Family Resources
Here are a few resources and ideas for you to use with your children during this time of social distancing. Now is a time to offer extra support and guidance to children of all ages that are experiencing emotions they may have difficulty identifying or expressing. Most of their usual routines have been disrupted while schools are closed. While some kids may view it as an early summer free time, they may not understand when they are feeling sadness over not being able to see friends and teachers. As parents and guardians, we can help them to adjust to these new circumstances by staying connected with them each day by initiating conversations about how they are doing, helping them name and identify their feelings, and offering extra together time to comfort them and help them know their world is still secure. This is an especially good time to draw together as a family with life lessons about Christ and his enduring love for all of us. Below are a few ideas for you to explore with your children and resources to encourage conversations in your family.  

The God Box:
How do you help your child lean on God's promises and believe in their faith to carry them through all adversity? We all will go through struggles and trials at some time, and teaching children about prayer and the comfort God can give when they will listen to his guidance is one key element in helping them develop a strong faith. This is a project that can benefit all ages, even adults that may carry around too much worry. Learning to let go and let God handle it is a difficult lesson.
  • First, find a box or container (a square tissue box is perfect) that either has one hole on top or cut a hole on the top. If the container has a separate lid, glue or tape the lid shut.
  • Next, cover the box in colored paper or fabric. There should not be a way to open the box, and it should just have one hole in the top. We used some old wrapping paper that we had around the house, but anything you have will work.
  • Last, decorate the box in any creative way you or your children would like. Once completed, find a place in your home to keep it that is visible and will remind you of God's presence; on a bedside table, or on a table where everyone in the family can use it.
  • You can use the box to teach your children about praying to God, giving our worries over to Him, and quietly and patiently waiting for His response. Then have them write down their prayer, worry, or request for guidance and slip it into the God box. Then let it go. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:6-7 This is just one quote from the Bible that you could use to explain how God can help us in our times of need, but choose one that may be meaningful to you or your child.

Bible Lessons and Resources: 
Here are a couple resources to help you begin exploring the Bible with your children.
U.B. David & I'll B. Jonathan  a site devoted to "Developing young people after God's own heart." They have links in their "Kids World" to over 110 Bible lessons, and a myriad of other resources for you to explore.
Sermons4kids just as their name implies they offer sermons specifically designed for children, but their website also offers links to many coloring pages, worksheets, and even a daily devotional for children in their Keys for Kids section. They also offer Daily Discussion questions that you can use for conversation starters with your children, and as a member of Emmanuel UMC we can add you to the list to receive those questions in an email. Contact us and let us know if you do not have the link in an email.