Father's Day is a ready-made opportunity for children to not only honor their human fathers but also to learn about their Heavenly Father. They can create a craft that combines a fun painting activity and a short Bible lesson. Children will go home with both a beautiful gift for a special man in their lives as well and deeper understanding of God's love for them.
Materials You Will Need
For this project, you will need newspaper, old shirts or art smocks, terracotta plant pots, acrylic craft paint, paper plates, small paint brushes, permanent markers, potting soil, seeds, wooden craft sticks, craft glue and index cards. It may also be helpful to have a Bible and a concordance.
Cover the work area with newspaper. Have children (especially younger kids) put on an old shirt over their clothes to protect them from paint drips or spills. Squirt a small amount of paint onto each plate, one color per plate. Give each child a pot.
Have each child dip the palm of his hand into the paint so it is evenly covered. Help them press their hand onto the side of the pot to leave a hand print. Make as many hand prints as desired. If the child wants to make prints in more than one color, make sure he washes his hands before changing colors. With the markers, have each child write her name and the date. Older children may enjoy using a small paintbrush to paint their names instead.
Planting the Seeds
Fill each pot with soil and plant a few seeds inside. Let the children choose from a variety of seeds, according to what they think their dad will like. If he's a gardener, he might like flowers. Marigolds and nasturtiums are easy to grow in pots. If he likes to cook, he might appreciate some herbs, such as basil, oregano or dill. Water each plant enough to moisten the soil but not so much that water drains out the bottom.
Bible Lesson and Devotional Time
Set the pots aside and have everyone wash their hands. Talk with the kids about what the Bible says about fathers. Some good passages to read are Psalm 22:3-5, Psalm 44:1-3, Proverbs 3:11-13, Luke 15, Ephesians 6:2-4, Colossians 3:20-22 and Hebrews 12:7. Talk to them about God the Heavenly Father, who gave his only son Jesus to die for their sins in their place. Explain that if they place their trust in Jesus, they can call God their father, as well. Good verses to read are Psalm 89:25-27, Psalm 103:12-14, Isaiah 64:8 and Galatians 4:6.
The Garden Marker
Have each child choose a verse and write it on an index card. On a second index card, they can write "Happy Father's Day" or a similar message. Glue a craft stick to the back of one of the cards so it makes a handle. Glue the second card on top of the stick, sandwiching it between the two cards. Stick the craft stick into the soil in the plant pot, so it looks like a garden marker.
When delivering this lesson, be sensitive to the family situations of the children in the group. Some of them may not have fathers or many not have healthy relationships with the fathers they do have. Do not minimize the love of God as the Heavenly Father but recognize that a child may not want to make his or her gift for a father. The same craft can be made for a step-dad, grandfather, brother or uncle, for a close family friend or for any person the child wishes to honor.
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