The first day of camp was amazing! The buses arrived safely and right on schedule. The kids got to have some afternoon free time swimming and games. In the evening, our Bible story focus was on God as our Creator. The bottom line for the evening: God made me!
Written by Ashleigh Bryan, assistant to Karla Stinson, Director of Adventure Avenue
I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE the rock bands from the 80’s. Journey, Def Lepperd, Styx, Queen…the legends. So when I found out that we were doing a “Kids Rock” theme in Adventure Avenue all summer long, to say I was excited is a bit of an understatement.
Oh, by the way, HAPPY SUMMER!!! There’s just something about summer that, no matter how old you are, brings about a sense of freedom, and fun, and relaxation, annnnd…boredom. Oh, yeah. There’s a lot of that, too. For many of you parents, you are reveling in the newfound freedom of no more homework folders to sign, no more crumpled up drawings to stick on the fridge, YOU. ARE. FREE.
For about a week. Then, without fail, the kids will come to you and say, without a doubt the most famous saying in all of summer history, “I’M BORED.”
Wait a minute…what?! Just last week your kids had a list a mile long of things they wanted to do this summer and were getting along so nicely. But now they’ve succumbed to the mind-numbing hypnosis of the television, the allure of video games, and they’ve become even more creative in the topics of their fights.
Let’s face it—as much as we love summer, it does disrupt the routine. Nights get longer, mornings get later, and eventually, somewhere around mid-July, you’re the parent who lets their kid eat ice cream for breakfast because WHO CARES ANYMORE?!
It’s no different for preschoolers. All school year long, they have a routine. Either they are going to school or daycare, or they are used to their older siblings being gone, and then summer comes. Suddenly, they might be home for the whole day without seeing their friends and there’s this other person in their home, also there all day long, just brimming with ideas to make them mad.
Sometimes it can seem like our kids are just that…kids. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that someday, when they’re older, they’ll do something great. It’s even something parents often dream about—what will my kid be when they’re older? What will they accomplish? What will they be known for?
But, here in KidzWorld, we believe that kids can do great things right now. Even preschoolers! Which is why all summer long, we are dedicating our weekends to stories from the Bible about kids who rocked by doing what God wanted them to do. We believe kids ROCK! And so does God.
Which can be hard to believe when your kids are running around the yard covered in dirt and screaming their heads off. (It’s okay, you can admit it!) But our memory verse this month is “God made us to do good works,” Ephesians 2:10.
There’s no “when you grow up” or “when you’re older” after that verse. We were made to do good works. Period. No matter how old you are. So that means that, yep, your little three year old with chocolate dribbling down her face? Made to do good works. Your five year old who never stops asking why? Made to do good works. Your two year old who just can’t seem to master the idea of potty training? Made to do good works.
All summer long we’ll be introducing your preschoolers to other kids in the Bible who did great things for God, from Jesus teaching in the temple, to David and Goliath, to Miriam watching out for her little brother, Moses.
And to help you out with that summer boredom, we have a great thing for you to do with your kids. We believe that they were made to do good things, so we have a “Do Good Challenge” for them. It’s simply a piece of paper with rows of smiley faces on them. Each time they “do good,” encourage them to color in a smiley face. Once an entire row is complete, you can celebrate as a family. Hopefully it will keep them busy all summer long thinking of all the things they can “do good.”
We will also have some collector cards each week with the kid from the Bible story we talked about that weekend. They can grab the new one each weekend to help remind them that, even though they’re kids, they were made to do great things and God knows that kids ROCK!
It’s going to be an AWESOME summer in Adventure Avenue and we can’t wait to see you there!
And for those of you parents who are already struggling with the summertime blues? All I can say is…61 days until September! GOOD LUCK!
Do you have a new child under age 2? We would love to have you participate in our Baby Dedication Celebration at NewSpring Church in Wichita, KS. It’s a great opportunity to gather your family and friends and commit to raising your child to know and love God. Registration is required: newspring.org/babydedication.
Families, we have some great fun coming up this Friday, March 31st at 7 p.m. It’s called FX which stands for Family Experience. It’s a chance for your whole family to enjoy a FREE hour of fun and games and learning about God’s Big Story. We only offer FX four times a year so you won’t want to miss out! Join us in the South Auditorium at NewSpring Church this Friday. We will even offer childcare for kids age 3 and under. This is a great event to invite friends so they can see the kind of fun we have in KidzWorld and encourage them to come back on the weekend.
Can’t make it for some reason? We’re going to live-stream the event at newspringonline.org!
It’s a construction theme throughout KidzWorld for the month of March!
In Baby Bay and Adventure Avenue kids will be learning how to build each other up in love.
Bottom Line: How can I love like Jesus? I can love everyone!
Memory Verse: Love one another. John 13:34, NIV
Don’t forget to pick up a placemat for each child to help them remember the teaching for the day.
In Route 252, kids are learning how to “fix up” problem situations by asking or giving forgiveness.
Big Idea: Forgiveness, deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay.
Memory Verse: “Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13, NIrV
The monthly take out for 252 is pretty simple but hopefully an effective reminder of forgiveness. If you didn’t get a chance to pick one up this weekend, you can make your own. Just take a bolt with 3 or 4 nuts that fit it.
Instructions: Add a nut to the bolt when you do something for which you need to ask forgiveness or when someone wrongs you. Take a nut off the bolt when you ask for forgiveness or when you forgive someone else.
Goal: Hopefully, your bolt will not have any nuts on it at the end of the day!
When I look back on summers as a child, one set of memories that stick in my mind is my summer camp experiences. Summer camp was a great experience for me to get to be part of the great outdoors–hiking, swimming, learning new skills, playing awesome games. It was also an opportunity to get away from the routine and spend some time focusing on what really matters–the things that will last for eternity, most importantly a relationship with Jesus. Camp gives kids a chance to bond with leaders who love Jesus and want to share that love with the kids. We are praying right now that God will allow us to take a group of kids who are ready to know Him personally and to serve Him with their lives.
KidzWorld Camp is open for kids who will enter 2nd-4th grades in Fall 2017. Current 4th graders are invited to attend reWired Camp with The Wire ministry so that they get a chance to meet the leaders and others students that are part of that ministry. You can get more information about either camp at newspring.org/camp. Invest in your child’s spiritual well-being today by signing up for camp!
February is all about love. But love can be a much misunderstood emotion. In KidzWorld this month, we are focusing on love and how we can love others because of God’s love for us. God’s love is unconditional–after all, He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins! We don’t have to earn that love or be good enough for it. It’s free given to anyone who is willing to believe. God chooses to love us! And because of His love, we can choose to love others. Is it hard sometimes? YES! That’s why we need to remember God’s love for us and then choose to treat others the way we want to be treated.
“Here is what love is. It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 (NIrV)
“How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:18 (NIV)
There are so many areas of our lives where knowledge can benefit us. Striving to be better at what we do can lead to more and greater opportunities. The truth of this big idea is even more important in our spiritual lives. The more we learn about God, the better we can understand our relationship with Him and how He wants us to live. This month in Route 252, elementary kids are learning some great ways to gain knowledge of God:
- What God says is the most important thing to know.
- Discovering what God says helps you follow Jesus.
- Discovering what God says helps you make the wise choice.
- When you don’t know what God says, ask.
We have a great family challenge to help kids grow in their knowledge concerning God and His Word. The challenge is for kids to learn all the names of the 66 books of the Bible in order. Kids who are able to recite the books from memory the last 2 weekends of January will be entered into a drawing for a brand new Action Bible. AND parents can get in on the fun as well! Parents who can recite the books in order will be entered into a drawing for a $40 gift card for the NewSpring store. We even have an awesome video version of the books in order that may help you. So families, get busy learning something new together!
We are so excited about the new year and the fun things we have planned for KidzWorld! Don’t miss this weekend because it will be the start of some great learning!
In Route 252, kids will be introduced to the new Big Idea. We have a really fun but challenging Take-Out for your family this month. Kids will hear all about it this weekend.
In Baby Bay and Adventure Avenue, we are enjoying Winter in a big way. There will be lots of great Bible teaching. Look for news about a special event at the end of the month for you and your pre-schoolers.
Parents, we want to help you be the best possible influence you can be in your children’s lives. Let us partner with you in 2017 to bring your family in closer relationship with God and each other.