The Bible often describes God as our fortress.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Think about what wonderful imagery that is! In this rough, scary world, God is a safe place for us to rest without worry. Psalm 91 is my favorite fortress passage, and one your children can really appreciate.
Martin Luther, the Father of the Reformation, wrote the hymn A Mighty Fortress is Our God while his little town of Wittenberg, Germany was ravaged by the plague.
Martin fell ill and recovered before his pregnant wife Katie contracted the disease. Their little girl Elizabeth was born, but died before her first birthday. I think of the pain the Luthers must have suffered, and yet they celebrated the truth that God is our mighty fortress–no matter what we suffer in this life.
You can read portions of my teen novel, When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther by clicking the “Preview” tab above!
To help your kids celebrate the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (and Reformation Day), I’ve put together a fun craft for you to do with your kids. The A Mighty Fortress Is Our God Lyrics Craft and Printable is part of an ongoing series of Bible crafts and projects at Thinking Kids.
I love doing art projects with my kids. Creating can really help children process and retain information. I’m a big fan of doing crafts with kids that are art projects rather than process art.
That means the projects I suggest may take several sessions and a little more assistance, but they will also be something you can hang on your walls (or use as a centerpiece on your table), and that will add to retention and comprehension.
Your children will learn new skills and techniques and start to feel confident working with real art tools. As a bonus, these art projects / crafts can be used with a variety of ages. Your young children can do simple work while your teens can get as elaborate as they’d like. I make an effort to use supplies that are easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God Lyrics Craft
Check out this fun video I made of the A Mighty Fortress is Our God craft!
Tips for Art Projects with Kids
Doing art projects with kids can be a challenge. For that reason, many parents forgo this valuable time altogether. As an art major and a parent who has done frequent art projects with my four children, I have a few suggestions for you.
- Cover your space. Use painting drop cloths and plastic to keep your furniture and flooring protected.
- Cover your kids. Grab a couple of your old T-shirts and throw them over your kids, buy them painting aprons, or designate clothes specifically for crafting.
- Do the prep work in advance. Do as much prep work for a project as you can before you get the kids involved. Not everything on the page needs to be their work. It’s OK to help.
- Schedule several short sessions for one project. Children need several days to be able to create larger projects. Art is time-consuming and requires energy.
- Encourage your kids. Children are likely to be frustrated by the disconnect in the artwork they envision and the art they actually create. Remind your kids that they improve every time they create, and tell them how much you love their work (even if you don’t know what it is!). Also, stick figures are fabulous.
- Operate the hot glue gun. Hot glue burns are terrible. Until your kids are old enough to cook, I’d advise you do the hot gluing.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God Lyrics Craft Printable
Grab your FREE A Mighty Fortress Printable craft for your household (and save 50% on a classroom license).
While you’re there, pick up an autographed copy of historic fiction When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther. Or, get it at Amazon.
- Sometimes readers are concerned about using colored ink. If this is the case for you, there should be a setting on your printer that allows you to print in black and white. Printing in grayscale will still use some color, but it will come out prettier than black and white.
- I recommend printing on white cardstock so the cards will be more durable and the back won’t show through on the front. This is my very favorite cardstock: Neenah Premium Cardstock.
- You’ll need to cut the lyrics out so you can glue them on. I cut around it, leaving a small white margin. I don’t suggest trying to cut on the line. Also, if your children are small, you may want to cut the lyrics out yourself. You’ll want to stick closer to the line when you cut out your fortress walls and the top of your keeps.
Supplies Needed to Make Your A Mighty Fortress is Our God Lyrics Craft
Cardstock, 65 lbStudent ScissorsApple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set10 Pieces Round Pointed Tip Nylon Hair Brush SetSharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Black, 12 CountColorations Sturdy Recycled Craft Rolls (You’ll need 4–you can use empty toilet paper rolls.)Generic Round Professional Plastic Paint Platte Tray WhiteMini Hot Melt Glue Gun with 25pcs Glue SticksElmer’s All Purpose School Glue Sticks, 4 Pack
Creating Your A Mighty Fortress Project
Before you get started on the craft, read Bible passages that talk about how God is our Fortress, like: 2 Samuel 22:1-3, Psalm 18:1-3, Psalm 31:1-5, and Psalm 91 with your kids. You can talk about times your children are scared, and how reassuring it is to know that God is a strong fortress and our refuge. You could even study castles and talk about why they were built the way they are! (This is my favorite book for studying castles.)
Here are the steps for your craft. Your children will perform most of these steps, but step in and help whenever necessary.
1) Print Your A Mighty Fortress Printable & Cut Everything Out
Once you’ve registered for your A Mighty Fortress Printable via the form above, you’ve confirmed your email registration, and you’ve received the email with your printable, print it out on white cardstock. Note: If you don’t want to paint the walls, feel free to print them on colored cardstock (pages 2-4 of your printable).
If your children are young, do this step before they get involved with the project.
2) Paint the Fortress Walls and Turrets
This step will be fun for your children. You’ll want to cover your surface with paper or a cheap plastic tablecloth. Throw an old shirt over each child.
3) Paint the Toilet Paper Rolls
Have your children paint the four toilet paper rolls that will become the fortress keeps. This can get a little messy–you may want to help your child hold the paper rolls upright on the paper, or you may want to hold them for your child with your fingers on the inside.
4) Add Stone Wall Accents in Permanent Marker
Once your paint is dry, you can use a permanent marker to add some stone wall accents if you’d like. This is quick and easy–your children should have fun doing it.
5) Use Hot Glue to Attach the Turrets
Technically, a turret is a small tower on top of a bigger tower. You’re actually attaching a merlon and embrasure sequence. But we’ll call it a turret, because it’s easier and makes sense.
You’ll want to do this step unless your children are older and have been trained in hot gluing. You know your kids–just be sure they don’t get burnt. Hot glue burns are terrible (as are the burns from the metal tip of the gun).
6) Glue Two Keeps to a Fortress Wall
Run a thin line of glue along each side of the front of one of the fortress walls and press a keep on each side.
Repeat this step with another wall and two more keeps to create two complete fortress walls.
7) Use Hot Glue to Attach the Final Two Fortress Walls
Run a thin line of hot glue on the short edges of one of the remaining fortress walls, on the unpainted side. Press the wall onto the outside of two of the keeps. Repeat this step on the other side, using the last fortress wall. This will create a box, with a keep on each corner. See below for the finished fortress shape.
8) Use a Glue Stick to Decorate Your Fortress with Lyrics
Now that your fortress is painted and built, your child can attach the front door, attribution banner, and lyrics using a glue stick.
Be sure to check out this free A Mighty Fortress is Our God hymn study over at Proverbial Homemaker!
Martin Luther and the Reformation
Teach your teens about Martin Luther and the Reformation in an exciting, new way with When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther!
Martin Luther (1483-1546) is often referred to as “The Father of the Reformation”. Born during a time of superstition, tradition, and spiritual corruption, Luther gave up a lucrative career as a lawyer to become a monk in the Roman Catholic Church–a path he felt would certainly lead to salvation.
As Luther’s understanding of the spiritual corruption within the Church grew, and he despaired of true salvation, Luther (now a scholar and priest) sought the Bible for answers. Following his discovery of the true gospel in Scripture, Luther began to preach spiritual freedom to his congregation, and to teach biblical (rather than philosophical) theology at the University of Wittenberg.
It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther penned his Ninety-Five Theses in Latin in response to the abusive indulgence sales practices of the monk Johann Tetzel in a nearby town. Luther nailed the Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, the scholarly bulletin board of his day, and mailed a copy to the Archbishop of Mainz. Luther hoped to start a scholarly debate about the practice of selling salvation through plenary indulgences. The response he received was greater–and more dangerous–than he imagined it would be.
Luther’s story is exciting. There are death defying moments, epic spiritual battles, narrow escapes, a kidnapping, revolution, and war. As the “Father of the Reformation”, Luther is a vital figure in Church history. His sacrifice and willingness to wage battle against the spiritual, religious, and political powers of his medieval world allowed Christians throughout time to embrace the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as explained by Scripture alone once again. May all glory be to God alone!
Read portions of the first eight chapters of When Lightning Struck!:
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