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Oriental Trading

Crafty Thursday-Triumphant Entry Donkey Balloon

Crafty Thursday-Triumphant Entry Donkey Balloon

As many of us get ready for Easter and the events leading up to it, here’s a great craft for kids introducing them to Palm Sunday. Jesus enters Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey the week before his crucifixion. The disciples spread their cloaks on the donkey for Jesus to sit on. Many people came out to welcome Jesus. They laid their cloaks and palm branches before him and praised him.

Have fun teaching kids about “The Triumphant Entry” of Jesus entering into Jerusalem fulfilling another prophesy by making a fun balloon donkey on a stick or string to walk down halls after class. Talk with them about why he may have chosen a donkey instead of a horse. Teach them about Jesus being a servant and relating to the people. (Matthew 21:1-11)

What you’ll need: Balloon, Donkey template, scissors, tape, string (and colors if you’d like kids to color their donkey first)

  1. Print copies of the donkey template on card stock.
  2. Cut out donkey then color if you’d like.
  3. Blow up balloon to desired size
  4. Tape donkey head, legs and tail to balloon.
  5. Tape string or stick to balloon.
  6. Now you’ve got a donkey to walk down the halls and when asked what the donkey is for, kids should be ready to share the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey!

Check out more kids crafts here.

Egg-ceptional Outreach Opportunity

Egg-ceptional Outreach Opportunity

Easter is coming! Easter is coming! Although some denominations do not believe in celebrating the resurrection on this day each year, we can all agree that we are to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior every Lord’s Day. Whether it is Easter or any other given Sunday, the resurrection of our Savior is an incredible and selfless gift for us. And regardless, Easter is the time of year when a large number of society takes time to worship the God of heaven. This is an amazing time for outreach when people are coming to churches instead of churches going into the communities; so use this time wisely.

Of course we want to use the time wisely, but how? Start with the setting. What do people see as they are walking into your building? Flowers? Green grass? When guests come into the building, are they greeted with a smile and someone helping them find their way? If they arrive late, is there someone to help them find a seat in a possibly crowded sanctuary? And of course, are you providing them with information about your congregation, the times you meet, the topics they can learn about in individual classes, the things you are involved in, and more? We want to give them reasons to return.

Kids! They are often timid about going to a new place and they certainly are not going to beg to return if we do not give them a reason to. Perhaps offer them something special when they arrive, to your guests and members. This may be a set of colors and coloring book about Easter, Easter Egg slime or putty, Easter chalk set, a stick of gum with a note… you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be expensive. With their little gift, offer an incentive to come back to class next week or another upcoming event. Have a special service, a children’s church, just for them so it is on their level. We want them to understand why they are there and enjoy being a part.

Here are some Easter lesson ideas from some of the best. I have not used these but have been exploring my options. I do not make money for sharing these with you, just putting what I’m looking at in one place to make it easy.

Children’s Ministry Deals: Newest Easter Curriculum

Children’s Ministry Deals: 6 FREE Easter Program Choices

High Voltage: Surprise! Easter.

Teaching Sunday School: Exploring Easter

Need some freebie ideas to hand out to kids this Easter? Here are a few I like (I may receive a small commission on these items):

Not a FREEBIE, but nice to use as a prop in class:

Crafty Thursday-Cotton Ball Painting

Crafty Thursday-Cotton Ball Painting


I do not particularly like “crafts” in bible class because they just get thrown away. With that being said, I do like crafts when they draw kids in and cause them to invite friends.

Kids love to paint. Let’s be honest. If there is a chance of getting messy, most kids love it. When we find something they love, I am all about incorporating it into learning about God. So this week I am sharing a fun cotton ball painting that is simple and a lot of fun. Basically, we are sponge painting with cotton balls on the end of clothes pin. Take a look and see what you think.

Fun and simple cotton ball painting for kids of all ages

TOOLS FOR THIS PROJECT:

Fingerpaints

Clothespins

Cottonballs

Simple Valentine Service Project

Simple Valentine Service Project

This year I plan to teach my kindergarten through fifth graders to serve like Jesus. I do not know that Jesus ever sat down to make Valentine’s for the elderly, but he instructed us to care for the widows and orphans. (James 1:27)

I am printing these Valentine cards on card stock and will pre-cut out for the kids. On the back of each one, the kids will write a kind note or for those that are too young, they can draw a picture. I will have our congregations name printed out for them to hand write, “Love, Leander Church of Christ” just so the elderly can share with family and friends where it came from. Next, we will attach one card to a box of SweetHearts candy with mini Glue Dots. (I also thought about carnations but we will save that for another time.) It is super simple and the kids will have fun serving.

Just before Valentine’s Day, I will take a handful of the kids to the assisted living and memory care center that several of our members now live in to hand deliver. We will personally deliver a Valentine to the members of our congregation so the kids can see the joy they are bringing and feel good about what they worked on. We will leave a bunch of extra at the front desk for them to hand out to the others.

Feel free to download and use these Valentine cards. As always, I am on the lookout for new ideas. Please share things you have tried.

Birth of a Savior Story Stones

Birth of a Savior Story Stones

Looking for a unique way of teaching kids the story of the birth of Jesus, our Savior?  Here’s an idea we I am using tonight with our K-5th grades. They will learn about the most amazing gift ever given, our Savior.  I wanted them to have something to take home to remember the story and I wanted it to be something they wanted to share with others.  So what did I do?  Story Stones!

“What are Story Stones?” you ask.  These are simply stones with pictures that jog the memory to tell the story.  I included a 2-sided page of backdrops to accompany the stones just for added fun.  All that is needed is some smooth stones, 8 per person for this story, and permanent markers.  I had some left over used for pumpkin drawing that worked perfectly.  I have a page with all the super simple drawings for each stone so kids can copy onto their stones.  They enjoy this part! If they mess up, tell them to flip the stone over.  They get two chances.  Once done, pass out the backdrops and begin telling the story in your most engaging story telling voice.  Instruct kids to follow along placing their stones in the story as you go.  (I had some glossy gray stones leftover that I used but would love to use the glow in the dark ones next time.  I know the kids would eat this up telling the story in the dark with a black light!)

Click this link for the story, the backdrop and the stone drawings

Volunteer Gifts on a Budget

Volunteer Gifts on a Budget

Do you find yourself in this position every year wondering what to get your volunteers for Christmas that is simple and meaningful while still affordable?

Here are my top picks:

 

 #1 Christmas Music.

Give this gift early in the month so they can enjoy it all season long.  Here’s a great option for under $5.  If you order online through Amazon you can email it directly to them to download.  Anthem Lights “Simple Little Christmas”

 

#2 Wrap It Up Package

I have given this gift before and it was a big hit! One roll of wrapping paper with one disposable tape/dispenser and you are set with a gift they are sure to use this year!

 

#3 Wipe Off Board

This gift can be customized for each volunteer if you’d like or keep it simple and make them all the same.  All you need is a picture frame, decorative paper and a dry erase marker.  Insert the decorative paper in the frame and give with a dry erase marker.  (Before handing out leave a message or a verse.) In the card you can let them know this can be used for anything from menu’s, to do lists, grocery lists or a verse of the day/week.

 

#4 Poinsettia & Poem

Poinsettia’s are a bright and beautiful Christmas gift.  Pair with this heartfelt poem and it’s perfect!

 

 

#5 Gift Card

A simple $5 – $10 gift card is always appreciated!