Use these Fruit of the Spirit craft ideas to teach your toddler godly characteristics
The Bible clearly states how our children learn character qualities like the ones mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. In Deuteronomy 6 Gods command to the parents of His nation Israel is: Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Therefore when we want to come alongside our toddlers and preschool children to teach them a lesson on the fruit of the spirit, we need to be sure that we are emulating those qualities ourselves.
Tall order? Yes, but we serve a BIG God who has promised to mature us in His love and grace, so stay close to Him as you parent your toddler.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
2 planning required
2 mess involved
1 12 18 months
2 18 24 months
3 24 + months
Photo book (Guidelines 2-1-2+)
You will need your camera or magazines, card stock, scissors, glue, two-hole punch and string or ribbon. Go through a magazine or take photos of your little one showing a fruit of the Spirit for example doing an act kindness, waiting for a meal (patience), being gentle with a pet (gentleness), packing up their toys (goodness) etc
Cut the card stock in half. Stick the photos on individual pages of card and write the character qualities below each picture.
Put them in the right order and punch the holes on the left hand side. Tie it together with the string but not too tight as this will prevent the book opening properly.
Use this book as a way to teach them the Bible verse which you can recite with them as you turn the pages.
Opposites book (Guidelines 1-1-1+)
Using the same idea as above, create a double page book showing the positive fruit on one side and the negative fruit on the other. You may find using clipart easier that taking photos.
An easy list of antonyms:
joy - sorrow
peace - war
patience - impatience
kindness - cruelty
goodness - badness
faithfulness - dishonesty
gentleness - roughness
self-control self indulgence
Bookmarks (Guidelines 2-1-1+)
You will need different colour card stock. Cut our different 9 fruit shapes on the right colour card (yellow=banana; red=apple etc). Write a different fruit of the Spirit on each shape. On white card cut out a narrow rectangle long enough to hold all 9 shapes. Stick them onto the rectangle in order of the verse. Laminate (or use as is) for your Bible readings with your little ones.
Patience game (Guidelines 1-1-1)
Patience brings its own rewards so use this game to teach your little one patience. You will need a treat (Jellytots or another healthier treat) and some ideas of things that you can get your child to wait before receiving. Some ideas may be a walk around the block, an activity, a meal or snack time, a storybook.
Remembering that patience is not a characteristic of most children DO NOT stretch your toddler beyond a reasonable amount of time. This activity will then backfire and both mom and child will end up feeling miserable.
Layout the activity. Set an alarm clock for 1 minute. Tell your little one that you are going to practice patience together. And that you are both going to wait before enjoying the activity until the timer goes off.
When the timer goes off, and your child has waited without complaining reward them with the treat and then IMMEDIATELY do the planned activity. Repeat this a few times over the week, always telling them what you are doing and stressing that you are learning patience together.
Can pencil holder (Guidelines 2-2-3)
You will need empty washed cans with no sharp edges. Coloured paper, coloured cardstock, scissors, craft glue.
Cut out a strip of coloured paper long enough to go around the circumference of the can. Glue it on with craft glue. Cut out fruit shapes and label similar to the bookmark craft above. Stick them on the can. Your toddler can keep their pencils crayons in here in their craft area.
Seed planting (Guidelines 2-1-2+)
When my children were very small I used to talk to them about the seeds we plant in other peoples lives. The dialogue used to go like this:
MOM: What do I get if I plant an apple seed?
CHILD: An apple tree
MOM: What do I get if I plant a pear tree?
CHILD: A pear tree
MOM: What do I get if I plant a orange seed?
CHILD: An orange tree
MOM: What would I get if I planted a LOVE seed?
CHILD: (Thinking ) A love tree?
I would use this in training my children when they want to respond to a situation in an angry or impatient way or sometimes I would use it proactively to train them before situations arose that would require them to act kindly or honestly.
You can extend this by physically planting some seeds in a window box or planter and make labels for them so that you can remember what seed you sowed. As they begin to pop through the soil you can draw your toddler aside you and show them how there is a DIRECT relationship between what we sow and what we reap.
Fruit salad (Guidelines 2-2-1+)
You will need a selection of your favourite fruit, plastic knife (for younger toddlers), a big bowl, chopping boards and some ice-cream.
Let your toddler chop soft fruits like bananas and naartjies while you chop the harder fruits. Place them all in a bowl. Talk about the fruits, colours and textures. Remind them that we want to have all the fruits of the Spirit in ourselves not just one or two just like this fruit salad.
Clean up and then enjoy your salad with a dollop of ice-cream on top.
Fruit stamping (Guidelines 2-2-2+)
You will need dried orange halves. (This can be done by cutting an orange in half and letting them dry out slowly in a warm oven.) You will also need brown paper bags or empty white bakery boxes, shallow trays with a variety of poster paints.
Using your orange halves show your toddler how to dip the flat side into the paint and stamp it on the bag or box. Make several such stamps using different colours. Leave to dry. These can be used for presents or filled with cookies from the activity below.
Cookie cutters in fruit shape (Guidelines 1-2-1+)
Using your favourite cookie dough recipe mix up a batch the night before you want to do this activity. You may also want to mix up different colour icing in red, green, yellow, pink and pale purple. Select some cookie cutters that can match fruit shapes. Circles can be apples, crescents bananas etc.
Roll out the dough and let your toddler cut out the shapes. Once they are baked and cooled ice them according to colour. You can enjoy eating these or as an act of kindness add a selection to the bag/box from the craft above and take some to friends or neighbours.
See related crafts and activities Fruit of the Spirit craft : Friendship
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