Thursday, October 28, 2010

And on the 7th day God created... cars

This week 'Super Family Bible Night' was my night and I thought we'd do creation! Genesis Chapter 1 ... [Insert singing here ... "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start"]. It had been a very crazy busy week, and so my prep time was limited to 20minutes beforehand, although I had thought about it during the week.

I collected my supplies (I thought we had a blow up ball with a map of the world printed on it – but it turns out I'd chucked it whilst on one of my 'cleaning sprees' to the horror of my kids. Oops, who would have thought a large blow up ball of the world would actually come in handy). So we had no globe. But I found toy animals, sea animals, cows, sheep, fish etc.. I found a blue bath mat for the sea, a bed-light for the light, darkness was pretty obvious – just turn off the light. And so we began...

We all sat on the floor in darkness and I had memorised the first few sentences of Genesis (until the part where God created light) so that we could hear and sense the idea of the universe being blank and dark, kids thought the darkness was funny and an excuse to be silly. So we moved quickly to the first day, where God created 'light' so I could actually see what the munchkins were up too. As we read through each of the days we brought out items that reflected that day and as with each new day we went back over the days before so by the end they remembered what God had created on each day.

Day 1 – light (used a bed-light)
Day 2 – sky (swung hands in the air – couldn't figure out an item for this)
Day 3 – water & land, trees, fruit & flowers (we had a blow-up palm tree – go figure???)
Day 4 – sun, moon & stars (if you have those glow in the dark stars that'd work really well here)
Day 5 – sea animals, birds (we have plastic animals of these)
Day 6 – land animals & humans (thank you to Fisher Price for farm animals & Little People)
Day 7 – rested (sleeping)

This was a pretty simple but fun night – although I did leave the box out that I'd collected the land animals out of, which it also had the trucks and cars in it and every new day Lily would ask if she could play with the cars, and each time we said 'no'. And so by the 7th day when God rested Lily was very disappointed that God didn't create cars because she wanted to play with them. Toby asked 'So what day did God create cars? Why didn't he do it instead of resting?'

In summary, a really fun night, with lots of laughs and the kids actually remember the order and days that God created the universe & earth. Love it!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jonah and the whale and a gumboot in the head

Tonight was Lily's turn to run 'Super Family Bible Night' and she'd been looking forward to it all week. And of course she chose Jonah and the whale (which she was going to do last month until 'Window biscuits' – if you haven't read that one have a look here ). Lily had lots of ideas for telling this story and the most important aspect was that she was going to be Jonah. The night began with Adam and Lily locked away in
secret meetings discussing ideas for the night – Toby and I were very excited to see what they would come up with – and as Adam ran into our backyard and Lily stood guard at the door refusing to let us see out - we became even more intrigued as to what this night would offer.

Once everything was ready – Lily instructed us that we all needed to rug up – coats and beanie's on – Super Family Bible Night was going outside!! All rugged Adam began the story inside with Jonah (Lily) hearing God tell him to go to Nineveh and Jonah running away, with that we all headed outside to our boat shaped cubby (did I mention that I have a very handy hubby who made the kids a cubby out of fence paling). Once inside the 'boat' (very cramped – and cold) the storm came and we acted out being on a boat in stormy weather (including some pretend sea sickness – which Toby loved – and continued to 'faux vomit' a little bit longer than we'd have liked).

Then we came to the part where Jonah was thrown overboard and so we tried to 'throw' (climb out) Jonah out the window of the boat, unfortunately Lily got a little excited with the 'acting out' of being thrown into the sea – she swung her foot a clocked Toby in the face with her gumboot – which resulted in many tears and we had to put Super Family Bible night on hold for some TLC.

After TLC, we came back to Jonah being tossed around by the waves and then being swallowed by a whale – which was very cleverly created by pegging a tarp over the top of our trampoline – we read and acted out the remainder of the story from the belly of the whale (on the trampoline) until Jonah is spat out of the whale's belly (enter 'faux vomit' noises again). We then tried to go to the more serious part of the evening, however as we were chatting about obeying God and sharing God's love with other, the temptation of the trampoline was all too tempting (especially with the tarp on) and so we cut that part short and had a jump on the trampoline together.

Summary – this was a very fun and creative night. Being outside added a great element to the night and I think this is one night the kids will definitely remember. A very fun night – well except the part where Toby got a gumboot in his head.

For more ideas and resources on Bible Engagement or to buy Kylie's 'Milk to Meat' book go to

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And the answer is... Moses...Noah... God... Jesus... pray more...

Well after such a great 'Super Family Bible Night' last week I was thinking we were getting the hang of it but tonight I had to hold my tongue and allow my newly 8yo (Toby) fumble his way through the story of Mary and Martha. We (mum & dad) had so many great ideas of what Toby could do with this passage, different locations, different ideas and angles but as we started to share them we were shut down 'Mum, dad I already know what I'm going to do' and so a little unsure we began Super Family Bible Night.

Toby had dad read the story and the rest of us were to act it out; Lily as Mary, Toby as Jesus and mum as Martha (mmm is there anything in that??). The scene was set, actually it was quite literally set our dining room table seemed to look strangely similar to the table in the kids picture bible. It was not long after this point that we soon realised that Toby had spent most of his preparation time working out how he could copy each picture in the bible rather than thinking about the actual story. So we had flowers in a vase, a mortar and pestle, a broom - but very little attention was on the actual wording (note for next time get Toby to read from a bible without pictures first).

We did 'act out' the story and it was really fun but when it came time to look at what it means and how to pray we abruptly stopped. Toby was stuck – and as we tried to help – we saw the pout begin, the arms cross and he slouched into the couch. He's forgotten that we needed to not just tell the story but also to see what God is saying to us today through this story and to pray together.

And so I asked Lily what is God saying to you in this story about Mary and Martha? – Lily "I should love God... that we should pray more" – true but the way she said it reminded me of how kids often answer Sunday school questions "Moses"... "Noah"... "God"... or "Jesus".

Eventually we got to sharing about the importance of spending time with God, not just doing things for God (which is important) but spending time with God is more important.

In summary, a good fun night but I need to spend some time helping Toby (& Lily – who is next week) with the passage and reminding him about praying afterwards.

For more ideas and resources on Bible Engagement or to buy Kylie's 'Milk to Meat' book go to

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
Luke 10 38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught.40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me."   41 But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

David slays Goliath with the help of God... and sheep???

Well this week's 'Super Family Bible Night' didn't start out as planned, it started with me excitedly asking Adam when he got home from work "Have you got something fun planned for Super Family Bible Night' tonight?" Answer: "Oh, I hadn't given it a thought at all". Not such a good start! However, lack of preparation was certainly made up for in creativity and excitement (this week's was probably one of the most fun and interesting weeks). So, with props ready and bible in hand Adam began our journey of discovery.

With a grand opening line "Welcome to Super family Bible Night" (imagine the voice over at the theatre) "tonight we are looking at the story of David & Goliath." (Cheers from the crowd, well all 3 of us anyway). "Please take your seats". Adam, reverting back to his normal voice, begins to read the story of David and Goliath, of course we need a Goliath (the obvious choice is Adam as he stands 6'3" (190cm) tall), with his battle armour (a puffy jacket and cap) and his sword (a broom handle).

The next part to be allocated was that of King Saul (which of course I put my hand up for – lol), leaving a battle of siblings (between Toby & Lily) as to who would play David and who would play all other parts. The debate was settled with David being the youngest of all his brothers and so Lily being the youngest in our family played the part of David – much to the protest of Toby 'but David is a boy, and Lily can't be a boy'. As we read through the story we acted out each part, when we got to the part where David put on Saul's armour Lily put on Adam's huge coat, cap and we used a broom stick and plastic lid as sword and shield. It's looked hilarious on her, and she moaned, 'Daddy do I have to wear this it's too big' then promptly tripped over the jacket and fell flat on her tummy (thankfully she didn't hurt herself so we could all have a laugh) but it illustrated the point perfectly – David couldn't wear Saul's armour - it didn't fit.

Now we were at the interesting part of the evening – just what did Adam have prepared for David's sling? Adam had found a couple of pieces of scrap material and some string and we cut out makeshift slings with string attached (very clever) although I think Toby may have found a new "toy" to play with outside, probably aiming at some poor defenceless animal. As we made the slings, Adam chatted about what David did, looking after the sheep and that lions, tigers or animals would prey on the sheep to eat them, and so David would often use his sling to kill or scare off the predators. David got very good at using his slingshot and probably practised often in his time in the wilderness. Then once we'd finished making the sling, of course we had to have some practise shots (warning – find a soft ball to practise with especially if you are inside and near glass or mirrors).

Back to the story, David met Goliath, found it 5 smooth rocks, aimed at Goliath and threw it and... hit the wall behind him... then the chair... then backwards into the laundry... until finally (with mummy's help) hit Goliath and knocked him down. Then, of course we had to enact out David cutting of Goliath's head and holding it up (to Toby's delight) but as soon as Lily had acted that part out, she ran over to Adam and said "I'm sorry Daddy I didn't mean to cut your head off, did I hurt you?"

Now to the application part of the story: it came in 2 parts. We chatted to the kids about that...
  1. God has created each one of us individually – and that we aren't made do things exactly the same as everybody else. Just like when David put of Saul's armour – it didn't fit him. Sometimes we do things differently and that is ok. We don't have to be the same as everybody else.
  2. Who did David trust in? Toby (obvious answer) - "God". Lily's answer – "the sheep" (interesting). Not sure where that came from, but at least she was listening.
So, in summary, a great fun night had by all, and very memorable for the kids. That goes to show you don't have to be super organised to run a fun family bible night.

For more ideas and resources on Bible Engagement or to buy Kylie's 'Milk to Meat' book go to