game, just as my father and mother played with me and my sisters.
“Your so cold your toes are gonna freeze and fall off!”
“OUCH! You’d better put your shoes on you’re so hot!”
“Oh, My! You need a pot holder you’re so HOT!”
Soon the basket full of candy and goodies has been discovered, only to be told, “Oh, no! We gotta get ready for church! Hurry up! Where has the time gone!”
But along with the candy and little toys, there was always a gift of spiritual significance. Something to return some meaning to all the secular hoopla and manages to sneak into our Christian holidays now-a-days. And this year, I am so excited that DiscipleLand has JUST the thing for young learners! It’s a brand new Bible Story Book – but it’s more than just a beautiful re-telling of Bible stories, it a parenting tool that helps intentional parents talk to their kids about the character traits our our Amazing God! And that is just what I want to do with my son. So I can’t wait to put the My Awesome God Bible into his Easter Basket in a few weeks.
You can order it on Kidology.org or on DiscipleLand.com and use discount code “Kidologist” and save $3. (An extra buck!) Either way is fine with me! I’m just glad YOUR KIDS are going to have such a wonderful way to be learning 200 stories and with them more about our Amazing God!
I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
~ Stephen R. Covey