Over 30 years ago, when Ken and I had our first child Vanessa, we grappled with how best to share our faith with her. We started with a bedtime routine that included reading a Bible story, praying, singing and blessing. A chat about the day was added as soon as Vanessa was old enough. This continued when our next three children came along. Sometimes it was the last thing we felt like doing, especially when children (or adults!) were tired or grumpy. And because Ken had quite a few church meetings, some nights I would begin after dinner with the youngest and only finish with the eldest just before Ken got home! Over the years we noticed that our children started to ‘own’ their prayers and Bible reading. The chats at bedtime were significant and kept us connected in our children’s lives. And now I’m loving sharing faith with my grandchildren whenever we spend time together. Cheryl Harray.
Resources and Ideas for Parents
There is no one right way to share your faith with your children. Every family is different and needs to find a ritual/routine that works for them.
Download this collection of mealtime prayers and songs to share together with your preschoolers and young children.
Cheryl has collated a collection of ideas for families of young children to share faith together.
Building Faith, is a website that offers faith practices for the home that are do-able, adaptable, fun, and meaningful – anywhere, anytime and for all seasons. Each idea starts with a brief introduction about why this faith practice is important, what materials are needed and simple instructions on how to do it.
FAITH5 – Faith Acts In The Home
Faith 5 is a simple, easy-to-implement faith practice, perfect for incorporating into your bedtime routine for five to fifteen minutes a night. When done over time, the FAITH5™ carries the power to enrich communication, deepen understanding, aid sleep, and promote mental, physical and spiritual health. The five steps are: SHARE, READ, TALK, PRAY, BLESS.
Watch our amazing friend and inspiration Rich Melheim enthusiastically unpack what each of the 5 steps is about and get started straight away! www.faith5.org
When it comes to practical tools for making faith-time a regular part of your family life, the Faith 4 Families Faith Box developed by Rev Nikki Watkin (Kohimarama Presbyterian Church) and Mary Grant, is a fantastic resource. These devotions are all about your family having fun together while you learn about God and his love and promises. Check out this 2 minute video presentation to find out more…
Click here to see all the Faith Box resources designed to bless your family.
Wherever you are on your parenting journey, The Parenting Place (NZ) has resources to help and encourage. For over 20 years this organisation has had a significant impact on NZ families and has truly delivered on its mission of “seeking to serve parents and children, and do it with flair, humour and quality.”
Parents: Download 40 FREE hot tips for parents. Or for a regular boost, subscribe to the ParentingMagazine
Churches: Why not investigate running the Toolbox parenting courses?
Our Family Playing Cards
This pack of 52 values cards are designed by Joy Cowley to create family discussion and to strengthen family relationships, they help parents to pass on their values to their children.
Mosgiel Presbyterian “Family T” (a Fresh Expression of church with community families) has used these cards in a really cool way. Families decorated a large place mat that was then laminated with a pocket in the middle for slipping the weekly card into. Families took the place mat home and put it in the centre of table for family discussion. Families LOVED the activity and the gift that allows them to keep on talking about family values at home – one for each week of the year!
To order these cards at $8 per pack click here.
Praying with your children
For ideas for praying with your children check out the Kids Friendly Pinterest pages and Praying with Children (A Kids Friendly resource).
Exploring the BIBLE with your children
Nothing beats snuggling up with your child for a good read and these days parents are spoilt for choice with so many Storybook Bibles to capture the attention of children. Check out Kids Friendly’s recommendations and more on our Pinterest page.
Visit Bible Society for an extensive range of Bibles for all ages.
Guardians of Ancora
Guardians of Ancora is a world-class tablet game for 8- to 11-year-olds offering an amazing virtual world and an immersive interactive experience of Bible stories. The game includes two interactive Bible quests, quizzes and challenges, access to videos, space to reflect on the experience. Download it for free from the iTunes App Store, Google Play and the Kindle Fire Store and start playing. Find out more here.
Bible Pathway Adventures
FREE download! The first Bible storybook app created for kids AND parents. Hundreds of pages of original illustrations and audio production. Fun for parents too! Find out more
Wild Online takes children on a journey across an interactive map that visits the life, teaching and miracles of Jesus with lots of short animated videos, characters and quizzes. Do it with your child for fun learning together. Find out more.
Discover the Bible is an all age board and card game designed to help people understand where some key Bible personalities fit into the timeline of the Bible. ‘Discover the Bible’ is designed and produced by Matt Cameron from Timaru and is suitable for all ages. Order here