Heartprints

Autumn Praise For Kids

The first day of autumn 2011 is Friday, September 23rd.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica online, "autumn is the season of the year between summer and winter during which temperatures gradually decrease."  This season is often called fall in the United States because leaves fall from the trees during this time.  Autumn is usually defined in the Northern Hemisphere as the period between the autumnal equinox (day and night in length), which falls on either September 22nd or 23rd. 

The first day of autumn 2011 is Friday, September 23rd.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica online, "autumn is the season of the year between summer and winter during which temperatures gradually decrease."  This season is often called fall in the United States because leaves fall from the trees during this time.  Autumn is usually defined in the Northern Hemisphere as the period between the autumnal equinox (day and night in length), which falls on either September 22nd or 23rd. 

Fall is a favorite time of year for me.  Growing up in the Midwest, I loved to experience autumn and all the changes taking place.  I remember the vibrant colors of the trees lining up the streets and the yards with their orange, red, and golden leaves swaying and falling gently to the cool breeze of the day.  There were fresh delicious apples everywhere and the smell of hot apple cider filled the air in our home.  Crunching leaves under our feet, running and jumping into the piles, hayrack rides, and campfires with friends and family are just a few of our family memories.

Fall is also a time to give God praise as we start into this season of harvest.  According to Israel's history, the harvest began with the barley and the celebration of the Festival of Passover sometime in March – April (Lev. 23:9-14; Ruth 2:23; 1 Sam. 21:9-10) and ended with the harvest of the wheat and the celebration of the Festival of Pentecost sometime later in June or July (Gen. 30:14; Ex. 34:22).  The first portions from the harvest were sacred to Jehovah and presented to the Lord by the priest as a scared offering of praise and dedication to the Lord during the Festival of Unleavened Bread and the Festival of Firstfruits (Lev. 23:10-14) always during the spring and summer months.

During the months of September – October the Festival of Tabernacle (Booths) was celebrated and observed as a reminder of God's provisions during the wilderness wanderings.  The people of Israel were instructed to give an offering of their firstfruits from the harvest of their fields at the end of the year (Ex. 23:16).   This festival was celebrated in the fall and known as the autumn harvest of fruits and olives.  According to the prophet Zechariah this festival will be celebrated during the millennium (Zech. 14:16).

As we move into the fall season, I would encourage all of you who serve with children to set aside time during your regular Sunday school class to allow kids to praise God who is worthy of all of our praise and the provider of all things.  "Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6) 

Below is a project to do with 2nd – 5th grade kids to reinforce an attitude of praise to the Lord.  The autumn wreath below can be made and added to your bulletin board or classroom wall as a reminder to kids that they were created to praise the Lord.  If you desire to do this with younger kids trace around their hands and cut out and put their names on their handprints and display them the same way as described above or use paint to make handprints to put on the wreath circle. 

Autumn Praise Wreath

Supplies:

Black Construction Paper

Letter Stencils

Green or Brown Cardboard

Fun Foam (Red, Orange, Yellow, and Brown)

Leaf Pattern

Craft Glue

Scissors

Black Fine Point Sharpie Markers

Preparation:

Cut out letters for the verse Psalm 150:6 and apply the letters to the bulletin board or to the wall using appropriate materials so that they will stick firmly and not fall off, be careful on painted walls.

Cut a 14 inch circle out of green or brown cardboard.  Cut out the inside of the circle leaving a 2-3 inch width for the handprints.  The circle should look like a cardboard donut large enough to hold all of your class handprints.

What to Do:

Step One:  Let kids choose a color of fun foam.  Have them trace and cut out both of their handprints from the fun foam and cut one leaf from a leaf pattern provided.    

Step Two:  Glue both hands together by overlapping the two thumbs.  The hands should look like two hands opened in praise attached at the thumbs.

Step Three:  Give kids a black sharpie marker and have them write across both of their handprints, I will praise the Lord. 

Step Four:  Have kids glue their praising hands onto the big circle to make a classroom autumn praise wreath, be careful not to cover any of the words on the handprints.  Add leaves of different colors with the names of the kids in your classroom to the wreath.

Attach the completed wreath to the bulletin board or wall along with the Bible Scripture Psalm 150:6.  After the wreath has been attached to the bulletin board or wall, have the kids sing  together, "Lord I Lift Your Name On High."  Let the praises fill your classroom as kids praise the Lord this fall!

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Lisa Goodyear

Lisa Goodyear holds a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education, with a focus in Children's Ministry, from Dallas Theological Seminary. She has over twenty-eight years of local children's ministry, as well as an extensive background in early childhood education and international ministry to children. Currently, she is serving with the family/children’s ministry in her local church in Shawnee, Kansas. Lisa's passion is to see children from every nation, tongue, and tribe trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and grow in their relationship with Him. She is married to Rolla and they have two grown children and three grandchildren and a little Yorkie, Romeo. Lisa lives in Olathe, Kansas.