Built to Last


If you’ve ever visited a construction site, you know it’s a busy
and active place. Each day brings new developments and progressive
changes as builders work toward the finished product. Some
essential elements of construction go unseen, such as soil
treatments or the hidden energy source that’s buried underground.
But excitement grows as builders pour concrete, place beams, and
hang drywall — all visual reminders of a solid, lasting structure
that’s held together with countless nuts and bolts.

Construction takes tools, effort, and time — a building doesn’t
spring up overnight. Kids’ relationships also need tools, effort,
and time to build. It can be challenging for your kids to build
lasting friendships, though, when they may only see each other for
one hour a week. But it’s relationships, especially the
well-constructed ones, that draw kids to your ministry and
ultimately help them experience the most important relationship of
all — their relationship with Jesus.

So why not make kids’ relationships the foundation in the solid,
lasting structure of your ministry? Friendships are the true nuts
and bolts of what shores up your ministry. These 12 great ideas —
all from children’s ministers just like you — give kids a
blueprint to build lasting, solid relationships with other kids at
your church.


I See a Friend
Use this activity to help little ones reflect on themselves and
each other.
Best for: Ages 0 to 2
Tools: A full-length mirror
Blueprints: Securely fasten a full-length mirror
horizontally to a classroom wall, six inches from the floor. Have
babies and toddlers sit in front of the mirror to see a reflection
of themselves and their nursery friends.
Say: I see Charlie — do you see Charlie? Or
point and say, Here’s Alexis! Little ones will enjoy seeing
themselves and learn to recognize and attach names to other
children in the nursery.

Mary Davis
Montrose, Iowa

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Pop-Up Friends
This bubbly experience will get your toddlers working together to
make noise.
Best for: Ages 1 to 3
Tools: Large bubble wrap and duct tape
Blueprints: Cover a 5×10-foot area with large
bubble wrap and tape the edges to the floor with duct tape. Have
toddlers wear shoes as they walk, stomp, and jump on the bubble
wrap to pop the bubbles. The surprise noise brings smiles and helps
toddlers connect cause and effect. Encourage your toddlers to work
together to pop bubbles, and delight with them as they accomplish
their mission.

Christy Olson
North Branch, Minnesota

Share Bear
Little ones learn kindness to others as they share this soft bear
with others.
Best for: Ages 1 to 3
Tools: A stuffed bear and a kitchen timer
Blueprints: Introduce a soft stuffed bear and
tell children they’ll each have a chance to hold the bear during
class. Give the bear to one child and set the timer for three
minutes. Explain that when the timer sounds, the child with the
bear can choose someone else to hold the bear. As children pass the
bear, talk about the importance of sharing with and caring for our
friends. The “share bear” helps toddlers build friendships and
encourages them to care for others.

Kate Wicker
Scottsdale, Georgia


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Children's Ministry Magazine

Children's Ministry Magazine is the most read magazine for people who minister to children from birth through sixth grade. We're partnering with you to make Jesus irresistible to kids.


  1. Charlotte Annawale on

    Hi there,
    As a mother of 12 grown children, I am wishing I found this site sooner for them, but am still grateful to have found this for my grandchildren.
    What is the oldest children that you provide lessons for?
    Thankyou very much,

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