Here are some ideas for each page of the book:
1. God made these trees. God made every tree.
- In ‘God Made Me’ children learn the specific concept that God made them—every part of them. In this book, children learn about other things God made.
- We begin with the specific “God made these trees”, and move to a generality “God made every tree”. For a young child, the
statement “God made everything” is too general for them to understand unless you start with specifics and broaden to generalities.
- Talk about how the trees are different (eg. some taller).
- When you are outside look at trees and help your child see the differences. You can say something like “Look at this tree God made” for the younger child, and for the older child you can be even more specific and point to and talk about the leaves, bark, branches that God made.
2. God made flowers.
- Ask “what colours can you see?”
- When outside look for flowers in a garden or park. Notice different types of flowers.
- Children can look at the petals, the shapes of the flowers, their leaves and see how they are different (and different flowers are different colours too).
- You could say something like, “God made lots of different flowers. God made every flower.” Or “Let’s thank God for these pretty flowers.”
3. God made fruit and vegetables.
- Each time your child looks at this page they can point to a different fruit/vegetable and name it if they can. Or you can tell them the name.
- When at a shop your child can look at different fruit and vegetables. Maybe learn the name of a new one? Maybe find one that they saw in the book.
- When your child is eating a piece of fruit, you can sometimes say that God made it (as a reminder).
- When you pray with your child, they might like to thank God for making a specific fruit or vegetable. An older child could think of a new fruit or vegetable each time you pray this prayer.
4. God made the grass and the sky. God made the sun and the clouds we see in the daytime.
- For a really little one, you might not read all the text on this page. That’s fine. You might just point to one thing in the photo and say that God made it.
- When reading the full text on this page, little ones can point to each thing as you say it.
- For older ones you can ask questions like: Can you walk on grass? What else can you do on grass? Do you know an animal that eats grass?
- Then go on to say that grass is on land. God made the land and the sky.
- When talking about the sky, point to the sun and the clouds and the blue sky.
- Talk about what ‘daytime’ is and that we can see the sun etc in the day. God made daytime.
- With an older child, you could talk about more detailed things like when clouds cover the sun, rain coming from clouds, different types of clouds—and that God made them all.
5. God made the moon and the stars we see at night.
- Is it possible for you to show your child the real night sky (if they are still awake when it is dark)? As you look, say something like “God made the night sky/moon/stars”.
- Talk about the moon and the stars. The shape of the moon changes. Some nights you can’t see the stars very well.
- You can talk to your child about what they do at night when the moon and stars are shining (for those sleep deprived parents with little ones who can’t talk yet, their answer should be sleeping!)
6. God made the birds that fly in the sky.
- Can they count the birds in the picture?
- When outside look at birds. Talk about them.
- Is there a common bird where you live? Could your child learn the name of that bird?
- Is there another bird they could learn too?
- Help children discover that birds don’t just fly, they can walk too. And God made ducks that can go under the water (and walk and fly)!
- You can also talk about how God made some birds very big, and some small.
- With an older child you could talk about nests and maybe even find out about how birds make them. And how a parent bird brings food to their baby birds.
7. God made fish that swim in the sea. God made the sea too.
- With a really little one, you will just be pointing to them and saying ‘fish’. You might even be able to count the fish.
- With an older child you can talk about different types of fish (beyond this photo) and differences between fish—some fish are very tiny, some fish are colourful…etc
- Some children might not know what the sea is. But they might know lakes, rivers, creeks etc. There might be one near you.
- What else did God make that lives in the sea (or river or creek)? There’s also seaweed and coral and sand under the sea.
- You could even get a book from the library or look up on the internet about sea life.
8. God made these cows.
- Why cows? Most children know cows—a farm animal that has a short name, a sound most children learn to say (‘moo’ in English), the source of dairy milk, and rather photogenic.
- Why ‘these’ cows? We use this same term that was used for the trees. God made individual cows, these cows we can see. But he also made every other cow too. God made every cow.
- Young children need generalisations to begin as specifics (like ‘these cows’) and then broaden to ‘every’ cow.
9. God made all these animals. (What animals can you see?) God made all the animals everywhere.
- What are the animals? From top right going clockwise—a sheep with lambs, a deer, a monkey (if you look really carefully can you see the face of the baby monkey), a koala (an Australian animal who spends his life eating gum leaves and sleeping), giraffe, elephants, penguins. And God made them all.
- In order to make this photo montage, and have it fit on the page and be able to be seen, it is not a true depiction of the relative sizes of each animal. We’ve tried to have easily recognizable animals being those which have been shrunk the most (and animals that children know as ‘big’ and ‘tall’).
- For really little ones, you might just name one animal. (And you could say “God made— penguins”.) Then over time your child might have the concentration span to hear the names of more animals.
- There will probably come a point when they want to go through the name of every animal, every time you read this page. If so, rejoice in their development (rather than be frustrated by such repetition—and remember that young children thrive on repetition!).
- Over time you can talk about the animals in the photos. What baby animals can you see? What other animals live where it’s cold (like the penguins)? What other animals climb trees? What does a giraffe eat? Why did God make his neck so long?
- You can also talk beyond the photo. What animals do you like? Can you think of another animal that God made? Maybe they could try to think of a new animal each time the book is read—this might even become a game where you both have to think of another animal.
10. God made me, my family and my friends.
- This photo is intentionally a mixed group of people, including both family and friends. You can talk about the people in the photo, and maybe who your child thinks they are.
- You can talk about your own family and your child’s friends. Name them. And regularly thank God for them.
- It would be ideal to have some photos of your own family and your child’s friends. See ideas below for making your own ‘God Made’ book.
11. God made all the people I see each day. God made everyone!
- You can talk with your child about some of the people in the photo.
- When sitting with your child you can talk about the different people that your child knows and sees. You might not know their names—they might be known as ‘the postman’ or ‘the bus driver’—but as you refer to them, you can say that God made them. So your child is learning lots and lots more specific examples of people God made.
- This can get more general and refer to larger numbers of people (for example ‘all the people who live in our street’, ‘all the people in the library’, ‘all the people buying things in the shops’). So the general statement ‘God made everyone’ is more easily understood after using lots of specific examples of people.
- You could adapt this page to your child’s life and use a different example each time you read it (for example “God made all the people who go to our church”).
12. God’s book, the Bible, tells us that God made lots and lots of things.
- Help your child learn that the Bible is a very important book and it tells us about God and what God has made.
- The Bible says that God made ‘lots and lots of’ (many) ‘things’ (‘things’ here includes people).
- Depending on their level of vocabulary, ask your child what they can see that God made in the picture or point to something, say what it is and
then say that God made it.
- If you have an appropriate picture Bible, open to the pages talking about God’s creation in Genesis 1 and talk about what you can see that God made.
13. Psalm 104 verse 24 “Lord you have made so many things! How wisely you made them all!”
- For really young children, you may decide to only read part of this page.
- Tell your child that ‘Lord’ means ‘God’.
- ‘so many’ means lots and lots.
- ‘things’ includes people and all the things we have read about in this book as well as lots and lots of other things too.
- ‘wisely’ in children’s language basically means ‘how well’. You could also say that God is very clever to be able to make things the way he did.
- For older children, you can talk about how ‘wisely’ (how well) God has made different things. Like fish being able to live in water, birds able to fly, horses can gallop and they can carry people, giraffes have really long necks so they can eat leaves in trees etc etc. Maybe sometime you both could learn more about something your child is interested in (eg. clouds, butterflies, the tallest tree, tiny insects etc)
- Depending on the vocabulary of your child, you could ask your child to think of something that God has made.
14. Thank you God for all the things you have made.
- A fitting way to finish reading this book is to say something like “Let’s thank God for something he has made. What can we thank God for today?” Let’s say your child answers “cows”, or if your child has limited vocabulary, you can give the answer yourself. “Yes. Let’s thank God for cows. ‘Thank you God for making cows. Amen’” (Or for an older child “Dear God, thank you for making cows that give us milk. Amen.”)
- Each time you read the book you could think of something else that God has made and thank God for it.
- Just a short, simple prayer (not trying to name every animal in the zoo or every fruit in the fruit shop).
Making your own ‘God made’ book
It would be great to make your own ‘God made’ book. It in you could include photos or drawings or collage pictures (or a combination).
Idea #1 use photos
The book could be either just people or people as well as other things that God has made.
For ‘people’, take photos of your child and other family members (including extended family) as well as friends (for instance a photo of individual friends, or a group say at a Playgroup, or a family who lives in your street etc). You could put the photos in a mini album with a caption for each photo (either on the facing page or below each photo), eg. ‘God made Susie.’, ‘Thank you God for making Grandad.’, ‘God made my friends at playgroup.’
For ‘things’ and ‘places’, you could take photos that would be meaningful for your child (for instance flowers growing in a nearby park, a tree in your street, your child’s favourite fruit/vegetable, a pet, animals seen on a farm visit, etc).
Idea #2 drawing
An older child could draw pictures of family members and friends as well as things that God has made.
Idea #3 collage book
Instead of photos or drawing, your child might enjoy making pictures by pasting (you could cut or tear circles as flowers, long rectangles for tree trunks, leaf shapes, circle sun, cotton wool clouds etc). For those of you who like doing craft, this idea has endless possibilities!
Idea #4 book made by a sibling
If you have older siblings, they could make a book for your little one—like the one my friend Josie made for her sister (see photos).
Pictures to hang
Instead of making a book, individual drawings with a caption could be pasted on coloured cardboard (as a frame) and hung as a reminder to be thankful to God for what he’s made.
‘Who made the world’ From A very, very big God
‘God made the pig’ From A very, very big God
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