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SSTN - Number 174
April 2, 2001

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1) Recycled Craft Idea
2) Bringing children to church - for Wendy
3) Ideas to bring children to church
4) Armor of God Material
5) Telling the Easter Story?
6) Songs For Easter
7) Contest idea to bring people to church
8) Easter Songs
9) Resurrection Eggs?
10) Easy piano or a cappella songs
11) Creative Fund raising (Pink Flamingos)
12) Fund raising ideas

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1) Recycled Craft Idea

One idea that we are using at our church regarding 2-liter soda bottles:
We are making terrariums by cutting off the top of the bottle and putting
in dirt and one plant, so the kids will have one already grown - and -
seed for other plants to grow. This is with a new life theme for Easter.
Adding a little water, the unit is self-contained and doesn't require any
other watering. God Bless you and I hope this helps! ;) Chris>

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Animated flip-cards for children to color and assemble. Fun n' easy to
make! Theme: "Let all creation PRAISE THE LORD!" In the Curriculum section
at: www.ChristianCrafters.Com

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2) Bringing children to church - for Wendy

It sounds like your Sunday school is an exciting place to be, Wendy. Keep
up the good work. We were faced with a similar problem. Because the
parents were not interested in coming to church, the children had no way
of coming nor was there any incentive without the parental support. We
went to the children's homes before Sunday and told them about 1 or 2
exciting things we would be doing in class. We then asked the parents if
it would be alright if we picked the children up at ( a certain time) and
brought them home by (also a specified time). We also told them we would
come each Sunday at the same time. We continued to do this very
consistently even when at times no one came. After doing this for a
year, we have, praise the Lord, expanded the number of children we pick up
by more than 5X! We have also been encouraging our students to bring along
friends from their class at school and neighborhood by inviting them and a
friend to Sunday school parties - ex. McDonald's, pizza or hotdogs + a
special craft, bowling, miniature golfing or Bible story videos. We
usually made the parties for Saturday with an invitation to the unchurched
kids to come the next day with the availability of a ride. This would
probably work even better if the party was on a Sunday after Sunday
School. We have discovered that one of the most effective ways a Sunday
school grows, is other children inviting other children.

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3) Ideas to bring children to church

I have found a way to get the children to come to class is through the
children, not the parents. Plan something, let's say for Palm Sunday or
Easter Sunday when you know most people will come and bring their
children. Put out a notice in the church bulletin or send postcards
directly to the child's home announcing your plans for this fun class.
Make sure this is a day when the lesson is full of activities, and things
the children have made and can bring home. Tell the children you are
starting an Attendance chart and if they have perfect attendance they will
receive an award certificate. At our church they are very good about
letting the teachers have time on special Sundays to announce and pass out
special awards. The children love being acknowledged and wont want to
miss a day! Another very helpful thing to keep the children coming is to
send them postcards when they are absent saying "we missed you." Children
love getting mail. It is a small amount of extra work and time with big
results. It has helped me keep the children in class on a regular basis.

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4) Armor of God Material

I recently did a lesson on the Armor of God using the materials below. I
had the patterns copied onto poster board and had the children color the
shapes and we made a hanging mobile out of them. I also didn't hand out
all the armor at once, as we read the scripture the pieces were passed out
as we got to the piece of armor and the kids gave examples of how they
should use that armor today in their lives. Then we did a word puzzle game
as we closed, if no time left this could be brought home.
also I recently found this page on a site but I did not check it out yet,
it may also be helpful

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5) Telling the Easter Story?

Thank you for the newsletter. I love receiving it! God bless you for
providing it. I have a need. I am a new Sunday School teacher who
teaches 3 year olds. I am trying to find a way to tell them the Easter
story - a way that they will understand but not be frightened by it
either. Parents have asked us not to show Jesus nailed to the cross.
This coming Sunday is the last day of class for two weeks. In one hour I
need to take them through Palm Sunday and his resurrection. I love using
puppets/props of any kind. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear
them. Thank you and God bless you!!

P.S. from SSTN: I have already corresponded with this teacher...and we
both agree that it IS NOT the right thing to remove the CROSS from the
Easter story. The cross IS a frightening thing. In fact, our sinfulness is
so frightening that it took God's only Son to solve our problem; dying on
the cross, in our place. I would suggest using the latest skit in the
Skits section of my site, entitled: The Easter Bunny's Story. Also, in the
Bookstore are some great new resources for Easter.
Because of Jesus, Sarah Keith <>< ChristianCrafters.Com

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A fun game of strategy and skill, for children ages 5 and up! Kids will
develop eye-hand coordination, category placement, and depth perception
skills while playing. For more info, go to: www.todaysfitnessforkids.com
Click on "Products" when you get there!

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6) Songs For Easter


I am putting on an Easter "mini" VBS at my church for ages 3-high school.
We are going to sing the Lord of the Dance (from the songbook called
Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook edited by Peter Blood and
Annie Patterson ISBN 0-9626704-7-2) and "Amen". We got the words to
"Amen" by watching the movie Lilies in the Field with Sidney Portier
("Amen" is the song he teaches the nuns). Mary Quick

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7) Contest idea to bring people to church

Dear Sarah, I've never posted anything before- but thought I'd share a
contest idea for bringing people into church.

Our junior church has been handing out invitations all month to one person
a week. It can be an adult or child. We've been putting together
invitation bags for all the children to take home with them each sunday.
The bags are all decorated with pictures of hopping animals- a different
one each week- to express the name of the contest-"Hop into Church this

We fill the paper bags with a tract, an invitation with a small bag of
candy attached to it, and a special treat for the child doing the

Our sunday school and junior church classes jumped by double after just
one week of our invitation bags. Every child was excited about who they
were going to give their invitation to. Our contest includes Bible
memorization and attendance to include the children who have limited
access to people they can invite. But, everyone is excited about our "Hop
into Church this Spring" contest! Thanks!

I also want to thank you for the Jesus makes me jump for joy sample which
we used for the special treat this week- Each child got a jumping frog
flip card in their invitation bag yesterday. It made quite a sensation!
Thank you for sharing your talent! Next week we will be making kangaroo

P.S. from SSTN: Your idea sounds great! I'm glad you could use the Jump
For Joy frog. If anyone else is interested, it's in the Crafts section at

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8) Easter Songs

One Way Street (www.onewaystreet.com) has a tape -- I think it is a Puppet
Trax with all Easter songs. There are some great songs with catchy tunes.
My favorite is "I'm a Bunny." (I'm a bunny and it aint funny, Easter is
not just a time for hunting eggs. I'm a bunny and it aint funny, Easter
is all about J-E-S-U-S). We do the song with puppets (there are several
verses) but you could do it as an action song. Have the kids hop for "I'm
a bunny." Shake their heads and grin for "it aint funny," Pretend to hunt
eggs, and then point toward Heaven.

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9) Resurrection Eggs?

Do you think the Resurrection Eggs would be age appropriate for 3 year
olds? What Easter story do you recommend for the 3 year olds? Thank you!

--from SSTN:
Yes, the Resurrection Eggs are great for this age too. (The ones in my
Bookstore come with a book that tells the Easter story by using the eggs.)
At my own home every Easter, for the past 6 or so years, we have used them
in our Easter egg hunt. My kids and my brother's kids find the eggs, some
filled with candy, some with the symbols of Easter, (I number the eggs so
they are opened in order.) Once they locate the eggs, they open them
according to the numbers and they tell the story on their own! In His
eternal grip-Sarah Keith <>< www.ChristianCrafters.Com

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10) Easy piano or a cappella songs

Well.. I use Wee Sing..... it has easy to play piano .. and contains
Guitar chords as well.. some songs have actions to go with them.. like
"The B-i-b-l-e" ... "The Wise man" ...." My God is so Big" ... I"ve seen
them at Wal Mart... and also sometimes they have other similar type tapes
w/ book at Best Buy or at a Christian Book store. Torri Liano

PS from SSTN: I carry the Wee Sing Tapes with songbooks. Please know that
SSTN is supported by ALL sales from ChristianCrafters.Com which includes,
sales from my Bookstore. Thank you! YSIC, Sarah <><

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11) Creative Fund raising

We will be starting the heifer project and raising funds. I need some
help, I don't just want the kids to do a bake sale etc.

Two suggestions: We have first graders who were asked to participate in a
bake sale. Instead of asking moms to send in the usual stuff, we brought
in the fixings for trail mix - raisins, dried fruit, M&Ms, pretzels, granola,
etc. We set up an assembly line to fill baggies, then tied with pretty
ribbon and added stickers. The kids had a ball with this!

Also, another church's youth group has an unusual fundraiser. They have a
batch of pink flamingos (yes! pink flamingos!). A church member starts by
paying a certain amount (like $10) to have someone else "flamingo-ed" -
meaning someone wakes up one morning to find four flamingos in their yard,
along with a note explaining the nature of the fundraiser, and that the
flamingos will be picked up in a week ... or, for a price, the flamingos
will leave early and go to someone else's yard. This is kind of fun in a
small town, watching to see who will get "flamingo-ed" next. Even though
we don't belong to that church, we've enjoyed being flamingo-ed and paying to
have the birds go visit other neighbors. Different and very creative!

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12) Fund raising ideas

Some things that we have done as fund raisers (which we used for
missions): Create Easter and Christmas cards - buy different colored cardstock and
matching envelopes. Cut the card stock in half and fold so it opens like
a card. Gather seasonal sponges or stamps from parents or crafty people (or
create your own out of plain sponges) Allow the children to stamp or
sponge paint cards with acrylic paint. Let them dry. Older children can
write simple messages inside using markers. When dry, group several
together, tie with coordinating ribbon into a little packet with the
envelopes. You can also tie on a little tag explaining the purpose of the
fundraiser. Or you could create labels (return address labels work) with
the explanation and affix to the back of each card. Put them out in an
area where adults are, or go around to classes asking them to purchase. We
have done this twice and each time raised anywhere from $150-$350!

This year we are creating Hats for Missions. We purchased inexpensive
straw hats at the dollar store and children are bringing in items that
represent their moms (or grandmas, aunts, special friends, etc.). They
will decorate the hats with these items (for example: golf balls, tennis
racquet buttons, recipes, gardening gloves, etc.) and other odds and ends
like flowers, ribbons, etc. The hats will be on display with the child's
(and mom's) name on Mother's Day. Mothers will be asked to "buy" their
hat with a donation which will go to our spring mission project and then
wear it that day for worship. We think it will be fun. I've heard of
doing the same sort of thing for dads with ties! (use plain ties and have
kids paint on themfor Father's Day) Good luck and have FUN!
Jaymie Derden-State Street UMC-Bristol, VA

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