All new, HOT ideas to keep reaching children in your
community -- all year long.
Summer will soon be over, and you've had tons of kids come to
your church because of your great summer programs! But what's
Don't let the enthusiasm of the summer wane. Instead, keep the
outreach fires burning so you continue to reach children for Christ
in your community.
In this section, you'll find creative nights to pull in kids, a
unique puppet ministry that's reaching public schools, and a ticket
to double your attendance!
Read on to keep your outreach efforts sizzling instead of
After a summer of fantastic outreach programs, don't let the
embers of your outreach die down. Keep the fires burning with Wacky
Wednesdays (or Marvelous Mondays or Terrific Tuesdays or Fabulous
Fridays or Slamming Saturdays-you get the point).
Try any of these themes to excite kids and bring them back to your
church for more each week!
Patriotic Craft Night
This theme works well around Labor Day or Veterans Day.
Set up six tables for six different crafts; you'll rotate children
to each craft table. Staff each table with an adult or teen
volunteer to help out. Try these crafts.
• Flag Photo-Children decorate a paper frame with markers and
patriotic stickers. Each child then has his or her picture taken
with the American flag. We used a black backdrop that looked nice.
It's best to use an instant-print camera for this craft.
• Sparkly Shakers-Children pour red, white, and blue small
aquarium-type rocks and glitter pieces into washed 8- or 10-ounce
water bottles. Fill bottles less than ? full. Remove the labels on
• Pledge Plaques-Kids decoupage small slips of paper with the
Pledge of Allegiance printed on them onto a 4x6-inch block of wood.
Then kids add red, white, and blue sticker stars around the
• Flag Magnets-Children trace the flag pattern on thin, 2x4-inch
pieces of craft wood. The children paint the red and white stripes
and the blue corner of the flag. They also paint one small white
wooden craft star and glue it in the blue square. When dry, they
glue a magnet to the back.
• Bead Jewelry-Children string red, white, and blue beads (round-
and star-shaped) on elastic cord and tie the ends of the cord
together. Lengths can vary from bracelet to choker to necklace
• Snack Attack-Each child helps make red, white, and blue
cupcakes. Mix a white cake mix according to package instructions
and divide the batter equally into three separate bowls. Add
several drops of red food coloring to one bowl and blue to another
bowl. The third bowl will remain white. Fill cupcake tins, bake,
and allow cupcakes to cool completely. Finish with chocolate or
white frosting for snack time. Add red, white, and blue sprinkles
Children also help make a Flag Fruit Pizza. Follow the directions
to the recipe below.
Here's a cool idea for a hot night! Children line up outside your
theater -- a room arranged for the movie. Each child is given a
designated amount of play money. Part of the money is used for
admission and the other is used for candy at the snack bar. Popcorn
and soft drinks are free and all-you-can-eat.
Wacky Water Games Night
For this evening, tell children ahead of time to wear clothes that
can get wet. Children rotate to water game stations set up outside.
Give each child a chilled bottle of drinking water to have during
the games and, of course, end the evening with watermelon.
• Water Balloon Toss-Form two teams, and have teams stand 10 feet
apart. Have team members toss a water balloon back and forth to the
person standing across from them. Keep tossing until you run out of
• Sponge Relay-Two teams each have a bucket of water and a big
sponge. Players on each team soak their team's sponge and run to
the other end to squeeze water into an empty bucket until the
bucket is filled to a certain level.
• Hot Sponge-Have children sit in a circle. Play music and start
passing a soaked sponge around the circle Hot Potato-style. When
the music stops, the person left holding the sponge gets the sponge
squeezed on him or her by the person who just handed off the
• Cup of Water Relay-Two teams line up with the first person
holding a full cup of water overhead. On "go," the first person
races to the other end around an orange cone and back. The next
person refills the cup and repeats.
• Hoops Game-Each child gets a chance to throw three water
balloons inside a hula hoop that's lying on the ground.
• Through the Sprinkler-The first person on each team runs through
a sprinkler to a bucket on the other side, dips three cups of water
from one bucket into another, runs back, and tags the next
Invite kids to a field trip to a nearby park with good play
equipment. Grill hot dogs and make s'mores. Require signed
permission slips before taking children off your church
Goofy Games Night
Set up nontraditional game stations outside. Good resources for
games are your public school's physical education teacher and the
Internet. Do a search for "kids' outside games," and explore the
many options. Don't forget about your local Christian bookstore for
game books also. For a dozen great games from the back-issue
archive of Children's Ministry Magazine, go to www.cmmag.com.
Pastor's House Night
Check with your pastor first! The children file inside for tacos
and back out again to have a picnic outside. If your pastor's home
doesn't have play equipment outside, bring lawn games or plan team
games. Again, don't forget permission slips.