In the summer months, outdoor hands-on activities with teachable moments will engage and stir your children’s curiosity. The following teachable moment ideas are designed to help make a connection between faith and the God-given gift of the great outdoors:
- Take your class on a Psalm 23 hike in a park that includes green pastures, quiet waters, and a valley. Invite children to talk about the importance of a path and the comfort of having God as a companion as they make their way through each day.
- Watch for butterflies. Observing their delicate and fragile wings is a gentle nudge for us to pray for anyone who is in need of gentle care.
- Get ready to hug a tree in a wooded area. Ask the class to gather around one large tree and each put a hand on the trunk of the tree. Explain that the trunk of the tree is there to shape it and to provide support to the branches and leaves as they grow upward and outward. Spread out in the area and encourage everyone in the class to find a tree to hug. Read John 15:5—“I am the vine, you are the branches.” If we are the branches, what are the ways that God protects us, supports us, and gives us life? The branch has to be connected to the trunk of the tree to have life. How do we stay connected to God? Invite the children to hug their tree and then have them look overhead into the branches. Take a few moments to name the ways that they are growing upward and outward and becoming the children God wants them to be in the world.
- Sit in the midst of a bunch of blooming flowers and read Song of Solomon 2:12 together: “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voices of the turtledove is heard in our land.” This verse is a reminder that God’s gifts of color and creativity surround us. Using every letter in the alphabet, work together as a class to name 26 colorful things in creation.
Summer also includes campfires, clouds, stars, sand, birds, and storms. All of these pieces of summer are waiting for you to add a teachable moment that will show your children how they can connect their faith to the great outdoors.