As my little girl grows, I’m becoming more and more aware of how important it is for me to intentionally encourage her in the little things that may become meaningful connections. She tends to be more excited about things that are familiar.
For example, some books will catch her eye immediately while others are hit or miss. I want her to curl up in my lap and listen to Bible Stories. I discovered in the ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum a song called “Pat the Bible.” She loves the song. So when I pull out a children’s Bible, I start singing that song and she immediately joins in. Then I have her attention and can begin reading the story.
In the same way I’ve wanted to encourage her to love God’s House. It hasn’t been an immediately love affair but it is steadily building. She’s 3 years old and is more interested in finding the toy room than sitting in the sanctuary. So I’ve been working on making those meaningful connections. We love to sing, play instruments, and dance; “Hey! Let’s go to church and sing, watch the worship team play instruments, and let’s dance!”
So now I’m reading her 3 children’s stories to build positive anticipation for church on Easter Sunday.
- Meet the Easter Beagle
It may not have anything to do with church and the resurrection story, but it is a good place to start because she has seen the cartoon. I have read this story with her to excite her about the get-togethers she will have with cousins and friends for Easter. Since it’s familiar, it is immediately interesting. Also, the illustrations are bright, contrasting, and simple–perfect for small children!
2. The Jesus Storybook Bible
This children’s Bible is really profound as it simplifies allusions to Jesus throughout the Old and New Testament while making the stories and revelations easy to comprehend. It is unique compared to other Children’s Bibles. We are using this book to learn about Jesus’ death and resurrection.
3. The Berenstain Bears’ Easter Sunday
Then this sweet book written by Stan and Jan’s son is the sweet compromise between the prior two recommendations. It touches on the resurrection story, explains the Easter Egg tradition (with grace for all and without legalism), and it depicts a family getting ready for Easter Service. It also relates the hope of new life in springtime to new life in Christ (I do love metaphors and allusions). This book especially spoke to me and I want to inspire my daughter to be excited about church on Easter Sunday.
I have found that my daughter is reluctant with most new things, but something familiar and exciting can pull her interest and make the transition smoother. I like to use story books and positive bonding time to plant those seeds in her heart. With these books I’m planting seeds to excite her about Easter Sunday traditions. Do you have strategies you use to inspire your children?