Whether you're staying home or hitting the road, check out this summer resource! Packed with fun games, activities and even a summer worship playlist for the whole family to enjoy!
Summer is here, and we have so much to celebrate! After all, we’re entering the season of ice cream, fireflies, pool time, lawn chairs, hammocks, flip flops, cookouts, watermelons, fireworks, amusement parks, road trips and no homework or school projects as far as the eye can see!
Your summer may not include all of those things, but there’s surely something on that list, or your own definition of summer fun, that should bring a smile to your face as we roll into June.
But best of all, God is good, and this is a great season to enjoy Him, His creation and time with our families. That’s why we’ve loaded this Parent Newsletter with ideas to help your family make the most of this summer together.
Psalm 113:3 says, “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised” (NIV). That means we get to celebrate God everywhere we go, all day long. So no matter what your summer looks like, our prayer is that your family has a blast celebrating God and this awesome season that He has made for us to enjoy.
Fun at Home
Summer is that sweet spot between spring and fall, it’s the chapter between school years, and the down time from strict routines. It’s that special time of year where we are encouraged to both play hard and relax. Summer fun doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant and the good news is you can do it all from home. Here are 5 ideas to make the most of summer at home together.
1. Family Explorations: Take a walk or a hike together as you explore God’s amazing creations together as a family. Turn it into a bingo game! Simply place pictures on a bingo sheet of some of God’s creations you can expect to see on your journey. Everytime someone spots something from the page, mark it off! John 1:3 reminds us that God is the creator of all living things, “All things were made through him. Nothing that has been made was made without him.”
2. Campout: Building a fort or pitching a tent in the backyard can be a great way to get away but still have all the comforts of home. Include your kids in the building process and use things you can find around your house and yard. Brooms and mops make great support poles, while sheets and blankets can give you walls for your new “vacation home.” Talk to your kids about Hebrews 3:4, “Every house is built by someone. But God is the builder of everything.”
3. Backyard Obstacle Course: Make your own backyard version of American Ninja Warrior! Race through the obstacle courses. For extra fun, time each other to see who can get through it the fastest and with the least amount of mistakes. Like the obstacle course, sometimes we face things that are hard for us. In those hard times the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this by the power of Christ. He gives me strength.”
4. Sidewalk Art and Notes: In the Bible, we are instructed by God to encourage one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “So encourage one another with the hope you have. Build each other up. In fact, that’s what you are doing.” One way we can do this is by leaving positive notes of love and encouragement on our driveways or sidewalks. Anyone passing by will likely see it and you just never know how something so simple might touch someone’s heart.
5. Bug’s Life: Explore God’s smallest creatures by going on a bug hunt, catching fireflies, or raising your own butterflies. Pull out the magnifying glass and check out God’s perfect design in even the smallest of living things. If you choose to watch the transformation of a butterfly up close, remind your kids that God transforms us too! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here!”
No matter how you choose to spend this summer as a family, remember to turn off the TV and put down the electronic devices. There is a whole world right outside your door waiting for you and your family to find both play and rest.
On The Road
This summer many of our Southland families will be hitting the road for family vacations or day trips. No matter how far you may be traveling (even if it’s just around town), here are some ideas to make your summer family car time way more fun.
Road Trip Playlist
One of the best parts of a road trip is listening to great tunes while you’re cruising down the highway. To help get you started, here are some of our favorite worship songs from the Big Picture Show you can use as the soundtrack for your next family adventure. For an added challenge, see if your kids can do the song motions from the back seat!
Road Trip Games
Are we there yet? Family road trips can be awesome or not-so-awesome, depending on how things go with your kids. Here are some classic road trip games to help pass the time.
Big Picture Show To Go
If you’re on the road this summer, check out the Weekly Bible Blast to make sure your kids don’t miss out on their worship and teaching time. You’ll also find a family devotion to go with each lesson to make it easy to talk about what your kids are learning together.
Summer Series: Press Play
Have you ever seen an athlete wearing headphones before a big competition? They’re listening to their favorite music to get inspired and feel confident so they will be ready to compete.
When it comes to leading our kids spiritually, though, we have something that will give them even more confidence than a catchy soundtrack. We have the unchanging message of God’s Word.
This summer we’ll be teaching kids to “press play” on the big truths of the Bible to build their confidence in God. In June and July all ages will be learning about the gift of God’s Son from John 3:16 and that nothing can separate us from His love. They will discover how God has a great plan for their lives and that they can trust Him no matter what.
Here are three things you can do to impress these life-changing truths on your kids all summer long.
1. Any week you’re in town, bring your kids to their Children’s Ministry environment at whichever campus you attend.
2. If you’re on the road or have to miss, take 15 minutes and watch your child’s teaching and worship service with them on the Weekly Bible Blast page. Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox each week.
Whether you’re in person or online, do the family devotion you can find on the Weekly Bible Blast page to help you have great conversations as a family all summer long.