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Web Exclusives September-October 2011

In each issue of Children's Ministry Magazine we offer exclusive extra content, ideas, and downloadables found only at as a benefit to our readers. Use these Web Exclusives to help you as you minister to children and their families.


1. Separation Anxiety Letter for Parents
-from Age-Level Insights 3 to 5

2. Suggested Child-to-Adult Ratios
-from Leading Volunteers

Check out this guide for teacher-child ratios:

Closing A Full Classroom

When teacher/student ratios are exceeded in a classroom, kids aren't safe anymore--and volunteers aren't happy. Let parents know that for the safety of children and to ensure quality in the classroom, your numbers have reached capacity and the classroom needs to be closed.

What to Say

  • Be at the door to meet parents in person. Don't put up a sign and walk away. Be empathetic.
  • Let parents know your team is working on opening more classrooms as soon as space and volunteers allow for it. Share what you're doing to rectify the situation.
  • Let the child know that the room is very full and you hope that you'll see him or her next week.
  • Give parents an activity bag with coloring sheets, crayons, and fruit snacks for the child to use in a worship setting or adult classroom.
  • Provide contact information if the parents want to talk about it further.

What NOT to Say

  • Don't dump your pent-up frustrations on the parent. Whining won't attract volunteers!
  • Don't blame your children's council, elder board, or anyone else for developing such a "ridiculous and strict" policy. Uphold and support why this policy is important for the safety of children.
  • Don't blame the parents for not volunteering their time if the room is closed due to volunteer/child ratio. Gently invite them to be part of the solution so it doesn't happen again.

3. The IT Couple's Movie-from "Dream Team Casting Call"

Check out the video here:

4. Brainstorming Games-from "Dream Team Casting Call"

Brainstorm Game #1: Crayon Grab

Take a box of Crayola crayons (the box of 64 works best), and dump them in the middle of your group. Have everyone talk together to choose one crayon for the group. Whatever the name of the color is becomes the theme for your brainstorming session. For example, one of our Dream Teams chose "Robin's Egg Blue." We ended up with an entire sermon series called "The Birds of the Bible"-the dove with the Ark, the quail in the wilderness, the raven in the desert…You get the idea.

Brainstorm Game #2: Socks Away!

For this one, you'll need a ceiling fan and a lot of old (but clean) socks-ones you aren't going to wear. Use Sharpies to write random nouns on half the socks: plate, bike, baseball bat, hammer, shoe, hot dog, and so on. On the other half, write words that have something to do with God, the Bible, or Jesus: faith, prayer, healing, hope, and so on. Mix them up, turn the ceiling fan on high, take handfuls of socks and throw them into the fan. The socks will shoot all over the room-grab three or four and start brainstorming lesson ideas and more! "How is faith like a bike? A bike has lots of moving parts, some we don't even understand the function of…but we have faith they'll all work together when we ride. Have faith that God is working things that you can't even see!"

5. Beyond the First Year by Charles Arn-"Going, Going, Gone"

6. Vitamin Drive poster
"More Than Glitter and Glue"

7. Importing Restrictions on Vitamins-from "More Than Glitter and Glue"
Visit to ensure the country you plan to ship to accepts vitamins.

Children's Ministry Magazine Web Extras July-August 2011

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