Splash into summer with these sizzling new games,
crafts, and ideas that’ll make kids come back for
School’s out for summer! Or at least it soon will be. You can
almost hear the kids kicking off their shoes, splashing into pools,
and crying that ever-familiar lament, “I’m bored!”
Not with these great ideas for a hot, sizzling summer! Our
“Summer!” section gives you never-before-seen zany games with
outrageously fun props. One single craft provides five different
craft projects that kids will love. You’ll get summer reading
lists, creative program ideas, freebies to write away for, and
Use these activities with your kids, and we guarantee that instead
of hearing “I’m bored!” this summer, you’ll hear kids screaming, “I
SUMMER SUNDAY SCHOOL
To solve summer staff recruiting problems, we created the
Our kids, ages 3 through sixth grade begin with 20 minutes of
singing and worship each Sunday. Then we form two groups (you could
have more if needed). Our little guys go to their classroom for 20
minutes for their lesson on the day’s Scripture, while the older
kids come to the children’s library for a craft or activity related
to the day’s theme. After 20 minutes, the younger kids come in for
their activity time and the older ones move to their classroom for
The teachers love this because they only have to prepare what they
enjoy doing. They also only have to prepare 20 minutes worth of
material each week. The teachers are happy, the children love it
because they’re moving and more active during church school, and
I’m able to be more involved in the entire program.
Many churches put a lot of time and effort into vacation Bible
school and then lose the children for the remainder of the summer.
Our church begins the summer with a vacation Bible school program.
Then for the next eight Tuesdays, we offer a morning camp program
from 9 to noon. Our Kids Kamp is an outreach event that brings in
children from the community for summer fun and learning.
We recruit church members who have a special skill or hobby to
teach. Junior and senior high students volunteer as junior
Weekly topics include puppets, cooking, creepy creatures, French,
bike rodeo, and art. Each morning focuses on one topic. We charge a
small registration fee for each week to cover the cost of supplies.
Children in first- through fifth-grade attend and are placed in
small groups according to age.
Kids Kamp has been a wonderful opportunity for our church to build
bridges to the community. Many of our families’ first experience
with the church came through their children attending Kids
When kids have time to do nothing this summer, give them good
books to fill their minds. Here are our favorite books for kids of
•Animal Alphabet by Mary Rice Hopkins (Crossway Books)
•Does God Know How to Tie Shoes? by Nancy White Carlstrom
(Eerdmans Publishing Company)
•Holly the Lamb Meets David by Alan and Linda Parry (Broadman
& Holman Publishers)
•How Many Veggies? by Phil Vischer (Thomas Nelson, Inc.)
•Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors by Sue Kassirer (Simon &
•Mary and Martha by Marty Rhodes Figley (Eerdmans Publishing
•Read-Aloud Bible Stories Volume 1 by Ella K. Lindvall (Moody
•The Children of the King by Max Lucado (Crossway Books)
•The Creepy Sleep-Over by Beverly Lewis (Bethany House
•The Ghost of KRZY by Bill Myers (Bethany House Publishers)
•The Mystery of the Lost Island by Elspeth Campbell Murphy
(Bethany House Publishers)
•The Priest With Dirty Clothes by R.C. Sproul (Thomas Nelson,
•The Treasure Tree by John and Cindy Trent, Gary and Norma Smalley
•What Would Jesus Do? revised by Helen Haidle (Gold ‘n’ Honey
Books/Questar Publishers, Inc.)
•Abandoned on the Wild Frontier by Dave and Neta Jackson (Bethany
•The Danger Zone by Dave Gustaveson (YWAM Publishing)
•Moho Wat by Kenneth Thomasma (Baker Book House)
•My Life As a Smashed Burrito by Bill Myers (Word
•Mysterious Signal by Lois Walfrid Johnson (Bethany House
•The Rain Forest Mystery by O’Ann Steere (Tyndale House
•The Secret of the Desert Stone by Frank Peretti (Word
•A Time to Keep Silent by Gloria Whelan (Eerdmans Publishing
•Union Army Black by L. Travis (Baker Book House)
These books are available at Christian bookstores or from the
•Baker Book House, 800-877-2665 or (616) 676-9185
•Bethany House Publishers, 800-328-6109 or (612) 829-2500
•Broadman & Holman Publishers, 800-458-2772 or (615)
•Crossway Books, 800-635-7993 or (630) 682-4300
•Eerdmans Publishing Company, 800-253-7521 or (616) 459-4591
•Gold ‘n’ Honey Books/Questar Publishers, Inc., 800-395-7234 or
(734) 481-0900 (Canada)
•Moody Press, 800-678-6928 or 800-678-6928 (Canada)
•Simon & Schuster, 800-223-2336 or 800-268-3216 (Canada)
•Thomas Nelson, Inc., 800-933-9673 or 800-663-3133 (Canada)
•Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 800-323-9400 or (416)
•Word Publishing, 800-933-9673 or 800-633-3133
•YWAM Publishing, 800-922-2143 or (425) 771-1153
CHILDREN’S READING PROGRAM
Our church library was blessed with a donation of hundreds of new
Christian books, mostly for children. We cataloged them and set up
a 12-week summer reading challenge for kindergarten through sixth
We kept a 3X5 card on file for each child to complete, noting the
child’s name, the week number, the book title, space to write what
the child learned from the book, and a line for a parent’s
signature. We gave a small prize such as a balloon or a piece of
bubble gum each week when a child read a book. At the end of 12
weeks, children who participated every week went to an ice cream
shop together. We allowed kids to make up weeks if sickness or
vacation interrupted their efforts.
If you don’t have a church library, ask a Christian school to use
its library, or find books by scouting garage sales, used
bookstores, or your own book collection for books to exchange
during Sunday school or children’s church.
by A.R. Peters
Kids will love writing for these fun bargains. Most are $2 or
less; some are even totally free!
1. Looney Tunes Bookmarks-These cute raised character bookmarks
come three to a set. Send $1.75 and a long (business size #10)
self-addressed, stamped envelope (S.A.S.E.) to The Complete
Collegiate, Dept. LTBM, 490 Route 46 East, Fairfield, NJ
2. Coupons for Kids-Fun things for kids to do. Send $1.40 and a
long S.A.S.E. to The Complete Collegiate, Dept. CFK, 490 Route 46
East, Fairfield, NJ 07004.
3. Special Effects X-Ray Viewer-Make your bones appear to glow in
rainbow colors as if they’re being X-rayed. Send $1.25 for two and
a long S.A.S.E. to Alvin Peters Company, Dept. XR2, P.O. Box 2400,
Albany, NY 12220-0400.
4. The Floppy Flyer-This is one of the hottest flying items of the
year. Send $2 to Mr. Rainbows-Neetstuf, Dept. FF, P.O. Box 908, Rio
Grande, NJ 08242.
5. Lullaby Songs for Babies-This pocket-size book has lyrics to
many favorite lullaby songs. Send $1 and a long S.A.S.E with two
first-class stamps to Practical Parenting, Dept. Sing Along, 15245
Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, MN 55345.
6. Animal Mugs-Choose a giraffe, elephant, or crocodile. Send $1
to Animal Mugs, P.O. Box 1-SAP, Stoney Point, NY 10980.
7. The Flintstones Stickers-Yabba, dabba, doo stickers for
Flinstone fans. Send $1 to Flintstone Stickers, P.O. Box 1-SAP,
Stoney Point, NY 10980.
8. Tangram Puzzle-A complete seven-piece puzzle set with
directions. Send $1 to Alaska Craft, Dept. TG, Box 11-1102,
Anchorage, AK 99511-1102.
9. Ventriloquism Booklet-This 32-page booklet explains the secrets
of voice throwing. Send $1 to NMV, Dept. Booklet, P.O. Box 420,
Littleton, CO 80160.
10. Science Project Plans-Eight science project plans kids can do
at home with their parents. Send $2 to ScienceSouth, Free Science
Project Plans, P.O. Box 50182, Knoxville, TN 37950-0182.
11. Mega Stickers-Over 200 stickers and a free catalog at a
bargain price. Send $2 to T.V.B., Dept. APC, P.O. Box 2838, Long
Beach, CA 90801-2838.
12. Yo-Yo Tricks-This sheet will teach you how to get the most out
of your yo-yo. Send a long S.A.S.E. to Duncan Toys, Dept. Yo-Yo
Trick Sheet, P.O. Box 97, Middlefield, OH 44062.
Orders can take from four to six weeks to process. Usually a check
or money order is the best and safest way to pay for your
By Laurie Copley
Kids can create all or part of this fun project.
•Pots-Have each child paint a 4-inch clay pot. When the
paint is dry, fill the pot with floral foam. You may need to help
children use a hot glue gun to tack the sides of the foam to the
•Ladybugs-Give each child one half of a Styrofoam plastic
ball. Have each child cover the Styrofoam with red paint. When the
paint is dry, paint black dots using a cotton swab. Glue on two
movable craft eyes. Push black pipe cleaners into the Styrofoam for
the legs and antennae. Push a wooden dowel into the flat side of
the ladybug and insert the dowel into the foam in the pot.
•Sunflowers-Have each child cover half of a Styrofoam
plastic ball with black paint. While the paint dries, each child
can paint 10 craft sticks bright yellow. When the paint is dry,
push the craft sticks into the Styrofoam around the outer edge of
the ball to create the petals of the sunflower. Push a wooden dowel
into the base of the rounded side of the sunflower (behind the
petals) and insert the stick into the foam in the pot.
•Butterflies-Have each child make a butterfly wing by
bending a gold pipe cleaner and twisting the ends together. Make
four wings. Using a hot glue gun, help children glue the wings and
a wooden dowel to a 12X12-inch piece of muslin cloth. (See
illustration.) Have each child use fabric paint to paint inside the
wings of the butterfly. When the paint is dry, cut around the outer
edges of the pipe cleaners, leaving the butterfly intact. Then glue
on the antennae and insert the dowel into the foam in the
•Tissue paper flowers-Give each child two 12X8-inch
pieces of tissue paper. (You can vary the sizes of flowers by using
different sizes of paper.) Lay one sheet on top of the other. Fold
both sheets in half lengthwise. Then fold in half crosswise. Cut
the open edges of the tissue paper to create the petal shapes. Open
both pieces of tissue paper, then bunch the pieces together in the
center and twist with a green pipe cleaner. Fan out the petals and
insert the pipe cleaner into the foam in the pot.
4-inch clay pots
green floral foam
4-inch Styrofoam plastic balls, cut in half
gold, black, and green pipe cleaners
Q-Tips cotton swabs
18 mm movable craft eyes
extra wide, extra long, jumbo craft sticks
3/16-inch wooden dowels in 12-inch lengths
red, black, and yellow nontoxic acrylic paint
assorted colors of nontoxic fabric paint in squeeze bottles
muslin cloth cut in 12X12-inch pieces
assorted bright colors of tissue paper
hot glue gun
Tie-dyeing is always a favorite summer activity. With cold water
dyes and tie-dyeing kits, it’s easier than ever. You supply the
T-shirts, cotton socks, hair scrunchies, or handkerchiefs, and the
Jacquard Tie Dye Kit supplies the rest. This kit dyes up to 15
adult T-shirts. It’s available for $18.25 from Triarco Arts &
Crafts Inc., 800-328-3360 or (612) 559-5590.