We always tell our children that Jesus loves them. And 99% of us know the song Jesus loves me (this I know) by heart even if we don’t have children. But do we ever stop to celebrate this with our children?
We do. Each year after we finish our one week God Loves Me curriculum, we top it off with a Jesus loves me party.
A few of us in this area use the curriculum the week of Valentines (or the week before if Valentines falls early in the week) and then have a combined party.
Even if you don’t use the curriculum, this party can be a huge hit for you too. Here’s how we do it…
Our Jesus loves me party has two parts to it. The first part is at home with each individual family. The second part is a group party. (And what little kid doesn’t like to party with their friends?)
After a review of the materials covered in our curriculum, we discuss how our bodies are made in His Image. We have a brief discussion on how to present our bodies in a respectful and pleasing way, and then each gets to dress up how he/she wishes with this in mind.
Some kids want to wear Sunday best clothes, the girls may want to dress more “princess like.” Here is a cute hair style I was asked to do last year. And here is the version I tried on my own hair (per request, of course).
Next, we decorate with the intention to please God. What would He like? What would make Him happy? Last year, the littlest ones decided making a quick trip to clean their rooms would be pleasing to God. Yeah, I totally just went with it!
I have decorations out in the main room for the kids to decorate with. Since we generally have the group party at our house, we have plenty of time to toss some decorations together while the other families are finishing their home parties and heading over.
As a group
As kids start arriving, we change gears.
We sit and read some books until everyone has arrived. Which books we choose depend on what ages are present. Some of our favorite are My Valentine For Jesus board book, The Berenstain Bear’s Valentine Blessings, God Gave Us Love, and If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart board book.
When everyone is present, we all sit down together and again discuss how God made each of us in His Image. We take turns doing some role playing about how we can practice loving each other. After a bit of a game of this, we talk about how showing each other love and acknowledging and respecting that all men were made in His Image is a sign of love to God, and an act of Worship to Him.
It’s important by the end of this exercise for the kids to understand that this isn’t just a game, but practice for real life.
Then we review from the curriculum the gifts God has given us as signs of love. And then…our Jesus Love Me party begins.
Everyone has brought their arts and crafts from the week’s curriculum. Since different options were given for each lesson, different families chose different crafts, and there is a great display of them.
Being farmers, we’ve always got baling twine. You can string each end up to different places in the room, and use clothes pins to pin on the lighter crafts.
We make heart cookies. This can be a daunting task, but I’ve learned some tricks.
- You can make the cookies a day ahead and just have the kids decorate at the party. This is quicker, but it’s also messier and likely involves more sugar.
- What I prefer to do is have the dough already made. I pull it out of the freezer 15 minutes before it’s ready to roll. And, I’ve been known to have half of them already cut out if the kids attending are super tiny. They’ll only cut a couple out, and then want a cookie right away. This is a good way to have a tray (in the freezer or fridge depending on your recipe) ready to put in the oven as cookies are cut out.
Don’t want to make cookies? You can make heart garland instead. This usually takes the enlistment of older kids or other parents.
After everyone leaves, it’s usually lunch time. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are always a hit, and since the heart-shaped cookie cutters are already out, the sandwiches usually take a heart shape too.
I found a couple of other cute ideas too:
- I have yet to have the time to construct this bulletin board that I love.
- This is the February calendar I use.
- We don’t do “Valentines” but this is an idea that some parents might appreciate.
What other things do you do? I’d love for you to share your ideas with me.