Fall Fun for the Whole Family!

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Kids LOVE to be a part of your day-to-day life. They want to spend time with you, and they want to know that they are a blessing to you!

Okay, so maybe you don’t feel like your child is a blessing when you walk in the room and realize they have dumped all 10,000 of their LEGOs onto the floor or when they try to make their own breakfast and pour the whole gallon of milk onto the kitchen table.

But, as parents, we have the responsibility to create activities that encourage our child and help draw out their giftings and talents! We should always seek to find ways to encourage and genuinely compliment our children. One way to do this is by finding projects and activities that we would regularly do ourselves and include our children in them! Yes, it may take a little longer and be a little messier, but the investment you make into your child will increase their self esteem and make them feel more connected to you! Furthermore, these activities help to train our kids to do adult tasks like cooking, cleaning, and decorating! Here are three easy activities you can do with your kids as we launch into fall!

1. Apple crescents (3 and up)

Who doesn’t love to eat? Seriously! I remember feeling so important and so helpful when my grandmother let me help her make her famous Apple Pie. But, let’s face it, not every kid is super helpful in the kitchen! These simple apple crescents are simple to make, and you can let your child in on as much of the action as you want! Older kids could help peel and cut apples and measure other ingredients, while 3 and 4 year-old children can work on their motor skills by rolling the apple slices in the pastry dough!

2. Fall Decorations (7 and up)

Setting up fall decorations is one of my personal favorite ways to ring in a new season! Have your kids help you in the decorating process! Whether that means letting them arrange pumpkins outside your door or working together to create a fall-themed wreath, your kids are sure to feel important and valued! Take the time to encourage whatever gift your child has! If they are artistic, let them take the lead! If they like working with tools, help them pick out an age appropriate DIY project. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, your child will love simply spending time with you! 

3. Apple Picking/Fall Festivals (All Ages)

Apple picking is a great way to involve your whole family in an activity! Older kids will love finding and picking the biggest, most perfect apple; younger kids will enjoy the sights, smells, textures, and probably riding on your shoulders to reach the best apple! 

When we spend time with our kids, we open up opportunities to learn more about what they excel at and encourage those behaviors.

For more on how to use these activities to help encourage your child, check out this article by Kids Ministry Expert, Reggie Joiner!

What’s your favorite fall activity to do with your kids? Check in with the conversation on the Ultra Kids Facebook Page!

How to make the most of the start of the school year

Back to school means back to sports, homework, parent teacher conferences, bus rides, and so much more. For stay-at-home parents, you go from having endless time to connect with your kids to having them in school for 6+ hours a day. For working parents, it means your kids have extra demands on their time, cutting down on the precious hours you get to spend with them.

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So, how do we stay connected with our kids despite the schedule adjustments and change of pace that comes with school? How do we make the most of the moments while helping our kids steward their time well? How do we handle day-to-day battles like homework, chores, and relationships without causing frustration and division?

The bottom line is that there is no easy, "one-size fits all" solution. What works for one child might not work for another. Each child is uniquely made by God and requires a unique parent-child relationship.

The start of a new school year is a great time to renew your commitment to continually learning about your child and developing a parenting style that helps them grow and stay connected with you. Whether you and your child fight every day, or you’ve never fought a day in your life, we can always work on becoming better, more kingdom-minded parents.

Take a minute and brainstorm these three questions:

1. What is one age-appropriate area I want my child to improve in this school year?

An age appropriate goal might be, getting your child to start doing weekly chores or saying please and thank you. Whether it’s a behavior, habit or attitude, an age-appropriate goal should stretch your child without going beyond their physical and mental abilities. For example, you wouldn’t expect your three year old to clear the dinner table by themselves, but you could expect them to wait for their turn to talk to an adult.

On the flip side, you would be doing your teenager a disservice to focus on a goal they can easily master, like saying please and thank you, but you would be setting them up for success by helping them establish and keep a daily prayer and Bible reading routine. Whatever you pick, evaluate it frequently and work with your child until they have mastered that area!

2. What is one stress area in my relationship with my child? How can I work to navigate this area without compromising on my standards or needs?

A stress area is  topic of conversation or a task that consistently causes tension between you and your child. It could be chores, homework, or something else entirely. (For more on this, check out Brittney Sherpell’s link below) These areas need to be managed in order to help us stay connected with our kids and to help them develop the habits and attitudes necessary to succeed later in life.

3. How can I focus on intentionally creating opportunities for connection in the middle of the business of back-to-school?

Between schoolwork, fall activities and sporting events, there is plenty to do and little time to do it! As parents, we have the responsibility of creating moments to connect with our kids. Whether that means scheduling out your weekends so you can go apple picking or take a walk by the lake, settle in your mind that you will connect with your kids and always grow in your relationship with them!

Maybe you have some ideas on how you can answer these questions, but odds are, you are looking for some guidance. Here are two of my favorite parenting resources to help you start the school year strong.

Some of my favorite materials for parents come from Loving on Purpose, a group founded by Bethel Redding Pastor Danny Silk. His daughter Brittany provides brief, daily trips for parents on Facebook Live. She covers everything from temper tantrums to her most recent teaching, winning the homework battle!

I especially love her Facebook page because it’s not complicated; it doesn’t take a long time. You can pull up one of her teachings when you leave the house and be done by the time you get to school for pick-up. Parents, for a daily dose of encouragement, check out her page on Facebook!

theparentcue.org has some amazing blogs about parenting and helping your child grow through a Biblical lens. It also coordinates with our current curriculum and provides information on how to connect with your kids throughout the week while reviewing what they learned on Sunday. To get started, check out their back to school article, 3 Ways to Survive the Back to School Season.

As always, if you have any questions or if you want help leading your family, you can see your Campus Ultra Kids Director! We would love to partner with you and see you be the amazing parent that God made you to be!

Expect Great Things!

If you treat your child as though all the blessings in the Bible belong to them and all the power Christ gives us is theirs, then they will rise to that standard and begin moving in the Holy Spirit at a young age! If we write off the gifts of the spirit as for older people or pastors, our children will leave their own spiritual gifts and supernatural gifts untapped into adulthood!