Woohoo we are off! I love having some extra time with my kiddos this summer. I want to make sure we don't forget to spend some of that time learning about Jesus Christ, and his word. My kids are getting old enough to help out planning "Bible Time" and have favorite stories they want to study more in depth. Von (age 9) wants to study Daniel, and Alyse (age 6) wants to learn more about Esther. Knox (age 3) is along for the ride :)
Before we started reading Daniel, we went through a little background on why the Israelites were living in Babylon. The Action Bible has a good couple of stories before Daniel recounting Israel's turning to other God's and God allowing them to be taken captive. Daniel 1 opens with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego living in the palace in Babylon and being trained by King Nebuchadnezzar's men. These four Israelite young men are given the "awesome privilege" of eating and learning like Babylonion noblemen. In today's story they are given choice food from the King's table. However, the four Israelites know that the King's food has been dedicated to the Babylonian Idols, and is unclean for them to eat. Therefore they ask to eat only vegetables and water. The King's servants are afraid they will not be healthy enough but agree to their request for a ten day trial period. At the end of the ten days, the Israelites are found to be in stellar condition. God's instructions really were for their benefit.
We used fruit/veggies to paint this time. If you do not want to use actual food you can easily use celery stalks that would otherwise be thrown away or any kind of tree/bush limb. It is simply fun for the kids to paint using something unusual. As they paint, review the story. Be sure to help them understand the point of the story is not actually to "eat your vegetables" (although they ARE good for you,) but the point is that obedience to God's ways are actually for OUR good.
THE POINT: God's instructions are SO much better for us, trust him