Sunday, December 28, 2014

Getting Back in the Tube



I have had my share of flops in the ministry. Generally I find that if you plan well, pray, and work hard, things go alright. But there are times when things do not go well. There are times when I have tried new ideas only to ruin all my visuals. I’ve bombed

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Gifts for Kidmin Children



Do you buy gifts for the children in your children’s ministry? I stumbled across a great gift for younger children this year. Avon has cool Bath Time Body Paints that go along with Uncle Charlie’s “Fruit of the Spirit” song.  


It is just like Avon created these for the song. They carry 5 out of the 6 fruits Uncle Charlie uses. There is banana, coconut, grape, watermelon and cherry. Someone needs to tell Avon to make lemon too! 

These paints are actually soap, but it rolls on in color. Apparently even some adults like using it

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Writing on the Wall Magic Window


Here is a cool craft we made for the story of the writing on the wall in Daniel. The drawing of King Belshazzar is by Jesus Rolon from his site, Crafting the Word of God. I revised his drawing in order to make it into a magic window craft. You can find the original picture here.

Magic window crafts have been around for a long time. They are a great way to illustrate any story with change in it. I first saw them used years ago as a VBS craft to illustrate regeneration through faith in Jesus. The picture changed from black and white to full color as you pulled it out of the frame. 

The secret is that there is a second picture hidden behind the back of the frame. The top picture is printed on a transparency. When you pull the picture out to the right, the “hidden” picture behind the frame is exposed under the transparency, revealing something new or changed. In this case, the writing on the wall.

Angela Howard at Bible Class Creations has an excellent video on how to make magic windows. I got my inspiration for this window from her instructions. Here is her written tutorial.






In this craft, when the picture of King Belshazzar is pulled out of the frame, a hand and the writing on the wall appears.
For this craft you need:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tree of Appreciation



Last Christmas I made a tree of appreciation for all of our Children’s Workers. I gave each volunteer a thank you note for their service during the year, and invited them to choose a gift from the Christmas tree that had been set up in the children’s area.


I bought see through gift bags at the Dollar Tree and filled each one with stocking stuffer gifts. Avon has a lot of small products for $1 and less during this time of year. Bath and Body Works usually has some items too. Of course, there is always candy for the guys and teens too. I bought

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Writing on the Wall, Part 1



As promised, here is the writing on the wall lesson I did from Daniel.

This  Bible story is one of my favorite ones to teach. My helpers enjoyed it as much as the kids did. We acted out the story, complete with snacks and drinks. I find it is always best to tell the story first, or look at the passage in the Bible , before acting it out. Hearing the story first gives the kids a base to understand what they are doing. Acting it out then becomes a way to bring home truths from it, and helps them to remember the truths better.

I made up a great power point complete with writing which appeared  on the wall. I used a “wipe” effect in Power Point animations. It is a little tricky to explain. I use Free Bible Images for my power points. They have power points for almost every story in the Bible. The writing on the wall is found here

You can do a lot of cool things to a Power Point slide with the animations features. It is worth your while exploring these if you use power point much. If I get permission to share the slides I have altered, I’ll do a blog on this someday.

So, after we watched the Bible story in Power Point, then we acted it out. I had a cool room set up - my “throne room” minus the thrones and plus a “banquet table.” I got everything at the Dollar Tree (plates, goblets, and purple tablecloths).




The kids came in for the “banquet,” and one of them was chosen to be “King.” We put a crown on his or her head and placed a royal robe on him or her. Then we served lemonade and a snack using plain goblets. We instructed the King to demand that the gold goblets be brought in. My helper really hammed this up and went running to fetch the tray of gold wine glasses. 

No sooner were the glasses passed out than  I gasped, screamed and pointed to the wall. I had rigged the purple curtains by taping fishing line to them so that they could be drawn back. When they were drawn, a hand that had written on the wall was revealed. Of course , no one was freaked out, but they all wanted a chance to be the king. So we re-enacted it over and over again. 


We took two weeks to do this as I had a great craft to go with it as well. We did a really cool "magic window" craft the second week. Check out my blog post with the instructions.

The "hand" doing the writing is a clear food service glove stuffed with fiber fill and then taped into the cutoff sleeve of a sweatshirt.You can fins instructions for making the golden goblets and the "hand" here.



Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Throne Room


This was a simple project. I had seen this really cool room on Debbie Jackson's blog for the story of Queen Esther. I fell in love with her backdrop. In fact, I coveted it! After diligently searching the internet I found it, only to learn that it was no longer available and  it would have been over $35 if it had been. Not very good for a blog about being frugal.


I kept feeling like there was another way to do this, but I could not envision it. So I did what I always do in these situations, I let it incubate in my mind. It never ceases to amaze me how God puts the answer together for me. I just see something or think of something that fits the bill. 

So for this project, it came to me – purple plastic tablecloths. The kind you get at the Dollar Tree. Then I needed a way to hang them up. I wanted them to hang like curtains, so I could have pleats in them to make them more royal looking. There may be a cheaper way to do this, but I bought 2 plain, long curtain rods and had someone hang them for me at the top of the wall I was using.


Then I bought 6 tablecloths (actually, I found a few somewhere in the church, so I only had to buy 3). 

I turned the top down and taped it all the way across to make a pocket to slide over the curtain rods.

  

I hung them from the rod and had my background for about $15 including rods and tablecloths.










The thrones presented another problem. We didn’t have any chairs with arms on them in the church. I could not think of what I had at home that I could transport. Then it hit me – folding lawn chairs. The old fashioned aluminum kind.

I had a long piece of goldenrod-colored cloth I cut in half to cover the “thrones” with. We also had some shiny gold cloth in our resource room. I just took a short rolling cupboard and covered it with some of the gold cloth to put the crown and scepter on. And voila! I had my throne room - fit for a king, or a queen in this case.


I reused the plastic curtains when we did the lesson on The Writing on the Wall from Daniel. See the instructions here. 











Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fiery Furnace



As promised, here is the rest of the story on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (or “into – bed-you-go”).

I wrote a drama for this story that uses at least 10 people. You can use 20 or more since you need a crowd for all of the scenes. You can also do it with less than 10 people if you allow some people to have double roles. We used our adult teachers along with the students.

Here is the link for the DRAMA.
Here is the link for the IMAGE I used to make the golden idol.

Scene One takes place in the throne room. I actually have created a throne room for other stories, but I did not think of doing it for this one. 

 



Pictured to the left is the throne room I could have used. To make this room, I hang plastic purple table clothes from rods I have installed in my classroom. I will post more detailed instructions next week. The thrones are actually folding lawn chairs (fit for a king and queen -ha! ha!)






In Scene Two, we find ourselves out in the field before the

The Grapes of Canaan



When I saw a review game that used giant grapes made out of balloons I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to make a giant bunch of grapes to represent the ones the spies brought back from Canaan in Numbers 13?” Actually it was pretty cool, and it was not that difficult. And of course, it did not cost that much. The only thing I purchased was

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Repurposing in Children's Ministry



The Fiery furnace lends itself to drama. It is an easy story to bring to life with just a few simple props. I originally was going to make a refrigerator box into a fiery furnace. However, I found they were not as easy to get as I thought. 

Then our short term mission’s team asked if they could set up our puppet stage, which we NEVER use, so they could practice for their trip. They wanted to know if they could keep it up for the TWO whole months before their trip. 

So here I was with this space hogging stage in my Sunday School area and no place for the furnace that wasn’t materializing anyway. 


"What's a girl to do in a situation like this?" I said to myself.

Then it hit me –