Guest post from author Karen Whiting.
At last signs of spring are popping up everywhere and kids are beginning to run wild outside, splash in water, and help the earth with planting gardens. My co-author Jesse Florea and I love nature and incorporated lots of outdoor fun into our recent release The One Year Devotions for Active Boys. Yes, we have devotions that focus on God’s word, but they are paired with activities like jokes, facts, hands-on fun, and ideas to live your faith. Guys like to climb trees, run around, jump in water, and fetch the sticks their dogs just sniffed and wonder why their master threw it their way, so we filled the pages with fun and faith.
Here are some unique things to do this spring. I’ve added page numbers where you can find more details in The One Year Devotions for Active Boys.
– Listen to a tree’s heartbeat (use a stethoscope or glass) and you’ll hear the sap pumping along. (p245)
– Catch some meteorite dust on a rainy day with a coffee filter. Just place it at the bottom of a gutter. Let the water evaporate and use a magnet to find little iron particles that came from meteors. (p337)
– Make a mock up rock-hard dinosaur stomach by filling a plastic bag with leaves, adding rocks, and shaking it to crush the leaves. (p26)
– Get maggots to grow in a jar (gross but interesting) by putting a little raw meat in a jar, letting flies get in, cover jar with paper towel, and watch them grow. (p208)
– Make your own slushy for a hot day with juice in a small plastic bag placed inside a larger bag of ice and salt. (p265)
More than simply having fun, take time to connect kids to God while engaging in the activities. It helps them see the Bible as relevant to their lives and lets them know God is interested in activities they like. Read a Bible passage or verse related to nature and start chatting about it. Check out:
– Picnic at the beach and fishing with Jesus in John 21. (p173, p265)
– Amazing creatures in Proverbs 30:18-19. (p80)
– Water fun in Genesis 1:9. (p199, p204)
– Energized running in Isaiah 40:31 and Hebrews 12:1. (p68, p73)
– Camp food in 2 Kings 7:17. (p382)
I liked getting outside with my sons year round, but warm weather provided the best opportunities. A picnic, canoe trip, or hike included rest stops to praise God, and chat. Those times impacted our children. Two are now rocket scientists and I believe that digging into scriptures increased their cognitive skills. Connecting to God outdoors engaged their minds to think more deeply and explore the world of science.