Toys And Audio Products
I want to begin this by bringing up nutrition (Don’t worry; it’s relevant.).
In Guatemala, the diet mainly consists of corn tortillas so, in order to increase protein consumption, helpful folks tried to change the diet.
But it didn’t work.
People like to eat what they like to eat.
Remember when the Israelites missed onions, leeks, and garlic from Egypt?
Well, a NGO (It would be good if it were a faith NGO.) named Semilla Nueva (“new seed") is trying to improve the situation through improving the corn itself. That is, they hope to breed corn that is high in Zinc.
People can continue to eat their corn tortillas AND have improved nutrition
In missiology this is how contextualization works.
Similarly, in sharing the gospel with our kids, we can use text heavy approaches, but we can also use what children already love- toys and audio products.
I will highlight some that my family has personally enjoyed.
First, let’s take a look at some high quality toys.
The Galilee Boat Set
is a neat way to incorporate Bible Stories and characters into play. It’s like a 3 dimensional felt board. That is, you can share Bible stories, like Jesus calming the storm, using this.
A product that doubles as a toy and an audio device is My Little Lamb. The Hope Tech Global Kulumi company that engineered the interior is connected to a number of kingdom products and I recommend that you look into those. The head of the company is part of the church where I met my husband in Beijing (smile). My Little Lamb features four hymns and many Bible passages. Children can simply squeeze the lamb’s nose to begin and then squeeze the feet to navigate if they want. It’s a good product that my oldest likes to listen to every night at bedtime (He listens to the book of John because the female voice is his favorite .).
Another recommended audio product is from Cottage Door Press. The Bible Stories and Songs Interactive Electronic Take Along Storyteller with 11 Books is easy to operate and shuts off automatically when not in use. There are 3 buttons. One is the on/volume button. Then, pushing the top round button, which is simple for my toddler, turns on the songs. You can adjust which song you want by moving the dial. The other big round yellow button plays Bible Stories and you can turn the dial. The picture icons are a nice touch for navigation of stories and songs on this.
The Jesus Loves Me Sound Book is the best option listed here in terms of Christian music, ease of use, and bright art. My toddler appreciates that he can start a new song if he changes his mind in the middle of the previous song. He just needs to push on the part of the page with the song. It’s the technology in musical greeting cards. This book has good variety in upbeat Jesus songs like “Walking with Jesus" and “Alive, Alive.” When one song stopped working, I told the publisher -- who volunteered to send another copy of the book!
In conclusion, let’s find ways to disciple our children using tools that are familiar to them- like toys.
May they follow our Savior as Lord.