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Let's Party!

Throw one of these fun-filled parties to fire up your children's ministry this winter

Wintertime is here again, bringing those familiar and comforting seasonal changes. And though most of us enjoy that first cup of steaming cocoa, our winter enthusiasm can pale slightly as the days grow colder. Even the rosy-cheeked, tireless children may resort to huddling in their homes and waiting for the first sign of spring. Where have all the children gone, you may wonder.

Not to fear!

Warm up your volunteers and children with one of these exciting winter parties. A fun-filled event will jump-start everyone's attention and excitement.

So break out the streamers, inflate the balloons, turn up the music, and open the doors! It's party time!

VEGGIETALES FIESTA!

VeggieTales videos are the #1 Christian videos for families. If you start a silly song with Larry in any classroom, kids will happily sing along. So why not throw a party featuring those silly characters we all love and adore?

At our VeggieTales fiesta, children and adults came dressed as their favorite VeggieTales characters. We had veggies and dips as snacks; and tomato-, cucumber-, and carrot-shaped cookies that guests decorated to look like Bob, Larry, and Laura.

Here are veggie-rific games to play.
l Bean the Philistine-Paint a giant cucumber on a refrigerator box and cut out a large mouth. Have kids stand behind a line several feet away and try to throw three bean bags into the mouth.

• Sink the Grapes of Wrath-Put three glass dishes in the bottom of a fish tank, and fill the fish tank with water. Kids drop grapes in the tank and try to land them in the dishes.

• Pea Pickin' Game-Kids love ooey-gooey stuff, so play this ooey-gooey game. Drop clear marbles in a wading pool of Yuk! Then have kids race against the clock to grab the marbles with their toes.

Yuk! is better than gelatin or mud because it's a nontoxic, no-mess goo. It's kind of like a sticky cottage cheese after you add water and let it sit for 24 hours. Two ounces of Yuk! makes up to 71/2 gallons of slime and costs $6.99. To order Yuk! call, 800-447-1070.

• Carrot Cake Walk-Cut out large carrot shapes from orange poster board. Write a different number from one to 15 on each carrot and tape them in a circle on the floor. Put slips of paper numbered one to 15 in a hat. Play VeggieTales music as people walk from carrot to carrot. When you stop the music, players stop walking. Then draw a number out of the hat. The person standing on the carrot with that number gets a carrot cake or cupcake.

Purchase VeggieTales music at your local Christian bookstore or Big Idea Production's Web site at www.bigidea.com.

Linda Johnson
Umatilla, Florida

VEGGIETALES FIESTA BONUS

• Invitations-You can purchase 100 VeggieTales "You're Invited" postcards for $11.52 or eight VeggieTales card invitations for $3.36 from The Mustard Seed at (740) 894-7777 or www.themustardseed.com.

• Decorations- Get VeggieTales party decorations and a la carte items by calling 800-424-7843 or go to www.celebrateexpress.com.

• Favors-Purchase assorted 8-pack sets of VeggieTales stickers. Each pack features a different VeggieTales character, so you may want to cut apart the stickers and mix and match characters for each child. Each pack contains nine to 12 stickers. Sticker pack sets are available at Harvest Field Christian Lifestyle Store for $8. Call 800-772-4730; or go to www.harvestfield.com.

VEGGIETALE CRAFTS

More great crafts and activities for a VeggieTales Fiesta:

• VeggieTales Bracelets-Give kids enough time to each create a VeggieTales bead bracelet. On "go," play music and have kids trade bracelets as many times as possible before the music stops.

You'll get all the bracelet-making materials you need in an Alpha Beads Bracelets Activity Box. It contains more than 175 alphabet, character, and decorative beads; bracelet thread; jewelry spring clasps; and instructions. (You can buy additional jewelry clasps at hobby and craft stores.) Available from Harvest Field Christian Lifestyle Store for $14.99; call 800-772-4730; or go to www.harvestfield.com.

• VeggieTales Stamp Art-Have kids create their own VeggieTales wrapping paper or gift cards using a Stamp-A-Face Rubber Stamp Set. This set comes complete with 30 rubber stamps, ink pad, stencils, paper, envelopes, cards, and instructions. Even 3-year-olds can stamp out random patterns that turn out quite nice. Let the little ones stamp to their hearts' content! Cost is $14.49. Available from Harvest Field Christian Lifestyle Store, 800-772-4730; or go to h.

• Junior Asparagus Hats-Cut out 2-inch strips of yellow poster board, long enough to make a circle that'll fit around a child's head. Out of yellow poster board, cut a baseball cap shape with the bill facing to either the left or right side of the cap (see photo above). Paint the bill orange, and draw orange seams down from the top center of the crown. Staple the cap to the poster-board strip.

• VeggieTales Cookies-Set up a table where kids decorate Bob and Larry cookies. Prepare as many sugar cookies as you think you'll need for each child to have one of each. Use a circular cookie cutter for Bob and an oblong one for Larry. Children can decorate their cookies with green and red frosting and sprinkles.

Ann Heilborn
Pleasant Lake, Michigan

F.R.O.G. FESTIVAL!

To celebrate Leap Year, we held a F.R.O.G. Festival, but this is a great event for any time. The acronym F.R.O.G. has come to mean Fully Rely On God, and we thought this would be a perfect theme for a children's ministry event.

Kids will enjoy these froggy ideas.

• Frog Hats-Cut out strips of green poster board, long enough to create a circle that'll fit around a person's head. Cut frog head shapes out of green poster board. Allow children to decorate them with nostrils, eyes, and a wide mouth (see photo below). To make a tongue, have children take a 6x1-inch strip of pink paper and fold it back and forth lengthwise-fan style. Glue one end to the mouth of the frog so that it looks as if it's extending from the mouth. Attach each child's frog head to a poster-board strip with glue or staples and then attach the ends of the strip to create a crown to fit the child's head.

• Lily Pad Cookies-Have children make lily pad cookies by decorating round cookies with green frosting and sprinkles.

• Frog Feet Relay-Form two teams. Have the teams line up at one end of the room. Give the first person in each line a pair of swim fins. On "go," the first person must put on the fins, run to other end of the room and back, remove the fins, and pass them to the next teammate who'll do the same thing. Continue until all the children have gone. (Hint: Children will have to run backward, as it's too easy to trip walking forward in swim fins.)

Ann Heilborn
Pleasant Lake, Michigan

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