Monday, February 16, 2015

Jesus is My Shepherd: Home Ideas

This week we are discovering the love of Jesus as we come to know Him as the Good Shepherd.  Stories are such a powerful way to teach a truth or message.  Jesus knew the power of storytelling, and used parables to teach us about the Kingdom of Heaven.  I have always found that young children are captivated by animal stories.  Enter, The Parable of the Lost Sheep.  Jesus teaches us about His unconditional love for us, even we go astray, using characters and a story line that appeal to little ones.  It is the love and the care of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, that compels us and our children, His sheep, to follow Him.  
  • Read The Parable of The Lost Sheep together in your child's Bible.
  • Pray together for family or friends that your child knows who do not know and follow Jesus.  They are the lost sheep that Jesus loves so much.
  • Use stuffed animals as sheep and create a sheepfold for them with boxes, chairs, or couch cushions.  Let your child be the shepherd and count how many sheep are in their fold.  While they are pretending to sleep, take one of the "sheep" and hide it.  Wake up your child and ask them which "sheep" is missing?  They can be like the Good Shepherd.  Go look for the lost sheep and bring it back to the fold.
  • The shepherd in the parable counted his sheep, so here's a counting sheep challenge for your child.  Creating groups of ten is a foundational math skill.  Give your child 100 cotton balls and 10 small containers.  Ask them to put 10 cotton balls in each container.  For younger preschoolers, this will be enough of a challenge.  Older preschoolers may be ready to count all the cotton balls in each container up to 100, while others may be able to learn to count by 10's to 100.
  •  Write the numbers 1-10 in large font on half sheets of paper or index cards.  Allow your child to glue cotton balls to the numbers to help them develop a sense of the shape of each number.  Also add stickers corresponding to each number to each page.  Display the numbers where you and your child can refer to them.  (This maybe a project that you work on over several days.)

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