Over the past few weeks, what we find ourselves focusing a lot of our attention on is what is NOT happening in our world. Events are not happening, school is not happening, and for a majority of us, in-office work is not happening.
These realities may overwhelm us and create a sense of panic, fear or make us feel trapped in our own homes. However, despite this, we believe wholeheartedly that God is urging us to shift our perspective in this season. As we fix our eyes on Him, we can’t help but anticipate all that could happen, all that will happen, and all that we’re certain God is going to do through this time.
If you have kiddos who are typically in school Monday through Friday, your week may look a bit different now. If your first grader keeps asking you, “what are we doing next?” every five minutes, well, we’re with you and we want to help you navigate this season as best as we can.
If you missed our post on our Kids Ministry Instagram last week, here are a few ideas we’d love to suggest to help create an atmosphere of intentionality and fun around your home during this unparalleled season with unexpected time. We’ve broken these ideas down into three categories: faith, fun and forward.
With more time at home, we have more opportunity than ever to pour into our family’s spiritual growth. Whether you have a toddler or a 12-year-old, here are three ways to help your child dive deeper into their relationship with God in this season.
- Bible Time: Spend some time this week teaching your child how to use their Bible’s table of contents, explain the Old and New Testaments, and show them some of your favorite scripture.
- Prayer: On one of our Instagram Live’s last week, our Worship Director, Harmony Bathauer, talked about the idea of “rolling out of bed and onto your knees in prayer.” We were so encouraged by one of our Hillside moms who posted a picture of her kid doing just that after hearing Harmony share on this. What would it look like for you to build intentional prayer time into your family’s schedule this week?
- Devotional: Consider doing a daily devotional with your child. One of our favorites is the “Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids” by Sarah Young, or you can also search for kids devotionals in the YouVersion Bible app.
What are those things that you’ve always wanted to do with your kids, but never felt like you had the time or energy? What are those Pinterest projects you’ve had pinned for three years because you keep saying you’ll get to them later? In a time that can feel stressful and uncertain, we’d love to encourage you to lean into opportunities to just have FUN with your kids – you deserve some fun, too!
- Watch a movie YOU loved as a child with your own kids. We all have that one movie we watched as least a hundred times. Your kids can sit through it once this week – and they’ll probably like it just as much as you did.
- Start a 10,000-piece puzzle and complete it as a family, play a board game, or build a fort in the living room. Whatever screams FUN to your family and doesn’t increase your screen time, do that thing. We promise you’ll create memories your kids will remember into their teens and beyond.
- Make a fun meal and let your kids help. This might sound like more work than fun, but with the right, easy recipe and recruiting them for clean-up, this might be exactly what your family needs to brighten up a gloomy afternoon. If you don’t like cooking, let your kiddos pop the pizza bites in the microwave. We bet they’ll like that too.
- Create art. What supplies do you have laying around the house that could create a masterpiece? You probably could use some art therapy right now.
- Throw on your favorite tunes and have a living room dance party. Go ahead and make them dance to the songs you loved in high school. They’ll thank you later!
- And finally, let your kids be bored. Let their imaginations guide their play and know that it is not your only job to keep them entertained every hour just because they’re home. They’ll survive, and taking the pressure off yourself to keep them entertained might help you thrive in this season!
Brainstorm ways that your family could pay it forward during this time. There are people all around us who need to experience God’s love and hope, and your kindness might be the catalyst in nudging them closer to a relationship with Jesus. May we never underestimate what God can do through this season!
- Make cards for a local senior center.
- Take a stroll around your block and see if any of your neighbors are in need of supplies or prayer. Your visit could mean more than you’ll ever realize!
- Pastor Aaron has been encouraging us to think of five people to reach out to weekly by text, phone call or FaceTime. Who are your five and how can you invite your kiddos into those conversations as well?
- Have your child send an encouraging message to their teacher. They’re likely missing all of their students right now and a nice note would mean the world!
- Smile – to other families on your walk, to your food delivery driver, to your grocery store clerk, to anyone you pass by – give them a big smile and remind them that they’re not alone.
We hope that this list inspires you, challenges you, and simply gives you some ideas for how you can make the most of this time with your kids at home. If no one has told you today, you’re doing a great job, we see you, God sees you, and you are loved beyond measure by the King of the Universe.
We’d love to see how you’re engaging with your kiddos at home – tag @hillsidechurches and @hcckidsministry in your photos of YOUR fun on Instagram.