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God's Great Big World: A Play & Learn Book Review by Jodi Galland

Edited by Jill C. Lafferty
Illustrated by Peter Grosshauser
Spark House Family
800-960-9705
510 Marquette Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55402
http://www.sparkhouse.org

Do you, like me, sometimes wonder what to do with your little ones to introduce them to your Christian faith? Sure, you read Bible story books and send them to Sunday School. If you’re searching for a way to make their lessons more meaningful at home, the Play & Learn Book, God’s Great Big World, is a wonderful addition to your homeschool Bible lessons. This 88-page activity book is full of puzzles, songs, and conversation starters to propel you on your way.

God’s Great Big World can be used as is. Even so, there are some optional activities that require you to gather items for a project. Most of these things you probably have around the house, like clay, construction paper, and blue food coloring. Several activities would require a bit more planning. Have you ever made barley bread? The only other item you’ll want to have nearby is a Bible or story Bible. The Spark Story Bible is one option and God’s Great Big World conveniently references pages for finding the Biblical account quickly. The Spark Story Bible and the Play & Learn Activity Books use the NIV for scripture references.

The Play & Learn Activity Books are an entertaining way to fit in faith and Bible time with your 4- to 8-year-olds. My five-year-old and I really enjoyed spending the time together each week as we worked through a chapter. There are 16 Biblical events in God’s Great Big World. Each unit is 4-6 pages long. Most days he was very eager to work through his “Bible workbook.” He wanted to complete each lesson in one sitting.

The book is illustrated with a mix of both bright photographs and fun, colorful, eye-catching drawn characters. The focus is on God’s amazing creation, interacting with it, and respecting it. I was pleased to see explanations of related material and pronunciation help for many words. For instance, in the account of Baby Moses, we read about papyrus reeds, how to pronounce pah-pie-rus, and how papyrus reeds were woven to make paper or scrolls.

Each lesson contains some or all the following components; a synopsis of a Biblical account, scissor skills to cut out a prayer card, conversation starters, Squiggles the caterpillar who shows what emotions looks like on his face (Can you show the same emotion on your face?), where to find the full account in your Bible, puzzles, mazes, song suggestions, and writing activities. There is something for every little one of nearly any ability!

God’s Great Big World retails for $9.99. Spark House also has several other Play & Learn books which can be purchased separately or bundled together. We enjoyed God’s Great Big World so much, I ordered a bundle of books so we can keep on studying!

-Product review by Jodi Galland, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2017

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