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SSTN # 30 - March 6, 2003

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--> Buggie For Jesus - VBS or Midweek Fun

1) Incentive rewards
2) Incentive rewards   
3) To Burnt out
4) Incentive rewards

--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

5) Radio Stations, missions, etc.   
6) Lighthouse VBS?
7) Leaving church?
8) Crafts for three year olds


9) Huge problem?
10) Prayer Ideas
11) Sign language    
12) Crafts for Three Year Olds

Armor of God Playing Cube

13) Black History Month
14) Ten Commandments Lesson
15) Sign Language Video   
16) Sign Language Videos   

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Buggie For Jesus - I'm A BEE-liever!

Reproducible buggie crafts, games, lessons, and yummy devotions
to coordinate with your summertime VBS programs, or midweek classes.

In the Curriculum section: 

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1) Incentive rewards

>Should the children be rewarded when they answer correctly, on one Sunday
a >month, every Sunday?  How should they be used?

In response to your query, I would like to say that I, too, deal with
these same issues. I want the kids to have fun and WANT to come to Sunday
School but at the same time I want their reasons to be genuine and not
just for trinkets or snacks and such. So, I used an idea I got from this
email, I used the Bible Bucks idea. What I do is this; each Sunday the
kids get a Bible Buck for attendance and for completing sheets we have,
for bringing their Bible, etc. Then once every three months they get to
use their Bible Bucks to shop in the Bible Bucks store. We have done this
once so far, right before Christmas, and it was a HUGE success!! We got
people in the church to donate stuff and our pastor's wife even talked to
a friend of hers who donated a whole big box of stuff you would normally
have to buy but she works in some place that sells stuff like pencils,
pens, rulers, candy filled containers,etc. It turned out great!! What I
did was have each child use a paper bag and decorate it and put their
names on it, then I hung them up on the cork board with push pins and each
Sunday I give each child however many Bible Bucks they have earned and
they go to their bag and put them in, that way they can see how many they
are earning. Also, I put in an extra incentive for them, any time they do
a Random Act of Kindness, they are rewarded as well, with a Bible Buck.
For example, once a month we visit a local nursing home and sing for the
residents, each child that goes with us receives a Bible Buck. For simpler
things such as bring something in for the class to share or helping a
member out on Sunday, these things are rewarded also.
As for giving the children trinkets or candy for a prize, I allow every
child to have one piece of candy at the end of Sunday School Class as a
treat, not a reward.
Hope this helps.
Christine from West Virginia

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2) Incentive rewards   

I teach preschoolers. Each child has a sheet on the wall with their name
on it.  We do 4 activities and for each activity the child gets a smiley
face if they did their best.  For example-not talking during story
time.  If I have to tell them more than once or twice to stop talking
and pay attention they get a frown next to the activity on their sheet.
At the end of class-each smiley earns 1 prize from the treasure box.  It
doesn't take the new kids long to learn that smileys=prizes.  They do
pretty much the same with the older kids and it's worked pretty well.

Also, if I'm having problems with a particular child.  I will tell them
that if they do what they're supposed to, they will get a skittle.  I
couldn't believe how much they like those skittles.  Of course, before
every class-pray, pray, pray.  Hope this helps.

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3) To Burnt out

I think the amount of emails that have been sent in response to this topic
is very telling of a fundamental problem amongst Christians today: no
matter what the size of the congregation or the geographical area, the
majority of church attendees are not growing in their faith to the point
of hearing a call to ministry.

I attend a church with 400 members, we had a meeting for all nursery
workers, or anyone interested last week.  Three people attended!!

Several weeks ago our Pastor did a sermon in which he pointed out the
progressive steps of the Christian walk.  Ministry was listed under the
decision to become a member at a particular church.  I believe the list
was very accurate. So the question is why are so many of our brothers and
sisters getting stuck at a point in their walk?  What can we do to help?
Single handedly filling every need for your church is NOT a help to our
fellow church members who may be struggling in some aspect of their faith.

I think ALL Christians need to come together in deep prayer for the body
of their churches.  The leadership of all churches (Pastor's, elders,
consistory, etc. need to make this THEIR problem as well.  It should not
be a matter of just asking the person who is burnt out to do something
about it.

I feel that this is just one more weapon that satan is throwing at
Christians.  We can in prayer and obedience to the Lord defeat him in this
battle! After all, what is at stake is  teaching our children (the future
Christians) to trust depend and obey God.  What better weapon would satan
have then to stop their growth?

In His Service

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4) Incentive rewards

This year we have "Wanted"  posters (wanted by God) for each child with
their picture on it and each week they receive a sticker for being there.
Then they receive additional stickers for other things like memory verses
or bringing a friend.  I usually give at least two stickers for the memory
verse because it seems so hard to get them to learn verses.  Our Sunday
school is putting on a breakfast to encourage new people and they will get
five stickers for each one they bring.  That got them excited.  I pick up
angels and pictures and things at the dollar store and also got some neat
match box cars with verses on them through Christian Book Distributors.
For each 20 sticker they get a prize.  They love it.

One year instead of "Wanted" Posters we just used poster board with their
names on it.

Hope this helps.
In Christ's Love,
Debbie (I teach 2nd-4th graders)

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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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5) Radio Stations, missions, etc.   

I am a new teacher for the 10- 12 year olds and I will be teaching about
sharing the good news. It involves things like radio broadcasts, missions,
radio stations,etc. I am really stumped on this one!!!!!! Can you give me
some ideas for object lessons, crafts, bulletin boards, etc.
Thanks so much

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6) Lighthouse VBS?

I am looking for ideas for a "Lighthouse" theme for vacation bible school
this coming summer.  Anything to do with light (Jesus is the light of the
world, etc.) would be greatly appreciated.  I have some ideas, but I need
5 days worth of short sermons, games, crafts and snacks.  Thank you so
much!  I love your site.  I visit it all the time for my
Preschool-Kindergarten S.S. class!

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7) Leaving church

My husband and I have left our church after many hours of prayer and
meditation.  We had a baby girl in October of 2002 and felt that we needed
somewhere to raise her in the Lord.  I was the preschool/early elementary
Sunday school teacher there and also Secretary of the board and on various
committees.  The main reason for us leaving the
church was a woman there my age, mid twenties, who was so consumed with
jealousy that I was in charge of so much, she made my church life awful.
There was not one Sunday when I didn't leave that church in tears.  Then
when my daughter was born, she got worse, my child got attention and she
couldn't stand that.  We have yet to find a church, and I need the prayers
of everyone in the SSTN network , my husband heart has hardened and he
thinks that there are cruel people like this everywhere we go.  In this
and time we need church.  His argument is that, you don't have to be in
church to be saved that most of the time, the people that claim, like this
woman, to be such a good person are mean and heartless.  She was like this
to several other women not just me.  Please help, Please Help.  I need it

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8) Crafts for three year olds

our pre-school class, including our three year olds, recently made crosses
out of popsicle sticks and sequin.  We glued the sticks together in the
shape of a cross, and then glues on the sequin's and some small beads.  We
then tied a piece of yarn around it to make it a necklace.
We have also created picture frames out of popsicle sticks.  We brought in
a poloriod and took pictures of each of them and had them glue the picture
to a piece of construction paper.  We then  had them glue the sticks
together around the picture in the shape of a square (or whatever shape
you want) - then they decorate the sticks with small
beads/sequin/noodles/etc.  We took a magnet and glued it then to the back
of the construction paper.  They and the parents love these!
Another idea is to buy the small clay flowerpots, write a scripture on it
about your lesson for the day and let the kid paint the pots - they
especially like the glitter paint - just always remember to use washables!
You can then either purchase a small plant to fill the pot, or simply put
a couple of seeds in a baggy for them and place it into the pot for them
to plant at home.

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When assembled, New Life Puppets turn inside out to change from a tadpole
to a frog, or a caterpillar to a butterfly. They're easy-to-make and
children will learn about becoming new creatures in Christ! Get a free
puppet skit too! In our Curriculum section:


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9) Huge problem?

I have a huge problem I am the children's church leader for a new church
we have only been in ministry for 3 years. are children's dept has been on
hold for about 2 years because we don't have a room for the children they
range from 5-12. Every 4th Sunday of the month the kids come out for what
we call super Saturdays the problem is the parents use it as a baby
sitting service and kids are left in my car up to 2hrs after super
Saturdays is over. I have brought this to the attention of the pastors and
know seems to fill its a big deal. The kids are becoming very disobedient
and I tried talking to the parents and they are no help. I am at my wit
ends and ready to give up please help me with some biblical advice thank
you so much

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10) Prayer Ideas

> >I will be teaching a unit on prayer, focusing on the Lord's Prayer, to
> >2nd and 3rd >graders.  Any favorite books, activities, etc. that you
> >would recommend?

We have just put together a packet for our Sunday school to study prayer
and temptation.  Below are a couple of websites we found to be especially
helpful with the Lord's Prayer.

Dragonfly Ministries  - Lord's Prayer

Teaching Children the Lord's Prayer - A Dance Anthem

Teaching Children to Pray

If you would like to see the packet we put together, you can contact me at
Please be sure and put Prayer in the subject line so I know to open the

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11) Sign language

I'm sorry I don't know of any videos, but here is a thought. One of our
church members knows sign language. She and our children's music director
take our elementary kids to the sanctuary for the last 15 minutes of the
Sunday school hour and they work on songs. If this is not an option for
you, the following is a link to an online sign language dictionary. Simply
type in the word and a vidoe pops up showing a person signing it. Sign
language syntax/grammer rules are different than American English, so to
be accurate you wouldn't want to rely only on the dictionary and put them
in "our"order, but it could be a starting point. Maybe you know someone
who is skilled at signing who would be able to help you correctly place
the words. http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm

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12) Crafts for Three Year Olds

I'm the Director of Children's Church for ages 3, 4, & 5 yr. old in my
church.  I with my Lord's guidance, prepare all the lessons for our
volunteer teachers weekly. Besides here of course:) I get a lot of ideas
at http://www.daniellesplace.com. She has both lessons and usually crafts
to go with it for both younger and older children. For the most part, all
three classes can do the crafts. Sometimes the 3 yr. olds need a little
help, but if I feel that they will a lot, then I will do some of it as
part of the preparing for the lesson, so it isn't so hard on the teacher.
But check this site out too. And
I would just like to say, God Bless to special people like Danielle and
Sarah, who are such a blessing to people like us trying to do our
ministry. By spending endless hours doing their ministry like they do on
these web sites, newsletters, etc., we are able to do ours, and the seeds
are being sown to our precious little ones. Thank you and God Bless.

Until He comes, Or I go...
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Armor of God Playing Cube

Kids can make it and take it home. A great memory tool!
Only $3.00 to download and 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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13) Black History Month

My plead for suggestions pertaining to Black History month wasn't to
offend anyone.
Black History is to celebrate, honor and recogized the struggles, abuse
(which ended in death), displacement of families and the many
contributions African American People made to our nation. But, through it
all African Americans kept the FAITH, African Americans held on to our
GOD's unchanging hands. Knowing this African Americans stayed strong, sang
hymns and worship our Lord and Saviour daily. (Psalms 69:3 - I am weary of
my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I WAIT FOR MY GOD.)
Christ suffered tremendously for our sins and not one time did Christ
asked the question,Why Me Father ? .......Our Sunday School class
performed a play titled "Little Rock Nine" and presented several posters
representing African Amercans, past and present. The Sunday School class
(Teachers/Students) are very much aware that JESUS died on the cross for
everyone's sins and that Salvation is a gift to All (Romans 10:9 - That if
thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Also as
you stated about the different cultures..... Each nationality has a right
to substain their own culture or enlighten others about their cultures and
not be ashamed to honor any holiday for their people/s. In closing always
remember John 3:16

--from SSTN: amen! ysic, sarah <><

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14) Ten Commandments Lesson

I was teaching a class from ages 2 -6 when teaching this lesson.  I gave
each child ten smooth rocks ( I purchased a huge bag of clean, smooth
rocks at a craft store).  I purchased from my local christian bookstore
some small  individual ten commandment stickers.  The children of all ages
had great fun making their own set of ten commandments to take come.  The
great thing about this craft, was when one of the parents (who is not a
christian) came over to the church and told someone what a great idea that
craft was....It was very rewarding to know that the Word of God was in the
home.  P. Wong, Burnaby, B.C. Canada

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15) Sign Language Video   

>I am Patti from NM.  I am trying to find videos demonstrating sign
>language to songs for children. 

Hi.  We use signing in our Children and Worship program for children ages
3-8 and it is wonderful.  We don't sign every word, but the main ones that
help get the message across.  A helpful book is, "The Joy of Signing".  A
suggested video is, "Lift Up Your Hands".  Go to website:
Shop.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/CRCPublications,storefront/EN/product001850. It
sells for $10.00. Enjoy!

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16) Sign Language Videos   

There are many videos that can help to teach sign language, since it was
mentioned that you were interested in teaching songs to a youth choir, I
happen to know of a few videos that are available both online and off that
I think you might find helpful. An online company called CerforMedia
(http://www.cerformedia.com/) has a religious songs sign language video
that is appropriately titled The Religious Sign Language Video, it has
both prayers and songs. I have yet to find that particular video offline,
I have a feeling it may be an online company only. There is also a book
called Religious Signing by Elaine Costello and Lois Lehman published by
Bantam Doubleday Dell, the book has an ISBN of: 0553342444. One other
excellent book on religious signing is called With Hearts Hands And Voices
which has an ISBN of: 0687089921 I am sorry but I cannot recall the
publisher or author of that particular book. Lastly, there's an awesome
set, only available online at http://www.signlanguage.org that is called
Christian Signs, Ready To Worship In Another Way? it comes with a book and
video cassettes, it is truly an awesome resource to have around.
Hope these suggestions help

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