I especially enjoy seeing how much stuff I can recycle rather than throw out like I would have months ago. We hardly have any trash these days! I also have built up quite a collection of items to use for crafts. I have cereal boxes. (Great source of cardboard. You can use these for a pattern to have kids trace items they otherwise couldn't draw themselves!) I save glass jars, toilet paper rolls, plastic containers, and so forth. The most kids I can have on any given Sunday is between 30 and 35. This means my collections revolve around that number. Once it has been reached, I send it to the recycling bin. I do not want to become a hoarder! And it's all stored out of sight in my basement.
A month ago I was really excited to create this checkerboard craft to do with the kids. Lids are one of those things that most recycling places don't want. I have a HUGE 5 gallon Ziploc full of various sized lids. This craft specifically used the size that fits pop/water bottles. With my mother's help, I had collected almost 400 lids of this size, about 6 months of saving!
God always provides our needs, not necessarily our greed. There is a promise in the Bible that, "You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus." Philippians 4:19 (The Message)
God not only supplies our needs, but He often times blesses us with some of our wants too. My family has been given so much that we really don't need, and we thank God for it. "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." Psalm 37:4
To illustrate this point, I made a game of Thank You, God checkers. One person will be the "Wants" and one person will be the "Needs."
I know you can read this on the checkerboard, but I wanted to point out that when you jump a piece from your opponent, you must stop and say a prayer of thanks. If you are the "need" player, and you jump over the piece "money" from your opponents "wants", you must stop right there and say a short prayer thanking God for what He just provided. It goes both ways, if you are the "want" player and you jump over a "need" called "food", you stop and thank God for giving you food.
I made the board a little smaller than a normal checkerboard. I wanted mine to fit on a piece of letter sized paper, and I didn't have enough lids to make a complete checker set for 35 kids. I printed my board on cardstock to add a little stiffness.
To make the playing pieces, I used a dozen pop lids for one game, 6 lids for each side. I painted my mismatched lids to add a more professional look. If you don't want to paint, collect enough lids of each color to have two different sides represented. Or you can make the sides different colors by choosing colored paper to glue on top.
The needs were the hardest for the kids to come up with. They couldn't quite figure out the difference between a need and a want. Right now there are things that seem like definite needs to them, but in fact generations of people have lived their entire lives without them. I explained a need to them as being something your life depended on; something you could not survive without. The items on the list below that seem questionable were absolute necessities to these kids. I could not talk them into calling it a want. They were convinced they could not survive unless they had it. Aren't we all spoiled?
Some "needs" I saw and heard were:
Electricity so we can heat our houses
Electronics for our jobs
My favorite "want" was for a computer... "because I already have one so it can't be a need."
"Don’t ever worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ Everyone is concerned about these things, and your heavenly Father certainly knows you need all of them. But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you.
So don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:31-34