Sunday Snapshot: I Can Serve God

The Kids Bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/ages-and-stages/sunday-snapshot-i-can-serve-god/

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Snapshot, where you get a little glimpse into what’s happening in our minstry this week.  This project is something the kids were working on in response to a lesson Joshua about serving the Lord.

I cut four big pieces of brown paper and had kids work in teams of three to color a picture of how they could serve the Lord.  After Children’s Church, we hung the pictures on the wall in our gym.

I Can Serve God

Here’s a closer view of a few pictures:

I Can Serve God

I Can Serve God by mowing the lawn for my neighbor.

I Can Serve God

I Can Serve God by helping dad with the lawn.

I Can Serve God

I Can Serve God by singing praises.

Armor of God Lesson: Small Group Ideas

The Kids Bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/ages-and-stages/armor-of-god-lesson-small-group-ideas/

Are you looking for some great crafts, games, or activities to coordinate with an Armor of God lesson?  You’ve come to the right place.  Keep reading to discover ways we can teach about the armor of God and fighting sin.

Armor Of God

Games

Put on your Armor Relay Race:

In this game, one student will serve as the model and the rest of the kids will run in the race.  Have the model student stand on one end of the playing area and have a number of props beside them to represent the armor of God (for example, have a winter hat for the helmet of salvation if you don’t have a real helmet to use).   Have two teams race to put all the armor of God on the model student. Afterward, hold up each piece and discuss it’s biblical counterpart and purpose.

Ephesians 6 Bingo

This bingo-type of game has kids drawing cards to cover up each piece of armor.  The first kid (or team) to cover all the pieces wins.

Dice Roll Armor

If you’ve ever played the Cootie game, you will understand this idea in a flash!  For this game, have kids draw a stick figure on their paper (or use a printable picture of boy or girl).  Assign numbers to each piece of army and have kids roll the dice to race to complete their armor.  For example, if a child rolls a #1, they add a helmet to their figure.  If they roll a #2, they add a belt of truth.  You get the idea.  You could even use the Ministry to Children coloring pages fo this game.

Battling Sin

This fun (high-energy!) game requires some paper towel rolls, duct tape, and some “sin balls”.  Intrigued?  Read the full instructions over at Kids Sunday School.

Crafts

Paper Doll Armor Kids

If your group loves paper dolls, you might want to check out these coloring pages which can be used to “dress” kids in the armor of God.  You could even print them out on magnetic paper for some fridge (or cookie sheet) fun.

Shield of Faith

In days gone by, shields were often emblazoned with a family crest or special symbol.   Since we learned that we’re part of the family of God once we become a Christian, it would be great to decorate a shield with a crest for God’s family.

IMG_2885

If you have older kids and want a more extensive project, check out Red Ted Art’s cardboard shield. You can also get a template to make a shield of faith over at Crafting the Word of God. 

Make a Suit of Armor

Love the idea of hands-on fun?  Check out instructions to make all the pieces of armor over at Danielle’s place.  Perhaps you could assign one piece to each kid (or a team of kids) and then dress a mannequin when you’re done.   Now… where to find a mannequin?

Sword of the Spirit

Making Time blog has some great suggestions for Armor of God activities, including making this bejeweled sword of the spirit.  Head on over to her website to read more! 

More Stuff to Check Out:

S’MORES Ascension Day Snack & Lesson

The Kids Bible

http://www.christianitycove.com/smores-ascension-day-snack-lesson/7605/

sceS’mores are a great way to explain Ascension Day and show how Jesus will have us rise from a very dark world into the realm of heaven one day.

Materials:

• Jumbo Hershey bar
• Marshmallows, standard size
• Graham crackers
• Napkins or paper towels

Instructions:

1. Break the Hersey bar into sections of four squares per student.
2. Break the graham crackers into squares
3. Place the chocolate on the graham cracker and a marshmallow on the chocolate.
4. Serve on napkins or paper towels

Instructions:

Note: You can speak while making the snack!

S’mores are a great way to show what happened in the Ascension… and what will happen when we get called into heaven. The chocolate is like the world. It is a darkened place compared to heaven. Heaven is like the marshmallow — pure and good, like earth used to be before the Fall. Jesus made the leap to heaven, having told his disciples in John 14:3, “I go and prepare a place for you… I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

He said that this promise is for all who believe. That includes us. Let’s remember, while
we eat, that Jesus is in the clouds, preparing a place in heaven for us.

The post S’MORES Ascension Day Snack & Lesson appeared first on Christianity Cove.

Summer Wilderness Program for Teens

The Kids Bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/events/summer/summer-wilderness-program-for-teens/

Being a teenager is not an easy job. Youth today experience cases of alienation, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, and even suicide. Young adults are spending more time in front of computers or phones than in front of family or nature. For families with struggling teens, there is a wonderful opportunity where young adults can enjoy positive group interactions in a beautiful, outdoor setting.

Ready to Turn off the Electronics?

When planning family travel or vacations, the following option is well worth considering. The Camp Chateaugay Wilderness Program is an awesome teen camp program in northeastern New York. The Wilderness Program is a special segment of the camp, set apart by a sign reading,

Wilderness is a group of people living together and working together, sharing good times and bad times. Wilderness is what you make it to be.

The Program provides a summer of fun, bonding, and hard work.

Located on one of New York’s great Adirondack Lakes, Camp Chateaugay participants enjoy hiking, water sports, and other outdoor activities. Next to fun, safety is always a top priority. The Wilderness Program is made up of approximately 40 boys and girls, accompanied by six to eight exceptional counselors. The diverse Wilderness Program features a heterogeneous mix of age groups, genders, and nationalities.

Boys and girls have separate log cabins, and there is a log cabin living room with a kitchen. The teen participants prepare their own breakfasts and lunches and share all meals with their Wilderness friends and staff; the group also enjoys nightly campfires.

Camp Fire Time

During the day, there are games, contests, sports, festivities, and hilarious traditions like dining hall zaniness.  Fun activities are mixed with daily physical challenges and exercises.

Ready for Adventure!

Participants have the option between three available excursions: Cycling through New York and Vermont, backpacking in Vermont’s Green Mountains, and canoeing on the beautiful Adirondacks Lakes. These are fantastic excursion options for family travel.

about_teen_program_2.jpg

The Wilderness Program aims to build self-esteem in its participants by giving them opportunities to accomplish independent and group tasks. By learning to work together, participants develop responsibility, strong work ethic, sportsmanship, confidence, and leadership skills. Along with physical and personal development, participants of the Wilderness Program also form wonderful, long-term friendships.

Water This Way

The Program also offers opportunities for aspiring counselors when they enter the Counselor-In- Training (CIT) program. These CITs receive instruction in leadership, childcare, first aid, and lifeguard skills. They can also choose to focus on activities in which they want to specialize. As do the participants, many counselors find their time in the Wilderness Program extremely rewarding.

The Wilderness Program provides a structured group experience that grows and challenges its teen participants. The Wilderness Program takes place in healthy, natural setting, provides fun activities mixed with physical exercises, and offers a real chance to build self-esteem and leadership. The Wilderness Program at Camp Chateaugay is a great adventure when considering options for family travel.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

Where is Jesus?? – An Ascension Sunday Object Lesson

The Kids Bible

http://www.christianitycove.com/where-is-jesus/7601/

Does Jesus live in our hearts? Does he live in a very real heaven? Does he hear every prayer?

What actually happened on Ascension Day? All these questions will be answered in this Ascension object lesson, which compares the promises of the Lord to a giant Hershey bar and the expectations of man to Hershey’s Kisses.

Materials:

• Giant or “Jumbo” Hershey bar that can feed a lot of kids
• Bag of varying Hershey’s Kisses so that the wrappers are different.

Preparation:

1. Line 12 Hershey’s Kisses up on the table, with one in the center having the gold wrapper and symbolizing Jesus. Keep two silver kisses in your lap.

2. Put the flashlight on the table, or if you are using your cell phone for the light beam, have it ready to flip on.

Lesson:

This Thursday is Ascension Day. It marks the day, some 2,000 years ago, when Jesus left earth and went up to live in heaven. Why is this day so important? Because Jesus has been gone ever since and will not reappear here until he comes back.

Dim the lights for storytelling so that the room dims, eerily if possible, but you are still able to see the lesson. Put 13 Hershey’s Kisses in a straight line in the middle of the table. Jesus should be in the middle and have a different wrapper. Shine your light slowly on the first one in line, then proceed down the line.

Two thousand years ago in Jerusalem was a wonderful time, though most of Jesus’ followers were not convinced of it. Their savior, Jesus, had been brutally put to death. Then, lo and behold, over 500 people saw him alive over the next 40 days.

Shining the light on the Jesus Hershey’s Kiss, start moving the 12 Hershey’s Kisses to make a circle around one, who symbolizes Christ. Go slowly so that the whole process takes a couple of minutes.

His disciples were with him enough that they began to regain some hope they had lost when he died. The 11 remaining disciples were all together with Jesus one day. As it’s recorded in Acts 1, they asked him: “Lord, is this the time for you to give the people of Israel their kingdom again?”

See, they had hoped, the entire three years that they followed Jesus, that he was the Messiah written about for thousands of years. They thought this Messiah would come and save Israel from harsh governments and others who were always being mean to them.

Jesus had tried to tell them that he had an even bigger plan. But they couldn’t imagine it.

It was a trying time, when they knew Jesus was Messiah, but they could not comprehend what he was up to.

Instead of saying, “Yes! Let’s walk into the Temple of Jerusalem and set up a throne!”
Jesus only said, “The Father is the only one who has the authority to decide dates and times. They are not for you to know.”

Not a very revealing answer, was it?

He continued, read with urgency…“But the Holy Spirit will come on you and give you power.

You will be my witnesses. You will tell people everywhere about me — in Jerusalem, in the rest of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”

Make slow circles around the circle of Hershey’s Kisses with the flashlight. And with that…

some of the disciples probably noticed clouds gathering overhead, in that dark, swirling way we see in lots of scary movies. The cloud started to swirl downwards.

Make faster circles.

The wind began to blow. There were probably lights in the clouds and the sounds of great winds. Shake the light so it is flashing all over. Jesus began to bless them. And then suddenly…

Pick the Jesus candy up and flip him into your hand. Turn the beam off, or if it is a cell phone, put it down in your lap with the Jesus kiss. He was gone.

The cloud ascended into the darkness and the lights… the wind died… the thundering noises subsided. They’d seen enough in three years not to be dumbfounded, but it’s not likely any of them knew what to say.

They became aware of two new men standing among them. They looked like men… only their clothes were really clean…

Put down the two new silver kisses that were in your lap.

One of these angels asked, “Why are you standing here looking into the sky? You just saw Jesus carried away from you into heaven. He will come back in the same way you saw him go.”

Slowly pick up the Hershey’s Kisses, one at a time, and put them in your lap. The Apostles did not realize that Jesus would be gone a long, long time. They figured three years, 10 years, maybe 20 years?

They did eventually get it that his kingdom was not of this world. He eventually would come back to little Jerusalem – but to make it part of his bigger kingdom, not to rule it for just a few years. They got it that they would rule with him — on thrones, with crowns of their own, and their rule would be eternal. They got it that Jesus was delaying so that millions of people would be able to share in God’s glory along with them. That includes you and me, centuries later. And all who found Christ in between.

Jesus’ love was bigger than they imagined. His plan was bigger than they ever imagined.

He is coming back… to introduce us to a glory that is so much bigger than was ever imagined on Ascension Day.

Bring out the great big Hershey bar and lay it on the table. Turn on the big overhead light.

Let’s thank God for that little day with just slightly more than a dozen witnesses, the day of the Ascension … and for the Return of Christ, which will be huge and a grand celebration for all.

Note: You can have your students enjoy the Hershey snack.

Discussion questions:

Is Jesus in heaven since the Ascension, or is he in your heart? Where do you think he is? Let them discuss. Answer: He is in both.

Is Jesus able to hear all our prayers? Yes. How does he do that, with people praying from refugee camps and sickbeds and places all around the globe? There is a definite way he hears… Through the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the third persona in the Trinity. He is very real, like God and Jesus. He is the one who lives in our hearts and yet is attached to Jesus at all times.

Some Christians feel that Jesus will come back soon — we’ll have a new heaven and a new earth. How do you feel about that? This is an important question, because some kids are afraid that they will “miss out on things.” Especially older children can express things like, “I’d like to get married and have kids” in a world they know and are accustomed to. Others who have been in unhappy situations, such as being chronically bullied, will have a more enthusiastic take.

Try to assure all children that whatever Jesus replaces upon his return, it will be with something far better.

The post Where is Jesus?? – An Ascension Sunday Object Lesson appeared first on Christianity Cove.

Coming Soon: Infuse with Jim Wideman

The Kids Bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/ages-and-stages/coming-soon-infuse-with-jim-wideman/

This last weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Jim Wideman and some amazing fellow Children’s Ministry friends through the Infuse Program.

It was a truly insightful experience and it helped me to sort through some things that have been weighing heavy on my heart for some time.   I’ll share a few more details soon, but in the meantime — you can grab some of the wisdom I gleaned for yourself with Jim’s book, Tweetable Leadership.

Tweetable

Tweetable Leadership is a collection of more than 500 tweetable truths that are taken from Jim Wideman’s books, blogs, and teachings that will help jump start your thinking and learning so you can apply them in your life. At the end of every chapter is a collection of some of Jim’s best thoughts on practical leadership topics designed with just one purpose; to help you become a better leader! These tweets aren’t just suitable for posting they’re suitable for living.

Interested in checking it out?

I’ve got TWO DIGITAL COPIES to give away FOR FREE!!  Just follow Growing Kids Ministry on facebook for your chance to win. Winner will be selected on May 2nd, 2016.

Accelerate Your Ministry With Aspen Grove

The Kids Bible

http://www.mattmckee.me/accelerate-your-ministry-with-aspen-grove/

Building a thriving volunteer ministry is a lot of work, but it’s also one of the most powerful things you can do in ministry. I want to make you aware of a program I am very excited about—the Volunteer Ministry Accelerator—from my friends at Aspen Grove.

One of my ministry friends, Preston Plentl, Children’s Pastor at The House Modesto, is in the current cohort, he says,

“The Volunteer Ministry Accelerator is essential for anyone at any experience level. I’ve been doing ministry for 10 years and am blown away at the insights of the Aspen Grove team. Your team needs this!”

The Volunteer Ministry Accelerator is a 7-step formula to lead more volunteers and reclaim more time in your week.

Learn More Now

This intensive, 14 week course will teach you more than tips and tricks, they are giving you the frameworks to lead a volunteer ministry no matter what position you hold, even if you change positions.

Aspen Grove is offering a free preview of the Volunteer Ministry Accelerator Wednesday, April 20th and Tuesday April 26th. You need only attend one session.

Sign Up For The Free Preview

Over the past 15 years, the people of Aspen Grove have recruited, trained, and discipled literally thousands of volunteers of all types of ministry in mega churches, church plants, and everything in between.

For this session, beginning May 3rd, Aspen Grove is offering a ministry discount to my friends.
When you register, make sure and use the code: MATTSFRIEND when you check out. You’ll receive $50 off the price of the course. This offer is only good until April 26th, so I would look at it as soon as you can.

Register Here

I am excited to see what this course does in the life of pastors like yourself all over the country. I know so much thought, energy, and prayer has gone into the creation of this program. More importantly, I know the hearts of the people involved. Know this will bless your ministry.

Thanks for all you do to minister to the people in our churches and beyond.

Great Ways to Get Outdoors this Spring

the kids bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/ages-and-stages/great-ways-to-get-outdoors-this-spring/

With the days growing a bit longer and the weather growing a bit warmer (most days!), everyone in our family is itching to get outdoors more.   In the early days of spring, with the rainy skies, cold winds, and muddy ground, sometimes it can be tough to get outside.

Get outside this spring!

Sometimes it’s just easier to “wait for another day”. However, when I recently read on the Kids Safety Network that even prisoners spend more time outside than the average kid, I was determined to find some ways to enjoy the great outdoors with the kids.   Here’s a list of spring time activities for the family I’ve gathered up from around the web.

Just remember, kids can safely play outside in the rain as long as they don’t get too cold.  Just get inside and get some dry clothes on as soon as you’re done playing (a warm shower is a great idea too!).

Things To Do in the Rain

Make a Rain Orchestra 
Spend a few minutes just listening to the sounds of the weather. Set out various objects (like metal, plastic and glass containers) to see how water droplets sound when they hit different surfaces.  (From Go Explore Nature blog)

Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Put up a Tent

If you have a simple pop up tent, it would be loads of fun to sit outside in it during a rain storm.  You’re sheltered from the rain, but still able to enjoy the smells and sounds of it.  What a great place to do some afternoon reading! (From Let the Children Play)

Color with Chalk

The wet pavement and rain water will help the colors blend like never before!  What a great art project to remember.  (From Let the Children Play)

Rainy Day Activities: Color with Chalk

Take a Walk

My kids are always looking for an excuse to use their umbrellas. Suit up with boots and coats and take a walk around the neighborhood.

Great Ways to Play Outside in the Rain

Have a Science Lesson

Take the classroom outside when it rains, making whirlpools, splashing water out of puddles, and more.  Check out Creative Star Learning for more ideas.

Science Lessons in the Rain

Paint with Markers

Housing a Forest has some great ideas for painting in the rain.  I especially like how painting with washable markers turned out!

5 Fun Ways to Paint in the Rain

More Spring Time Activities

Turn Nature Into Art

It seems such a same to waste all those beautiful blossoms.  Pull a few petals and make some one of a kind artwork.  Check out Handmade Charlotte for inspiration and instruction.

amazing instagram nature art by spielkkind

Plant a Garden

Of course, spring in the perfect time to start some plants a growing. Whether you use a raised bed (my personal favorite) or some containers — it’s great to teach kids about the process of food growing.

Plant a flower this spring (and more fun activities for kids)

Fly a Kite

This is a favorite of ours, though we never seem to have much luck with it!  This year, we’re going to give making a simple fabric kite a try!

Fly a Kite!

Bird Watching

Spring is a great time to learn about the birds in your neighborhood. Make a few simple bird houses or bird feeders and keep them stocked with seed.  Take pictures of your visitors and grab a book from the library to identify them (or ask grandparents!)

Do some bird watching this spring

Spring Outdoor Fun

For even more ideas, check out this terrific pinterest board filled with ideas for getting outside!

What About You?

How do you get outside and enjoy the day?  I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment with an outdoor activity you love!

What Grades Do I Get? (Justification by Faith)

the kids Bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/ages-and-stages/what-grades-do-i-get-justification-by-faith/

We’re on Lesson 4 in the “What’s Up” Series, which is all about the heart of the gospel.  Last week, we talked about sin of the heart. This week, we’ll discuss how our “report cards” aren’t looking so good and there is no way we could earn our way into heaven.  We can’t justify ourselves.  That’s why we need Jesus to give us justification by faith.

What's the Big Idea

The Big Idea: Only faith in Jesus can give us “good grades” with God.

Large Group:

For our large group time, we’ll have a visit from Smug Scott, the Toucan, who basically thinks that his sin isn’t as bad as everyone else’s.  In fact, he figures that God is probably pretty pleased with him.

After Smug Scott gives his initial comments, we’ll all watch a short video on the parable of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee.  Here are a few versions to choose from:

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufe6zouTq8g

I’m a big fan of Max 7, but this would need some unpacking and discussion with the kids since there are no words or narration.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OKBnJDYvWs

This has some interesting illustrations, which would be novel for our kids.  I like also the “some people who think they are better than others”, which would fit perfect with our Smug Scott Toucan.

This is a modern day take on the Parable.   I kind of like it because it seems a little more “real” than the cartoon versions and I think the older kids would relate to it a little better. And I appreciate that they finished out the video with the actual reading of the Bible.  (Bible Cafe: Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector from Dominic Naranjo on Vimeo.)

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JnkGyw2sFY

This is a good one too, and I love the marker drawing versions!

Small Groups

Here are some ideas for accompanying activities or crafts to do in small group.

Keeping Kids Engaged in the Lesson

Prayer Time:

We’re going to discuss prayer in a few weeks as well, but this might be a great time to approach the subject with kids. Take a closer look at the Bible passage and compare (maybe even make a chart) how the two men prayed.  How do we approach God when we pray?  If you feel the kids are up to it, spend some time confessing sins and asking God to forgive during this time of prayer.

Who’s Prayer Is It?

Write down a few short (1 sentence) prayers on note cards.  Read the prayers to the kids and discuss who would have prayed it (either the Pharisee or Tax Collector).

Zebra

What Would the Animals Say?

Talk with the kids about our animal friends and what they would say about getting a report card from God (page 61-63 can help with this).

Pharisee and Tax Collector

Fill ‘Er Up

This is an object lesson designed for 2-4 year olds involving a pretty box, an ugly box and some jelly beans.  Read all about it at Play Eat Grow.

What's Your Report Card Say?

Report Card

Have kids fill out a report card (see p58 for example or you can find free printables on the author’s website) on things such as telling the truth and obeying parents.  What makes doing the right thing so hard?  Why can’t we do the right thing ALL the time? Thankfully, God doesn’t look at our report card, he looks at Jesus’! Show the kids Jesus’ report card (all A’s) and glue it over top the kids report card to show that when we confess our sins and repent, God forgives them and remembers them no more.  Instead, he sees Jesus’ righteousness when he looks at us.

Want to Switch Report Cards?

This is a youth lesson, but it might be good for the older kids. I especially like the “what if” question about another student switching report cards with you in order to save you from punishment (page 5).  Check it out!

Coloring Pages:

Here’s a few coloring pages if you want to go that route:

From Children’s Gems

From Sermons for Kids

 

More Stuff to Check Out:

The God Report Card: Here is another blogger/church that seems to be doing the same curriculum (or reading through the author’s book) as us.  Check out this article on some helpful reminders.

Sunday Snapshot: The Big Circle Timeline

the kids Bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/reviews/sunday-snapshot-the-big-circle-timeline/

In our children’s church program (ages 4-9), we’ve been using The Gospel Project curriculum.   It seems to be a big hit with the teachers (I know I love it) and we have had a number of people comment on the big circle timeline we have posted outside the classroom.

The Gospel Project Time Line (1)

We wanted to use it as a tool for parents, not only to give them a picture of the “Big God Story”, but also to quickly let them see where we were at in Children’s Church.

The Gospel Project Time Line (3)

We started using the “This Week” arrow to show parents what their child(ren) will be learning that week as well as how it fits into the rest of the Bible.

 

Getting Kids to Do Your Job in Children’s Ministry

the kids Bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/ages-and-stages/getting-kids-to-do-your-job-in-childrens-ministry/

A few years back, I took a great class at Children’s Ministry University Online about kids in the ministry.  It was all about getting kids more involved in the week to week tasks of a children’s ministry program.

Dick Gruber also talks a bit about this in his book, Cultivating a Cutting-Edge Children’s Ministry.  He mentions that we spend years telling kids to sit still and be quiet (be a spectator) and then are surprised when all they want to do as adults is sit still and listen to the sermon.  If want to cultivate a culture of service in the church, it needs to start with our youngest members.

We try to get kids involved whenever possible, usually using some kind of seasonal display.   Last fall, we used pumpkins to display jobs and names.
Pumpkins: Who's Job Is It?

Each week, we would pick names and kids would adhere there name badge with some sticky tack as I made the rest of the announcements.

Getting Kids Involved in the Ministry

Some Tips and Tricks

If you’re thinking about getting kids more involved, here are some tips and tricks we learned along the way:

Rotate jobs every week

We used to have kids assigned to a job for a month, thinking it would keep them motivated to not miss a week.  However, we know that kids are mostly at the mercy of their transportation and we often ended up with gaps in the job department.   Now, we pick names from the kids who are in attendance each week.  It creates a lot more hype and kids seem excited to pick a job.

Make sure kids understand the job

We generally write a short description on the job sign itself, but I also try to quickly go over the expectations for each job about once a month.  Everyone (including kids!) feels better if they know what is expected of them and explaining the job helps kids feel successful from the beginning.

When in doubt, pair them with an adult

A few jobs require a little more attention than others (using the walkie talkies for parent pick up), and for these, we’ve paired kids with an adult.  It keeps everything running smoothly while still training up a younger worker for real service.

Big and small, they like them all

Think about all the things you do each week and really consider passing it off on a kid.  They love being helpful!  From turning on and off the lights (for video clips) to passing out Bibles, they seem to get excited about being involved in any way.  So keep the jobs coming and keep those kids engaged in service!

 

“Dough Handprints” Bible Craft

the kids bible

http://www.christianitycove.com/dough-handprints-bible-craft/394/

If you are looking for a classic Bible craft, try this with your kids!   It can be used to impress children with the message that God will be with them, not matter where they are, no matter how big they get.   Alternately, any message dealing with God’s creation of man or God loving children and watching them grow will work very well with this craft.

Materials:

-Aluminum pie tins, one for each child.
-Homemade play dough (see recipe at beginning of the text), enough for each child to fill a pie tin
-Craft paint
-Crayons, sharpened (or pencils for writing a message in the play dough)

Before Class:

– Make homemade play dough, using this recipe (may have to double for class size):

o 2 cups flour
o 2 cups warm water
o 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
o 2 teaspoons oil
o 1/2 cup salt

– Mix all ingredients, adding the food coloring last.

– Stir over medium heat until smooth.

– Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth.

– Keep play dough in a plastic bag or airtight container to stay moist until it’s time to use.

Instructions:

Give each child a pie tin and enough play dough to fill it.

Have each child:

1. Fill the pie tin and flatten the play dough until it is evenly distributed.

2. Take a crayon or pencil and write to leave an impression in the play dough:  “God Made Me”  across the top.

3. Across the bottom, write his name and his age.

4. Press his hand down in the middle leaving an even print.

5. Paint the play dough with the colors of his choosing

6. Use paint sparingly so it won’t clog writing.

The post “Dough Handprints” Bible Craft appeared first on Christianity Cove.

Do You Ever Wish You Were a Kite? A Spring Object Lesson

the kids bible

http://www.christianitycove.com/kite-spring-object-lesson/7580/

Ask your kids: Did you ever wish you were a kite? The answer should be a resounding yes! Show them that as Christians, they are a lot like kites – dressed in spiritual protection that will keep them buoyed in the strong winds of life – in this wonderful Spring object lesson!

Materials

• Kite with all parts, including tails

Preparation

Clear a large area, such as the learning rug, for kids to spin and be kite-like.

Lesson

Have you ever wished you were a kite? Let’s pretend we’re kites! Get everyone up into the center of the learning rug. Tell them to take a couple leaps and take off with their arms spread wide! Pretend the wind is lifting you up and up and up! Shut your eyes now! Where are you? On a beach? In a field? Let them answer and encourage them to twirl around and feel the wind take them even higher. Ask questions: Is it a sunny day? A windy day? What kind of a kite are you? A box kite? A diamond kite? One of those dragon kites with the big dragon head?

In our lives with Jesus, we have a lot in common with kites! The most important thing is that one day, we will surely fly! We will have the freedom to go up, down, and around, see people near and far. We can hang out with angels and have powers akin to flying!

Kite Dynamics

How do kites fly so high and stay up so long? It doesn’t seem possible! As a person runs with a kite, the wind pressing into the kite – this force is called lift. This lift is pushing us into the air! Can you feel it?

At the same time, another force is pulling us back. This force is called drag, and it is caused by the pressure of someone pulling on our string, not letting us go completely. Can you feel that tug?

If they are enjoying their journey you can continue to teach as they twirl and inhale the fresh air. Or they can sit down and you can point out the parts on your own kite.

The Kite Spine and Canvas

Think of your “kite spine,” the wooden part that holds the canvas or plastic in place. It’s strong. In a diamond kite, it is shaped like a cross! Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “Anyone who wishes to come with me must ‘take up his cross daily and follow me.’” He meant that people should sacrifice their wants for his wants. With a kite, it is easy to see — that if you are the canvas and Jesus is the cross, attaching yourself to him will make you stronger and take you higher!

The Kite Tail

Think of your long, pretty tail. With kites, the tail is what keeps the kite from spinning out of control. Have you ever seen a kite lose its tail? It starts doing really fast circles and tumbling toward the ground! A kite can’t fly without its tail.

A tail is a lot like our faith, which comes from “hearing the word of God,” according to Romans 10:17. Think of every knot in your tail as an important passage of Scripture — one that you remember in times of trouble.

Here’s one to remember when you feel like you might spin out of control like a kite in the wind: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Let’s say Psalm 23:4 together (as we fly). Say it with them. We can say that over and over when we feel afraid to keep from “spiraling!”

The Wind

The wind is like the Holy Spirit. It takes you closer to Jesus and keeps you “up” when life’s circumstances want to take you down. Acts 1:8 says “the Holy Spirit will give you power when it comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses…”

People don’t notice kites when they’re on the ground. But how about when they’re sailing in the sky? Everyone who comes past sees them! And they smile! People will smile at you when you have the power of the Holy Spirit taking you where God wants you.

The String

And lastly, what about the string? Who holds the string of a real kite? The person on the ground. What happens if the string should break? The kite will travel a bit and then crash. So actually, the string, which gives the kite “drag,” is the very thing that keeps it in the air! What is the string like, concerning our salvation? God himself.

God can seem far off, like a speck. It seems sometimes when we pray, that our connection to him is only a thread. We can’t always hear him. All we can feel is that “tug,” telling us where to go and what to do next. It feels awkward! We’re not always sure what it means!

However, his connection to us is strong. He is not going to let go of that string! Though people may “stumble, they will never be hurled headlong,” says Psalm 37:24, “for the LORD holds them by the hand.”

The Lord always knows where we are and what way he needs to pull us, to keep that balance of our cross, our tail, the wind, and himself.

And someday, when it’s time, he will reel us in. And we will find ourselves cradled in his loving arms – after our long flight and our days as Christian kites are over!

So let’s think of ourselves as kites and our lives with Jesus as taking us higher and making us freer!

The post Do You Ever Wish You Were a Kite? A Spring Object Lesson appeared first on Christianity Cove.

10 Amazing Earth Day Crafts for Kids

The Kids Bible

http://www.growingkidsministry.com/ages-and-stages/10-amazing-earth-day-crafts-for-kids/

Are you getting ready to celebrate Earth Day?  This year, Earth day is April 22nd.  Actually, every year Earth day is on April 22nd.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the terrific Earth Day crafts and activities I’ve seen around the blogosphere, including a few we’ve done ourselves.  Hope you can find something to use either in your own home or in your ministry!

#1 Earth Day Melted Crayons

IMG_9541

These super fun crayons are easy to make and are a terrific project for young and old alike.  Find the full tutorial and more pictures at Nothing But Country. 

#2 Earth Cupcakes!

101 0517 10 Kid Craft Ideas for Earth Day

Isn’t this cupcake cool? Under the Table and Dreaming tells how to make this little beauty in this post. 

#3 Bottle Cap World

As I’ve mentioned before, we go through a lot of bottle caps in this house, so this project would be perfect for us!  You can find the full scoop over at Love and Lollipops.

#4 Tin Can Drums

Earth Day Recycled Tin Can Craft 10 Kid Craft Ideas for Earth Day

I absolutely love this idea!  My kids are all about music and drums, so this craft will be a blast for them.  Head on over to Makes and Takes (one of my favorite blogs) to check out the full instructions.

#5 Earth Day T-shirt

Earth Day crafts - Tree t-shirt

I’m always looking for a good excuse to make a handprint t-shirt, so this is a project for me!   Read more about this idea and a few more at She Knows Blog.

#6 Magazine Circle Tree

 10 Kid Craft Ideas for Earth Day

Sara over at Momtastic got Arbor Day and Earth Day mixed up, but this tree craft is perfect for both.  Read the full tutorial here.

#7 Fabric Scraps Tree

Fabric Scrap Tree Pillow

I’ve just taken up sewing, so this project caught my eye.  I’m not exactly sure it’s Earth Day, but I’m pretty sure it would be easy to make a connection!  You could probably use fabric glue as well if you’re not into sewing.  Originally spotted at  Setting for Four.  

#8 Recyled Bottle Bird Feeder

B is for Birdhouse 50 200x300 10 Kid Craft Ideas for Earth Day

This is a project we did last summer, and it was a favorite activity for sure!  Check out the full tutorial over here.

#9 Recycled Bottle Rain Stick

boy with rain stick 10 Kid Craft Ideas for Earth Day

Since this project makes noise, I’m sure my kids wold love it!  You could even make it with those mini-water bottles in order to make it easier for little hands to hold.  You can find all the instructions over at Kids Activities Blog.

#10 Earth Day Cookies

Earth Day Cookies-TidyMom

Who wouldn’t love one of these amazing Earth day cookies?  Perfect for snack time on the big day!   Check out more details on Tidy Mom. 

Happy Crafting!!

More Sites to Check Out:

  • Cybrary Man’s Educational Websites:  This website is chock full of Earth day ideas including book suggestions, writing prompts, science projects, and tons of ideas about recycling and upcycling.
  • The Imagination Factory Trash Match Up:  This super fun site lists all kinds of “trash” products and matches them with fun craft projects for kids.  There’s a huge list, so don’t put those recyclables out on the curb just yet!
  • Nurture Store: This page has over 100 Earth Day ideas for kids including growing a meadow and tons of link-up ideas.
  • Green Kids USA: Head on over to this site to grab some more craft ideas and FREE RECYCLING POSTERS!