It’s hard to believe, but summer is right around the corner! For some, summer is a season of lazy days and extra time to catch up on all the stuff that you’re just too busy to do during the school year. For others, we are frantically planning what to do with our kids, because our lives don’t slow down, even when school is out. As you make your plans for summer study or travel, for camps and play dates, consider making some time for summer formation as well. After all, your kids (at least) might have some extra time, and what better opportunity to grow in the knowledge and love of God?!
So, today we have a variety of summer formation resources for kids of every stripe. Check out all the choices, and find one that works for your kid and your family. Then commit some weekly time to growing together in faith. I promise, it will be a highlight of your summer!
Summer Formation Resources for LEGO Lovers
Do you have a kid that is crazy for building with LEGOs? Then you have a great opportunity to help them build their faith with those little bricks! Check out The Brick Bible or the Brick Bible Storybooks.
These books have photos of LEGO constructions alongside the biblical text, to make the story come to life. Maybe set a goal to read a Bible a story each day (or once a week). Then, for added engagement, challenge your kids to build a story themselves! Read aloud to them from the family Bible, give everyone a pile of LEGOs (including yourself) and then see what everyone builds.
Author’s note: some of the LEGO depictions in the Brick Bible are graphic. Although that is true to the biblical text, it might not be right for your kid. Pre-read the book if you are concerned.
Summer Formation Resources for Fact Finders
Do you have a kid who is nuts for non-fiction and loves those National Geographic ‘Did you know?’ books? There are so many cool and interesting facts for your kids to explore about the Bible this summer! Try getting them a few Bible fact books, and watch their engagement in faith explode. You could even have them take it a step further and create a quiz show for the whole family to do together based on what they’ve learned. Here are some good titles to consider:
Summer Formation Resources for Scientists
Summer is a great time to do some of those messy science experiments that your kids have been clamoring for all year. Because now you can do them outside! There are some great resources for experiments and object lessons that help connect faith to science, and enrich our understanding of both. Check out these choices and see what you discover about science, about God, and about one another!
Author’s note: there are one or two mentions of biblically fundamentalist beliefs that are not compatible with the Episcopal Church’s teachings (for example, Indescribable mentions dinosaurs and dragons) — but MOST of the content and science is solid and interesting. Pre-read the books to decide whether they are right for you. You could easily skip those lessons, or simply engage your children in conversation about them.
Summer Formation Resources for Graphic Novel Aficionados
Graphic novels are all the rage these days; my kids devour them as soon as we get them from the library. Did you know there are even graphic novel versions of the Bible? The Action Bible is one of those options, and it can be an incredibly compelling way to get reluctant readers engaged with the biblical text.
There’s the original Action Bible and the Action Bible Storybook Bible (for younger kids). One great way to use these books is to have your kids read a story in the Action Bible, then read that story in another bible, then print out a comic book template, and have your kids illustrate the story themselves!
Author’s note: These books are written in traditional graphic novel style, which means they have the same visual style and violence you would find in superhero comics. Some people love this, and some object to it. Pre-read the books or use the Amazon “look inside” feature to decide if it’s right for your family.
Summer Formation Resources for Artists
All kids are artists, but some just won’t put down the pens for anything. If your kid is a budding artist, try to engage that talent and interest in biblical study as well.
For the constant doodler, try Doodle through the Bible for Kids, a little book that allows you to fill in the margins in lots of biblical stories.
One of my favorite resources is Illustrated Children’s Ministry, a group that produces curricula both for churches and for families. Their curriculum “An Illustrated Invitation” is a 12-week study designed especially for families with coloring pages, devotional materials, bible readings, activities, and discussion questions. So grab a new box of colored pencils and invite your entire family to illustrate their faith this summer!
Summer Formation Resources for Committed Conservationists
Is your kid an animal lover who always wants to be out in nature? Then why not try another great offering from Illustrated Children’s Ministries, “An Illustrated Earth.” The stories and activities would be perfect to take along on a summer road trip to the mountains or the beach, to give your family a chance to explore God’s beautiful creation together.
Summer Formation Resources for Readers
All the kids I know have summer reading assignments, and my kids spend hours every day of summer pouring over books. If your kid is an avid reader, check some of our past book suggestion posts or come back in a few weeks for a summer reading post with book suggestions for all ages.
Whatever you choose to do this summer, we hope that you take time to nurture your faith and grow in the knowledge and love of God!