Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have two fun things to share with you today.
First, check out the amazing 30-second book trailer Zonderkidz created to introduce the book. It really captures the essence of the story and showcases artist Ela Jarzabek’s delightful illustrations. Thank you, Zonderkidz!
Second, I’m delighted to be the guest interviewee over at The Chirping Moms, a website devoted to parenting and enjoying motherhood. In addition to asking me great questions, host Courtney Byrne has also created an adorable craft – a colorful tape resist cross that can be painted on canvas or a little tote bag and be used by your little one to gather goodies Easter morning! Here’s the link: https://thechirpingmoms.com/bunny-finds-easter/
Many churches and children’s ministry teams are planning for Easter celebrations and community outreach events, so today I thought I’d share a fun way to use BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz, 2022) with your church or in your community by having a Book Walk!
This fun intergenerational activity has the feel of an Easter Egg Hunt – and can even include jelly beans and other goodies – but the “hunt” is walking along a trail (outside or inside) to discover progressive spreads of the story BUNNY FINDS EASTER mounted on boards culminating in a craft or activity table at the end of the walk.
Find all the details below in this free downloadable instruction sheet.
Happy Easter! And if you do end up doing a BUNNY FINDS EASTER Book Walk be sure to tag me. I’d love to see it in action!
Here is the link to the FREE downloadable LITTLE EWE activity kit designed especially for you and your preschooler. The kit includes six pages of ideas for discussion, activities, crafts, coloring pages and a maze. It can be found by visiting the book’s page on the Beaming Books website. You’ll find it at the end of the book’s description. Here’s the link. Enjoy!
Today I’m delighted to have LITTLE EWE featured on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday Series. Head on over to get Susanna’s take on the book. And in the extra fun department, she asked me to share an activity to go along with the book. It’s a fun one! What could it be, you ask? You’ll have to pop over there to find out. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the link:
Last summer I planned a series for our church’s Sunday morning children’s program called PICTURE BOOK SUNDAYS: Sparking Faith Conversations using Picture Books and Scripture. Each week, using an engaging picture book as the spark, along with games and a craft, children ages 3 – 10 delved into Scripture as we investigated what it means to be a beloved child of God. The kids enjoyed the lessons so much that I have decided to keep up with an occasional blog series focusing on picture books that can be used as the spark for conversations about faith with your children. Today’s lesson uses MY BREAKFAST WITH JESUS (Harvest House Publishers, 2020), written by Tina Cho and illustrated by Guy Wolek as the picture book hook. I hope it sparks thoughtful conversations with your kids.
Note: Since at the time I write this, most churches are still gathering virtually, rather than in person, this lesson is designed for a zoom-like format. I hope it provides and engaging opportunity for your kids to get excited about their faith, virtually. Blessings, all!
PICTURE BOOK SUNDAYS: A Faith-Sparking Lesson
MY BREAKFAST WITH JESUS
by Tina Cho
PURPOSE: To recognize that just as Jesus and his disciples gathered around meals to fellowship and pray, children and families around the world still gather to start the day with breakfast and a prayer – with Jesus! After exploring Cho’s engaging text and Wolak’s colorful illustrations, we’ll delve into Scripture to see what Jesus had to say about prayer as well as take a peek at Jesus’ most famous prayer, using it as a model for our closing prayer.
OPENING PRAYER AND GATHERING ACTIVITY:
(When you send the invitation for your virtual lesson, tell the kids that they’ll be having breakfast together (virtually) in Sunday school and to come ready to share what they are eating.)
Open the actual lesson in prayer, then explain that since today we’ll be reading a story about breakfasts, we thought it would be fun to see what we are each eating this morning. Then have a breakfast “show and tell.”
INTRODUCE THE STORY:
Introduce the story by showing the book cover. Read the title together. Ask them what they think it means to have breakfast with Jesus. How is that possible? Next, look at the cover illustration and wonderful end pages. What do they show? Do they recognize any of the foods shown? Based on their responses, ask them to predict what the story will be about. Then read the story.
FAITH-SPARKING CHAT TIME:
After the first spread, ask is this like your breakfast? What’s different? Marvel at how amazing it would be to actually get to eat with Jesus. Point out the box in the bottom that shows the story in the Bible that inspired this scene – and Tina Cho’s book!
Then, for this and each of the following spreads, marvel at the wonderful diversity of breakfasts and children eating those breakfasts. But what do they all have in common? They are all eaten by people of love Jesus and want to share His love with others!
Ask the children why they think Tina Cho wrote the book. Allow time for responses, concluding together that maybe it was to remind us that Jesus loves ALL his children – and wants us to keep spreading spreading His love to others each and every day – and that breakfast and prayer time with Jesus is a great way to start each day.
DIG INTO SCRIPTURE TIME:
Wrap up the discussion by digging into scripture to find examples of what Jesus had to say about prayer. Ponder together how each can inspire us to pray at breakfast —or anytime! Use these verses to get you started:
Mark 11:24 Luke 6:27 – 28 Matthew 6:9 -13 (The Lord’s Prayer)
STORY-BASED FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITY:
Before closing in prayer, explain that you will be putting together a Breakfast With Jesus Recipe Book for the group. Each child who wishes to participate should send you (and you can give these details in a follow up email) a picture of their favorite breakfast, along with a simple instructions for making it, and a short prayer that can be said before eating it. Once you have everyone’s pictures, recipes and prayer, create a simple document to share. It will be a lovely and tasty memento to remember the story and it’s wonderful message of the joy that is found in diversity and the sharing of Jesus’ love.
Sample Recipe and Prayer
Steel Cut Oats with Berries
With a parent’s help for the stove, prepare oatmeal according to package instructions.
Spoon cooked oatmeal into a bowl and top with butter, brown sugar and berries. Enjoy!
Thank you for this beautiful morning and the gift of a hot breakfast. I pray that it gives me the energy to share your love with my neighbors today. I love you, Jesus! Thank you for loving me. Amen.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TINA CHO and her wonderful books.
[Note: Thank you to Harvest House Publishers for this complimentary book that I was under no obligation to review. The views and opinions expressed on this blog about books and other things are purely my own.]
Over the summer I planned a series for our church’s Sunday morning children’s program called PICTURE BOOK SUNDAYS: Sparking Faith Conversations using Picture Books and Scripture. Each week, using an engaging picture book as the spark along with games and a craft, children ages 3 – 10 delved into Scripture as we investigated what it means to be a beloved child of God. The kids enjoyed the lessons so much, that I have decided to start an occasional blog series focusing on picture books that can be used as the spark for conversations about faith with your children. Today’s lesson uses GOD’S PROTECTION COVERS ME (Beaming Books, 2018), written by Amy Houts and illustrated by David Creighton-Pester, as the picture book hook. I hope it sparks thoughtful conversations with your kids.
PICTURE BOOK SUNDAYS: A Faith-Sparking Lesson
GOD’S PROTECTION COVERS ME
by Amy Houts
PURPOSE: To recognize that just as various structures/coverings protect natural creatures, God’s protection covers us. Using Houts’ lovely metaphors as the spark, we’ll delve into Scripture for promises that God indeed cares for us with an everlasting love and protects us in the palm of His hand.
OPENING PRAYER AND GATHERING GAME: Building Card Houses
Open in prayer, then explain that today, we’ll be reading a story about all the kinds of structures animals build or find for protection. Can they name some? What do we build to protect us? Houses! Tell them it’s time to do a little building – with cards! Using only a deck of playing cards, challenge them to build their own houses. Demonstrate two building methods: triangular and four-card cell. This article from wiki-how will give you helpful construction tips, if needed, so you can demonstrate before the kids have their turn.
INTRODUCE THE STORY: Introduce the story by showing the book cover. Ask what protection means? What are some ways they protect themselves? (Wearing helmets, using seatbelt etc.) Have you ever thought about how God protects us? Ask them to be thinking about that as you read them the story. Then read the story.
FAITH-SPARKING CHAT TIME:
Marvel at all the amazing ways animals are protected in nature.
Brainstorm all the ways their parents protect their precious children – them!
Ask, “Do you think God protects us?” Yes! “How?” He provides all good things – including families that care and watch over us, bodies that are designed to fight infection, human intellect that has allowed man to make medical advances to fight disease, create safer cars etc. and MIRACLES! Yes, God is not limited by what is possible. He invites our prayers to protect and provide for us even in the midst of the IMPOSSIBLE!
And where can we find reminders of God’s protection? In the Bible!
DIG INTO SCRIPTURETIME:
Wrap up the discussion by digging into scripture together to find beautiful reminders of God’s protective love and care. Use these verses to get you started:
WRAP UP: As children are finishing the activity – remember together all the animals and protective things mentioned in the story. Ask what those can remind us of? God’s protection covers us! That is wonderful news indeed.
This past Sunday, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, I read LOVE IS KIND to my Sunday School kids. I focused my lesson on what LOVE is and who the author of love is: GOD! Then we had cupcakes and made valentines.
But, oh, how I wish I had waited a Sunday so that I could use this amazing KidMin (Children’s Ministry) Object Lesson created by fellow Zonderkidz author Denette Fretz. She focuses her LOVE IS KIND Object Lesson on the theme “Kindness is a Choice” and ties it in with the Good Samaritan.
Oh, and there are marbles involved and a cute craft and great puppet idea! It’s not to be missed. Here’s the link. And while you are there be sure to check out her growing collection of picture book based KidMin lessons. They are amazing! (And there’s a giveaway!)