I am always on the lookout for things that I can add to my home that can help my kids learn to love each other better, love God's word better and love God more. I have recently added something to my table that my kids use every day that I'm praying and hoping will be used to impress their little hearts and minds.
We eat at least 2 meals every single day together. Breakfast and Dinner. Lunch is just Story and I, but even then it's at our dining table. Meals are so important to us and I believe will be a valuable tool in staying close to our children and helping them learn to love people and love God. I love to have us all sitting at the table and most days we accomplish that. We haven't entered the time yet in our lives where all four kids are going different directions and we only eat together a few times a week. Right now when they are in elementary school they are all MINE at dinner! Aaron loves to cook, and so it's not abnormal for us to have great meals a few times a week together. (And by great I mean gourmet … nothing I would ever be able to whip up like Aaron can!)
I say all this to tell you that dinner time is the perfect time to introduce God's word to your kids! What other time are they doing something that they love to do – eating – they are stuck in one spot – their chair – and you can talk and talk to them about their day and also God's word!!!
I found TABLE TOP TRUTHS and I love them so much! When I first found the site I was a little worried about how these would hold up with my crazy kids, but we've had ours for a while now and they are as good as new. Look at these:
We have this one that is all about putting on the Armour of God! I have a boy one and a girl one for my sweet Story!
We also have this one with all the attributes of God. Look at those big words! Mommy is learning new words too!!
And then we have this one that is the days of creation.
My kids are loving these and I think they just might learn something without them even know they were learning anything at all!!
All of mine look like this on the back:
There are other options, but I picked all the ones with the verse John 3:16 on the back.
There are even holiday themed place mats. I LOVE THEM ALL!!!
I'm a huge fan of these and I think a lot of you will be as well. What a great birthday gift or stocking stuffers! Grandparents these would be awesome at your house! Great for Easter baskets or Halloween baskets. Just kidding about the Halloween baskets! Who does that?
I emailed them and told them I was going to blog about their stuff because I just loved them so much and guess what??? They are giving me two place mats to give away to a lucky reader!! How nice of them!
So .. Here's what you have to do to enter …. only two things. Leave me a comment for each thing and that will be two entries for you!! Or you could just do one and get one entry. You do whatever you want!! 🙂
1. Visit their website: TABLE TOP TRUTHS and check out all the different place mats. Then leave me a comment with your favorite one!
2. Tell me what you do to teach your kids good behaviors. Whether it's about the bible, God, or just plain treating others with respect. Share your secrets with us all, because really we're all in this parenting thing together!!!
Contest ends Friday night at midnight. Spread the word! Okay if you put it on facebook and/or twitter leave me a comment about that and you get another entry!
So that's really THREE chances to win! You can also find Table Top Truths on facebook!
***UPDATE*** they just emailed me and told me that I get to pick TWO winners!!! So, two of you will win two place mats!!! Yippee!!! Tell your friends!
Wow I love these! We are the same way having meals together at the table for every meal but lunch during the school year (during the summer we all 6 eat lunch together, too!). Ok, Jamie, here are my faves – older girl identity in Christ and older boy identity in Christ. Our four children were adopted from Haiti are 5, 8, 9 & 10. These ones for the older kids would be amazing!
Teaching our kids good behaviors: Well we always pray before the kids get on the bus. During our prayers, I always pray that my would grow closer in their relationship with God today. It was great to hear my 5 year old daughter say last night at soccer practice “God wants a relationship with me. Jesus wants a relationship with me.” in a song she was singing. Also, we talk, talk, talk, talk, talk after we’ve listened, listened, listened, listened. 🙂 Communication with our kids is key to knowing them and them to know us as we grow closer to God together. Much love to y’all! Cute placemat ideas!
I love the Attributes of God! … it’s my fav!
Regarding good behavior … we always try to take it back to the heart. Whether it’s what’s been said or what has been done … to themselves or another … it’s all an overflow of the heart. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23.
I shared via twitter!
I love the Identity in Christ ones. Especially that they come in different skin tones. Perfect for my youngest!
I LOVE all of them. the nativity one is my fav. Its precious!
I love the Identity in Christ ones for the older kids and the armor of God ones for the younger! What a great idea 🙂
These are great! Thanks for sharing them. I’m a big fan of the fruits of the spirit as well as the armor of God placemats. Thanks for the opportunity!
We read from a couple of kids’ Bibles every morning and learn a verse as a family per week. We add motions to the Bible verses to make them more fun, and they are much easier to remember. Whenever the kids are mean to their sibling, I ask them what their job is to which they are to respond “be kind to my brother/sister” which helps them realize what they are doing.
I love Armor Girl and Gospel.
One time when we were focusing on being selfless, we created a selfless chart where if anyone caught you doing something selfless, you got a little star. When we all filled in our blanks (parents included), we had a fun family night out.
Just left a FB post about the giveaway!
Jamie…thanks for sharing with me! I love the Gospel one.
We always strive to take everything back to the Gospel with our kids. Being consistent to take everything back to the Cross. Trying to diligently teach them they can never be “good enough” on their own. I am reading “Give Them Grace” and loving it. I would highly recommend it. Thanks again!
Love this idea, I am going to their website right now!!
The creation placemat is my fav! These are so cute and helpful!
I’m already a big fan of Table Top Truths! My faves are Thanksgiving and Creation!
I love ALL of them, but I think my current favorites are the fruit of the spirit and the creation story.
We’re currently working on sharing and minding. My little guy is just 20 months but we remind him that sharing and obeying make mommy and daddy happy and more importantly it makes Jesus happy.
We have a chalkboard above the kitchen table where we write out a weekly verse for all of us to memorize and we practice it at each meal and then discuss how it has applied to our lives that day. Right now it’s “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Ps 123:6. I love the Attributes of God placemat and sweet Lisa who makes them! 🙂 P.S. just posted it on FB, too!
I love the “I am a Child of God” one. Love them all!! Hard to pick.
Hi Jamie- My favorites are the Creation one and the Nativity scene.
My favorite Table Top Truth placemats are the attributes of God and creation placemats.
I LOVE the “God Is” one! I would love to have that for Sarah to see daily and learn! It’s really awesome!
We play a memory card game with fruits of the spirit. During the game, we talk about each attribute and what it means. Tonite during bedtime prayers with the kids, I asked the Lord to forgive me for my impatience. My five year old son responded by praying that he would show others the fruits of the spirit.
Love the gospel one! These are so cool! Thanks for sharing!
UM, LOVEEEEE these!! I think my two favorites are the Fruit of the Spirit and then the family prayer guide!! As far as teaching Harrison respect/manners…he is just 2.5 so it is a lot of redirection and reminding him to say please, thankyou, sorry, and to make eye contact!!! We read our Jesus Storybook Bible together each night and we talk pray scripture over him, specifically his life verse, Jeremiah 29:11
put it on Facebook!!
also included my favorite placemat and what we do to give Harrison a”heart check” all in the same comment…leaving this one to make sure I get two entrys!!
I LOVE the little girl Armor of God, and the I am a Child of God. I love that kids can learn who they are in Christ!!
My child is only 6 months old, but we have already started this even though she can’t talk back. I know she is getting it. We talk to our daughter about who she is without Christ, that Christ died on the cross for her sins, and that she can ask Him to be her savior and go to Heaven. We also talk about the 6 Basic Truths from KidStuff with her. I know very shortly she is going to get to the stage where she wants to do something we have told her no to, and we are going to have these heart conversations with her. I also make sure that (even though I am saying it for her now) she says please, thank you, your welcome, yes ma’am, yes sir, etc. I figure it is good to model those behaviors now so she will grow up knowing them.
I posted on Facebook!!
I love these placemats! They are so amazing. My favorites are both the identity in Christ ones, and “He is Risen”.
As far as teaching good behavior, I have realized it has to start on my knees in prayer asking for God’s wisdom for each moment with each child. I have also seen that it is so true that they watch way more what I do than listen to what I say, so by God’s strength I try to model His love & grace. Practically, we constantly talk about loving others as ourself and treating others like we want to be treated.
And on another note, I am excited to have found your blog since we are seriously looking into adopting from Haiti. So cool how God works.
I love the “Fruits of the Spirit” one! These are fantastic!
My son is a very picky eater (as many toddlers are I’m told) so meal times can be a challenge. He has to sit nicely with us to pray and then he can bounce back and forth between playing with the fridge magnets and eating. He doesn’t have to eat everything but he has to tolerate it being on his plate. He can have one toy car at the table but that’s it! (Otherwise he fills it with toys!)
I LOVE the Fruit of the Spirit and the Identity in Christ for older girl!
Oh and I teach “Big Truths for Little Kids” every morning. We also do a bible study with our homeschool curriculum. I have also done the “Princess and the Kiss” with my girls and it made a huge impact. I think teaching God and His glory in ALL things rather than just compartmentalizing Him is key! Making everything a teachable moment and incorporating God and His Sovereignty is important in teaching your children throughout the day. I have to ask God each day to help me be the parent He called me to be because on my own, I fail. I need Him and His strength to do this parenting thing!!!!
These Table Top Truths are so cute, with such wonderful messages it was hard to pick just 2 that I liked best!! But the 1st one that really stood out to me was the fruits of the spirit one. I know my kids have always been attracted to bright colors so I know they’ll be attracted to this one, even though they are 19 & 20 now! Lol! But, I have foster kids in my home too!! And my current one is only 13 mos old and she loves bright colors too!! Even though all she’ll most likely do is lick the placemate..lol! 😛
Picking the 2nd one was really hard!! But really this comes in more than one version so I guess I’m cheating a bit! Because my 2nd choice is the I am a Child of God placemats. I want them all!!! With foster kids I have boys and girls and in a variety of races in my home, so that no one will feel left out I want boy ones and girl ones and in all of the races available! And I would also pick the John 3:16 back too!! Not only do I want the foster kids in my home to feel loved while in my home, I want them to know that even though they may move on from the love they feel in our home, they will FOREVER BE LOVED BY CHRIST!!
Excellent giveaway Jamie! Hope I can win!!
With my kids being 19 & 20, and very soon they will be 20 & 21, I have had a lot to look back on raising my kids as we embarked on our foster care and hopefully soon adopting too, adventure!! Because they teach you a lot about parenting while you go through the 10 wk class to become licensed foster parents, the hubby and I have learned one major thing about ourselves and parenting. We used corporal punishment with our 19 & 20 yr old kids. And well our 20 yr old son has ADHD, so the poor guy was spanked a LOT was directly related to us taking “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” quite literally! It did not prevent him from still being a hyper active kid and acting impulsively, or from becoming a rebellious teenager. So really I have learned that if we had it to do all over again we wouldn’t have spanked like we did. We shouldn’t have disciplined in anger! And we would have done more discipline in the idea of cause and effect. Or that your actions have consequences! I think our son and us as parents would have be whole lot less angry at each other if we had been able to avoid the corporal punishment. And also probably would have able to avoid some our sons rebellion too. But from reading your blog, I have the feeling that you and Aaron are the kind of parent that would avoid corporal anyway! 😀
I shared the give away on twitter!! 😀
I like the “God is” one because it is so visual.
Good behavior is a lot about the heart attitude, so when we are having behavioral problems I have to remember that it is rooted in something, and address that problem instead of the actual behavior. For example, if my 3 year old stomps “at” me when she doesn’t get her way, I tell her it is not okay to stomp at mama, and that now you need to give mama a hug to show mama that you love her. But it is important to acknowledge what she is feeling (tell her I understand that she is sad/mad that she didn’t get her way) and then just move on and don’t make a big deal out of the actual behavior. That has worked for us.
I love the “Attributes of God” and the “Thanksgiving” place mats! They are all really cute! Think I’ll be ordering the Christmas set.
The major thing we try to do to instill values in our children is keep the dialogue going. We *try* to make use of every experience, good or bad, to learn something about ourselves and our Jesus. And trying to be faithful in living our lives with God in the lead. Example is of course possibly the best teacher for our children.
I like the Attributes of God placemat! I think that’s a great tool to talk often about God and His many, many characteristics.
We try to take everything back to Jesus, and the grace He has shown to us…that God is so good to us. He is where our kids will find true happiness. I read “Give them Grace” by Elyse Fitzpatrick a few months ago, and that has really blown my mind in terms of how I should be responding to/training our kids, as well as how I relate to God as a believer.
I love all of them, but my favorite is the Armor of God!
We read the “Proverb of the Day” at breakfast and memorize verses by adding hand motions to them. We also play the “Obedience Game” (we have a toddler and a preschooler), which is simply a version of “Simon Says,” where the kids get to have fun while they practice obeying their parents.
I like the Fruit of the Spirit one best, but I also like both Armor ones.
We always stress the Golden Rule. When they do something that isn’t o.k., we state that it isn’t o.k. and ask if they can think of something else they can do instead. We try to get to the emotion they are feeling and help them deal with that emotion in an appropriate way. Eventually, they figure out how to do it on their own.
I love the “I am a child of God” one. (Especially that they have an option w/ a chocolate little boy which would match my little boy.)
My little fella is 18 months so we are just starting with the basics of being kind- sharing, saying hi/bye, and things like that. We have been praying before meals and he will clap when we say Amen. So I feel like we could begin to incorporate more and more in the next few months!
Just posted on twitter.
I like the attributes of God and the Creation placemat….and all the others as well!
We teach our little one about God every chance we get…in the good times of having fun and in the hard times of not sharing or not obeying…we bring our blessings and trials all back to God.
I love the fruit of the spirit one…such a great idea!
For Scripture memory, good behaviors, or anything I want the kiddos to remember…we write whatever we’re trying to teach on the top of a piece of cardstock and then have the kids cut out pictures in magazines to represent what is being taught, paste them on the paper and slip the whole thing into a page protector. They hang on our bulletin board and we can go back and review if needed.
I’m loving the “Jesus Loves Me” and the “God is…” placemats! These are WAY cute!
We write our memory verses on whatever mirror we find in the house! We also just put in a chalkboard (painted it on the dining room wall and put a ready-made frame around it-way cute!) and write the verse on it.
Thanks so much for sharing these great placemats….I LOVE them! My favs are the Armor of God, Attributes of God and The Fruits of the Spirit. We will be adding these to our table soon. Thanks again for always sharing great things you find:)
They are all so great, but I really like the Gospel placemat and the Fruit of the Spirit placemat. Hmmm…I pray for my kids a lot, and I try to pray with/over them at night. I’m not sure if that qualifies as teaching them something… but maybe it does.
so cute! love these. my fave is the armor girl!
we have a “word of the week” & usually it’s a fruit of the spirit. we focus on that word throughout each day. for example, last week was “kindness” and we were able to use that a lot in circumstances that arise…especially when the girls were fighting as an example of how they were NOT being kind! 😉
shared your blog giveaway on FB!
I think I would have to get the Fruit of the Spirit place mat. Although, I do love the attributes of God mat, too!
I’m not sure how it caught on, but our son is really good about saying excuse me and pardon me, if he bumps into you or needs by. I guess it’s by God’s grace!!! We just try to keep it going! Working on “sir” and “ma’am” too!
Shared it on Facebook!
I like attributes of God best.
My favorite one is the Attributes of God!
One thing I do with my kids is to use car time to listen to praise & worship music (and sing at the top of our lungs).
shared your website and giveaway on FB!
I love the Creation placemat…and love the Jesus Love Me with John 3:16 on the back of each one. What a wonderful reminder to see each day. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
you’ve been tweeted.
I love the fruit of the spirit one! How cute!
We told our son we would be able to tell when he was old enough for a girlfriend by how he treated his sister.
That was a harder choice than I expected. I think I would get the Armor girl because of the awesome things it would teach, but I also love the I am a Child of God one just to remind them daily! Beautiful things and a great idea!
We deal with the Golden Rule a lot….it is a general rule all around and ends up sparking so many other scriptures. Just all around helps her to know to treat people the way she wants to be treated.
I like Fruit of the Spirit and Attributes of God.
We love the book Behavior Boosters! It
is a fun, simple way to positively boost behaviors
with your children while learning scripture.
I love the prayer one – what a great way to make praying for specific things simple! The God is & Fruit of the Spirit are my other favs!
i love the gospel one! my 2 and a half year old have already added this to our morning prayers, this would be a great addition at meal time!!
my son and i always talk about the good guys and bad guys… in whatever show or book he is watching/reading, there always seems to be someone who is doing good and someone who is doing bad. we talk about why it’s good/bad. i love it when he sees something and turns to me without prompting and says, “that was mean” or “he’s a helper!”
These are so cute!
My faves are the Attributes of God and the Armor of God.
I’m going to pass this site on to my mom friends!