Galatians 5:22 and 23 describe love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, kindness and self-control as being the fruit of the spirit. In other words, these are the characteristics God desires to see in His followers. You know how hard it is to get your preschooler to show these characteristics, especially self-control. The good news is that a few entertaining and hands-on activities will help teach your child more about the fruit of the spirit.
1. Art Projects
Cut out nine different types of fruit from colored craft foam such as an apple from red and grapes from purple. Write one of the fruit of the spirit on each fruit shape and let your preschooler glue each to a picture of a tree. If your child can write, let him write the fruit of the spirit on the fruit for some extra handwriting practice. Cut fresh fruits in half and show your little artist how to dip them in washable tempera paint and press them on white paper. Ask him to decide which fruit represents each fruit of the spirit as he paints. Give your preschooler colored clay and have him roll and mold it to make fruit. Look online for fruit of the spirit coloring pages as a simple craft that will keep your kiddo busy for a few minutes.
Read the verses from Galatians as the obvious way to teach your preschooler about the fruit of the spirit. The book "9 Fruits Alive" by Mindy MacDonald has cute illustrations, but it also tells about the fruit of the spirit in preschool-friendly words, making it easy for your kiddo to understand how to show the nine characteristics in her own life. "Fruits of the Spirit: Study Guide for Children" by Catherine Garrett doesn't have pictures for your child to enjoy, but it has text that helps her understand how to treat others and show love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, kindness and self-control. It'll also give you some good ideas for telling your little one more about this Bible passage.
3. Role Play
You probably won't earn an Emmy, but acting out each of the fruit of the spirit with your child is an entertaining way to illustrate exactly what they each mean. Practice with your preschooler how to show love by giving hugs or by drawing pictures for grandparents. Learn more about gentleness by showing your child how to pet a puppy or kitten or by covering a baby sibling or cousin with a soft blanket. Use role-playing as a simple way to reinforce the rules of your home when your little one has trouble behaving himself. Practicing appropriate behavior will (hopefully) help him remember how to act next time.
4. Fruit Activities
Eat some fresh fruit to learn more about this Bible passage. As an added bonus, you might be able to get your preschooler to eat fruit without a fight. Make a tasty fruit salad and discuss the different fruit of the spirit as you enjoy it together. Cut a variety of fruit into chunks and let your child dip them in melted dark chocolate as a sweet introduction to the fruit of the spirit. Dip the fruit in low-fat plain yogurt for a healthier treat. Fruit kebabs or sliced fruit arranged on a plate in the shape of a rainbow are additional snacks that might get your kiddo excited about these Bible verses.
- Kids' Travel Guide to the Fruits of the Spirit; Group Publishing
- Let's Hear It for the Fruit of the Spirit; Lois Keffer
- Bible Kids Fun Zone: Fruit of the Spirit Crafts and Art Activities
- 9 Fruits Alive; Mindy MacDonald
- Fruits of the Spirit: Study Guide for Children; Catherine Garrett
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