One Year My Princess Devotions Posts

Friendships and Water Go Together by Karen Whiting

Tyndale Kids

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Splish! Splash! Children gravitate to water fun; and giggles increase with a friend to splash along. Let your child invite one or more friends to come and play outside with water. Keep towels on hand for children who want to dry their eyes, and be sure to encourage young ones in taking turns and sharing. Snap some photos so your child can talk about the time after their friend leaves then e-mail the pictures to the friend. The photos will help them remember the fun they shared and will help build bonds between them.

 

Fun and Safety

A pool is fun and helps with gross motor skills, but even basins of water or sprinklers can be a hit. Discuss water safety before letting children take a plunge. Children can drown in just an inch of water. Teach your child to relax around water but not to go in without an adult, even if they know how to swim. It’s a good habit to make a simple adult-supervisor necklace. Use a small plastic lid and write “Adult” on it with a permanent marker. Punch a hole and string the lid on a cord. Have an adult wear it to make sure there is someone designated to watch the children.

 

Water! Water Everywhere!

Simple water fun can be done anywhere outside. Paintbrushes and buckets of water make it fun to paint disappearing art on almost any surface outdoors. It’s also a great way to get children to help clean outdoor areas!

Freeze some colored water before friends arrive to add to the cool excitement.

 

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Do a sponge toss.

Count how many children will be participating in the activity, noting the ages of each child. Cut a sponge apart for every child, creating enough pieces to match how many years old each child is. (For example, a three-year-old’s sponge would be cut into three pieces.) Number each sponge’s pieces starting with the number one, and toss the labeled sponge pieces into the water. Starting with number one, the children should grab each piece of their sponge. While the older children may be faster, the younger ones will have fewer to collect. Then use the wet sponges for a water-sponge toss. (Optional: Use different colored sponges for each child.)

 

Water and Faith

Set up a station with dolls for girls to bathe their babies. Boys can set up a wash station for their riding toys or action figures. Talk about baptism and Jesus while they clean their dolls or other toys. Let them try some feats with action figures and dolls such as walking on the water. Talk about Jesus and water (he boated, walked on water, and even calmed a storm).

 

Differences in Ability

You’ll probably notice a big difference in swimming ability among children. Since my late husband served in the Coast Guard, we taught our babies to swim starting at two weeks old. Other children might not start lessons until they are school age. Don’t start a swim competition unless children have equal swimming ability.

 

 

Water and Math

All of them can enjoy splashing and playing in water. Put out empty cups and containers for children to fill and to pour back and forth in containers. Use some measuring cups to give them simple math lessons as they play. They can even try to fill cups under a sprinkler and see how much longer that takes than scooping water from a bucket or the pool.

 

Ice Cubes

Take those frozen, colored cubes you made and add them to the body of water. Children may squeal as they touch the icy cubes. They will enjoy swirling them and watching them melt in the cold water. Discuss how water changes from liquid to solid when put in the freezer and how it turns back to liquid as it warms up. Use some of the ice cubes for cube races to see how fast they slide down an incline. Have an ice cube toss.

 

Hydration

Since children are in the heat as they play, make sure they drink plenty of water. Set up a station where they can add in berries, lemon and orange wedges, or sprigs of mint to flavor the water. Talk about dehydration and signs of it (chapped lips, feeling hot, flushed, thirsty) and add a salty snack to help them retain fluids.


Check out the “Princess in Action” section of each day in The One Year My Princess Devotions for other water-fun ideas and more from Karen Whiting!


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Karen Whiting is an author and speaker with thirteen published books and hundreds of articles and short pieces for over four dozen publishers including Focus on the Family Magazine and Christian Parenting Today. She was a contributing writer for Focus on Your Child 2008-2009. She writes a quarterly article for Enrichment Journal for pastors and leaders of the Assemblies of God, a quarterly column for Discipleship Ideas magazine, and a family page for a monthly denominational newspaper. Whiting has also been the community producer and host of the television series Puppets on Parade for Miami educational TV.

Whiting has a heart for families and encourages families to connect and live more fully for God. She is a mother of five and a grandmother.

To learn more about Karen Whiting, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

The value of doing devotions with young kids (and some tips too) – A Guest Post by Author Karen Whiting

 

 

This week we are pleased to present to you Tyndale Kids Author Karen Whiting (My Princess Devotions). Karen is a great writer with outstanding and creative ideas to get your little ones moving while they learn about God. Check out what she has to say about doing devotions with your children (boys and girls) and learn more about Karen’s book. It’s a good one to share with your little princess or to give as a gift.  – Katara Patton, Acquisitions Director

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Devotions with little ones formed the framework of my mothering years. I am still seeing the benefits of taking time in God’s word with my five little ones who are now grown. For that reason I am passionate about devotions for children, especially preschoolers.

 

The devotions gave us a sense of purpose and I made sure days revolved around what we read and also made sure we’d do one each day. If we didn’t get a devotion done before bed then we skipped dessert as I’d say, “If we don’t have time for the sweet word of God, we don’t have time for other sweets.” That really helped my children remind me to have some of God’s sweet words!

 

Benefits

Let’s mention some benefits. It’s easy to realize it helps children get into a habit of reading the Bible and communicating with God to nurture their spirit. However it surprised my husband and I to realize how it also gave them a jumpstart on learning. Listening and talking about a scripture increases a child’s listening comprehension and that promotes great reading comprehension. We also noticed they could talk with us about any topic through the years because the devotions touched on all aspects of life. They more easily conversed with adults. The scriptures also increased their vocabulary. Thus, devotions promote cognitive skills.

In activity-oriented devotions like My Princess Devotions, the themes cultivate character development and promote motor development. I placed hospitality in May as part of a theme of tea parties. Planning and hosting teas help little girls learn to greet people, be gracious hosts, and serve others and also helps foster good manners. Other months include generosity, compassion, trust, honesty, and cheerfulness.

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The gross motor development comes with activities such as praise walks, dancing, and exercises that are part of various daily devotions. I planned to emphasize using a different body part each month (i.e. feet in October, hands in February). Small motor development is promoted with craft and cooking activities in other devotions. A variety of activities help children realize God cares about all aspects of their lives and helps develop various learning styles.

Tips on doing devotions

  1. Be open-minded. Open hearts to God’s guidance and children’s thoughts. If children stray from the meaning, reread God’s word or look at another passage on the same topic to enlighten them!

 

1. Be consistent by setting up a routine and time for devotions. Choose the best time: early in the morning, afterschool, or in the evening.

2. Be enthusiastic. It’s catchy! Praise your child for participating.

3. Avoid distractions. No eating, no phone calls or TV during devotions.

4. Plan a reasonable time limit. Ten minutes is good for growing children. When the time is too short to cover the lesson, carry it over to next time!

5. Don’t be afraid of silence as you wait for your child to respond to a question you ask.

6. Make Dad a part of the devotions. Choose a time Dad can participate in person or by phone/internet call.

7. If Dad travels often or is deployed in the military consider buying a digital copy for him to read along.

 

Devotions and Your Child’s Personality

Children are different and respond according to their temperaments. An outgoing child likes to act out Bible scenes and share what they learn. A shy child may prefer to do devotions in an intimate setting and will like to journal or draw but may not want to share verbally as much.

Set the stage for success by responding to your child’s personality. For the outgoing child, make it a fun time that can include visiting friends. For a child who is a natural born leader and likes to take charge, let your little one help choose the place and time to do them and also let your child have extra time to discuss the topic. For a little one who is more relaxed and would rather sit and not do things use some encouragement and follow devotions with a snack or reading another book. For the shy child, make it a special parent-child time alone and be patient to wait for the child to think and answer questions.

If you want to do devotions as a family, make sure to include everyone in discussions. Consider using a talking stick, where you pass the stick around for each person to have a time to talk.

 

Results

I believe that making God part of daily life fosters a sense of purpose and helps children mature. It may not change their IQ, but I thank the Lord that my children are kind, considerate, and serve others. They have remained close to one another and to the Lord. That’s what we want the most as parents.

We can still talk about anything. I am also thankful that one son who experienced twelve years of a 24/7 migraine was able to cling to scriptures with hope. The Lord healed him last November so we are also thankful for that.

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You can learn more about Karen Whiting at her website – www.karenwhiting.com, or like her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter.