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The start of summer provides your church with a wonderful window of opportunity to give families with children faith-forming ideas and the tools they’ll need to try them at home. Make a splash by pouring the contents into something that’s fun—the ultimate symbol of summer, a brightly colored beach pail. 

Ready to dive in? Here’s the scoop:

1. Prepare one pail per family with children. Be sure to make extra for grandparents and for families who may visit during the summer months.

2. Fill each pail with some or all of the items listed below. Add your own ideas too!

  • Simple practices and activities for building faith. My pick for this is the perfectly pocket- and pail-sized Everyday Family Faith, which is full of ideas and activities for building faith at home.
  • Snack to share. Popcorn, Lifesavers candy, or a mini-s'mores kit labeled “For Bible S’moreytelling” are fun ideas.
  • Small blank notebook
  • Magnifying glass
  • Inflatable beach ball
  • Container of play dough or a package of Wikki Stix
  • Bottle of bubbles
  • Printable lists of fun things to do. My go-to’s are 5 Ways to Wonder With Kids and The Ultimate Summer Fun List.
  • You’ll find a page of printable tags to tie on the handle of the pails at
  • Postcard on which you’ve printed a message about the contents. Here’s mine:     

Dear Family,

We hope the tools in this pail will help you have a summer that’s filled with faith-shaping adventures. Here’s how you might use them:   

  • Use the book Everyday Family Faith to build some great new faith habits.
  • Eat the snack while talking about a Bible story.
  • Print your prayers (and God’s answers!) in the notebook.
  • Explore creation with the magnifying glass.
  • Catch the ball as you complete “Thank you God for ______!”
  • Use the play dough to shape (and guess!) something God made.
  • Take turns blowing bubbles while saying silent prayers.
  • Encourage curiosity about God's wonderful world with 5 Ways to Wonder With Kids
  • Challenge yourselves to complete The Ultimate Summer Fun List.


God’s Big Family, your church

3. Celebrate and pray. Celebrate the learning that took place over the past school year. Pray for the learning that will continue over the summer. The bless each family with their Everyday Family Faith Summer Bucket.


PS: An excellent children's storybook Bible (see How to Choose a Children's Storybook Bible for our favorite picks) or a set of God's Big Story Cards are also terrific resources to give to your families. Consider inviting them to choose the resource(s) that would work for them. 

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