When I first started this blog, I called it “Ms. Imani’s Bible Club.” I had a young toddler and originally wanted to equip parents to disciple their children. My background as a youth and children’s pastor + my love for food + my mom-in-law’s art expertise helped me to put together 7 Bible-based activities for young children. Since then, my blog has turned into one where I specifically encourage moms, knowing that when we build ourselves up in Jesus, the overflow of that blesses our families.
With all of the CRAZINESS that is going on in the world right now, namely the COVID-19 quarantine, I wanted to do something to help. However, it has been a very busy season for me to begin with. Since this blog started we had a baby and I started going to school full-time. I finished the audiobook version for my book and I have a ton of business to take care of. Thankfully, I remembered “I can teach kids about Jesus.” And I realized, I’ve already written some blogs about this!
You need things to do with your kids. Depending on how long you’ve been quarantined and how often you’ve left the house, you may have exhausted all of your creativity and at this point you’re trying to prevent your family members (and yourself) from killing each other. I gotchu. I went through the archives of the very first blogs and found 7 Bible-based activities for you to do with your kiddos. My daughter was 2 when this blog launched, but I could easily see her enjoying them now at almost 4-1/2, and they are easily modifiable for older kids.
1. Easter Egg Bible Study & “Resurrection Rolls”
I know Easter has passed, but you don’t have to stop celebrating. If you have some plastic Easter eggs leftover this is an easy way to remind your kids about what Jesus did for us. In the original blog, I made an easy snack that my then 2-year-old helped me with. It was just canned biscuit dough, marshmallows, cinnamon, and honey. Here what I had to say about it back in 2018 😜
I tried this same Bible study at home with my baby girl. I read her the story of Easter from one of her favorite Bibles, I did the object lesson with the Easter egg, and we also made a snack to go with it — Resurrection Buns, made of biscuit dough, cinnamon, and marshmallows. When baked, the marshmallow melts within the sweet biscuit and the center of the biscuit becomes hollow, representing the empty tomb! We drizzled ours with honey and they were heavenly. The buns were fluffy, not overly sugary, and the cinnamon added depth to the flavor. My daughter could not stop eating them. Even my mom (who does not have a sweet-tooth like I do and can be picky about her desserts) commented, “That’s really good.” So, they’re adult-approved. We will definitely be continuing this tradition — next year we’ll make these buns for Easter morning to go with breakfast.
2. Leftover Easter Candy “Snack” and a Bible Study
This Bible study uses up any leftover Easter candy and reminds us not to worry. I think it’s what we all need right now, don’t you? Here is what I had to say about it, pre- COVID-19.
Some of us went out of our way to create glorious memories for our kids, ensuring that we kept Christ in Easter without making them feel like they’re missing out on the goods just because they’re growing up Christian. So we took them to church and loaded them up on candy. Chocolate, Peeps, jelly beans… YOU NAME IT!!! And if we didn’t give it to them, the church probably did because they want our kids to associate church with the awesome things in life. It’s brilliant marketing and bribery and we are completely okay with it!
Whether you get your kids involved in making this snack or you make it for them, this is an opportunity to connect and remember the Bible story that goes with it. The big idea for the study is: “God will take care of me!” How awesome would it be if every time your child saw jellybeans, Peeps, or malted milk eggs they remember, “God will take care of me!”
3. Painted Collage Rocks
This was a really fun activity that my daughter made with my mom-in-law. In classic “Ms. Imani’s Bible Club” fashion, we did a Bible study with it. We made these into “creation rocks” for Earth Day. One rock represented each day of creation. My daughter owns these rocks to this day and they still look amazing. In the original blog, I wrote,
What I didn’t expect was for each of the painted rocks to have a mini collage on top of it! I said, “This is brilliant!” I never would have thought of that. My mom-in-law had improvised because she didn’t like the way the painted looked — which I’m sure is because she can be overly critical of her own work even though she has absolutely no reason to be! Here’s what you need to make your own collage rocks.
- Smooth rocks or stones
- Acrylic Paint as a base layer for the collage pictures
- Old magazines
- Elmer’s glue
- A pair of scissors
- Other accessories
4. Homemade Play Dough Inspiration
I wrote a blog back in the day with what I still consider to be THE BEST play dough recipe. This was pre- baby #2 and pre-college, when I was a full-time stay-at-home mom with a lot more time on my hands. Now that most of us are stay-at-home-parenting (except for essential workers – shoutout to you, we are grateful for you) we have some more time on our hands. The beauty of this recipe is that if you make a few batches, it can last you a month if you store it well and ration out how much the kids can play with. It used to be my go-to fun thing. Now I’m pulling it from the vault so you can try it out.
You can tell that this was early on in my blog because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to disclose my daughter’s name at the time. Her blog nickname was “Zay.” It was cute, I kind of wished it stuck, but her real life nickname is ZoZo and I don’t have a problem with people knowing my older daughter’s name is Zoié. Pronounced Zo-AY. It rhymes with Beyoncé. Here is an excerpt from that blog:
Enter play dough, stage right. I have been thinking about a Bible Study I could do with Zay that would help her remember Jesus when she’s playing with her play dough. My first thought was, “God is the potter and we are the clay.” At Zay‘s age (almost 2-1/2 years old ?), reiterating that she was created on purpose and loved is fundamental! Actually, even some of the teenagers we [serve] at our church often discuss their confusion with their schools teaching them about evolution, often asking whether God has a purpose for them or if things are just coincidence. So, really, all kids (and sometimes even we adults) need to remember that God made them, “fearfully and wonderfully” (Psam 139:14).
Some of my old blog posts are cringeworthy, but this one is fun to read. I recommend that you read it here and download the printable that goes with it. You can also download the printable directly with this link.
5. Tape-Resist Cross Art
This is an amazing craft for kids of all ages. My toddler at the time finger-painted and I decided to use my fingers too. It was surprisingly therapeutic. If you have some paints, paper, and tape, you can do this all day and turn them into cards. During this time of social distancing, you could do this craft as a family and mail them out to the elderly, extended family, your favorite teachers, and the friends you haven’t seen in a while. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. Here’s how much I loved them when I wrote about this craft back in the day!
For my daughter it was fun to get messy, and for me it was soothing and relaxing. It’s also a great opportunity to talk about the Cross and what it means for us as Christians. For my two-year-old that meant identifying the shape as a cross and asking her who died on the cross (though she has no clue what death is) and asking her if Jesus loves us. Very simple and it’s something that can be a great reminder when hung up in your home or put in a frame. You could also experiment with paper sizes and if you make it small enough, you and your kids could carry them in backpacks, wallets or purses. Add a memory verse to the back and you take it to another level! John 3:16 is a perfect place to start, but consider choosing a memory verse that reflects what your family needs to remember right now in whatever season you’re in.
6. Ruth Bible Study, Craft, and Snack
This was actually the first ever home bible study we ever put together on the blog. My mom-in-law came up with the craft and I came up with the snack and it was so special because it was three generations of women doing life together. I love my mom-in-law the way, in the Bible, Ruth loved Naomi, so I remember feeling so proud and a little emotional the day we did this study together. My husband was at work so he missed out.
We made delicious three-ingredient cereal bars and a 2-D paper wheat basket craft to go with this Ruth Bible Study for kids. The theme was “Kindness.” Here is what I had to say about it:
In the Bible, Naomi is a widow whose sons pass away. One of her daughter-in-laws, Ruth, vowed to stay by her side even though it meant she may never get married again or have children. Ruth was of a different background culturally but she actually decided to worship Naomi’s God. They went back to Naomi’s native home and Ruth gleaned (picked up heads of grain that fell) in the fields of a wealthy man who she didn’t know would become her future husband! God provides for Naomi and Ruth. He honored Ruth for her kindness towards Naomi and for committing to Him and to her family. So, in His kindness, God allowed Ruth to be part of His family, literally and spiritually. She is one of he great, great, great… grandmothers of Jesus!
7. Play on Your Terms
Okay, so this one is not a Bible activity, but it’s a blog that I think will give you some ideas when you’re exhausted during this time at home and your kids want to play and you just CANNOT. I will admit, that when I first started this blog I was very intense and had these strict ideas of the kind of mom I was “supposed to be” so you might sense some of that in this blog, especially when I say that not wanting to play with your kids is “selfish.” Wow, Imani, CHILL OUT!
I realized now that the tough love I shared here was really me being tough on myself so please don’t take it personally. (Check out this other blog about lessons I have learned since then, including how to show myself grace!) I do go on to give 15 suggestions on things to do instead of playing with your kids. It’s a little contradictory, but the list is gold for times like this when the “mom guilt” may be running high, but playing with Barbies one more time might drive you to insanity. Here is one of my favorite suggestions during these days of quarantine craziness!
14. Let your kids do the thing you don’t want them to do — within reason.
You know that thing that normally you would make a big deal out of them doing, but if they did it wouldn’t really harm anyone. Let them do it. Let them play with the pots and Tupperware. Have them sort through the canned food. Set them up in front of the TV. Allow them play with water using bowls and spoons. Let them make a mess (and remind them that they will be helping with clean up). You’ll buy yourself some extra time doing whatever you’re doing (or not doing) until you’re ready/able to play or it’s time for the next thing on your schedule.
These are weird/scary/abnormal/frustrating/difficult/etc. times. I hope that these activities help make things fun for your little ones while school and childcare is not what it used to be. Please be patient with yourself and your kiddos while you navigate this new season. Prioritize your self-care and meaningful moments with the family, mourn the changes and disruptions that are out of your control, celebrate and give thanks for the things that are going right, and above all, hold on to Jesus. Love you!
Hey sis! I’m Imani, the Young Moms’ Advocate and Legacy Activator, who is here to help your family prosper. Also, I’m probably dancing to Michael Jackson right now.