Thursday, March 5, 2020

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

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Decorating Spaces - Snowflakes

When I worked in the children's room at our public library we changed up the decorations with the seasons. Leaves for fall, snow for winter, and flowers and raindrops for spring. So I utilized the idea in our kidmin space at church.

We did stars in December to go along with the Christmas lessons and kept them up until after Epiphany. In the spring, we did butterflies and dragon flies and let the children color them. When we took them down, I sent the ones they had colored home with them.

If you have a suspended ceiling in your space, this is really easy to do. Just use a paperclip or binder clips to attach fish line to the metal grids between the ceiling tiles. It is a little tedious to punch holes in each item, cut the line, thread it through and knot it. I make little loops on the end that will go around the paper clip. If you use binder clips, you don't even need to make a loop at the one end of the fish line, just clip it to the grid. When using paper clips, I always used white ones so they blended in with the tiles.

Why decorate for the seasons? Kids notice it, and so do parents. It says to me that you care enough about the children coming that you want to make their space special. I didn't always do this, but whenever I did, the children loved it. You can watch the video below to see what we did.

If you are interested in learning how we decorated our walls in the J.A.M. Center, you can read about it in several posts. You can link to several sites that provide the materials to draw the designs in my post DIY Theming That Doesn't Look Like You Did it Yourself. 


Snowflakes from Joan Eppehimer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Oh for the Love of Hosea



Like any self-respecting blogger, I love to check my stats. Lately I have noticed people visiting my Hosea for Kids post. I love the story of Hosea. It is rich with God's mercy. So I am excited that people may actually be teaching the truth of this story to children.

There is absolutely no reason to get into what a prostitute is to teach the truth of Hosea. All children need to understand is that Hosea's wife left him for someone else, never mind that it may have been 10 or 20 someone else's. This is such a gripping, literal object lesson. As there are so many children of divorce or abandonment today, kids have seen this phenomenon firsthand. It is not difficult for them to understand how Hosea must have felt. They may have seen a parent's hurt as their mom or dad left for someone else. They may have experienced the hurt of a parent simply leaving, abandoning the family. You can bridge from any of this to help them connect with what is happening in the book of Hosea and their own relationship with God.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Stability in a World of Instability



In the summer of 2018, my husband and I were on a medical leave of absence in Chapel Hill, NC. He participated in an experiment for a pharmaceutical company testing a new type of treatment for the rare disease he has. We were put up in a lovely apartment for three months. My husband's nephew also participated and so his nephew and sister were in the same complex and we got to enjoy each others company all summer long. It was an idyllic summer with lots of sunshine, new friends, new places to go, old friends to reconnect with, swimming in the pool and not a lot of responsibility. It was wonderful and my soul drank in every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

How to Host a Shoebox Party


A few years ago I was asked to create an event that the whole family could attend and interact together at. I planned a shoebox party for Operation Christmas Child (OCC).

If you have never heard of OCC, it is a relief program run by Samaritan's Purse. People pack shoeboxes with a variety of small items such as hygeine, school supplies, toys and clothing. OCC sends the shoeboxes all over the world to needy children. You could also make your own shoeboxes and send them to a local shelter or group homes instead of through OCC (just don't use their boxes!).

Sunday, July 21, 2019

First Bible Milestone


A first Bible ceremony is a great way to help you connect with the families of the children in your kidmin. Normally, a first Bible means a translation such as NIV or ESV or NLT, but I like to take it further. In our church, we give a first Bible storybook to our families. Group used to make a kit for a First Bible Ceremony as part of their milestone markers series.

I borrowed some ideas from the Group kit I purchased, and then made up my own. I like doing a storybook Bible because you can reach the really young children then. Parents are so much more open when their children are young. They don't have as many secular distractions. In addition, I think it is great to catch everyone as young as you can and begin making that parent/church connection. This is one way the church can come along side parents and support them.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Sign Painter's Dream - A Modern Tale of Giving

Before I was the children's ministry director at our church, I worked in the children's room at our public library. I discovered some great books there. I often developed programs around the books to engage the children in the story. I wrote this post several years ago for a homeschool blog, and thought I would share it here.