The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget

The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget

by Tim Shoemaker


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As parents hoping to raise godly children, we may understand the importance of regular family devotions. However, we may find it difficult to get our kids (or even ourselves) fully engaged. But what if devotions looked less like sitting in the living room listening to someone read and trying to pry answers out of reluctant kids and more like, say, electrocuting a pickle? Or converting a leaf blower into a toilet paper launcher? Or lighting toothpaste on fire?

These hands-on, kinda dangerous, totally unforgettable object lessons (along with nearly fifty others) are not only more fun than other family devotions—they actually deliver the spiritual impact you desire for your kids. They'll even get dads and any too-cool-for-this-stuff teens jazzed about a weekly family devotional time.

So put away the flannelgraph, get out the safety goggles, and start bringing the truths of Scripture to vivid life in your household. Just remember to change out of your Sunday clothes first.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800735555
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/21/2019
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 296,217
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Tim Shoemaker is the author of 14 books. He has worked as a volunteer with youth at his local church for over 25 years and speaks to thousands of students at public schools. He's a popular workshop speaker at Iron Sharpens Iron Men's Conferences, Moody Pastor's Conference, Focus on the Family, and GREAT Homeschool Conventions. Shoemaker lives in Illinois.

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The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Rayleigh 5 months ago
I grew up in a home in which we had family devotions before school every single morning, for pretty much most of my life. And you guessed it, as a child, I wasn’t a huge fan. It was boring to listen to an hour of my mom reading an “instruction manual” (it sounded like) and woke me up an hour earlier than I wanted to be awake (kids gotta have sleep!). And most of the times, these “family devotions” ended with at least one of us six kids (though let’s be real, it was probably all of us) in trouble for having an attitude or complaining. Bless my mom’s heart. Looking back, an activity book like this one probably would have benefited my family a lot because it is interactive. The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions is meant to be used weekly, instead of daily, so that alone is an improvement for families that struggle with coordinating schedules (like mine). In the beginning of the book, the author writes in his Ending the Start and Stop Syndrome: “If the kids are missing something important to them, it will be hard to hold their attention no matter what you do. If you don’t hold their attention, you’ll probably quit.” This advice alone needs to be plastered on every billboard! That is precisely the reason I don’t think my family every finished more than maybe 3 books total from start to finish. I really like the activities the author uses and his messages and topics are fresh, exciting, and unique. For the 52 devotions included, there is a list of materials needed, how to put together whatever prop you’ll be using, safety precautions (because, um, electrocuting pickles could potentially end badly), and the lesson for the day is written out (so you don’t have to give an impromptu speech with just bullet points listed). There are two things that will keep me from absolutely loving this book though. The first is that there is a LOT of preparation needed and if you don’t have a lot of the stuff lying around, then there’s potentially a lot of purchasing needed. That’s great if you have a lot of free time to make this stuff and extra money to buy the materials, but not all families will have that kind of freedom. There are quite a few activities that don’t require as much preparation or money, but that seriously dwindles down the list of activities available. The second is that I really don’t see older teens getting involved in some of these lessons. Kids? Absolutely! They’ll love it! But 15-17? I don’t see it. Unless you get them to help you make the props and maybe even demonstrate them to the younger kids while you read the lesson, I think a lot of the activities would receive an eye-roll (in a family-only setting…now, if a youth group did some of these activities, they might accept it more…you know how teens are). That’s another point. This book isn’t really designed for small families. Most activities would require at least two kids (you could improvise and make it work for just one) but, it would almost be ideal to have three or four (or more…). So it really would be great for churches, youth groups, or even multiple family studies. It’s a great resource, of that I do not deny in the least, and the lessons are well-written and exciting, but it just might not be a “one-size-fits-all” devotion. Still, I give it 4 out of 5 stars and do encourage you to look into this book if you are hitting a resistance wall from the kids in your family devotions. It very well might be the perfect fit for your family!
Anonymous 6 months ago
What did I think of this book? I found it to be quite catchy and interesting. Definitely a winner with kids! Blowing things up, breaking things, and lots of other "dangerous" object lessons will certainly make learning about purity, faithfulness to God, trust, and other topics much more interesting. There are a lot of items needed for this devotional, so it will take some advance planning. Personally, I found that although I liked it a lot, I may not actually use it at home, but instead share it with my kids youth director as I am pretty sure the teen group would be a great audience for a lot of these dangerous devotions. They are sure to retain the information once they do the activities. I can't wait to see how they like it! I would definitely recommend this devotional for parents or group leaders. It's kind of wacky and fun and a super exciting way to learn! I was blessed with a copy of this book courtesy of Revell. I wasn't asked to review this book positively and all opinions are my own.
NatalieRae 6 months ago
Let the games begin!! This family devotional is chock full of fun and adventure that'll engage the whole family. The activities included surround solid Biblical principles along with Scripture that'll resonate with each family member long after the laughter ends. With 52 devotional activities it gives families the perfect opportunity to invest in one another and the Word of God. The only thing I will say is that this isn't a devotional you can just pick up on a whim. Each of the activities do require materials and a decent amount of time (some for prep) so it's going to take a bit of planning but in the end I believe it's a fun and worthwhile book of devotions that offers a unique way of bringing the family together. ***I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review of this book and all opinions expressed are my own.
vics49548 7 months ago
What a fun devotional for families! Each chapter has an activity to do with your kids. Just know that some are pretty detailed so this is meant to be done together. Add in a teaching lesson and scripture and you have yourself a year of memories. Author Tim Shoemaker also gives some good tips for holding a child’s interest when doing devotions, which is a great addition for parents. The down side to this book is that several of the activities require a lot of preparation. So while this is great for DIY families others may find it a challenge. But hey, give it a try. You may love it! I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
MrsBishop 7 months ago
*I received The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions book by Tim Shoemaker from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. * As a homeschooling family- I am always on the lookout for ways to add devotions into our learning. As a Mom of a Science-minded, hands-on, very active little boy- getting him to sit still through an extra subject can be tough. That’s where Tim Shoemaker’s book, The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions comes in handy. These devotions don’t include your ordinary object lessons. Some are downright messy and maybe even semi-dangerous. (Parental presence always required!) But, that’s okay! Because for a rambunctious little boy- that spells F.U.N. This book also is a great tool in getting my Husband involved in our devotions time- because he likes to use power tools, take stuff apart, build stuff (argh-argh-argh in my best Tim Taylor voice). Daddy and son can get messy and spend time together- while we instill a love of Jesus and desire to learn more about the Bible into our child. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever heard one! I love that there are 52 devotions to choose from- 1 for each week of the year if you choose to break it down that way and stick with it. The author knows it can be hard sticking with a schedule, so Tim starts the book off with some practical tips to get you to keep going with your devotions each week. I really appreciate that. Because it’s easy to fall behind and not get motivated to get started again. From teaching your kids about sin by electrifying a pickle. Or even protecting our minds against impurity (when age appropriate because it WILL eventually come up) with jello. Even talking about being on fire for God by igniting toothpaste- yes, it’s gonna be messy. But, I have a feeling these lessons will really stick. This book is great for families who want a hands-on approach. Great for homeschoolers like us who like object lessons. Or even for a youth pastor looking to get their point across in a fun, impactful way. This book is going to get me way out of my comfort zone- but sometimes I need that. I think it will be as good for me as it will be the rest of my family! Do you do devotions with your family? Do you like to get hands-on? If so, this book is for you!
amybooksy 7 months ago
The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget is a fabulous and fun devotional. It is split up into fifty two chapters and each chapter includes: Theme - tells how this activity will relate to the Bible Things You'll Need - tools or items needed to complete the activity Advance Prep - how to get started Running the Activity - starting the activity Teaching the Lesson - relating the activity Summing It Up - completing the activity Some chapters will have a section called Keep It Safe that give some safety tips for the activity associated with that chapter. I thought The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget was a great way for my family to spend time together learning and teaching God's word in a fun and exciting way. We enjoyed doing the activities during this summer. It is a great tool to teach kids the best morals and values. I highly recommend The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget and am giving it a well deserved five plus stars. This one is a keeper and to be used over and over. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Fitzysmom 7 months ago
My first thought after reading this book was, "where in the world was this when I had a house full of kids?" This is seriously one of the best family devotional books I have come across. The stereo-type for family devotions is somewhere along the lines of the family gathering in the living room with dad reading aloud, mom shushing everyone, and the kids squirming or zoning out. Not with this book. One of the devotions has you visiting a funeral home! If that doesn't get your kids attention I don't know what to say. There is so much that I like about this book. It's very creative but still contains impactful lessons. The prep is minimal so it doesn't become a great burden to do the actual activities. I also like that it could be used in several situations. Of course it is designed for once a week family devotions but what about each night of summer camp? Or choose a few for a small group activity. The little by-line on the front of the book says "52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget". I think that's true but I also think as an adult these activities will leave a lasting impact as well. I recommend this to all the parents. I'm sending a copy to each of my kids to use with the grands, you should too! I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Teadrinker 7 months ago
Do family devotions leave your family yawning from boredom? Good News. There is a new devotional on the market that will keep everyone awake and interested. The Very Best Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions by Tim Shoemaker offers a whole new style of family devotions. The Very Best, Hands-On Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions has 52 devotions in it. Shoemaker encourages families to do one a week in the first chapter called, Ending the Stop and Start Syndrome. In this chapter Shoemaker offers 14 helpful tips to make these devotions more successful in your family. After this chapter, each devotional comes with a supply list of things you will need, advance prep info, how to make the activity successful, how to teach the lesson, and how to sum up the lesson. These devotions are definitely out of the ordinary. The first lesson uses a leaf blower and toilet paper. Some of the lessons do take more supplies than others. Shoemaker offers tips on how to cut costs or how to share with other families and more good ideas to make them work. Other lessons just take a few easily found items to get the point across. I like the idea of creating object lessons that also create memories and help the whole family learn something in the process. The Very Best, Hands-On Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions does have a just a couple lessons that I am not sure we would feel comfortable doing. However, as my husband and I talked about those lessons, we felt we could creatively alter them a little to work for our family. I think Shoemaker would be all for that. The main thing is to create an object lesson that is fun and unforgettable for your family and to deliver a spiritual lesson that will stick with every one as a result. I think that is all a great idea. This book is full of some cool object lessons and spiritual truths as a result. I would encourage families to give it a try. I also think they offer good ideas to use as object lessons with youth group too. I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.
summer_no9 7 months ago
This book was unique writing and compelling to read with that also had a great tools, technique creativity from family devotion apply to teaching yours kids about God and helping them to understand how God designed parent to help. This book also had come with an easy 52 activities, that will guide yours kids to know what the to need to be aware of in their life with the help from family training to yours next generation get a better life. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “ I received complimentary a copy of this book from Revell Read for this review”.
Anonymous 7 months ago
The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions, by Tim Shoemaker, contains 52 devotions for parents and their kids. These are not your ordinary “read a short story, read a Bible passage” type devotions. Instead, each devotion includes an object lesson that engages kids while teaching them valuable lessons at the same time. Each devotion also ties the activity with Biblical principles and verses. Some of the devotion activities include: making an electric pickle, using invisible ink, making a water slide and lighting toothpaste on fire. These types of activities definitely have “kid-appeal”. I can see how kids would be more apt to remember the lessons associated with this type of “active learning” as opposed to passive listening. However, I recognize that the preparation required from parents would be much more involved than just opening up a book and reading from it. There is a range of complexity for the different devotions, so it is probably best to start out with some of the simple ones first instead of feeling like you need to go in order. This book would also be good for teachers or speakers who need ideas for reaching young people for Christ.
ConsultingWriter 7 months ago
I love this book. It reminds me of an encyclopedia book that I used to revisit over and over as a kid, looking for things to do during the summer. But these experiments and activities are way cooler than any of those. Fun with cylinders? Nope. Try electrocuting a pickle. That got my attention pretty quick. These devotions and experiments will need a responsible adult, but kids will be able to participate in most of them rather than just observing. I like this idea as a family devotion, but I can see its application in my Sunday school class. I learn best when I see as well as read about a particular subject and I think most of the kids I teach are the same. And with this unique and fun activities, it will stick in the mind better than a coloring page or craft that they'll end up throwing away. Each devotion provides a theme, list of items needed, notes on any advanced prep necessary, explanation of the activity, and then the lesson itself and how it relates to that activity. These are short and sweet, not long and drawn out. Kids have short attention spans, so this is the perfect amount to get the point across before their eyes glaze over. LOL, sorry, but it happens with anything. Teachers...I don't know how you do it day after day. I received a complimentary copy from Revell. The honest opinions expressed in this review on my own. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read over this book. I mean, the title alone got me.  Kinda dangerous? I'm the child that used to climb up a tree and onto the roof of my house. So yeah, this is definitely a book that piqued my interest. There's only one (or two maybe) lessons that rely on weather (i.e. snow), but out of 52 total, that's not bad.
Librarycataloger 8 months ago
Oh, if only this book had been available a few years ago! For many years, it was my ministry to offer a short children's sermon each Sunday morning to the young people in our church and I was constantly in search of ideas and subjects to be used as object lessons. The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions is a new book by Tim Shoemaker and even though he has targeted family devotions, there are many suggestions that could be adapted for a group of children. In each of the 52 activities the author suggests a theme, a list of the materials needed, instructions for both preparing and running the activity, and a lesson to teach. There is even a quick key for parents and adults that shows the activities that may be dangerous or perhaps too advanced for younger children and I believe that this would be especially useful when choosing an activity. Young people need to be exposed to God's Word and taught the value of living a Christian life but they live in such a fast-paced, visual world and just telling them isn't always the way to grab their attention. Shoemaker understands our current popular culture and he suggests Legos, Light Sticks and that all-time favorite, Slime, as some of the materials to be used. Having 52 ready-to-use ideas for hands-on activities is so convenient and these are certainly great ways to impress the need to love and serve God and then help these young people remember the concepts. This is a well-prepared book and I recommend it to parents, Sunday school teachers and youth leaders. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and I have chosen to write my honest thoughts in this review.