I want to thank Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a copy of God’s Special Tent by Jean Stapleton in return for my honest opinion.
Have you ever noticed how much of the Old Testament is devoted to the planning, building and use of the tabernacle? 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Even the long, detailed sections about the tabernacle.
The tabernacle, and the temple after it, were just a shadow of a promise God later fulfilled through the coming of Christ and the New Covenant. I found a short article about that at Ligonier Ministries. You can read “The True Tabernacle” by Douglas Kelly for a little perspective on the importance of this tent God had the Israelites build…..
Long story short, if we’re going to teach our children about the Bible, we need to teach them the story of the tabernacle and the priestly system. That can be a daunting task. A new Tabernacle activity book written by Jean Stapleton, God’s Special Tent (Christian Focus Publications, 2013) can help. Written for ages 8-12, God’s Special Tent is a 44-page activity book.
Each section has pictures to color (they are pictures worthy of middle grade colored-pencil work), and a ‘Find Outs?’ section with three short Scripture references which help children find out more about the subject they are studying. Just a note: There are no pictures of Christ. I believe that is an area that Christian Focus Publications is particularly careful of.
The last aspect of this activity book was one which particularly excited me. Ms. Stapleton has included the blueprints to make a cardstock tabernacle. There are 3 pullout pages to help you construct the tabernacle itself, the furnishings, and the pillars and curtains. The boys and I were delighted to spend a week working on tabernacle models. I know you really want to know what they look like!
Here’s the completed product… we used cloth for the covering curtains and cardstock for the rest.
Here’s a picture of the inside with all of the furnishings.
I found God’s Special Tent to be a delightfully helpful resource. Not only were we able to learn about the tabernacle as a type or shadow, to learn about the story of the tabernacle and its design, we were also able to construct our own tabernacles. I know my boys will be coloring the pictures in the activity book for quite a while during our history read-alouds. (I had to pry the book out of their hands a number of times just to finish reading it to them!)
In fact, I loved this book so much, I added it as a resource for the Recommended Resources for the Lower Grammar and Upper Grammar levels of Bible Road Trip.
Big Bible Science: Experiment and Explore God’s WorldTasty Bible Stories: A Menu of Tales & Matching Recipes77 Fairly Safe Science Activities for Illustrating Bible LessonsWalk This Way: Ethics and Sanctification Lessons for KidsGod’s Special Tent: The Story of the Tabernacle and What Came After (Activity)My Easter Activity Book: 40 Days to Celebrate Jesus’ ResurrectionMy Christmas Activity Book: 25 Days to Celebrate Jesus’ Birth
Purchase God’s Special Tent at
Christian Book: God’s Special Tent: The Story of the Tabernacle and What Came After
Amazon: God’s Special Tent: The Story of the Tabernacle and What Came After (Activity)
More Books for 8-12 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- History Lives Christian History Series by Brandon & Mindy Withrow
- Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word by Linda Finlayson
- Mary of Orange: At the Mercy of Kings
- The New Astronomy Book by Danny R. Faulkner
- Tough Questions About the Bible by Joel R. Beeke
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for:
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.