CHARACTER CHALLENGE FOR KIDS: CONTENTMENT
Welcome to Day 3 of our Character Challenge Kids Camp! Today we will be learning all about CONTENTMENT. Be sure to follow along to get 7 days filled with meaningful and fun activities for your kids. (You can check out the full schedule here!) Feel free to jump around and do the days out of order, or stretch them out over several weeks.
WHY ARE MY KIDS NEVER SATISFIED?
Do your kids struggle with contentment? Are your children never happy with what they have, but always wanting something bigger or better? One more toy, one more video game, one more piece of cake. Do you wish that your kids could learn to be content? Do you want to raise kids who are grateful, and not entitled? Then today’s story and activities are for you!
In our consumer-minded society, it’s difficult to teach our children to be content, when the world around them entices them with something bigger or newer or better. As much as I’d like to blame our society, the struggle with contentment started way back before shopping malls or Netflix or Amazon.
Contentment is primarily a heart issue, not a “stuff” issue. The Bible has a lot to say about contentment. Let’s start off our day of camp with a story.
GRUMBLING IN THE DESERT – A STORY ABOUT CONTENTMENT
Ten-year-old Ephraim and his family have been traveling in the desert for weeks, and he is sick and tired of eating Manna every day. After his mom reminds him of all the ways God has blessed their family and taken care of them, Ephraim realizes the importance of being content with what God has given him.
READ THIS TO YOUR KIDS:
Have you ever been so excited to get a new toy for Christmas, but once you’ve played with it for a few days, it doesn’t seem so exciting anymore? Or have you been looking forward to downloading the latest video game, but then you beat all the levels in one day and it’s not so fun anymore? Or maybe you’ve been wanting to save up to buy a new nerf gun, but then you found out that your neighbor just bought one that was twice as big?
All of these situations have to do with contentment. Contentment means being happy and satisfied with what you have and with who you are, without always wanting something newer, or bigger or better.
The Bible has a lot to say about being content. Let’s listen to a story about a little boy who had to learn a lesson about being content.
CHARACTER CHALLENGE KIDS SUMMER CAMP
Just in case you didn’t know, this story is a part of our DIY kids summer camp! Here is a schedule where you can check out what our Camp Counselors, “aka” awesome faith bloggers, have in store for you ALL week. We designed our DIY summer camp to be fun and meaningful. Each day we focus on a character trait with a faith object lesson, family activities, and other fun. Come join us!
After you have read or listened to Grumbling in the Desert – A Story About Contentment, you can choose from any of the following fun activities to do with your kids!
“And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew. When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was. And Moses told them, “It is the food the Lord has given you to eat.”
Lay out several beach towels or picnic blankets around your back yard. Spread oyster crackers (or krispy rice cereal, or corn flakes) on each of the towels. Give each of your children a cup or a small basket and instruct them to “collect” the manna for their snack. Remind them to be thankful for the snack you’ve given them, and not complain that they have to pick it up themselves!
Joshua 4:21-24 (NLT)
Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”
Joshua set up a pillar of stones so the Israelites would always remember what God had done for them. Collect a few stones from your yard or a nearby stream. After cleaning and drying them, help your kids to write the word “Contentment” on one of the stones. If you have more than one stone per child, you can also write the words “Remember” and “Give Thanks.” Then you can decorate your stones with paint, markers or nail polish. (Nail polish works great!)
“I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
You’ll need 5 clothespins or paper clips for each child. (Hair-bands could work too). Give each child a set of 5 clothespins to clip onto his clothing. Every time you hear someone complaining or grumbling, they have to give you a clothespin! At the end of the day, whoever still has 5 (or 4) clothespins left gets a special treat.
- Set the time limit for just one or two hours, to give kids a better chance of making it through with all their clothespins.
- Give kids a second chance! If you ask your daughter to help with chores and she complains about it, say: “Would you like a chance to do this job cheerfully, or would you like to give up one of your clothespins?”
REMEMBER TO BE THANKFUL ACTIVITY
Psalm 9:1 (ESV)
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”
You’ll need a bowl full of small items for this activity… they could be edible or non-edible. (You could use the oyster crackers from the snack activity if you want). Other ideas: jelly beans, goldfish, animal crackers, legos, dominoes, etc.
Ask each child to take a handful of objects out of the bowl. For each piece they have taken, kids have to share one thing they are thankful for, or something God has done. (This could be something God has done for them personally, or something that God has done in the past, in the Bible).
Encourage your kids to begin their sentence with, “I’m thankful for…” or “I’m thankful that God…”
THANKFULNESS IN THE DESERT – PRINTABLE CRAFT ACTIVITY
“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”
Even when life is hard, we can still rejoice in the Lord and give thanks to Him for all He has done! Print out the activity below. Your children can cut out the clay jars and write or draw something they are thankful for on each jar. Then, glue the jars onto the desert scene. Glue on some rice to represent Manna! Then display in your home as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
BIBLE VERSES ABOUT CONTENTMENT
Psalm 77:11-12 (NLT)
“I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.”
The Bible has a lot to say about contentment. One of the best ways to overcome feelings of discontentment and dissatisfaction is to remember all the things God has done for you, and give Him thanks for His wonderful works! I have put together a collection of printable verse card for you, to remind you of God’s faithfulness and the importance of being content. Print them out, cut them apart, and display them around your home!
“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have.”
THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME ON DAY THREE OF OUR KIDS CHARACTER CAMP!
TOMORROW, JUMP OVER TO FRUGAL LANCASTER TO LEARN ABOUT BEING RESPECTFUL.
Our DIY Summer Camp is designed for 7 days starting on a Monday but feel free to adjust the schedule according to what works best for your family. If doing one character trait each day doesn’t work for you then spread it out between two weeks. Get the full details HERE!