This super easy game is great for young kids — even toddlers! Check out how you can use it to help your kid connect more intimately with God. (You can find more ideas like this in my book Faith-Filled Moments!)
Play a silly game to help your child discover that she can talk to God at any time, no matter what she’s feeling.
This silly game can be played anytime, anywhere! Simply sit down with your child face-to-face and take turns out-doing each other by making silly faces. Turn your face away each time you first “put on” your funny face, then turn quickly toward your child and reveal your goofy new look. Every time your child makes a silly face, laugh hysterically to set the tone. Laughter is contagious in this game!
After a few minutes of doing goofy faces, transition the game to feeling-faces. Say something like, “OK, let’s do our best mad faces!” or “Let’s see who can make the saddest face.” Try to include these basic feelings in your game: happiness, surprise, sadness, fear, anger, and worry. Then wrap up with a grand-finale, each trying to do the goofiest, silliness, craziest, funniest face ever!
In your home you may have rules about polite manners; for example, if a child is excessively pouting during dinner, you might send her away from the table until those feelings are brought under control. But the great news for your child—and for all of us—is that God isn’t like that! God doesn’t require us to only approach him when we’re happy or in a good mood. If that were the case, a good chunk of Psalms and the entire book of Lamentations would have to be deleted from the Bible! Scripture reflects the full-range of human emotions, demonstrating God’s willingness to listen to us no matter what we’re feeling. In fact it is often in the midst of difficult emotions like sadness, anger, or fear that we most need to approach God in honest prayer about our feelings.
Share this idea with your child by saying something like, “Remember when you made that really, really mad face? Did you know that you can pray even when you feel mad? God cares about you and wants to know how you feel.” If you’re able, share an example from your own life of a time when you turned to God in prayer to help you deal with a tough emotion. You may want to read James 5:13 to your child, which says, “Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing” (Message). If an older child wants to discuss this further, you can share examples of psalms that portray different types of emotions, such as Psalm 22 (worry, distress, fear), Psalm 33 (happiness, joy), Psalm 35 (anger, frustration), Psalm 52 (anger).
You may want to ask your child questions like…
- Did you know that it’s OK to talk to God even when you feel really mad about something? What do you think about that?
- Have you ever talked to God when you were feeling a difficult emotion like fear, worry, or sadness? Tell me about it.
- How can praying help us deal with our feelings?