Peace! Isn’t it interesting that the time we celebrate the Prince of Peace entering the world is a time that many would consider the least peaceful month of the year? What can we do to change this? I have found in my own life that when my heart and body are not at peace, I usually can trace it back to one of these root causes- worry/stress or discontentment/envy. Do you think our kids experience a lack of peace this way as well?
Scripture shares with us the secret to combating these distractions and regaining the peace that God promises in Philippians 4:6-7. Although Week 2 of Advent focuses on Jesus’ amazing gift of Peace, we are talking about it all month long, and I am using Phil 4:6-7 as my personal memory verse this month! We hope the resources below can help fill your homes with peace during the Christmas season.
Although Whit’s fine motor skills are not up for cutting out these pictures yet, Justice was a big help and took care of the cutting and letter tracing while Whit demonstrated his mastery of the glue stick by matching then gluing the pictures!
Last summer at church camp, Melissa Roe taught Chip about Basket Prayers. When he got home that day, he couldn’t wait to share this new way of praying with his brothers. As he helped make a basket with each of their hands, Chip showed them how to lift it up to God as they gave all of their worries to Him! After reflecting on this, I wanted to give my littles a tangible object to represent their worries to use with this basket prayer.
The boys and I made these worry stones out of polymer clay over the summer, but we brought them out to use with this lesson and they LOVED dropping them into the basket to represent their worries.
Introduction for kids:
Our WOW word this month is peace. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit! It’s a gift Jesus gives us that we can also share with others. Peace starts inside of us when we feel calm and safe. We’re not worried about what might happen; we know that Jesus is in control of everything, we trust Him and that gives us inner peace!
But sometimes, a thought may pop into our head that says, What if someone in my family gets sick? (Drop stone into basket.) What if a bad guy breaks into our house? (Drop another stone in the basket.) What if I don’t get the presents I want for Christmas? (Drop another stone in the basket.) Those thoughts are called worries, and worry is the opposite of peace. Do you have any worries? Worries can seem really big, and they can also get really heavy when we carry them around, but the Bible tells us:
“Do not be anxious (anxious is another word for worry) do not be worried about anything, but pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”Phil 4:6-7
When we pray, it’s like giving God our basket of worries (lift up the basket like you’re giving it to God) and asking Him to replace our worries with His peace. After we give our worries to God, we don’t carry them around with us anymore. God is big enough to take all of our worries, and he never runs out of Peace!
Steps to Make Worry Stones
Step 1: Give everyone two colors of polymer clay(small amounts).
Step 2: Show kids how to mix the two together, by smashing, twisting and rolling the clay, but do not overmix. Leave some contrast.
Step 3: Roll the clay into a ball and press down with the palm of your hand to shape like a stone, 1/4” to 1/2” thick.
Step 4: Use your thumb to make an indentation in the stone. (This gives children something to rub as they talk about their worries and provides a way for each child to personalize their stone.)
Step 5: Bake according to package directions.
Keep the stones in a basket for kids to hold when they are anxious or worried. (We put ours by the boys’ beds as nighttime seems to be the time they verbalize their worries the most.) As kids hold the stones, show them how to form a basket with their hands and lift it up to show they are giving their worries to God.
*This activity focuses on self awareness as kids express feelings, needs, and desires in appropriate ways and fine motor skills as they shape and work with the clay.
“May the God of hope fill you all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:13