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SSTN # 31 - March 7, 2003

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--> Egg-shaped Easter Story Cards

1) Prayer Ideas
2) Also Burned Out
3) Crafts for 3 year olds   
4) Prayer Game

--> Praise-Amations!

5) John 3:16 Valentine
6) Survivor Theme?
7) Palm Sunday Song?
8) Crafts for Three Year Olds   


9) Preschoolers' lessons?   
10) I'm the Lord's Cowhand - song
11) Fruit of the Spirit bracelets?
12) Easter Flowers?   

Armor of God Playing Cube

13) Samuel / Eli Crafts
14) Samuel lesson
15) Sign Language materials   
16) Rewards/Incentives in Class   

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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) 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?

I am also starting a unit on The Lord's Prayer soon. Here are a couple of
the activities I have planned for the K-5th graders. I found the first in
a stack of very old curriculum. Sorry I can't give you the source.
The Lord’s Prayer (with actions)
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth
As it is in heaven.
(Begin with arms at sides. Gradually raise them up an out
until they stretch wide on “in heaven.”)
Give us this day our daily bread
(Cup hands in front of you as if to receive bread.)
And forgive us our trespasses
(Bow low with hands dropped toward floor.)
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
(On “those” join hands in a circle.)
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
(Gradually raise joined hands and hold above heads.)

Prayer Rocks - create a prayer reminder Pass out a smooth stone to each
Have students use a glitter-glue pen to paint a cross, fish, or other
Christian symbol on their stone.
When the stones are dry, carry the stone in your pocket or put it under
your pillow. Each time you touch it you will be reminded to pray. Remember
that you can pray anywhere, anytime.

WORDY scripture memory software
Check out ideas for using this software at
www.sundaysoftware.com/wordy.htm <http://www.sundaysoftware.com/wordy.htm>. I plan to discuss each verse with the
chilren, have them type in the verse, then play the memory games.
Hope some of these ideas can be helpful to you.
Karen Burzinski

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2) Also Burned Out

Hi. I can really identify with those who have written 'burnt out' letters.
I’m 21 and pretty recently decided that though I had always considered
myself a Christian, there was still something missing in my life. I
dedicated my life to the Lord at an international student Christian
conference called Urbana in Dec. 2000. It all started out great. In my
mind there was nothing that God couldn’t and wouldn’t do and I had a great
desire to join some sort of ministry. I started a bible study with my
closest friends (some of whom weren’t and still aren’t Christians) but
with school and the other things I was involved with and because of the
growing disinterest of all except 2 of the members, that fizzled out in
less than a year. I was also an acolyte or altar server at a very large
and 'important' church. Recently the rector asked me to become the head
My most taxing and emotionally draining ministry however is with a small
organisation sponsored by my church which deals with the 'street boys' in
the area. These boys beg outside the church everyday. Some are orphans and
almost all of them sleep on the streets sometimes, none of them benefit
from proper parenting. Most of them cannot read and quite a few of them
are very ignorant of everything except what happens on the street. They
are about 10- 15 years and almost all display serious behavioural and
social problems. Once a week myself and a group of volunteers try to teach
the boys reading, math, world knowledge and bible knowledge. I started out
as an ordinary volunteer but grew to love these boys. The program was
really disorganised and since I was the only one with even a small plan I
ended up leading (which was not what I had really had in mind). Each term
I set a loose syllabus and try to organise the volunteers. I try to choose
activities that are as interactive as possible (by the way your website
has really helped me a few times) because these boys have very short
attention spans. I purchase all my reading books and materials with my own
money (and a little help from my parents) and I receive very little if any
spiritual or emotional support. In fact because of the lenghtly chain of
command, of which I’m nearly at the bottom, there aren’t many people who
even know how much I do, not even the head directors of the program or the
rector of the church. I’m really feeling burnt out with everything
especially since I have a few personal issues which need dealing with eg.
deciding what to do after completing my degree at the end of this year,
and a very needy boyfriend who is not a Christian. Sometimes I feel like I
would like to leave the country for a while & just be on my own. I feel I
cant however because the situation with these boys is so desperate In my
first year (2001), one the boys was killed by a gang who were out to get
his older brother. I have tried so hard to get serious Christian
volunteers for this program from among my friends and my
church. However of the few people who have only somewhat committed
themselves, the majority are non-Christians and they are practically all
females. Although everyone thinks its important to help these boys no one
seems to really care (especially the very dedicated Christians I know).
When I’m most depressed I feel abandoned and all alone. It has made me
doubt a lot of things about my faith. I just don’t know what to do. I
would very much appreciate prayers and good advice.

Ps. sorry this letter is so long. Feel free to edit before posting it if

--from SSTN: first, I want to thank you for sharing your heart with SSTN.
I will be praying for you and I'm sure the other teachers in the network
will as well. It is important to know that you cannot do it all. And it is
not up to you alone to do this work. I do understand how difficult it must
be for you to NOT do this work since no one else seems to be interested. I
see why you feel burned out. But no one can read your mind. You must go
and tell your pastor and those in authority within your church ALL that
you are doing and that you have to have help to continue. Also, a little
motherly and sister-in-Jesus advice, it is very important to not date an
unbeliever. You need Christian support, especially from a possible future
spouse. (You only fall in love and marry those you date, it is a dangerous
position to put yourself in.) Here are some comforting words from Jesus.
Read Hebrews 13:5, John 14:8, John 14:27, and Romans 8:37-39. I'm praying
for you. Your sister in Jesus, Sarah Keith <><

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3) Crafts for 3 year olds   

A book I found helpful is "Little Hands Can Too - crafts for young
children" by Anita Reith Stohs - isbn 0-570-04647-5. It's important that
the children do the craft by themselves, as much as possible. There's a
lot they can do at that age! Our kids love cutting out, tearing, pasting.
Some are better at drawing or coloring than others and can feel frustrated
if the craft is just coloring. It can help to prepare some things ahead of
time, especially if they're too finickity, so that the craft involves only
easy cutting-out or pasting. Try using different materials to make a
picture, such as colored sand, seeds, scraps of material on iron-on
interfacing so it doesn't ravel.
Have fun!
Mary Lou - Coburg, Germany

--from SSTN: find it in our bookstore. By using the author's name: 
Anita Reith Stohs as your keyword, you will find this book and others like
it: http://www.christiancrafters.com/bookstore.html 
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4) Prayer Game

"One Mediator" is a new Bible game on the subject of prayer. Find it in
the Free Resource section at:  http://www.ChristianCrafters.Com 

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Remember those cartoon flip cards you roll between your hands to make them
animate? With Praise-Amations, children will be excited to see their
cartoon "mini-movies" come to life as they roll them between their hands.
27 Reproducible patterns to make and do with your entire class!

In the Curriculum section: 

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5) John 3:16 Valentine

--from SSTN: I received numerous responses to this request.
Rather than post them all and to save space in SSTN, see the following


Thanks to everyone for sharing!!
ysic, sarah <><

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6) Survivor Theme?

I am the youth leader of a small country church. We
would like to use the Survivor theme for our Vacation Bible School this
year. I am having a problem finding information on this. If there is
anyone who has used this theme or has any ideas please let me hear from
you. Thanks!

--from SSTN: make sure you check the Archives:

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7) Palm Sunday Song?

I am wondering if anyone has any good ideas for a song or verse
that 3-4 year olds could do for a Palm Sunday service.   

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8) Crafts for Three Year Olds   

Here are a few ideas for crafts that are really simple and fun for young

Take a nature walk, collecting nature items in zip-loc bags. Bring the
items back to class and glue them on cardboard or construction paper to
make a nature collage.

Make friendship bracelets from toilet paper rolls. Cut a toilet paper roll
in half cross-wise, then in half again. You should have 4 rings. Slit each
ring so that you can place it on your wrist. Let kids decorate them.

Apple Prints: If you cut an apple in half sideways, you get a star! Make
star prints with the apples and tempera or finger paints.

Make place mats by letting kids cut pictures of food out of magazines and
glue them on construction paper. Cover them in clear contact paper.

Make puppets from paper bags.

They also love doing "artsy" activities that aren't really crafts that
can take home, but help with socialization skills, hand-eye coordination,
and other needed skills.

They enjoy drawing with their hands in shaving cream spread all over the
table. You can make covers for their clothes by cutting head and arm holes
in large trash bags or using old large t-shirts you may have lying around.

Also, you could let them "paint" with new big paint brushes and water all
over the side of the building or sidewalk!

Let them use old sheets to create "tents" or "forts".

Let them decorate big old boxes to make buildings or cars.

Give them pictures from old curriculum with pieces of magnetic tape on the
backs and metal pans to "stick" them to.

Or take them outside when the weather's nice and let them "decorate" the
church parking lot or sidewalk with sidewalk chalk! Our kids love this one
and the parents all walk around and look at the artwork after the service!

Angie :o)

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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) Preschoolers' lessons?   

I have a couple of dilema's I hope one of you could shed some light on.
I teach a group of preschoolers, but I never know how many kids will show
up (could be one, could be ten) and the kids are almost always different
each time, we only have one, maybe two regulars.  This makes it impossible
to teach any kind of systematic style curriculum.  Does anyone know of any
resources for this type of teaching situation?  Also, I often have VERY
active 3 and 4 year olds who won't sit for story, craft, or anything else,
any suggestions??

--from SSTN: see the Pray & Play Bible in the Bibles section of the
Bookstore: http://www.christiancrafters.com/bookstore.html 

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10) I'm the Lord's Cowhand - Song

A few years ago in my SS class, we had a western theme and we had a theme
song, "I am the Lord's cowhand"  (sung to the tune of I'm in the Lord's
army) I have the words if anyone would like to email me, i could give them
to you.

Have a great day!!

Nashville, Tn

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11) Fruit of the Spirit bracelets?

We are using the theme "Fruit of the Spirit" for our VBS this year.
Our craft lady would like to make "Fruit of the Spirit" braclets using
various colors of beads and then putting them on a rope of some kind.
She thought that perhaps that each color might represent a different
fruit of the spirit. I have only seen the Witness bracelets with the
different colors but they don't stand for the "Fruit of the Spirit" so
has anyone seen anything like that?

Thanks for your help.
Rosemary Lare of the Rootstown United Methodist Church

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12) Easter Flowers?

Dear Friends:  At my small church every Easter we have ordered Easter
lilies for those who wanted to buy them in memory of someone and they are
put around the kneeling rail of the altar. We have as many as 35 lilies.
It is very pretty but people do not always take the lilies home afterwards
and the lilies are left at the church until they die. We would like to do
something a little different this year. Also the new minister's wife is
allergic to the lilies. It will mean changing something that has been done
for years, and we have a problem with the older members wanted to change
anything. But, many of us feel there could be something better. Would any
of you have any suggestions, maybe based on your church's flower
arrangements?  Thank you. Fscott424@aol.com
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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) Samuel / Eli Crafts   

>I am looking for a lesson and some craft to go along with Eli and his
>wicked sons

In response to crafts suitable for young children that follow along with
this lesson, I too had trouble finding suitable crafts. All though I teach
from a set curriculum there is often the need to add supplemental material
especially in the form of crafts to fill up the entire class time. I ended
up using two crafts from the following website:
http://www.faithwebbin.net/kidz/grownups/lessons/samuel.html both the Name
Plate and the Promise Keeper on that site are more than suitable for three
years old with some adult help as I teach four year olds and they were a
huge success with them. Hope this helps.

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14) Samuel lesson

Here is an idea that I used for the Samuel lesson.  I felt it important
to focus on the fact that we should be listening to God and to pay
attention and come when he calls us. Also to realize that we are Gods
servants.  I borrowed this craft from anothe site, I can't remember which
one.  I used CD disc that can be obtained for free as promotions for
computer servers ie. AOL, Compuserve ect.  I cut out a circle just a
little larger than the disc on it I wrote, Here I am Lord.  I had the
children use a glue stick to attach this paper to the advertising side of
the disc.   I cut out a smaller circle that I had written, I am listening
and had the children glue this over the center of the shinny side.  We
attached ribbon for hanging.  The children ended up with a nice mirror
project. The children had fun making the mirrors and  learned an important
lesson.> >

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15) Sign Language materials   

Here are two sources for sign language material that I have used.
1. Deaf Missions

2.Gaia -- Sing, Dance 'n Sign -- a video.

This video is lots of fun and great for learning. My two preschool boys
love it. Very good for all ages. The web site also has other videos and
learning material.

Hope this helps.
Take care.
Go out and make today great.

Susan H.
The Story Teller Mom

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16) Rewards/Incentives in Class   

This is a controversial issue, I know. Some people feel that using rewards
is actually a bribe. I understand why they feel that way and I have prayed
and thought a lot about this issue. The reason I believe in using
incentives and rewards for children is because I truly believe that God
uses them for me! "God is a rewarder of those who seek them". And, if
heaven is a bribe, I'll take it!I don't want to push my ideas on anyone,
but since you asked how you should use them, I'm assuming you feel
comfortable doing so as well.

I have used many different systems for rewards and incentives in the
various groups I've taught over the years. Here are a few ideas to pass

a) Don't make the incentives or rewards the main focus of the class.
Usually mentioning an incentive at the beginning of class is enough to
motivate children.

b) Always give everyone who tries, participates, or behaves in a deserving
manner a reward. Be careful not to leave those who do what you ask them to
do out.

c) A reward doesn't have to be big. Even as adults, just the idea that we
earned or won something is really fun! It's best to keep incentives small.

d) Make sure parents don't mind if their children have candy if you plan
use it. Some parents feel that it makes their children hyper, feel that it
will ruin their dinner, or simply limit their children's sugar. Then, too,
there may be diabetic children in your class. It doesn't hurt to ask the
parents. They'll appreciate it, and most of them won't mind at all.

e) Try different ways of using rewards and incentives. Make sure the
children know that you're only using a certain system for a month (or
however long you choose). That way, if it isn't working for you, they
expect it. Better yet, say, "TODAY we're going to do such-and-such. We
won't always do this, but today we will."

Here are some things I've done in the past:
*I made a list of things I would like the children to be faithful in
My list included Attendance to Sunday School, Bringing a Bible, Bringing
Offering (any amount), Bringing a Visitor, and Saying the Memory Verse. I
then gave each child a page I made with about 40 spaces on it. The page
would be a coloring page. For example, the page for January might be a
snowman with 40 snowballs all over. I made each item on my list worth a
certain amount of stickers. (Attendance, Bible, and Offering = 1 sticker
each; Visitor = 3 stickers; Memory Verse = 3 stickers. Whenever a child
filled in a complete sticker sheet he/she received a prize from a treasure
chest. (One year I allowed the children to use a tablespoon to remove
from a goldfish bowl and keep the coins. Some people may not be
with the "money jar" idea, though.)This way all the children received a
prize eventually.

*I let the kids make banks out of cake frosting containers. I cut holes in
the lids ahead of time. Using the same list as above, the kids received
"coins" instead of stickers. At the end of the month, the children could
spend their coins in the "Coin Store" I set up for them. I used red,
and blue *ugh* poker chips because they were the least expensive "coins".
You might try play money or even real pennies.

*Right now, I divide the kids onto two teams each week, using different
methods. I have a bank for the blue team and a bank for the red team. The
kids receive coins just like above, but they put their coins in their
bank. When a team wins a game, that team receives 5 coins and the losing
team receives 3 coins for participation. At the end of the class, we count
the coins out loud and the team with the least amount of coins receive a
small piece of candy of their choice (bubble gum, tootsie roll, etc.). The
winning team receives a snack size candy bar of their choice. (I also draw
one name out each week for a small prize bag full of goodies. If a child
receives the prize, he is ineligible for another until the next month. So
far, this is going very well.)

Hope this helps!
God bless you.

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