A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to get a preview of the Sparkhouse Family’s Play and Learn series as well as their Devotions for Kids books in exchange for writing my honest opinion about the materials. Now I’m mad at myself for waiting so long to share my thoughts!
Let’s start with the Play and Learn series of books. The Play and Learn books have an average of 12-16 sections in each. Each section includes a short story from the Bible, a conversation starter, a prayer to share, a section to draw and discover, a puzzle, a verse to learn, a guide to reading more about the particular story, how the story relates to us today, and a family activity. A cute little bonus is a character named Squiqqles. Squiggles is a caterpillar that appears in every story and engages the child by identifying and expressing feelings and emotions.
The Devotions for Kids book is a great devotional for kids and adults! Each devotion includes a story, discussion questions, a prayer, key verses, and an activity the family can do together. I really like the fact that Squiggles is a constant companion for the kids and is also featured in the devotional. This makes it really easy to combine the stories from the Play and Learn books and the devotional.
The best thing about this line of books is that it is a great way to spend time together as family. Whether you only have five minutes or 30 minutes, you can have intentional and meaningful discussion and playtime with your kids.
Below is an example of how I took the story of Naomi and Ruth, where the theme is family, and stretched it out over the course of a week.
Day 1: Using the Play and Learn book, I read the short story and asked the questions already provided, “Where does your family like to go together? How do you welcome each other home?” We discuss how it feels to be loved and what that looks like using Squiggles. We finish by reading the short prayer provided in the book.
Day 2: This time I used the Devotions for Kids book and read a short story about Naomi and Ruth. I asked the questions already provided in the devotional book and we go over the key verse from the story. There’s a fun activity suggested where the kids walk around the house and take pictures of items that mean “family” to them. After this we go over the short prayer in the book. (The devotional provides details as to where to find the story in your Bible if your family wants to go more in-depth.)
Day 3: We reviewed Day 1 and Day 2 by just going over how Ruth and Naomi are related to one another and the importance of family. Then we looked at pictures of other families doing things together. One thing our family likes to do is go out for ice cream on Sunday evenings, so we discussed that and the girls drew pictures of our family. We finished the evening by saying the short prayer from Day 1.
Day 4: Play dough fun! We didn’t have a chance to do this yet but the book provides the instructions. We finished by going over the prayer.
Although we ended on Day 4, the Play and Learn book offered at least three other activities to do as a family.
Overall, I loved the books!! If you would like to purchase these books for your family I have a treat for you! From now until 10/15/2016, you can get 25% off discount on Sparkhouse Family products. Just click on the picture below and type in the promotional code BLOGGER to receive your discount! Enjoy!