Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Cool Treat for KidMin Workers


I use a Christmas tree each year to hang our kidmin workers gifts on. This year I read about these key fobs from Wendy's. At only $2 a piece, they are a great gift. They attach to a key chain and you can use it at Wendy's to get a free Junior Frosty with any order. So yes, as one of the enterprising workers said, "So, I can order a Junior Frosty, and then I can get one for free for my boyfriend." Now that's a KidFrugal date.

These key tags are good for all of 2017, and the $2 you pay goes to support adoption. It's a win-win.

I include other small gifts on the tree to give our workers a choice. This year's other pickings included Avon balms and hand-creams. I have used K-cups, travel size bubble baths and other small items.

So what have you given your workers for Christmas? We would love to hear your ideas.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Feeding Elijah - Life Size Diorama


When you think about it, God fed Elijah for three and a half years through various means. First there was the Kerith Ravine or Valley with the ravens and brook. When that dried up, there was the widow with the bottomless jar of flour and oil.

I used flannel-graph, a life-size diorama and props to tell these Bible stories.

For the diorama, I decoarated one of our classrooms to look like the Kidron Valley. I explain what I did in this video. The ravens are really crows I bought after Halloween on sale at Joanne Fabrics. Michael's carries similar items. The only other things I used were plastic table clothes and salvaged brown packing paper to make the river bed and the mountains.



I broke this story into 2 weeks. You can read about Elijah and the widow here (coming soon) and see the flannelgraph figures I made here (coming soon).

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Bringing the Ark to Jerusalem


King David bringing the Ark to Jerusalem is another lesson that lends itself to drama. Click here for the outline to act out this story.

I told the story first via power point using Free Bible Images. Then we acted it out in two parts.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Live On Location - VBS



Watch this short interview with Amy Livingston to learn more about the effect of event decorating.

Catch a few of our VBS decorations in the video below. I heard dads go "Wow, this is cool." when they walked through my favorite room filmed below. I expect that from moms, but to hear dads say it meant were really making an impression.


You can see some of the other decorations we made for this VBS here and here and here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sunken Treasure Shop


We made this Sunken Treasure Shop with all repurposed equipment. We borrowed an old trunk and an old barrel. We raided our wise men and king costume box for treasure like material. The wise men's present boxes for gold, frankincense and myrrh became containers for prizes. Check out the video below.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Stressing and Obsessing with VBS Decorating



To decorate or not to decorate, or maybe the real question should be, "Just how much should we decorate our church for VBS?"

click to tweet

Let's start with asking why we decorate in the first place. I think we decorate for VBS for the same reasons that we theme our children's areas or church platforms. It creates a "wow" effect. It makes VBS feel like something special. And it sends a message that you cared enough to make the place special for your VBS guests. That "wow" effect makes a very good first impression - so it is important.

So how much decoration does it take to get that message out? Only you and your team can decide that. I just want to give you some ideas for getting the most bang for your buck in this post.

Sanctuaries take a lot of work to make an impact. We share our decorations with another church. This year they made these big coral reefs for on the platform. We had jelly fish hanging from the lights and cardboard water bubbles on the walls.



The short video below shows what we did in a small walk through room and in our craft room. We covered both in blue. For about $70 you can buy a 1000 foot roll of colored paper. We used less than 1/2 of it to cover our craft room. In the smaller room we used blue plastic which had been used 2 years running. We added some Dollar Store plastic tablecloths.







Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ocean Commotion Decoration Part 2


I found some more pictures from week 1 of Ocean Commotion VBS.

This treasure chest was for the kids to put their offering in. There was one for the boys and one for the girls. They were made from Styrofoam coolers. Another Pinterest project.

VBS Week 1 always includes a photo op for kids.

The platform decor used insulation panels. The back panels were painted to look like the bottom of the ocean. These coral panels in front were also painted onto insulation panels.



This is church number 2 where Ocean Commotion will take place. We decided to cover the murals with blue paper to make underwater scenes. You can buy a 1000 foot roll for about $70. We covered all the walls and have lots left. The paper is 3 feet wide and our ceilings are 9 feet high, so it is a perfect fit (sort of!).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ocean Commotion Decoration

Sea Turtles, bubbles and seaweed.
We recently completed the first week of a 2-part VBS. Here are some of the decorations. Like the bubbles? We made them by soaking paper with water and then dropping blue paint onto the paper. See the picture below. Then we cut out different sized circles when it was dry.




They hung a gauzy material from the ceilings to replicate water and put black silhouettes of sea creatures above it.


I love the coral they made from pool noodles and Great Stuff (the spray insulation foam you can buy).


There were swarms of fish everywhere. The older ladies in the church loved cutting these out.


Even the coat racks get covered.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

King Saul and the Witch of Endor


Amazingly, King Saul and the witch of Endor (I Samuel 28) is often overlooked when teaching children. The story refers to Saul having banned all of the mediums in the land. Why did he ban them? Deuteronomy 18:10-11 "...And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead." I thought this was a great opportunity to teach about the danger of Ouija boards, fortune telling, seances, and other things the children might be exposed to.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Volunteering in VBS

I love working in VBS. But it can be very demanding.This video that I made captures my feelings about it in 30 plus seconds. I hope you enjoy it. The memes are not original. My thanks to the creators of them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In the Cave with Dave






This pup tent someone gave me years ago has really come in handy. It has served as the giant fish that swallowed Jonah, the base camp for Joshua during several of his battles and most recently it became

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

David, Goliath and Water Balloons



David and Goliath is a great lesson on proportion. Do we sometimes see things out of proportion? All the time. You know why? Because we leave God out of the picture. This is one of the lessons we can learn from David's response to the Goliath situation. And why not have a little

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

DIY Giant Fish for Jonah



It seems that there is no end to the giant fish population on Pinterest these days. But just in case you missed them, here is one more DIY post for making a giant fish.

Materials:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Good Fish Story - Jonah


Everyone knows that fishermen are likely to exaggerate the size of their latest catch, but how many fish can brag of catching a man (aside from the one in Geico's cheesy 2015 commercial)? There is no exaggeration in the size of the fish that swallowed Jonah, and there is a lot of truth in this story to swallow as well. The message in this book lends itself to drama too, a great plus for your tactile/kinesthetic learners.

Props Needed:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Church Nursery Makeover


Ever seen these babies in the nursery? No, not the father/daughter team, the cribs. A few years ago we decided it was time to do a nursery makeover, even though we didn't have any babies at the time.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Samuel Listens Snack


The kids in our Sunday School really enjoyed making this simple snack after we listened to the story of Samuel hearing God call his name. I found the idea on Pinterest, but since there was only a picture, I decided to write a blog with instructions.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Re-purposed Stage Makes the Empty Tomb



Have you ever heard of a buzz prefix? If there were such a thing, I think "re" would be one of them. We "re"cycle, "re"purpose, "re"furbish and "re"store everything today. Instead of throwing out the mouthwash no one uses in our house anymore, I goggled how to re-purpose it. Did you know it will kill the germs in your kitchen garbage disposal?

So this Easter, I thought it very apropos

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

DIY Ice Cave



Remember that church with the camel kneeling on its platform? Well I was there last week and the first thing they said to me was, “Come and see our ice cave!” They even have the nerve to open the window in the winter time to make it feel like an ice cave.

So how do you make an ice cave? Plastic tablecloths and

Sunday, March 20, 2016

5 Creative Uses for a Green Screen in Children's Ministry


http://kidologist.com/2016/02/12/making-lessons-relational/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kidologist+%28Kidologist.com%29

Years ago our youth entered a video contest to try and win money to attend a conference. We wrote a script that included all kinds of crazy scenes. The girl that was going to film it took one look at the script and said, “I can’t do this.”

“Why not?” I asked.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

DIY Set for Interactive Bible Story: Samson


An Occupational Therapist once bragged to me of the creativity of the people in her business. I don’t doubt her, OT’s work to help people with limitations adapt to a normal lifestyle. Anyone that works within limitations to achieve things has to resort to creativeness. That makes kidmins

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Treasure Hunt Clue in a Shamrock Shake


A few years ago, alright, a lot more than a few years ago – when I used to work with teens, we did a Saint Patty’s Day party. The crux of the party was a treasure hunt.

And the piece de resistance was

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In the Dark with Gideon





What kid wouldn’t love the allure of making noise and getting to play in the dark at Sunday School? That’s what happened when we acted out the story of Gideon from Judges 8. This story was very simple to re-enact. 

Here is what you need:

Free Bible images: Gideon takes on the Midianites with just 300 men. (Judges 7:1-25)


This is the site where I get most of my Bible pictures from to illustrate the stories I tell in Sunday School. This is the link for Gideon. You can find the activities we did for Gideon here.
Free Bible images: Gideon takes on the Midianites with just 300 men. (Judges 7:1-25)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Journey to Bethlehem


This Christmas season we re-enacted the story of the shepherds in Luke 2 for our children. Remember, this is KidFrugal, so I used what we had on hand. The upscale church might not

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Easy Peasy DIY Donkey Costume


This is a really simple way to make a donkey costume. The credit goes to Angela Howard. I saw this idea on her blog, Bible Class Creations.

Since I am not much of an artist, I decided

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Praying for Your Elephant - Definately Not Peanuts to Me


Every once in awhile a Christian book comes along that really makes a difference in my life. This was one of them. It isn't specifically about children's ministry - but it probably has had more of an impact on my ministry than any leadership or kidmin book I have read.

The title comes from a prayer the author and a friend prayed more on a whim than anything. There was an offer to hire an elephant to bring to your youth group for something like $3000. They thought that would be cool, but didn't seriously entertain the idea. Almost as an afterthought,

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Talking Donkey



Kids just love this OT Bible story for its quirkiness. Quirky it may be, but it carries such great lessons that it is referred to 9 other times in the Bible (Numbers 31:8, Deuteronomy 23:4, Joshua 13:22, 24:9, Nehemiah 13:2, Micah 6:5, 2 Peter 2:15, Jude 1:11 and Revelation 2:14). So I feel it is a story worth teaching.

Balaam’s talking donkey also lends itself to drama. You can act it out with as few as 3 people if you adapt it. So here is what  you need:


Donkey costume
  • Angel costume (raid the Christmas costume box)
  • Bag of money (can be a paper bag stuffed with newspaper with $ symbols on it.)
  • Sword (Try the

Friday, January 1, 2016

Bringing Down the Walls of Jericho








I love it when I can reuse things in children’s ministry. This week I re-purposed the river prop that we used for crossing the Jordan River in last week’s lesson.

Last week the river lay flat until the priests stepped in the water. Then a helper pulled the water up into the air until it stood up, just like a wall of water. Click here for