Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pumpkin Fun and Faith

This was a simple and fun activity we did on an October afternoon at church connecting the season of fall, and in particular, it's abundance of pumpkins, with faith.  Because the weather was nice, we were able to do the pumpkin-carving outside, which made the experience a lot less messy.  The kids had a great time and the families appreciated the activity for it's short but sweet nature.  It'd be an easy activity to recreate at home, with or without a blessing bowl.

Blessing Bowl- The blessing bowl is a conversation tool for sharing about life together as a family.  Different stones are marked with different images that correspond to various experiences, or blessings.  Each family takes a stone that relates to something that happened and shares about that experience.  You can make your own bowl, or purchase one online.
  • Put the bowl in the middle of where you are sitting.
  • Place the stones around the bowl, pointing out to your kids the pictures on each one.
  • Pick a stone that means something to you and tell your family why you picked that stone/what it means to you.  For example, if something sad happened you might choose the one with the tear drop and share about it.
  • Have each person (who wants to) pick a stone and share.
  • Close with a prayer for your family, thanking God for the good things and asking for help with the hard/sad things.

How is being a Christian like being a pumpkin?  There are many versions of this activity on the internet.  I chose one that was pretty general rather than really drenched in theology.
  • First, God picks you from the patch and brings you into his family.  Pick out your pumpkin
  • God washes all the dirt off of you and scoops out all the yucky stuff.  Cut a hole in your pumpkin
  • God removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.  Scoop out all the seeds and goop
  • Then God carves you a new smiling face and puts his light inside of you so that you can shine for all the world to see.  Carve a face in your pumpkin.  Pick up a tea light and put it in your pumpkin
  • Read Matthew 5:13-16 in a kid-friendly Bible.

Make Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts This recipe comes from www.recipegirl.com 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 package pre-made pie crust


Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, and spice
  • Use a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out pumpkin shapes from your pie crust
  • Use a paring knife to cut out pumpkin faces in half of your pumpkin shapes
  • Place one pumpkin on the tray and place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center. 
  • Use a spoon to spread the filling almost to the edges. 
  • Lightly dip your finger in water and rube the edge of the pumpkin dough shape with water.
  • Top with a cut-out pumpkin and lightly press edges together to seal.
  • Repeat with remaining pumpkins

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