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Back to School Sizzle


SIZZLIN' HOT PROJECTS

BACK-TO-SCHOOL BACKPACKS


Give your kids an opportunity to serve their peers in need with this inspiring -- and practical -- idea.

Get This: You'll need donated backpacks, pencils and pencil sharpeners, crayons, glue sticks, notebooks, scissors, and erasers.


Do This: Have your kids stuff the backpacks with one of each supply and a Supply List. The list includes the following:

School Supplies

This backpack was packed just for you by the kids at (name of children's ministry). We pray that you have a great school year and hope you'll come visit our children's ministry at (address).

Pencils and pencil sharpener: Stay sharp this year through good friends and good choices.

Erasers: Your mistakes are forgiven-and erased!-by God when you ask for his forgiveness.

Crayons: God wants to color your life with his blessings!

Glue Stick: Stick with hard work no matter what comes your way!

Scissors: Cut out anything that hurts others!

Notebook: Take note of all the good things you can be thankful for!

Pray with your kids for the backpack recipients. Then deliver the packs to shelters or other locations that assist at-risk kids in your area.

Gretta Meeker Pensacola, Florida


LIVE AT THE IMPROV

Your kids will love to document their experiences in your class, starting on their very first day.

Get This: You'll need a home video recorder, a variety of costumes, props, and a stage area where kids can act out various biblical events and conduct peer interviews on camera. Your stage area can be as simple as a plain wall in your class.

Do This: This ongoing activity with your group is a great way to break the ice, keep kids engaged, and even to sum up your year together. Begin on your first day by challenging kids to work together to act out one event from your lesson…in five minutes or less. You can serve as the cameraperson and you can pick the scene, but have kids work together as fast as they can to get in costume and act out parts.

This is a great technique for days when you have extra time, and it's a wonderful way to get your kids more connected through peer interviews and candid, time-restricted acting challenges. Eventually, kids may take over the camera and choosing their scenes. Save the scenes throughout the year, compile a video, and you'll have a great memory-maker to give to your kids.

Cynthia Swicegood
Lexington, North Carolina


SIZZLIN' HOT SNACKS

RED HOT HAPPY HEARTS


This take-home, delicious snack reminds kids that each one of them is the apple of God's eye (Psalm 17:8).

Get This: You'll need a red apple per child, cinnamon, brown sugar, resealable bags, and a preprinted instruction card. (Download ours here
.) Before kids arrive, measure ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons brown sugar into a bag for each child.

Do This: As you close your festivities, remind kids that they're very special to God and they make him happy. Then give kids an apple, ingredient baggie, and instruction card. Ask them to make the apple with an adult's help and use the questions on the card to interview someone they share the apple with. They'll report back on what they learned the following week.


RED HOT HAPPY HEART APPLE INSTRUCTIONS:

Make your apple with an adult's help.

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. Remove the core of the apple, but leave the apple intact.

3. Place the apple in a baking dish. Pour the cinnamon and brown sugar inside the apple. Add a teaspoon of butter on top if you'd like.

4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool and then enjoy with someone you love!

5. Take your apple and share it with a friend or family member. Interview the person using these questions.

• What's one way you know you're special to God?

• How has God blessed you?

• What are you most grateful for?

• What's one way you show God you're thankful to him and love him?

6. Come back next week and share what you learned about that person.


HANDPRINT COOKIES

These deliciously fun treats remind kids that God created them-and their new friends.

Get This: You'll need premade sugar cookie dough, a rolling pin, wax paper, pens, dinner knives, cookie sheets, icing, sprinkles, a work surface, scissors, and access to an oven. You'll also need a Bible.

Do This: Remind kids that each one of them is special, unique, and a gift from God. Then have some fun!

Follow the cookie dough directions to preheat the oven. Then give kids each a piece of wax paper to trace their hands on, with their fingers spread wide. Have them cut out and place their wax paper handprints on the dough. Then using a dinner knife, cut out the dough handprints. Place the handprints on the cookie sheet and bake according to directions. While the cookies bake and then cool, read aloud Psalm 139:12-14. Have kids sit in a circle and discuss these questions.

What do you think it means to be "fearfully and wonderfully made"?

What's wonderful about you?

Name one thing that's wonderful about the person on your left.

Let kids decorate both their handprints. Encourage them to enjoy one cookie, but to give the other to a special person who's also a gift from God.


FROG Festival for Preschoolers

Celebrate fall kickoff with your preschoolers with a hoppin' happy FROG (Fully Rely On God) festival! As you play the games and eat the snacks, remind kids to fully rely on God this year!

FROG Flippers-Purchase foam visors (available at
orientaltrading.com ) and let kids go crazy decorating them to look like frogs. All you need is glue, large googly eyes, green pom poms, and red ribbons.

Lily Pad Cookies-Let kids decorate round or oblong cookies with green icing and gumdrop frogs.

Pond Scum Punch-This ooey gooey green punch will delight your preschoolers. All you need is two liters of ginger ale, one large container of frozen lemonade, one large can of pineapple juice, and one quart of lime sherbet. Stir everything together, and serve on ice.

FROG Rocks-Let kids go outside to gather rocks that they'll transform into frogs. Just supply the paint, glue, googly eyes, and red yarn or ribbon for tongues.

Stick the Tongue on the Frog-This version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey is great for preschoolers. Just draw or create a paper frog to stick on the wall, then blindfold kids and let them try to place paper tongues on the frog. For even more fun, use Sticky Hands vinyl toys (available at discount stores and
orientaltrading.com ) for the tongues.

Flick the Frog on the Lily Pad-This hilarious game is just right for preschoolers. Fill a plastic swimming pool with water and place green foam "lily pads" on the water. (Simply cut large lily pad shapes out of 8 ½ x 11 pieces of craft foam.) The challenge is for kids to toss plastic frogs onto the lily pads. Requires adult supervision.

FROG Cake-Cap your froggy event with a frog cake. Just use regular cake mix, but bake it in a large oven-proof bowl. Once the rounded cake is cooled, decorate it with green icing. Use large marshmallows to create the eyes, green gumdrops for warts, and red licorice strips for the tongue.

Beth Stradling Armburst, Pennsylvania

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