A Spring of Your Own – a Biblical Craft Project for Kids Keeping to Home These Days
My grandson Dan lives in a farming community in the Valley of Jezreel in Israel, and coronavirus social distancing rules are keeping him, his parents and his little sister Hallel at home, like many of you. Dan’s mom and dad, Nili and Amichai, are working valiantly to keep the kids occupied…all day, every day. This morning I had a chance to contribute to the effort, and I wanted to share it with you.
Dan’s mom, our daughter Nili, video-chatted me this morning, earlier than our usual daily “visit” (I guess no quotation marks are needed anymore, are they?). Skype carried her strong, cheery voice all the way from the Valley of Jezreel to our home in the Mountains of Judah.
“Dan has a question for you,” Nili said, as she passed the smartphone to our soon-to-be-5-year-old grandson.
“Savta!” he shouted the Hebrew word for grandma at the screen. He put his face right up to it and mouthed it more slowly after I admitted (twice) that I hadn’t quite caught his drift.
“Didn’t… you… once….TELL… me that you KNOW how to make WATER?”
No wonder I didn’t get it the first two times. At first I didn’t recall telling him I had that particular skill.
Ohhhh. Yes. I remembered.
In Teach it to Your Children: How Kids Lived in Bible Days,* I wrote a whole chapter about water in the Bible – how important water is, especially in the desert, how in Bible days people had to dig down to find water in a layer called an aquifer (fancy word of the day). So important was water in the Holy Land, the chapter tells young readers, that everyone could understand why the prophet Isaiah said it could stand for faith: “All who are thirsty; come and drink” (Isaiah 55:1). Jesus told the Samaritan woman the same thing (John 4:7–13). And water wells in the desert were so important that people used to fight over them in the Bible (Exodus 17:1–7)!
Each chapter of Teach it to Your Children ends with a hands-on activity. I ended the water chapter with instructions on how to “make water, ” as Dan put it. That is – how to make a model spring, an activity that out older daughter, Maya, used to lead as an early childhood educator, and passed on to me for the book (that’s her hand in the picture below).
Thanks to little Dan, I realized I should share this special way to spend time with kids who are ensconced in close quarters with their parents in these difficult times. Below you’ll find the instructions, and after that, a picture you can hopefully save and print for the kids to color.
I hope this brings you joy.
Happy holidays and good health to all.
*With thanks to my publisher, Avi Ofra of Avi Media, for permission to use these images.