Christianity Cove: Divine Dozen ~ 12 Parables of Jesus Every Child Should Know {Review}


Christianity Cove's mission is to present Jesus as "a real guy-- not a concept, a list of rules, or an imaginary friend."

How do you accomplish such a task?

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By providing parents and Sunday School teachers with over 700 free resources and 26 products for purchase that convey His teachings and love in a way that is tangible, relevant, and simple for kids of all ages to understand. Christianity Cove is a one-stop 'shop' for all things related to Children's Ministry.  After browsing around you'll see why Christianity Cove is "the web's #1 resource for Sunday School activities, crafts, lessons, tips, etc." The website is full of devotions, activities, games, snack ideas, and more for your Sunday School needs.  

As part of the SchoolHouse Review Crew, I was able to review one of their resources for purchase titled, The Divine Dozen: 12 Parables of Jesus Every Child Should Know."  You may purchase the downloadable ebook, The Divine Dozen for $24.99. 

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Though Christianity Cove markets their materials for Sunday School teachers, many of their resources can be used, with slight modification, in your own home.  They keep lessons simple by not complicating teachable moments and spirits with expensive or extravagant items.  Jesus kept his teachings simple by using materials around Him to convey his message; likewise, Christianity Cove uses resources you may already have in your closet or that can be purchased for cheap at the Dollar Store.  Materials that we used were bird seed, balloons, popsicle sticks, etc-- pretty basic!

I used The Divine Dozen, with my 5 year old son, to bring more of God's Word into our weekly routine.  And because the Parables are lessons showing actions=consequences, which is something all kids need to learn.  After checking out a sample of the program, I was most excited to put its layout in action.  Each lesson in The Divine Dozen contains a:
  • Lesson Capsule- an overview of the Parable being taught
  • The Parable from NIV Bible, but you may certainly use a whatever version of the Bible you choose.
  • A list of Materials
  • Preparations needed prior to the lesson
  • The Lesson that is presented through a relevant story line and/or play.
  • Activity, for application
Printed Materials all ready for Parable of The Good Samaritan
It was fairly easy to adapt the lessons to our particular situation of one teacher- one student; sometimes we did a couple things a bit different, but that didn't change the lesson to be learned.  We covered one parable each week during the review and broke the lesson up into two days.  The first day I would paraphrase the Parable as in the Bible and then would read the story/play.  The next day we would review the story line and do the activity and see how we could apply the lesson into our lives. 

The Divine Dozen was also very flexible; you can choose to go in the order in which they are presented in the PDF or pick and choose which Parable to use during your weekly study.  I printed off lessons on a weekly basis.  Some of the lessons we read through were:
  • Henry's Best Birthday Party Ever! (Parable of the Unwilling Party Guests)
  • Let's Be Backyard Good Samaritans (Parable of the Good Samaritan)
  • Pride Cometh Before the Fall! (Parable of the Pharisee & the Publican)
Christianity Cove realizes the Parables often contain harsh consequences and very deep lessons, but they have lightened these "harsh truths" by focusing on the positives.  With that said, I do not think some of these stories were appropriate for my five year old son.  Because of the content and themes, I think The Divine Dozen would be more appropriate for children 8,9, 10 or older.  My son couldn't identify with the stories for Henry's Best Birthday Party or Pride Cometh Before the Fall.  

Though I enjoyed the format of  reading the Parable in light of something kids' nowadays may encounter, I found myself paraphrasing wayyyy to much that it took out the enjoyment on my end.  It is recommended that you read the story first to familiarize yourself with the lesson & seriously, do it!  In several stories I came upon words that I didn't feel comfortable saying aloud to my son, such as "dummy, stupid, hate, etc."  Unfortunately those words are spoken everywhere-- except in our home!  Yes, my son hears those kinds of words in Disney movies or a passing TV show and trust me, I silently cringe.  

Regardless, I think you can still get the point of the Parable across without saying such words and that is what we did.  As a parent, I wouldn't be too please if I heard my son's Sunday School Kindergarten teacher saying such words-- it just opens the door for children to think that words like that are acceptable.  Thus, we focused more on the story as a whole and putting the lesson in action with the activity, which my son and I both enjoyed.

We made bird feeders for Be Good Backyard Samaritans.  We played with balloons for Pride Comes Before the Fall.  And our favorite activity was running around our yard drawing smiley faces on paper plates after we read Henry's Best Birthday Party Ever!  

Other Crew Members had the opportunity to review some of the other products for purchase through Christianity Cove, click below to find out more!


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