TV Free Summer Days

Summer is in full swing, and as a parent you might already feel like you are running out of ways to keep your kids entertained. Turning on the TV so that you can finally get a few things done feels like the the easiest solution. But, with a limited amount of outdoor days, we want to give you some alternative ideas to keep your kids engaged and entertained this summer whether the forecast is full of sun or rain.

1. Have a Water Day

You don’t need a pool to have fun in the sun.

Sprinklers, super soakers, and water balloon fights will get kids active and connecting with each other and even provides a great opportunity to connect with neighbors and friends.

If they (or you) aren’t up for getting completely soaked, you can still have fun with water by having soap boat races like this:

Soap Boat Races.jpg

Supplies needed:

  • Rain gutter (can be found at Lowes in the lumber section)

  • Bar of soap (found at Dollar store)

  • Toothpick

  • Fabric and scissors

  • Glue gun

Cut a piece of fabric into a triangle, glue it onto the toothpick and stick it into the bar of soap. Simple as that! Run a hose at the end of the rain gutter and you are ready to race.

2. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Taking your kids on a nature or photo scavenger hunt will get them active while also challenging their minds. This can be as simple as a walk or bike ride around your neighborhood, but Rochester also boasts a variety of free local parks and trails all over our region that you can visit for a change of scenery.

Not familiar with these locations? Check ‘em out HERE. You can also download the Genesee Riverway and Trail Guide to get some ideas of places to explore and you could even see some waterfalls along the way.

Here is a great start for a nature scavenger hunt that you can tailor to your kids and your location. Teach your kids the importance of exercise and show them that it can also be fun.


On a rainy day, you can bring the fun indoors and have a household item scavenger hunt.

3. Family Fun Game Day/Night

Kids love to play games, and it’s a great way for the whole family to have some fun together. Pull out a board game, play Corn Hole or KanJam in the backyard, or create an obstacle course together. Your kids are bound to enjoy watching you run through an obstacle they got to help create!

Looking for a new challenge? Minute-to-Win-it games are easy, quick options that can be played in small or large groups and are sure to bring lots of laughs. Switch it up by challenging parents versus kids or boys versus girls! Memories are sure to be built with any of these options! Here is a list of Minute-to-Win-it games that you and your family can choose from.

Is there rain in the forecast? Too hot to be outside? Here are a few more ideas for some creative indoor family fun.

4. Rainy Daze Jar

Create a jar for rain days that is full of varying activities. Include indoor activities that are outside (or inside) your norm. Decorate a jar, or choose a special container, and fill it with popsicle sticks that have activities on them and you are all set! You could add activities such as:

  • Build a fort

  • Have an indoor picnic

  • Write someone a card

  • Play a board game (This could even have a specific game for each stick!)

5. Put On A Show

Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Have your kids take turns putting on a show. This could be a puppet show, lip sync battle, dance party, or your kids can make up their own musical or play. They will be using their imagination to create a day that they are sure to enjoy.

6. Have Your Own Cooking Class

Take this opportunity to teach your kids some new things in the kitchen, turning a drowsy rain day into a fantastic learning adventure that your kids will love. You and your kids can bake treats for a neighbor or someone from church, help make the meals for the day, or learn a new recipe together! The only rule: HAVE FUN!

Whether you're inside or out, summer is a great time for rest, trying new things, and stretching your brain in new ways. Keeping your kids busy during the long weeks of summer can seem like a daunting task, but whether rain or shine, we hope we've helped you spark fresh and fun ideas!

**Special thanks to Debbie Andrus, for writing this post! A recent communication graduate from Cedarville University, Debbie has been working as an intern with Kids Min this summer. In August she will be getting married and heading into a full time work in Toledo, OH. 

**Special thanks to Debbie Andrus, for writing this post! A recent communication graduate from Cedarville University, Debbie has been working as an intern with Kids Min this summer. In August she will be getting married and heading into a full time work in Toledo, OH. 

Safe Spaces

We currently live within the largest global crisis in human history. 

In recent years, more than twenty million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes in an attempt to escape ethnic and religious persecution. More than half (eleven million) of those displaced are children.* Yet most of us are only vaguely aware of the atrocities facing refugees. In order to best figure out how we can help, we must know the answers to two questions: 

1. What is a refugee?  

A refugee is someone who has fled one's home country and cannot return because of well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This is a categorically different group from immigrants or economic migrants who leave their country as fleeing poverty, but not necessarily persecution. 

A refugee is someone who has fled one’s home country and cannot return because of well-founded fear of persecution...

None of us within Northridge Kids claim to know why God has allowed this persecution to take place, but we believe He has a sovereign purpose, even in the midst of horrendous suffering, and as a result, we want to join God in what He is doing in this unique time in history. 

2. How should we respond? 


Compassion, simply defined is our feelings of sorrow for those caught in hurting. According to Jesus, a simple standard for compassion is exemplified by the way we treat ourselves. Jesus said:

  • "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no greater commandment than these." (Mark 12:30-31) 

We should care for people in a way that exceeds the care we provide for ourselves! This means, compassion is only an initial feeling and our response should not end there. Compassion should lead us to action, particularly an attempt to alleviate the suffering refugees are experiencing.


According to our biblical faith, we are compelled to respond to the plight of refugees with hospitality. We are to welcome and to treat kindly those who are new to our land. In Leviticus, the Law commands Israel to welcome foreigners in this way: 

  • "When a foreigner resides among your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself... " (Leviticus 19:33-34)

Our love for Christ is best demonstrated when we love others and treat them with kindness, especially those who are most different from us. We are called to love our neighbors, even if it costs us something. The ways that we can best show love includes praying and meeting needs. 

The refugee issue is important because real lives are at stake and our witness in this world is being broken through making decisions based on fear.
— Ed Stetzer

While there are many refugees who have relocated to our own Greater Rochester area, and there are practical ways to meet their needs, the majority of the world's refugees live in the Middle East. So, how can we help them. 

  • "...love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

  • "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. (Romans 12:20)

Throughout the year, Northridge Kids participates in several giving projects. The goal of our giving projects is to make God's love known through kids helping kids. We focus on projects both locally (Pack-a-Pack & Tons of Love Food Drive) and globally (Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes & Advent Conspiracy).

For the next month in HighPoint, we're going to partner with our friends World Relief by praying for refugee children and by raising $225 to support one child for the year in a Child Friendly Space located in the Middle East. 

This weekend in HighPoint your kids will come home with a brochure about Safe Spaces, as well as a wallet they can use to save money to bring back on Sundays between May 28 and June 11. Use these tools as discussion pieces to help your kids understand how they can demonstrate compassion, love and faith by helping to meet the practical needs of children who have been displaced from their homes. 

In the meantime, if you'd like to know more about the refugee crisis please take a look at any or all of these recommended resources:

Start With Why

At Northridge Kids, we're not psychologists but let's start out with a little Word Association Game anyways. What's the first word you think of when you see the name of the following organizations? OK...Go!  










Got your answers? I'm betting if you're anything like most people, or at least like me, the first word that popped into your mind for these organizations was coffee, computers and shoes. That particular organization's product. Am I right? I hope so, because we're going with those answers anyways. 

Starbucks, Apple and Nike are three of the most culturally relevant organizations in America today. In spite of their differences, they are all similar in one way. They are ALL in the inspiration business. These organizations don't exist to make coffee, computers and shoes. They exist to inspire people to connect, innovate and move. Their products: coffee, computers and shoes are merely the way they partner with you to reach your goals.


If you want to connect with your spouse...enjoy a cup of our coffee together.


If you want to create new ideas...utilize our cutting edge computers to fuel your ideas.


If you want to get in shape...wear our stylish and functional shoes to get started. 


As a consumer, you utilize these product because they help you reach your goal. Kids ministry really isn't any different. The volunteers and staff at Northridge think you, the parent and your child's primary influencer, bring your kids to Northridge because you share our goal. 

Could you name that goal?

Your primary goal (or mission) as a parent is not to produce well behaved kids or even to impress other parents with your parenting skills. As tempting as those goals may be, the Bible reveals that the primary goal of parents is to inspire faith in our children by regularly sharing examples of the love and work of God. Why do we think that? Here are a few examples: 


  • Psalm 145:4 - Our generation is to talk about who God is and what he has done.


  • Psalm 78:4-7 - Our motivation is the faith and obedience of the next generation. 


  • Deuteronomy 6:5-9 - Our rhythm of life should be characterized by regular faith conversations. 


God's plan of inspiring faith is given to parents. Northridge Kids can't and won't take that role away from you. However, we do want to partner with you. 

Northridge Kids doesn't exist as a ministry of Northridge Church simply to create bigger classes or better programs. Our Sunday morning experiences (the Nursery, Ark, Hot Spot and HighPoint) are the product we design to help start faith conversations while also encouraging and equipping parents with the tools they need to succeed in their goal of faith inspiration. So what is the mission of Northridge Kids? 


Our Mission: To partner with parents in order to inspire faith in the next generation. 


Your goals are our goals. Let's succeed together at inspiring faith in the next generation. 



*The Golden Circle image taken from Simon Sinek's book Start With Why