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SSTN # 14 - February 3, 2003

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--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

1) Better organization for teachers and leaders
2) Combining Sunday school classes
3) Mother's and Father's Day?
4) Parents' Night?   

--> FaithShapes! ®

5) Mixed Ages
6) Mixed Ages
7) 30-hour famine Youth Service
8) Mixed Ages

--> The Armor of God Playing Cube

9) Upbeat Children's songs
10) Homeless Village - Youth Group?
11) Better Organization for teachers and leaders
12) 30-hour famine Youth Service

--> Gospel Catchers

13) Expressive Easter Music?
14) Jesus' Last Days / puppet skit?
15) Mixed ages
16) Jesus in their hearts

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Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

Ten 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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1) Better organization for teachers and leaders

>>I have been invited to lead a workshop in a rural church with a large
>number of children. Do you have any ideas, suggestions or
>experiences for better organization? Thank you, Ljiljana.

Perhaps you could enlist the help of a few seniors.  A senior could be
assigned to a specific classroom or teacher, or to the preschool or
children's ministry.  My 96 year old mother loved to cut things out for
the preschoolers at our church.  Here are some examples of things they
could do:

Keep supplies organized, maintain a supply list, purchase supplies
Precut craft items Clean and sort toys and keep them organized -- find
those missing puzzle pieces!
Call or send cards to absent children

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2) Combining Sunday school classes

I also teach a small Sunday school class of various ages.  I do not know
what denomination you teach with, I am Methodist, but the best litature
that I have found is Cokesbury "One Room Sunday School"  It is not very
expensive and it teaches children of all ages on the same topic, it has
crafts and take home sheets geared to very specific ages from 2 years to
even the oldest ones.

Good Luck with your class
In Christ,
Karissa, Alabama

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3) Mother's and Father's Day?

I need something for the kids in my church to do
for mothers day and maybe fathers day, the groups are
from age one to teenage boys brenda

--from SSTN: check the Crafts page at:

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4) Parents' Night?   

Thinking about having a Parent's Night for our Kids Club.  Many
parents do not come to church.  Looking for clever and creative
ideas for such an event.  Thanks.

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FaithShapes! ®

FaithShapes! ®  Is a fun, must-have game for Sunday School classes!  The
64 cards are beautifully illustrated with historical explanations and
Scripture verses. Use them for family game night, during Sunday School, or
for personal enrichment. Shape your faith playing FaithShapes ®.

In the Curriculum section: 

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5) Mixed ages   

In response to Myrtle's concern over a mixed age group for a combined
Sunday school class.Our church faced the same thing.  Very small rural
church with a small congregation.  We started out with 5 children in
September, and now have 12!  We use Group's KidsOwn Worship curriculum.
Our ages range from 3-10.  It works out wonderfully. There are also other
companies who offer similar curriculum for mixed ages!  The church is very
pleased with the improvement, Christian Ed has been put back into the
budget for this year!  We also have a Youth group again, after a 4 year
absence!  We started out with 3 members a few weeks ago, and now have 10!
Cathy, OH

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6) Mixed Ages

Dear Myrtle,
It sounds like you have the ingredients to a wonderful beginning!
Your two oldest girls (12yr & 10yr) are great.  Have them be the assistant
teachers.  They can read the Bible story, act it out, use puppets.  They
will not only learn the Bible lesson, but how to be servants in God's
house. The 7yr old will also need to have some responsibilities.  Perhaps
leading the Lord's Prayer.  You can prompt by asking what should we do
with our hands, etc.  The 7 yr old could also help with passing out craft
supplies. Get everyone involved with cleanup.  It always fun to "wash" the
table and sweep the floor. You may want to be the caretaker of the 15
month old during class.  At that age, they will want to not only do the
craft that the others are doing, but try to drag them away when s/he is
frustrated with it.  Have a few board books, blocks, etc. handy to play
with the little one.

A sample morning could be to open with a shared greeting (hug, handshake,
kiss and a Cross (you kiss your finger and then make the sign of the Cross
on the others forehead)).  Then move on to a song ('Jesus Loves Me', 'Arky,
Arky', "The B-I-B-L-E).  Sometimes it's fun to march around while singing!
We usually say the Lord's Prayer together near the beginning so that we
don't run out of time at the end with the parents gathering the children.
The Bible story could come next.  After the story, they will probably need
to move around again.  How about a Bible game.  Recently our 6 yr olds
were studying the Noah story.  They paired into twos and raced to the "ark" on
the other side of the room.  This can be followed by the craft.  (Crafts
can be very simple. i.e.. Gluing 'cotton' balls to make sheep)  Snack time
offers some unstructured socializing.  This also offers another
opportunity for prayer.  Something short and simple.  Some snacks we use are graham
crackers, goldfish crackers, saltines, pretzels.  We drink water with our
snack.  The spill cleanups are not sticky that way.

Enjoy the wonderment!
In Christ's love,

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7) 30-hour famine Youth Service   

Heidi;  Have you concidered using Matthew 25:31-45  Where Jesus talks
about doing good to "the least of these my brothers".  This would tie in
well with the theme of the 30-hour famine.  Toye - Alberta

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8) Mixed ages   

Hello Myrtle;  I have children that I teach that range from ages 2 to
grade 6 (12).  There is such a great range of difference between the
youngest to the oldest in ability to comprehend to length of time they can
sit still.  I would not recommend putting them together every time, but
when you do, you could involve the older 2 (and maybe even the 7 year old)
in helping to teach the younger ones.  Sometimes, depending on the
children and how you approach it - this can go over very well and the
older ones will still learn.  I had my older group get together in the
week and learn a very simple play about the garden of Eden one time and
then they put it on for the younger children.  They had to know the story
before they could put together a play, (under my supervision).  I don't
know how often you have class, but if every week, maybe have every other
week together so you still have time with the 2 groups separate.  Maybe
even work on the same theme for both weeks and have the older children
help plan a lesson for the younger ones on the following week.  Sorry it
is so long, hope it helps.  Toye - Alberta

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The Armor of God Playing Cube

Kids can make it and take it home. A great memory tool!
Only $3.00 to print out as many as you need! Go to the following
webpage to get the free lesson and to learn more: 


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9) Upbeat Children's songs

Hi!  I use some sort of music in my Sunday School class each week.  I
started it one Sunday because I thought that it would break the ice with
my 5th and 6th graders who were slightly reserved.  I really enjoy all
kinds of music, but my favorite Christian Artists are the more
contemporary groups/singers, such as Audio Adrenaline, The Ws, The
Newsboys, Toby Mac...ect.  I have made some mix cds on my computer, and
the kids have loved it!  I also use some of Plus One (a boy-band sound),
Kirk Franklin, V*Enna, Rebecca St. James and various groups I have found
online.  Now, each week, the first thing the children do is see if I
brought my music!  I find that when we need to focus on a task, a song
such as I Could Sing of Your Love Forever or Sanctuary really help the
children get back on what they are doing.  Other songs that we use that
have motions I learned on my mission trips with my youth group (I'm still
a "youth", 20 years old), s! uch as Big House (Audio Adrenaline version is
our favorite!) and Lord I Lift Your Name on High...another fun activity
the children enjoyed was listening to the song, telling what they thought
the singer was talking about, how it made them felt, and then making up
our own class motions to the song.Hope that some of these songs/ideas were

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10) Homeless Village - Youth Group?

I am a Middle School youth group leader for a Methodist Church and we are
going to build a "box city" or homeless village out of cardboard boxes in
the spring on the front lawn of the church and spending the night there.
We want to educate ourselves on issues of the homeless before doing this
so we are able to share information with people who come to check it out.
We are planning to have some local chefs make soup and chili for a soup
line the following day and accept donations for local shelters.  I am
looking for ideas of ways our youth and us leaders can experience some of
the problems of being homeless by coming into contact with people who are.
I am thinking of having us work a meal at "Loaves and Fishes" , a local
place that serves meals to people who need them every day.  I would love
some new ideas that I can present to the youth at our planning meeting in
February so that they can choose what we do.  (These are 6th-8th graders)
Any help regarding what I have asked for ideas for OR any thoughts on ways
to make this overnight experience more meaningful and memorable for them
would be so appreciated.  I cannot wait for this event.  It is sure to be
something we never forget.  Thank you in advance for any help.
Yours in Christ,
Beth/New York

--from SSTN: very cool! I can't wait to hear more!
ysic, sarah keith <><

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11) Better Organization for teachers and leaders

What our parish does to ease the burden off of the teachers, beside having
co-teachers, is having a "lesson coordinator" who only plans the lessons
and gets the supplies ready each week, but does not teach.  There is one
coordinator per grade.  I happen to coordinate the third grade lessons (9
classes with about 10 kids).  It was always difficult for me to commit to
teaching each week with a husband who traveled and small ones, but I could
plan and copy things on my own time.  We have our own bin at church and
have use of the supplies and copy machines any time.  We have the lesson
and supplies ready each week the week before the lesson.  Also, we have a
planning session four times a year, where we map out what we are going to
do over the next couple of months, so teachers and coordinators can start
planning ahead.  This allows the teacher to have a hand in some of the
activities they would like to see done and it also helps the coordinator
get feedback in how they can help their teachers more.  I have a lot more
ideas if you want to email me at lazydaisy@mn.rr.com.  We also have a
large program.

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12) 30-hour famine Youth Service

When our youth did the 40hr famine last year - there was all sorts of
great ideas and stories on the World Vision website - try www.worldvision.org or
www.worldvision.com.au .
Sandy - Jimboomba Australia

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Gospel Catchers

There's something much worse than cooties...it's called sin!  Now kids can
make WWJS 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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13) Expressive Easter Music?


GOD BLESS                                                      

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14) Jesus' Last Days / puppet skit?

The 5th and 6th grade class at our Sunday School is interested in doing a
Bible study of Jesus' last days.  I'm wondering if anyone has
found/used/created anything that is successful with this age group.  The
class is also interested in writing and performing a puppet play about
Jesus and Easter for the younger kids.  Any tips or ideas for this?

--from SSTN: check out the Skits page at:

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15) Mixed Ages

Myrtle I have found with my little group that range in age from 2,3,4 and
one ten year old that most of the idea's are simple and too simple for the
10 year old. To keep her coming and learning I have made her my assistant.
She does the felt board and I do the reading. She also helps the little
ones with their craft she loves to do the crafts too but now she doesn't
feel out of place. There are a number of resources but this year I am
reading the stories from a children's bible and finding crafts on the
Internet or books as I am doing this on my own in my own home with no
funding. Terry

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16) Jesus in their hearts

> Should I tell the kids that Jesus is in their heart

For the plan of salvation I too present it often to class.  I use the ABC
plan that I heard somewhere and have made it on poster board something

A     Admit that I am a sinner

B     Believe in God and that Jesus is His Son
        who died on the cross for my sins and
        He rose from the dead.

C     Confess my sins and ask Jesus into my heart.

I have the "PLAN OF SALVATION" and the "A" "B" and "C" permanently
attached but the words pertaining to each letter (Admit that I am a sinner; Believe
in God...; and Confess....) on separate pieces of poster board with velcro
attached and then post them as we say them.

Then we say "BAM" and have another piece we attach that says "Born Again"
and then "WHAM" another that says "Lamb's Book of Life."   I also have a
sign that says "Physical Birth" with pictures of babies and explain that.
Then a sign that says "Spiritual Birth" with a picture of Jesus with
children around Him and explain our second birth--BORN AGAIN--into God's

We also had a lesson where I offered them a candy bar or some dirt.  Of
course they chose the candy bar  I explain to them that it's like that
with Jesus. We have two choices--either to accept Jesus as our savior or not.

In Christ's Love,
Debbie  (I work with 2nd-4th graders)

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