Excerpt from Jonah: A Very Veggie Family Adventure

Note: This article appeared as the foreword to the discussion guide within the product.

Everything You Need to Know About Family Adventures (But Didn't Know to Ask)
As you and your family experience Big Idea's first VeggieTales movie, Jonah, your children are being set up for dozens of teachable moments. A Very Veggie Family Adventure is designed to help you capture them and plant biblical truths deep into the hearts of your children. And because it's from Big Idea, FamilyLife, and Zonderkidz, you can expect to:
  • laugh so hard that slushy comes out your nose
  • apply biblical answers to the real-life questions that your kids ask
  • grow closer and communicate better as a family
  • make lifelong family memories
Journey Through the Adventure
Capturing teachable moments can be as difficult as finding a public restroom when you're potty training a two-year-old. To help keep you moving, we divided each adventure into easy-to-understand pieces. Every adventure follows the same five-step process. As Jerry Gourd might say, it helps you "eat the jelly donut one bite at a time."
May God generously honor your attempts at leading your family spiritually.

Packing for the Adventure
Most items you will need for each adventure are found in and around your house. Each session begins with a list of what you will need to complete all ativities. Feel free to make any substitutions you find appropriate.

Jonah's Journey
When you were in school, did you ever study the details of a subject and then forget the overall concept? That happens often in Bible study. Sometimes we can't see the ocean for the seashells. This section is designed to help keep the ocean in view when your family gets together.

Jonah's adventure is not myth, allegory, or fairy tale. It is as real as the book you're holding. Jonah's story is a miracle--a storm that begins and stops suddenly, a fish that swallows a man (but doesn't digest him), and a massive city dropping to its knees in repentance.

Our children need the framework of Jonah's story--along with the message behind the events--to fully understand the ten lessons taught by the movie and this resource. While this is an optional section, we encourage you to enjoy this activity and make it a part of each family adventure. Your family has an opportunity to learn this story in such a way that you will never forget its messages.

The video includes a song called "Jonah's Journey, " which reviews the entire story found in the Bible. (Words to this song are found on the tabletop map.) This song will help you teach your children the chronology of the story in a fun, easy, and memorable way. We've also included a tabletop map of Jonah's journey that will help you review the story and tie it in to real places.

For those of you who have a little more time and/or desire a more interactive approach, you can find ideas on-line at

Behind the Scenes at Big Idea
Bob and Larry start off each video segment of the adventure. Then you'll go behind the scenes at Big Idea Productions and meet the people who work on the stories starring your favorite Veggie characters. These people give you a sneak peak at some movie-making fun while sharing how they use the lessons found in Jonah in their own lives.

Anchors Away!
This section outlines the easy five-step process that walks you through the adventure. Follow each step, if you like , or use this section as just a guide to help you keep the adventure moving. As you read through the adventure before your family night, make notes so that you personalize these guidelines in a way that best suit your family.

Captain's Log
Every good adventure has a record of events. As you move through the adventure and end each one with prayer, create your own personal memory log. Write down the date and your prayer requests as you conclude each session. As God answers your prayer with "Yes," "No," "Wait," or "I have a better plan," record His answer as well. This is a good tool to use for further communication with God. Use pages 135 to 140 as your Captain's Log.

Swab the Decks
Make cleaning up fun (Okay . . . how about tolerable?) for your children. At the end of every adventure, you'll discover a crazy method for disposing of trash and putting away supplies.

Dropping Anchor
Concepts are best learned and remembered through repetition. Between adventures, remind your family to reflect on what they learned by posting these cards on your refrigerator. Refer to them every day as you fetch milk, juice, dinner fixings, and late-night snacks.

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