Daniel and the Lions Den: A Toddler Devotion on Prayer

Can you imagine being fed to lions because of your faith? That is exactly what happen to Daniel. But God made a way and saved not only Daniel, but a whole nation, because of Daniel’s prayers. This is how we explored the story of Daniel and the Lions Den.

Read: Daniel and the Lions’ Den

We pulled out our baby Bible and read the story of Daniel and the Lions’ Den” every single day. I had baby girl point to the lions, we counted the lions, and we also practiced our lion “ROAR!” She loved that part the most.

Sensory: Lions in Rice

We kind of stuck with a lion theme this week and played with lions. I pulled out our sensory-play rice and some plastic lion toys we had originally bought in the Target dollar section. Then we hid the lions in the rice. Baby girl got to play in the rice with scoops and find the lions. Everytime she found a lion she would roar. Also, our lions are different colors, so every time she found one it gave us a chance to practice our color words.

Skill: The Letter “L”

With attempting to raise our babies bilingual, I have really struggled with how to introduce letter learning. With words starting with different letters in each alphabet and even the alphabets being different, I have been on the struggle bus. However, with lion and leon being similar enough and both starting with the letter “L,” I jumped at the opportunity to finally start some letter learning.

Most of our learning was organic. Everywhere we saw the letter “L” this week I pointed it out, saying “Hey, look, there’s “L” for Lion.” Also, at the end of the week asking, “Hey, do you see “L” for Lion?” Then we’d find it together.

I also borrowed some ideas from The Measured Mom and how she taught her 2 year-old the letter L. I made some “worksheets” to throw into her busy bag.

The first one had a big letter “L” and we worked on her pre-writing skills by having her trace the letter with stickers. We’re still in the scribble stage of being able to control a pencil, so this was a great alternative. Obviously it’s not perfect. She didn’t cover the whole shape, but this was pretty good for a first try.

I also made a worksheet with several letters on it, and we worked together to find and put stickers on all the “L”s. She needed quite a bit of help, so this definitely wasn’t an independent activity, but it did a good job of introducing her to the letter “L” shape.

I also attempted to have her “write” the letter “L” with her finger in some play sand, but she just was uninterested. She instead went, grabbed her toy lions and had them play in the sand instead. However if your kiddo is ready for some more advanced pre-writing this could be a great tool.

Craft: Lion Painting

We actually kind of ended up doing 2 crafts this week. My plan A was to make this paper plate lion face I found at A Moms Impression. However, it ended up being the most stress-inducing project for me and my toddler. The prep time was just not worth the lack of interest baby girl had, and I ended up basically doing the whole project myself trying to engage her. Seriously, it almost made me not want to do crafts again. In reality I just underestimated the skill level and attention span needed for this project. However if you have an older toddler It could be a great project. This is our finished product:

Feeling like I needed to redeem this week’s arts and crafts time, we attempted a far simpler painting project that I found at The Chirping Moms. It’s supposed to be a lion and the toddler paints the mane on with a fork. Ours definitely looks like a toddler did this project, but it engaged her and she had fun practicing her lion “roar” as she painted the mane.

We also played with our Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad, because there are lions on the safari page. Also gave us some opportunity to identify what is a lion and what is not a lion.

Snack: Lion Waffle

Baby girl loves waffles. She would eat them l day everyday if I let her. So we had some food art fun and turned her breakfast into a lion with 2 blueberry eyes, a strawberry nose, and a clementine mane. Obviously any waffle recipe works, but if you’re needing a good healthy waffle recipe, Real Mom Nutrition has a great recipe.

Media

This week we listened to The Donut Man Daniel and the Lions. This song tells the story of “Daniel and the Lions Den” and gives toddlers lots of opportunity to practice their “Roar!”

We also watched Veggie Tale’s “Where’s God When I’m Scared” because the veggies act out the story in song and dance.

Adventure: Zoo

Sadly, we did not get to do this, because we live in Minnesota where it snows in April. And, frankly, dragging 2 pint-sized humans out into a blizzard just to see some lions does not sound like my idea of fun. However, the Como Zoo in St. Paul is free and does have lions. So you believe once the snow clears we will be heading to the zoo to see some lions.

Prayer

Finally, we really focused on prayer this week. Daniel prayed to God, and because of that almost ended up as lion lunch, but God saved him. Daniel didn’t know God would save him when he disobeyed the kings orders. In fact, he disobeyed knowing he probably would be fed to the lions. However, he was more interested in being apart of God’s plan than playing safe. He knew that God’s plan was bigger than any circumstance. And in the end he was apart of God’s plan. God saved Daniel, that amazed the king, and a whole country was drawn to devote themselves to God.

Instead of being afraid, Daniel prayed.

And isn’t that why we’re doing Baby Devos? So that we would grow kids that have hearts like Daniel. When hard things come, instead of fearing they would turn their faces to God and say “your plans are bigger.”

We can pray this for our kiddos. And we can teach our kiddos how to pray.

When we noticed our baby girl accumulating a decent sized vocabulary, and noticed her being able to repeat words, we started teach her how to pray. We modeled how to fold our hands, close our eyes, and then would have her repeat the world “Jesus, thank you for…” And then we’d think of things to be thankful for, and end with an “Amen.”

We usually pray at meal times and right before bed. These are natural breaks in our day so we sieze the opportunity. Also, we focus on what we’re thankful for a couple reasons. First of all, it’s a pretty easy prayer that she can do with help. Second, a lot of what makes prayer a way to align ourselves with God’s will is when we thank him. We recognize how he has already provided for us, and it actively builds trust in us that he will continue to provide.

Ok, now I know that is super deep for a 1 year old, and I know she doesn’t comprehend all that. But that is what we’re modelling, and it’s building a discipline in her that can be built on later.

So has it been working? Well, I can’t sit down to eat without praying, because our 22 month-old will remind us. She also makes her stuffed animals pray before a tea party. And the other night while I was tucking her in she grabbed all her stuffed animals close to her and thanked Jesus for them by name. “Jesus, Gracias for Anna, Elsa, and Sven, Amen.” So I want to say yes. They are simple prayers, but Jesus hears them.

For more ideas on how to introduce prayer to toddlers, check out How A 2 Year-old Prays by Freshly Messy. She has a really practical devotional for toddlers that I’m planning to revisit when we’re ready to take our prayers a little deeper.

What have you done to teach your kiddos how to pray or about Daniel and the Lions Den? Comment Below.

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