Got time on your hands and a
room full of kids-but you've used up all your lesson? Here's your
indispensable guide for turning unexpected time into
Ideas for families
to discover the Good News of Easter--from Palm Sunday to
Palm Sunday Discovery
Easter Tree of
I grew up in a middle-class
neighborhood near Chicago in the 1940s and 50s where I
lived with my parents and brother. By the time I was a preteen, I
already had plans for c...
Here's how to keep today's techno kids from
"powering down" the minute they walk into your
Recently I casually observed a mixed-age ministry program in a
Here are recommendations on books so kids can learn more
about Heather Whitestone, a Christian and the first physically
challenged woman to win the crown of Miss America.
"Once Jesus was in a certain place praying.
As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, 'Lord,
teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples' " (Luk...
Preteens. They're silly, goofy, and obnoxious. They can't sit
still and seldom pay attention. They love screaming and doing
anything that involves getting messy. And that's ...
HOW CHILDREN SOLVE PROBLEMS
Older children consider peers more important than family at this
age. They'll watch how their peers solve problems. At about 11
years old, mos...
1. A Bird's Eye View-(Supplies: paper and
markers.) Send children to tables with paper and markers.
Say: Pretend that you were a bird at Jesus' birth. Draw
what you w...
We were in the studio working on our new album when my music
assistant and I began to rehearse the kids chorus. It's my favorite
time in the studio, working with a group of ...
Every ministry has them --
quirky corners, pesky problems, and messy mishaps. Here are simple
solutions you can use to make sense of common
WHAT A SIGHT
There's no shortage of
news--that is, good news about kids doing great things! Check out
these amazing boys--and what their selfless acts can mean for your
sure to make each of your preteens feel extra special on their
birthday this year with these 16 creative birthday greeting
First Greeting-Find out from the c...
What kids really know--and think--about the
"The first book of the Bible is called guinessis. God created
the world. When he got tired, he took the Sabbath day ...
I know Jesus said he had all the power, but is that the same
power that Pokemon and Digimon characters have?"
"Moses parted the Red Sea, but have you seen what Harry Potte...
Use these 14 playful ideas to reinforce your lessons
about the Word of God.
It's been a long week, and Saturday night has you scrambling
through your lesson plan. Quickly...
Spend time with children's ministry leaders these days
and one of the topics of conversation is sure to be ministry to
sixth-graders. What works with this unique age group?
Stopping at a fast-food restaurant with a bus full of kids can
take way too much time and create a headache for the restaurant
staff and customers. That may not be the publi...
Transforming your Sunday school classroom into an
exciting learning environment for kids can be tough on a budget.
Here are 19 ideas that'll cost you next to nothing...
The 16 A+ ideas in this special section will keep your
kids from playing hooky from church!
Yellow school buses. Crisp backpacks. The smell of new school
supplies. The so...
Looking back at your last lesson, what did your kids
learn? It's not such a simple question. Here are ways to make your
lesson learner-based and maximize each child's
Faster than a prayer on wings, more powerful than
dynamite, able to leap over any problem. Introduce Jesus as the
real hero kids can look up to. But first, understand what q...
Fifth and sixth graders don't want to be treated like
little children. They want to feel important! Here's how to pull
off a training program that'll inspire kids this
About six months ago, I had heart surgery.
It happened suddenly, I didn't see it coming, and I haven't
discussed it much. But I think it's time to go public.
"Bree," an ...
Mix preteens, adults, and a whole bunch of
questions about Jesus, and what do you get? Chuckles, ah-has, and
insights -- about kids, their faith, and your ministry.
Use these preteen spiritual gift inventories with kids to help
them discover their God-given gifts and talents.
Spiritual Gifts Inventory for Children
Cue the eerie music...
"It's the middle ground between light and shadow...between the
pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge...Enter, if you
will, The Preteen...
Use these ideas to help kids who are struggling through
Kids are under a lot of stress -- at school, in extracurricular
activities, and at home. A study ...
download a PDF of this Children's Ministry Magazine Extra
All people learn differently -- regardless of age. Whether you
look through the lens of Gardner's Multipl...
The Bible tells us to, "Train up a child in the way he should
go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." This proverb is
as old as Solomon, but as relevant as t...
"Feelings" are more than an old song; they're the key to amazing
learning in your classroom!
I sit on the bench under the trees, smiling as I see little
hand- and footpri...
Instead of a card, I mail out these unique birthday wishes to my
kids on their special day -- along with a refreshing, sweet treat.
I purchase Kool-Aid drink packets and att...
Preteens are becoming independent thinkers and doers.
Guide them during this step toward maturity with these
Offer choices. Stop making all the decisions.
Permit me to reveal the secret to really loving
For if I'm culturally hip to Hannah Montana and am truly smarter
than a fifth-grader, but have not love, I'm jus...
Children usually learn to read by
recognizing combinations of letters. Learning to teach is similar.
Qualities and skills combine to make the teaching process
3 tools to gauge kids score spiritually
Growing up as an avid soccer player, I was blessed with a high
school coach who poured countless hours of drills and skills int...
Feedback from parents is vital
to your ministry's growth, health, and longevity. Here's the
ultimate guide on how to ask for it.
Parents are our greatest allies in ch...
Storytelling tips for the novice and the
It can happen in almost any class. Kids are engaged in learning
through hands-on experiences, and then it hits. The class...
Nurturing conversations with God
and children at every stage.
Prayer is as simple as a conversation with a best friend and as
powerful as asking a king for help. How can...
Understand how kids of all ages make friends and how you
can nurture friendships
Ages 2 to 4
Young children depend on others to
help them develop positive s...
The great Bible teachers leave a mark.
They masterfully carve God into our lives. They reveal an
inconceivable forgiveness. They expose divine opportunities. They
Time is money." We've all heard that. But time is a lot
more than just money -- it's the most precious, non-recyclable
commodity we have.
For some teachers, time is somet...
Our children's correspondence team is a group of children who've
committed to express compassion and encouragement to people in our
church by writing notes and letters. Each...
Peer pressure. Say those two powerful words, and they can strike
fear in your heart! But add the word "positive" and you have a tool
that will help kids learn...to make ...
Put kid quotes in your church newsletter from kids in your
congregation. For example, print kids' answers to the question:
What do you love most about your parents?
Sarah ran out of the classroom, tears streaming down her face.
The sting of the girls' taunts and jeers cut her to the quick. Why
were they so cruel? All she longed for was ...
Have you ever been in a classroom where you can see or hear
another group of kids interacting and having fun -- and you're not?
The other teacher and group are lively, but y...
Once on a trip, when our car unexpectedly stopped moving
forward, a cranky tow truck driver showed up looking like a grizzly
bear rudely awakened from his winter hibernation...
Uh, oh! Those words, spoken by a child, can send a chill of
dread down the spine of every teacher -- what catastrophe awaits?
Kids seem to naturally attract small disast...
Take a sneak peek at what Christian kids really
think about God, faith, church, and their world.
How often have you wondered about what's going on in kids' minds?
Preteen girls can be mean-really mean. Girls between ages 9 and 11
are breaking away from parental influences and are more influenced
by their peers. Mean girl b...
Research shows that laughter plays an important role in both
physical and mental health. Laughter releases endorphins, chemicals
in your body that produce an overall feel-go...
Kids can access technology anywhere,any time. An online
expert looks at the deeper meaning behind this phenomenon-and what
it signifies for kids' faith.
The kids in your ...
Insights from experts on how to answer kids' toughest
You've heard it before: That question from a child that stops
you cold and leaves you searching for the ri...
HOW CHILDREN ARE
Children at this age are motivated by approval. They're making
exciting advances in their physical abilities, and they look to
adults to affir...
I'm a college graduate with a minor in Bible. Therefore I was
quite confident when I sat down to tackle "learning activities"
from a variety of Sunday school curricula. I ch...
In this corner, weighing 165 pounds: Brad Fife, Sunday school
In that corner, weighing .10 pounds: the champion, fuddy-duddy
Sunday school curric...
The questions kids ask about God-and how to
"God can change himself into a baby," 4-year-old Nicholas mused.
To many children, God is a magical being that ma...
As the teacher of a fifth- and sixth-grade Sunday school class,
my husband wanted to set a good example when the lesson called for
both the kids and the teacher to write dow...
No two snowflakes are alike. These amazingly complex
demonstrations of God's handiwork are absolutely unique, shaped by
a complex interchange between temperature, moisture c...
At ages 10, 11, and 12, preteens are still technically in the
children's ministry category-but they consider themselves too old
for elementary activities. They want to be tr...
"EVERYBODY is shrinking!"
That's what one sixth-grader told Jim Still-Pepper, a
psychologist in Ohio. And in a very real sense, it's true. While
the rest of the world see...
At a recent family gathering, Bev glanced out the front window
to where the children were playing. What she saw shocked her. An
11-year-old boy ran up to an 11-year-old ...
As you enter your fifth-grade classroom, you notice several kids
gathered around Kate, a popular student, in the back of the room.
As you approach the group, you hear the fo...
Each new Sunday school year means new faces, new personalities,
and new opportunities to create a classroom environment that keeps
kids coming back. Great activities, re...
Strategies for getting your kids hopelessly hooked
on reading the Bible.
"Hmmm. What if a customer wanted cheese on his hamburger?"
"I wouldn't put it on. I'...
7 essentials for developing, enhancing, and growing
I started teaching Sunday school when I was 12. That was a while
Throughout my years in the clas...
Bring on the white stuff with an avalanche of 20
free children's ministry activities and ideas for kids, families,
Whether kids live in the north, south,
From Instant Skits for Children's
Topic: Obeying Parents
Scriptures You Might Read: Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20
The Scene: A living room
When your lesson is broken...how to fix it every
Here's a simple question: Looking back at your last lesson, what
did your kids learn? Don't answer that too quickly...
Clowns make children laugh. Smile. Snicker. Clowns can captivate
a child without saying a word. And a clown can teach a lesson a
child will never forget.
We just moved into a new house. And for three weeks we were
without any television hookup. Then my husband and a friend climbed
up into the attic and put in a new antenna. T...
Use these 8 science activities to plug into kids'
curiosity about the way things work-and connect them to
With the controversy of evolution versus creationism, we
Say goodbye to a blah classroom with
these 19 quick and cheap makeover ideas.
Ugh. The bleak walls. The boring layout. The
stale carpet. The blank bulletin boards. You ha...
15 new ideas to help you start a winning season of
ministry to children.
Before you know it, school will be kicking back into gear. If
you're a children's ministry direc...
7 amazingly simple but effective ways to reach
today's visual generation.
A great task lies before you. You're in a room full of children,
and you're trying to keep orde...
Whether you're a Harry Potter fan or not, J.K.
Rowling's amazingly popular books can give you critical insights
for children's ministry.
I try to think of myself as an o...
The alarming trend of young kids on a quest to be thin can rob
your children of their very lives. Find out how you can help kids
and parents avoid the snare of food-related ...
Children's ministers' resolutions for the new year
-- and none of them are about dieting! Find out what's important to
your colleagues this year.
It's a new year. Time f...
Theme ideas to turn up the heat when your ministry
It's that time of the year. The skies are gray, the air is cold,
and kids would rather be home sleepin...
8 ways to get your creative juices
If, as the author of Ecclesiastes says, there's nothing new under
the sun, why do other people seem to come up with so many n...
Make these buns the night before Easter to serve to children on
Easter morning. Children will enjoy biting into these buns to find
that they're empty-just as Jesus...
Give your kids a positive shot in the arm with these
If there's one thing kids need today, it's an immunity to low
self-esteem. Many children are so infected by p...
"For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show
great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the
elect. Behold, I have told you in advance" (M...
It can happen in almost any class. Kids are engaged in learning
through hands-on experiences, and then it hits. The class forms a
circle for story time and the mood sours. A...
A friend was telling the story of Jesus walking on the water as
a children's sermon. "As I explained to them how Peter got out of
the boat and walked toward Jesus," he said,...
How to Keep Your Subs From Sinking: Create a survival kit to
help substitute teacher succeed.
My phone rang early Sunday morning. I dreaded answering it. I
knew who was c...
Want to know how to conquer kids' learning obstacles? If after
every lesson your kids can say, "We came, we saw, we heard, we
touched," they'll also be able to say, "We conq...
How children learn Bible stories--and ways to teach them.
2 to 5 years
HOW CHILDREN LEARN
Young children like to be read to with age-appropriate books. They
Here are 4 ways to help explain how God wants us to make
wise choices for ourselves.
1. FOLLOW ME
When children arrive, lead them in a game of Follow the Leader.
From: September/October 1992 Children's Ministry Magazine
Keywords: News Insights
2 to 4 years
HOW CHILDREN REACT TO THE NEWS
When preschoolers overhear stor...
Kids love to laugh. They need to laugh. In fact, I would go so
far as to say that without humor, children never really live.
God has given people the capacity to laugh. T...
We've had a variety of events on New Year's Day. Use our ideas
to ring in the new year at your church.
Have a Bigger and Better scavenger hunt. Form groups of six
Encourage your church to give the children in your ministry a
Prayer Valentine. Around the first of February, write each child's
name and age on a red cut-out heart. On the ...
Our preteen ministry challenges kids to invite friends who
aren't connected to a church to an all-day event hosted during a
day when school's on a teacher break day (which h...
I took a step but couldn't move. I looked down to find a preteen
lying on the floor locking my feet together with his arms. He
seemed to want my attention, so I cracked a fe...
Stuff you'll need: Pan of unsliced, baked
cookie bars; wire cutters, 20 gauge X 18-inch green floral stem
wire; scissors; 1/4-inch-wide red satin ribbon; plastic wrap;
A recent eye-opening experience led me to a
surprising, shocking conclusion: Most of us, when it comes right
down to it, really aren't comfortable having children follow
We want kids to pray and trust God for answers, but
when it comes to the really big prayers -- the ones that need a
miracle -- how do we pray with kids?
In a random fourth-grade class not too long
ago, the teacher recited that week's verse with the kids.
But only a few were repeating the verse along with him. Finally,