Monday, November 23, 2015


“Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  Psalm 106:1 
As the name indicates, Thanksgiving is a time for us all to pause and give God thanks for the blessings we have received in the past year. 
Each one of us on the Children of Hope staff is blessed by the precious little ones you bring to this school. We are thankful for them, and for all of you — parents and caregivers — for giving us the opportunity to teach them the basics they’ll need for Kindergarten, but more importantly, about Jesus. 
This issue of “Hope for Families” is simply an assortment of ideas for you to use or be inspired by to praise to Lord for His goodness, and to help teach our children to do the same. 
Thanksgiving Thank You Note 
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show others how much they’re appreciated. With a little help, preschoolers will enjoy writing thank you notes to special family members and friends this holiday season. The Thanksgiving thank you note activity is a wonderful exercise to help preschoolers take stock of the blessings in their life and is certain to become a cherished holiday tradition for both the thank you note writer and the recipient. 
Thanksgiving Tablecloth Family Activity 
Give thanks as a family this holiday season by creating a uniquely personal table- cloth for your Thanksgiving table. For this family activity, invite family members young and old to preserve festive drawings and sentiments of thanks with crayons on a paper tablecloth, prior to sitting down to your Thanksgiving meal. This activity could also be done using paper placemats instead of a paper tablecloth. 

Activity: Make a Thankfulness Turkey 
Several sheets of construction paper in fall colors (brown, orange, red, & yellow)
Black marker
Scissors Glue 
Pinking shears or decorative scissors (optional) Directions: 

Trace your child’s foot on a brown piece of paper and cut each one out. This part will be the head and body of your turkey — the heel is the head and the toes are the belly. 
Draw on the eyes with the marker. Write on the body “(child’s name) is thankful for...” 
Using the pinking shears, decorative scissors, or regular scissors, cut out 5-6 “feathers” from the additional construction paper. It seems to be easiest make them “football” shaped and each one should be about the same length as the body. 
Cut out the red “waddle” and an orange triangle for the beak from the scrap paper, and glue them on the face. 
Help your child write one thing on each feather that he is thankful for. Glue one end of each feather to the back side of the body so you can see the writing from the front. 
This makes a great decoration for Thanksgiving, as well as allows us to think about all the things with which God has blessed us. 

Jonah and the big fish

Jonah 1:1-3:10

Jonah was a prophet of God.  One day, God told Jonah, “Go to the big city of Nineveh.  Tell them to stop doing bad things.” But Jonah ran away.  He did not want to go to Nineveh.  Instead he got on a boat to sail across the sea.God sent a big storm to stop Jonah.  The sailors on the boat were afraid.  They thought the boat was going to sink!Jonah told the sailors, “My God has sent this storm.  If you throw me into the water, the sea will become calm again.”So the sailors threw Jonah into the raging sea.Instantly, the sea became calm.Just then, Jonah saw a big fish coming!  Gulp!  The fish swallowed Jonah. For three days and nights, Jonah was inside the fish.  He prayed to God, “Please forgive me.”Then God told the fish to spit Jonah onto dry land.  God told Jonah a second time, “Go and tell the people of Nineveh to stop doing bad things.”This time, Jonah obeyed God.  The people of Nineveh were sorry for doing bad things, so God forgave them.

Discussion Questions
What did God ask Jonah to do? Tell the people of Nineveh to stop doing bad things.Did Jonah obey God? NoWhat did Jonah do? He got on a boat to sail across the sea.God was not happy. What did He do?  He sent a big storm to stop JonahThe sailors thought they would sink.  What did Jonah tell them to do?  Throw him in the sea.What happened next?  A big fish swallowed himHow long was Jonah inside the fish?  3 days and nights 
Jonah asked God to forgive him.  Did God forgive him? Yes, and Jonah went to Nineveh like God asked him.

Dear God,  thank you for this story and teaching us that we should always obey you even when it is hard.  Amen
Memory Verses
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love is forever.”  1 Chronicles 16:34

Song:    Jonah Goes Out 
Sing to the tune of "I'm a little Teapot"One day God told Jonah, to go out
he began to pout, 
and took another route.
When he got on a ship they, threw him out,
he hit the water,
and swam about.
Along came a big fish, maybe a trout,
he swallowed him whole,
there is no doubt.
Then after three days, in that trout,
It took a big burp, 
and spit him out.
Craft Activity:
How to make a paper plate whale
Paint the whole paper plate blue, and leave it to dry.
Once dry, cut a piece from the bottom of the paper plate – about one quarter of the plate as you can see in the pictures here
Draw out and cut the shapes for the water coming out of the whale, and the piece of paper for the tale. Use your blue paper for this and stick them together as shown
Add the googley eye
Add a smile or extra details using your black marker pen

Daniel and the Lions

Daniel 6

Darius became the new king of Babylon.  Daniel was his chief helper.  The king’s other helpers did not like Daniel.
They said to the king, “You are such a wonderful king.  You should make a new law that for the next 30 days, everyone must pray only to you.  If they disobey, they will be thrown into the lions’ den.”
King Darius made the new law, but Daniel kept praying to God because Daniel loved God.  The king’s helpers caught him praying.
They told King Darius, “Now you must throw Daniel into the lions’ den.”
The king knew he had been tricked, but he had to obey his new law.
Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den.  He was not afraid.  He knew God would take care of him.  King Darius told Daniel, “I hope your God will save you.”
That night, the king could not sleep.  He was too worried about Daniel.

At sunrise, the king hurried to the lions’ den.  “Has your God saved you from the lions?” he called.  “Yes!” answered Daniel.  “My God sent his angel to protect me.”  King Darius ordered everyone to honor and respect God.

Discussion Questions

King Darius had a chief helper.  What was his name? Daniel
Were all of King Darius’ helpers good? No
The mean helpers tricked Darius into making a new law. What was the law? Everyone would pray only to King Darius for 30 days
Daniel continued only to pray to God.  What happened to him?  They threw him in the lions’ den
Was Daniel afraid?  No, he knew that God would keep him safe.
Did God protect Daniel?  Yes, He sent an angel to protect him
After God protected Daniel what did King Darius order everyone to do? To honor and respect God.


Dear God,   Thank you for hearing me when I pray. Please help me to remember to come to you when I am afraid and even when I’m not.  Amen

Memory Verse
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love is forever.”  1 Chronicles 16:34


Freeze Lion!!

Show your child how to be a lion by crawling on the floor, using his hands as claws and making a loud roar.  Play a “freeze” game with your child.  Have him move around the room pretending to roar at Daniel.  You play the angel and signal him to freeze.  He must stop and stay still until he can move again.  Talk with your child about how God kept the mouth of the lion closed to keep Daniel safe.

Protection Daniel

Play this game with your child where he pretends to be the angel in the lion’s den that closes the lions’ mouths.  Draw a simple face on a ping pong ball or a golf ball to represent Daniel.  Use a Dixie cup to represent the lions’ den.  Go outside on the patio or driveway and have your child place the cup on the ground upside down and place “Daniel” on top of the cup.  Use a large ball to be the lion and roll the ball towards “Daniel”.  Have your child protect Daniel by making sure the ball does not hit his “Daniel”.

Daniel and friends, the fiery furnace

Daniel 3

King Nebuchadnezzar’s army had defeated the Israelites.  Now he was their ruler.  King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden statue.  Then he made a bad law.  It said, “When the music plays, everyone must bow down and worship the statue.  Those who disobey will be thrown into the fiery furnace.”
The music began to play.  The people fell down and worshipped the statue.  But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused.  “We only worship the true God,” they said.  The king was mad!
The king said, “Make the furnace extra hot!”  He had he three men thrown inside.  Yet, when the king looked into the furnace, there were four men walking around!  One of them looked like an angel from God.

The king shouted to the men, “Come out!  Your God has saved you!”  The fire did not hurt them.  They did not even smell like smoke!  So the king made them rulers in his kingdom.

Discussion Questions

Who was Esther’s cousin?  Mordecai
Who was the king’s chief helper? Haman  
What was Haman’s plan? To kill all the Jews
What did Esther do?  She obeyed God and asked the king to save her people
What happened to Haman?  He was arrested


Dear God, Thank you for the story of Esther and how she saved her people.  Help us to remember that you do mighty miracles in heaven and on earth. Amen

Memory Verses

“Do good and share with others.”  Hebrews 13:16 

Game:  Making a Pretend Campfire

yellow and red tissue paper
brown construction paper
white paper plate

Guide Your Child To:
Tear or cut the yellow and red tissue paper
Cut sticks for the fire
Glue flames (tissue pieces) around the sticks

Esther, the brave Queen

Esther 1-10

Esther was Jewish.  That means she was an Israelite.  She lived in the land of Persia with her older cousin Mordecai.
The king of Persia needed a new queen.  He announced, “Bring me the most beautiful women from all over my kingdom.”  Esther was one of the women sent to the palace.  When the king met Esther, he chose her to be his queen.
Haman was the king’s chief helper.  He hated the Jewish people.  They were God’s people.  Haman wanted everyone to bow down to him.  Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman.  Mordecai would only bow down to God.  
Haman went to the king.  He said, “The Jews are bad people.  You should sign a law that will help me get rid of them.” So the king signed the new law.  God’s people were in great danger!
M0rdecai heard about the new law.  He ran to tell Esther, “You must save yourself and the rest of God’s people.  Perhaps God has made you the queen for a reason.”
So Esther came up with a plan.  It would be very risky for her.  
Esther invited the king and Haman to a special dinner.  Then she asked the king, “Why does Haman want to get rid of me?”  The king was surprised.  She said, “I am Jewish. Haman tricked you into signing a new law that would get rid of all the Jews.”

The king told his guards, “Arrest Haman!”  Then he made Mordecai his new chief helper.  He told Queen Esther, “I will make a new law that will keep you and our people safe.” God used Esther to save his people!

Discussion Questions

Who was Esther’s cousin?  Mordecai
Who was the king’s chief helper? Haman  
What was Haman’s plan? To kill all the Jews
What did Esther do?  She obeyed God and asked the king to save her people
What happened to Haman?  He was arrested


Dear God, Thank you for the story of Esther and how she saved her people.  Help us to remember that you do mighty miracles in heaven and on earth. Amen

Memory Verses

“Do good and share with others.”  Hebrews 13:16 
Song:  Haman was a Mean, Evil Man
(to the tune Zacchaeus)

Old Haman was a mean, evil man,
A mean, evil man was he,
He was meaner than an angry old flea,
As mean as he could be.

When Mordecai could not bow to him,
He had to make his plea,
He went to the king and made him agree
To sign an evil decree.

But Queen Esther was a very good queen,
A very good queen was she,
Without delay she began to pray
And she sent to God her plea.

She went to the King and bowed really low,
Even though she wanted to flee.
She got the king to change his decree,
The Jewish people were free!

Game:  Good King May I

Have a throne at one end of the room, choose a queen (or king) to wear a crown.  (It may be wise to start with an adult in this position)

The Good King or Good Queen should wear the crown and hold a scepter.

Instruct the family members to take turns calling, “Good King (or queen), may I come closer?

The Good King (or queen) must answer, “Yes, good servant, you may.”  Then have the king (or queen) tell how many and what kind of steps the player may take, such as three baby steps, two large steps, or one hop.

The first person to reach the throne becomes the new king or queen.

As your family plays, review the story of Esther and remind them that Esther had to ask the king for something important.

King David

2 Samuel 1:1-2:4; Kings 2:1-3

Saul chased David, but he never caught him.  God watched over David.  Then one day, David heard some sad news.  King Saul and Prince Jonathan had died in a battle.
The people remembered what God had told them, and they went to find David.  “David, you are now our king!” they exclaimed.
King David ruled over Israel for 40 years.  He wrote many songs about God, called psalms.  He even had plans to build a temple for God.  
David was a man who was dear to God’s heart.

When King David was old, he told his son Solomon, “You will be the next king of Israel.  Be strong and obey God with all your heart.  Then he will bless you.”

Discussion Questions

Did God watch over David? Yes
David heard some sad new.  What was so sad?  King Saul and Prince Jonathan had died in a battle.
Who became King next? David  
How long was David king? 40 years
King David wrote many songs about God.  What are those called?  Psalms
When King David was old what did he tell his son?  He told Solomon that he would be the next king of Israel


Dear God, We know that you care about how we love you and others, not what things we have or how we look.   Please help us to have hearts that love you and want to serve you. Amen

Memory Verses

“Do good and share with others.”  Hebrews 13:16 

Song:  Praise Him, Trust Him

Sing to the tune of “Praise Him.” Encourage the kids to join you in repeating the verses.

Praise him, trust him. (Raise right arm, then left arm.) 
Let’s all sing together! (Cup hands to mouth.)
We can count
On our God! (Raise both hands.)
Praise him, trust him. (Raise right arm, then left arm.) 
We can count
On our God! (Raise both hands.)


What matters most to God is what is in our heart, not what we look like. Cut a large heart out of construction paper for your child. On one side of the heart have your child draw pictures of things that describe a heart that is not pleasing God. On the other side of the heart, have him draw pictures of things that describe a heart that pleases God.