Tag Archives: generosity

Encouraging Generosity: Straw Filled Manger

8 Dec

Day 8: 25 Days of Christmas Ideas

 straw in a manger

This activity is fun to do with kids to help them learn to be generous with their time in helping others. It also teaches them the joy of secretly giving to others.

Supplies: straw (raffia or yellow paper cut in strips), box

Place a piece of “straw” inside a box each time a family member “gives” to someone. (acts of kindness = giving)

It is important that they keep the act of kindness a secret! Have fun on the days leading up to Jesus quietly serving each other with a generous and giving heart.

Try to fill the manger with straw before Christmas so “baby Jesus” will have a soft place for his bed. Place a baby doll or other figure (depending on the size of the box) in the manger on Christmas morning.

straw box 2

Simplifying Christmas: Three presents

7 Dec


Day 7: 25 Days of Christmas Ideas.

3 presetns

 Sometimes Christmas just seems to be too much.

The number of gifts a child receives can be overwhelming to them. At first it seems like fun- all those gifts. But then truthfully the value of each gift is lowered. Keeping things simple makes each gift more valuable.

Sometimes as parents we can equate how much we love our children with how much we buy for them. Perhaps, we should buy less because we love them. Creating moments where children can truly enjoy a gift and be appreciative for what they are given might be the best gift we can give them.

One idea for simplifying Christmas is to limit the number of presents given to each child to three. Use the wisemen’s gifts as a model:

Gold- something special (toy)

Frankincense- spiritual (book, Bible, What’s In The Bible video)

Myrrh- practical (clothing, boots, hair stuff)

What have you done to simplify gift giving in your family?

Sharing and Generosity: The Rainbow Fish

2 Apr

The rainbow fish

Use The Rainbow Fish to teach kids how to be generous and share with others. Here is a simple lesson to be used with preschoolers or early elementary:

Biblical Point: I can be generous and share with others.

Bible Verse: “Don’t forget to do good. Don’t forget to share with others. God is pleased with those kinds of offerings.” Hebrews 13:16

The story, The Rainbow Fish, provides a glimpse of the consequences of not sharing and later the joy of making the decision to share. As children see the Rainbow Fish learn to be generous, it teaches them this choice is one they too can make.  It also gives some opportunities for dialogue about the best way to deal with other children who refuse to share.

Children can learn that Jesus not only wants them to share but also to be generous in doing so. Sharing with a smile and a willing heart are the marks of generosity. Children will learn that even when their hearts do not want to share, they can ask Jesus to change their hearts so they will want to be generous.

Activity #1: Guess that Book

Supplies: wrapping paper, tape, bow, The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pflister

Preparation: Wrap the book.

Today I have something wrapped. Do you know what it might be? It is a book. What book do you think is under the paper?

I am going to give you three clues to help you guess a character in the book.  (Allow time after each clue for the kids to guess.)

1.              It is an animal.

2.              It swims.

3.              It lives in the water.

It is a fish. There are lots of different kinds of fish. Can anyone think of some of the kinds of fish we have in the world? Can you act like a fish? (Give kids an opportunity to show their fish imitations.)This fish is a colorful one.

Let’s unwrap the book and see what we are going to read today.

Have a child unwrap the book.

This book is called The Rainbow Fish.

Activity #2: Story Time and Discussion

Read The Rainbow Fish.

Did the Rainbow Fish want to share his scales at first? Why do you think he felt that way?

How did the other fish treat him when he would not share? Were they right or wrong to treat him this way? What would have been a better way to act?

Was the Rainbow Fish happier after he was generous with his scales? Do you think it feels lonely when we are selfish and refuse to share with others? We think it will make us feel good to have all of our stuff for ourselves but Jesus did not create us so we would feel good this way. He made us to be generous.

Our Bible verse today is, “Don’t forget to do good. Don’t forget to share with others. God is pleased with those kinds of offerings.” Hebrews 13:16

Let’s make the choice to be generous with what we have. We can choose to share each day. This pleases God.

Activity #3: Hand Print Rainbow Fish

Supplies: tempera or acrylic paint (3-4 colors), marker, white paper, paintbrush, dish soap

Preparation: Mix a few drops of dish soap with the paint for easier cleanup.

On your child’s hand, palm up, brush on different colored wide strips of paint using the paintbrush. Once the entire hand, including fingers is covered, press down on the paper. Allow to dry. With the marker, draw the eyes and the mouth.

Paint waves with blue paint.

Activity#4: Rainbow Fish with Scales

Supplies: watercolors, paper, aluminum foil or silver paper, paintbrush, scissors, glue

Cut a fish shape out of the paper. Have the child paint the paper with different colors to make the Rainbow fish. Allow to try. Cut small squares of silver for the scales. Glue them on the fish.



Check out Dr. Seuss and the Bible to learn more about using books to teach spiritual concepts.

Both classroom and home version available.