It’s always a bummer when someone in the family has to miss church because he or she is sick. It is even more of a bummer when EVERYONE in the family is sick and has to miss. This happened in my family earlier this year. So, instead of doing the usual “sick on the couch and watch movies all day” routine, I announced to my four-year-old daughter that since we couldn’t be at church, we could play church! She loved the idea! Here’s what we did:
- She told me she was going to be me and I was going to be Pastor Knight.
- While she gathered her stuffed animals to be a part of our congregation, I gathered some materials for our service: my Bible, one of her storybook Bibles (I highly recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible), and a music CD.
- My daughter arranged all of her stuffed animals and got them all “Bibles” (whatever books she had).
- We read, we prayed, we sang songs, we read a lesson from her Bible, and we even passed around an offering plate. J Then, we sang the closing song that we typically sing at church.
My daughter had a great time, and it was so neat to see her perspective of our Sunday services through this type of role play. I think it is also a great way to get her excited about the things of God! She loves pretend play at this age, and to integrate pretend play with truth is a great way to engage her.
You can make it very simple. There are so many great resources available for teaching children God’s Word (The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Gospel Story Bible are two that we have enjoyed). There are also so many sing-along children’s CDs! We sang “Father Abraham” and used body motions to go along with the song. You don’t have to be a musician or singer! Just play the CD and sing from your heart.
Most importantly, as you are playing with your children and incorporating Christ as part of that play, remember that you are making memories for you and your children and this is part of teaching His words “…when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut.6:7).