According to the March/April 2015 issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine, kids who go to sleep with a small screen within reach (such as a cell phone or tablet) get nearly 21 fewer minutes of sleep per night. If that happens every night, they’re down over two hours of sleep for the week when they get to church–and that’s assuming they went to bed on time every night!
So what do you do with tired kids? Here are a few ideas.
Talk to Parents
This is what Barney Fife called “nipping it in the bud.” You can ask sleepy kids if they have a screen near them when they go to bed. If they do, you can casually mention to the parents that little Billy fell asleep in the middle of “Awake My Soul,” and that research suggests it might be because of the screen.
Play a Lively Game
It might be a stop-gap solution, but if you get kids up and moving, they might be more lively. Sure, they could crash hard when they get home from church, but that’s Mom and Dad’s problem…
Don’t Talk AT Kids
Everything you do–from the opening, to the craft, to the game, to the closing–ought to engage kids. But whatever “talk” or lesson you give should really engage kids. Adults have a tough time staying awake during sermons where they’re talked at. Kids are no different. Plus, people remember things far better when they’re engaged.
If all of that fails, keep buckets of cold water handy. Just kidding!
What about you? How do you handle overly tired kids? Let us know in the comments!