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SSTN  # 14 - February 15, 2002

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1) Easter program ideas
-> Easter Story cards
2) Trust games
3) Bulletin Board ideas
-> FaithShapes Card Game
4) Disruptive and talkative
5) Talking to children about death
6) Explaining Death to Children
7) Books for Explaining Death
8) Bible books craft
9) Lent Programs?
10) Trust games
11) Using Disney characters in ministry
12) Prayer craft?

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1) Easter program ideas

I, too, am looking for ideas for an Easter program. I have done skits with
the kids in the past, however, we do not want that for this year. Any help
would be greatly appreciated. This is the format we use. Our "Easter
Festival" is held on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. It lasts two
hours. The first hour is usually an Easter based program. We have done things
such as a rotating Resurrection Egg encounter with the 12 stages of the cross.
Last year we had a puppet show. Our program is then followed by an
age-divided Easter Egg hunt on the church grounds and is very popular,
however, the important thing is to have this last as we want the real
message of Easter to be the forefront of our Festival. We get the eggs
donated by church members and then after the hunt is over, we teach the
kids a small lesson about "giving back" and they then empty their candy
out of the eggs and give all the eggs back for the next year! It is a
great lesson, and a great way to save on eggs! We have been able to use
eggs for two years before retiring them. (we also stress that no "hinged"
eggs be donated as they do not work well, nor last until the next year). I
hope this helps some, but again, I am looking for ideas for the program
part. Our theme is "The Gift if The Trinity" wherein I am asking all of
our children members and children in the community to "bring at least 3
friends" with them to the Festival, their friends not coming from the


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The Easter Story - Reproducible Cards 

10 Egg-shaped cards that tell the Easter Story - When the cards
are cut, colored and assembled, players can play Easter Egg Scramble and
learn the Easter Story! Reproducible so your whole class can make a set!

In the Curriculum section: 

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2) Trust games

>>I was hoping to find some good games on trust for adolescents

Just a couple of ideas for games to build trust with teenagers.  First,
there is the game where all the kids stand in a circle facing sideways.
Move in the circle until everyone is close together.  Then have everyone
sit down on the lap behind them at the same time.  Second, there is the
old standby of having each person be caught by the group when they fall
backwards off a chair into their friends arms.  Third; one of the best
ways to build trust is to have them give affirmations to one another.
Sometimes this is best done anonymously.  Passing around construction
hearts with their name on the top.  Then have everyone write something
special about each person.  Some of my kids have kept these hearts for
years afterwards.  This is usually best if done after a program on special
gifts or friendship.  Lastly; I have found the best way to build
cohesiveness with my group is spending the night together in the church
about 4 or 5 times a year.  They Love "lock-ins".  And they do most of the
planning.  We always have a Midnight devotional time with our pillows on
the floor in a circle with candles.  God Bless.

Beth Calizo
Norwalk United Methodist Church
Norwalk California

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3) Bulletin Board ideas

>>I am in need of some fresh ideas for Bulletin Boards.

A friend and I run a web site called "Kid's Sunday School Place" that has
several Bulletin Board ideas that you may find helpful. The url to the
site is http://www.kidssundayschool.com/bboard/bboardindex.htm
May God continue to bless you and your children's ministry,  Mike

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FaithShapes -  "The Card Game of Christian Symbols"

Shape Your Faith, with FaithShapes! A fun game for kids and adults,
readers or nonreaders. The 64 cards are beautifully illustrated with
historical explanations and Scripture verses. Use them at home, in class
for added fun, or for personal enrichment.

In the Curriculum section:  http://www.christiancrafters.com/kt_kit.html 

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4) Disruptive and talkative

>>My husband and I have taken on a Sunday School class of 12 - 15 Fifth
>andSixth >graders.  We had lessons and activities but they were so
>disruptive and talkative,

Hi Sherry,
Oh, I know exactly what you are going through.  I could have written your
letter. I also teach grades 5 & 6, I have 16-18 regulars and most Sundays
I come away from class with a prayer in my heart that God has somehow
reached someone in the class.  Believe me it is only through His power
that anyone gets a message.  I have found most of them like
hands-on-projects or role playing.  When I can incorporate a craft into
the lesson or write a skit for them, I have much more control than just
teaching the lesson.  The curriculum my church uses offers almost nothing
in the way of crafts or hands-on for this age group so I have come up with
my own ideas which isn't easy.  This webpage has helped.  The craft or
skit has to pertain to the lesson.  I try to do something different each
week such as one skit a month and one craft a month.  I've also found I
have their undivided interest when life issues are brought up.  A couple
weeks ago one student brought up suicide and since I'm a Stephens Minister
I was able to incorporate knowledge from my training.  Last week a student
brought up not being able to pray in school and this was a concern of
others in the class.  We talked about praying to God in our minds without
anyone knowing we were praying.  This age group are kids one minute and
grown-up the next, but I love this age group.  You aren't alone!

God's Blessings on your teaching
Karen Schmitt

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W.W.J.S.? Gospel Catchers

There's something much worse than cooties...it's called sin!  Now kids can
make Gospel Catchers rather than Cootie Catchers! A fun and innovative way
for kids to learn to share their faith with their friends!  Includes 4
Gospel Catcher patterns to make: the Colors of Christ (Gospel Colors), the
Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the Promises of God. Follow this
link to learn more:


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5) Talking to children about death

Another good book for talking to children about death is
"If I Should Die, If I Should Live" by Joanne Marxhausen. 
The ISBN # is 0570077931.

--from SSTN: if you type the title into the Bookstore search box, you'll
find it:

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The Easter Story - Cards 

10 Egg-shaped cards that tell the Easter Story - When the cards
are cut, colored and assembled, players can play Easter Egg Scramble and
learn the Easter Story! Reproducible so your whole class can make a set!

In the Curriculum section: 

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6) Explaining Death to Children

I used the following two books with my boys when my father died 2 1/2
ago:  "What Happened When Grandma Died" by Peggy Barker and
"What's Heaven" by Maria Shriver.

--from SSTN: if you type the title into the Bookstore search box, you'll
find both books:

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7) Books for Explaining Death   

What's Heaven by Maria Shriver (ISBN: 0307440435);  When Dinosaurs Die : A
Guide to Understanding Death by Marc Brown (ISBN: 0316119555).  Both of
these books greatly helped my children grasp the concept of their
grandmother's death.

--from SSTN: if you type the title into the Bookstore search box, you'll
find both books:

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8) Bible books craft

>We also learn the books of the New Testament.  I am looking for a way to
>teach the concept of 66 books with one cover to help them understand the
>concept of the Bible.  I'm thinking of individual books that we can talk

How about covering small matchboxes and keeping them in a box file, which
in turn is covered to look like a Bible. Inside each matchbox you could
put a description of the book, or one or two key verses.

Mary from London

--from SSTN: Great idea Mary! If anyone does this, please send me pics for
the website. You might even be able to fit the small match boxes into a
larger match box. ysic, sarah keith <><

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9) Lent Programs?   

Please share ideas for what you are doing in recognition of Lent in your
Sunday school programs.  I'd appreciate any suggestions for all age
levels. Thanks

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10) Trust games

This is not a game, but an activity that may be helpful.  When we've
talked about trust, we've done this.  Have your group pair up, preferably
with someone they are not buddies with or related to.  Have everyone
listen to the instructions very carefully.  Make sure that everyone
understands what's going on.  Have one person fall backwards into his
partner's arm.  Then have them switch and repeat.  Afterwards talk about
how they felt when they were the one falling and when they were the one
expected to hold their partner up.  Then relate this to whatever applical
biblical passage you are using.

Toni in Michigan

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"Get em' in the LOOP!" 

L-eading kids to Christ,
O-ffering advice
O-pen discussion forum
P-roviding free resources

Invite your friends, pastors, and coworkers
to join our discussion in SSTN.


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11) Using Disney characters in ministry

I have talked about the LION KING several times with different groups in
this way.  It would be awesome if you could show the opening clip from the
movie.  It is so powerful!  You know, the part where all the animals
travel to the ANOINTING of Baby Simba.  The priest Rafiki is traveling there,
too. Once all the animals are assembled, Rafiki breaks open a coconut and
annoints the baby lion cub with the coconut milk.  Then Rafiki lifts Simba
up for all to see.  The elephants trumpet.  The monkeys scream.  The
giraffes bow.  Baby Simba has been anointed as the FUTURE KING.

This is how I use this Disney story to relate an important Christian
truth: Sometimes we tend to think that CHRIST is Jesus' last name.  "Christ" is
actually a title.  Just like we might call George W. Bush, "President"
Bush. President would be Bush's title and not his name.  Christ is the
Greek word for "anointed"!  In the Hebrew, the word is "Messiah".  (The
Hebrew pronunciation is like Mess-SHE-ahch - with a final sound like you
are gargling with no water.)  When Rafiki put coconut milk on baby Simba's
forehead, he was anointing him.  This was to show all the animals
assembled that this little lion would someday lead them as King!  Just like all the
animals in the Lion King were excited, and praised the baby lion as FUTURE
KING, that is what we mean every time we call Jesus, the "Christ"!

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12) Prayer craft?

Hi, I teach a small class of children ages 2-8. I want to do an easy
lesson with a craft on the importance of prayer. I was also looking for
easy and inexpensive Easter crafts and lessons. I also need easy to learn
childrens songs or advice on where to get them. Thanx and God's Blessings!

--from SSTN: as to songs, check out the Music section in the Bookstore:

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