Saturday, January 24, 2015

For the Love of Volunteers



I love Volunteer Appreciation. It is so enjoyable to make others feel appreciated. I have a whole Pinterest board of DIY ideas for appreciating your workers, but today, I want to blog about my Valentine one. 

This Valentine Appreciation Tree emerged from the Volunteer Christmas Tree I wrote about in an earlier blog.



For Valentine’s Day, I bought Little Debbie’s for all the workers. Who doesn’t love Little Debbie’s? I put each individually wrapped package in cellophane Valentine bags from the Dollar Tree and hung them on the lighted Christmas tree. My coworker made red hearts with her Cricut to turn it into

Friday, January 23, 2015

In the Lions' Den with Daniel



One of the major VBS curriculums for 2015 is using stories from the book of Daniel, so I thought that I better get the rest of my Daniel posts on here. 



We had a puppet stage that morphed from being the fiery furnace into the lions’ den. The cardboard lion in front of the den was an old VBS prop. It was just made from a picture of a lion in a coloring book projected onto cardboard and painted. 

The paper was leftover from some scenery used elsewhere. We kept the paper on after we finished Daniel and made this into a tomb for Easter.

Hint – ever noticed how cardboard warps if you paint it? Did you know that if you paint the back side of your cardboard it will “unwarp” it? The cardboard shrinks when the paint dries – painting both sides counteracts the shrinkage and you will get a straight piece of cardboard again. You only need a light coat on the back side. (We did not paint the back side of our lion and you can see that it is a little warped.)



We used this puppet stage to make the lions’ den, and then we presented a puppet show. Leo and Lawrence, two twin lions, told the story to us of Daniel and the Lion’s Den.  Here is the script if you

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Do You Want to Have a Frozen Party?

Do you want to have a party?


Last year we did a children’s outreach over the March break for children who didn’t get to go to Disney, but stayed home for spring vacation. We chose to use the movie Frozen as a theme for the party. Here’s what we did:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Eating the Frog



I have been reading a great book lately on productivity. It’s called, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. The premise of the book is based on Mark Twain’s famous quotation, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Brian turns this into a powerful illustration to motivate productivity, only you have to eat

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. 











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