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SSTN # 48 - April 14, 2003

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1) Recipes in a Jar
2) Eastern Bunny Smores
3) Fish costume?
4) Discipline   
5) Discipline

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

6) Object Lessons   
7) Birth of baby Jesus Family Night    
8) VBS Birth of Jesus
9) Stories of Jesus - VBS?
10) Discipline   

--> W.W.J.S.? Gospel Catchers

11) Keeping Older Youth Interested   
12) Discipline   
13) Discipline / Boredom
14) Keeping Older Youth Interested
15) VBS Nursery Craft Ideas

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The Ten Commandments contain many "Do Nots". They teach us God’s holy
standard and show us how far we fall short of his perfection. But they are
more than this; in these "Do Nots", one can find a positive message: a
message of God’s love. Follow the link below to learn more:


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1) Recipes in a Jar

Hi! I have an entire book of jar recipes and ideas that I bought and would
be happy to share the ideas they give.
Just e mail me at saamess@fast.net
I look forward to hearing from you...


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2) Eastern Bunny Smores

This is a really cute idea for Easter...



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3) Fish costume?

I was wondering if anyone can give me some ideas on how to make a fish
costume? My 5 year old has to be a fish for her Spring program at school.
Pam in FL

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4) Discipline   

I use a simple check mark simple based on the 3 R's of respect in my
Sunday School class, that at least for me, has proven to be very
effective. Respect God, Respect Others, and Respect yourself. The kids in
my class room are only 4 and five years old; but they understand quite
clearly that naughty talking and naughty actions disrespect God and
disrespect the teacher in the class. Each of the kids in the class wears a
sticker name tag each week, when they receive a warning for misbehaving,
they get a single check mark on there tag, and a brief warning as to why
they are getting the check mark...the warning of course includes not to do
it again; if the child has to be told a second time, they get a second
check mark and have to apologize for their actions to the parties involved
(including hitting, naughty language, etc); if the child has to be warned
a third time, they get a third checkmark and a five minute time out
immediately or during play time (I have found that time-out's during game
time and play time are much more effective than those that take place
during worship and story time). If the child has to be  told a fourth
time, he/she is taken immediately to the Sunday School desk, and the
parent's are pulled out of church and told why their child is sitting out
of the class...usually a brief talk from mom or dad who had to leave mid
service helps. Kids do not appreciate being different, and the check marks
make them different, they try to do a little better each week at behaving.
Hope this is helpful
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

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5) Discipline

>Issues such as talking all through the class, to using foul language , to
complete >disrespect of teachers and church property.  The parents are not
there to lend a hand
>Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!   

Our junior church is made up of 95% bus ministry kids, so believe me I
know where your coming from in discipline problems.  First let me say
that our kids come because they receive unconditional love from every
teacher/junior church worker there.  That is our ministry.  We do have
kids come because it's "free baby sitting" for a few hours on Sunday
morning, but whatever the reason they are there our goal is to instill in
them God's Word. 
We have a few rules that we go by. 
        a) All kids receive a treat (candy) when they get off the bus or
van - kids that are too bad get none
        b) If after correcting them in class they refuse to listen we
send them to either the young adult class or
upstairs to the older adult class where they must sit the
rest of the time with an adult
Most of the time they are bored to death as the lesson is
way over their heads, a few times of that
and they are ready to listen
       c) In some cases we have taken a child home from church during
the service if they are too disruptive
        d) In rare cases we have suspended a child for a week or two  The
kids we work with love        
coming and really miss it when they can't
        e) There are of course rewards for quiet seat that can be given
as well.  Sometimes I have given all
the kids that were quiet a reward instead of just one
    d) This past week I had to deal with one boy who just would not
be quiet.  After moving him away
from his friends and finally off by himself he settled
down and listened
. You'd be surprised how much some of those disruptive kids are learning
as well, don't give up on them!!  If you love them and they know it,
discipline will be much easier, I have found this out by trial and error.
Of course there is no fool proof  set of rules, but hope this gives a
few ideas
In Christ,

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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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6) Object Lessons   

There are many sites on the Internet, created for Sunday School teachers,
that highlight object lessons of all kinds.
http://www.kidssundayschool.com/ appropriately titled contains multiple
object lessons, many geared towards very young children.
is an excellent resource that has a couple of object lessons, but much
more importantly...it teaches you how to create object lessons of your
own.  If you will be using object lessons frequently, you may want to
consider purchasing a book that is entirely devoted to object lessons. A
wonderful author by the name of Susan L. Lingo has an entire series of
object lesson books (I have seen a few of them on Yahoo Shopping). The
series includes titles like: Object Talks A-Z Old Testament, Object Talks
A-Z New Testament, Object Talks That Teach The Psalms, Object Talks That
Teach The Gospels, etc.
Hope this helps
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

--from SSTN: also see the Sermons and Object Lessons section at:

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7) Birth of baby Jesus Family Night    

Since your theme for VBS is the birth of Jesus, why not have the children
act out the Christmas Story on family night instead of or along with
singing a song. You could use a doll for the baby Jesus, build a simple
cardboard manger from a cardboard box (or use one from a life size
nativity set), you could build a simple wooden frame or build one from
stiff cardboard such as a refrigerator box. Sheets with rope belts can
make simple costumes, and you can make wings for the angel from fun foam
or paper mache and heavy wire. You could have the kids rehearse a little
each day, keep the lines simple for younger children, and sing songs like
"Away In A Manger" or "Silent Night"
Hope this helps.
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

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8) VBS Birth of Jesus   

Something that came to mind when reading your email was doing something
that everyone can "win" with.  In the case of the birth of Jesus: maybe
one of your first crafts can be building a manger by each child.  As they
get "rewards", it can be given as a piece of "straw" to put into their
manger.  This is based loosely on something I read somewhere that a family
does before Christmas.  (For each good dead done, they get to add to the
manger to make Jesus' bed soft.)  Each child would have a manger to take
home but each would have different amounts of "stuffing" in it.
Toye, Alberta Canada

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9) Stories of Jesus - VBS?

Hi! I need ideas for crafts, songs, snacks ect... for our VBS theme "Tell
me the Stories of Jesus". We will be telling a different story every day
of VBS about Jesus healing, things he did ect... Any ideas would be
greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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10) Discipline   

We too have a small church and not much staff.  You are correct that
children who come from the bus ministry can be difficult to discipline if
there is no back up from the parents.  Here are some things we have done:

Sometimes I show the treat we are having and tell them they won't get one
they don't shape up.  This works for some kids.

A time out chair sometimes works on young children.

I have sent unruly children to the pastor's class, where they must stay
until SS is over.  Since he teaches older teens, if they end up there, it
not nearly as fun and no treat.

We have telephoned parents to pick up their children.  This has an amazing
effect (sometimes).  If the parents wanted free babysitting, they are not
happy and the children will hear about how to act.

Sometimes you can pass out an m & m to the ones who are acting nicely.
may encourage your stinkers to shape up for a sweet.

My dh and I have pastored for 25 years, with a bus ministry for 30 years.
We have expelled two children -- both girls.  They were both totally
unmanageable and made having any kind of service impossible for everyone
else.  One girl was told she could only come back with a parent.  And the
parents didn't care at all if she was at church, so she hasn't been back.
It is terribly sad.  But sometimes you have to do that in order to make
SS a good experience for the other children you are ministering to.

Blessings to you all.
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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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11) Keeping Older Youth Interested   

I am the Christian Ed Director at our church and have been "filling in"
as the Jr High SS teacher.  We used to have grades 7-12 together, but
this same thing was happening.  We divided them, and have found that
those (this would include grades 5-6 as well) in Jr High DO like to have
some "craft" or activity, rather than sitting and discussing.  Our high
schoolers do more of that - similar to an adult class.  I would
recommend splitting the ages, and going with more age appropriate
activities for the younger teens.  They are at such an awkward stage,
the one place that we want them to feel comfortable is at church - not
reluctant to be there.

--from SSTN: there are many age appropriate curriculum choices to keep
them interested. Check out the Christian Ed. section of the Bookstore:

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12) Discipline   

When I read your letter it all sounded very familiar. I would like to
plead with you not to get rid of the children, not even for two weeks. It
wasn't too many years ago that one of those "disruptive bad children" was
one of my children and I only started sending my child to VBS because it
was 2 or 3 hours of free babysitting. It took a couple of years but I
finally went to a VBS family night and just a few months after that I
became a Christian. That was 5 1/2 years ago. Now my husband and four of
our five children are also Christians and we are very active in our
church. The only advice I have for your discipline problems is lots of
love, patience, and prayer.
In Christ,
Karla from Kentucky

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13) Discipline / Boredom

I don't claim to have a universal answer to the Discipline problem, but I
would like to share my own experience in the hope that it will help.

When I first started teaching Bible classes, I had huge discipline
problems, especially from the older boys. I soon realised that many
children were causing trouble simply because they were bored with my
lessons. I therefore started to make my lessons as exciting as I could,
using such things as object lessons, illusions, balloon modelling,
puppets, ventriloquism and plays to illustrate spiritual truths. I also
began to tell my stories in more innovative and exciting ways. One
successful method I use is to tell well known stories from a "different"
viewpoint. e.g. Daniel and the Lions den from the point of view of one of
the lions, or David and Goliath from the point of view of  the giant (I
don't mention his name till near the end - to keep the children guessing).

Result ? After ten years, I can now say that I rarely have any discipline
problems. I don't think this is because my present classes have generally
better behaved children in them, but rather because I am now better able
to keep their attention.

I am not saying that we should abandon our programs so as to keep the
children entertained, but if they are not happy, they won't learn much
anyway and will be put off the church in later years. We can still teach
our programs, but we should all be continually searching for more
interesting and exciting ways to do it. We owe this both to our children
and to the Lord.

Maurice Sweetsur.

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14) Keeping Older Youth Interested

I have found that the older kids (5th grade and up) I have in kids
church, Sunday School, or Wednesday night clubs are happier if they are
working--part of the team.  If we (in the church) won't see these kids as
growing up and wanting responsibilities, someone in the world will.  I'm
about to begin training classes for my 5th and 6th graders to be part of
the puppet team and the worship team for kids church.  My training
classes will include Bible study (since they think their too old to learn
in kids church) as well as the puppet and worship logistics.  To be a
member of the team--they have to show their committment.

So far, almost every 5th and 6th grader I've spoken to at my church is
excited about this chance for responsibility.  And--how can we expect
these kids to grow up to become workers in the church if we don't let
them start now?

About crafts with older kids:  If they see a reason for their craft (like
they'll be sold as a fund raiser or given to nursing home patients),
they're more likely to be interested.  I've noticed, though, that they're
not interested in crafts that just fill a time slot.  If you can get a
church member to donate some expertise and time to teach them something
cool like wood working (especially if the kids get to pick their
project)--that would be cool.

Dana in Cincinnati

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15) VBS Nursery Craft Ideas

Letting them color with fat wax crayons on pieces of sandpaper is very
satisfying for them.  The texture of the paper is fun, and the colors
come out vibrant without much pressure--and the craft doesn't require any

They can also make suncatchers if you do a little simple prep work.
Ahead of time, punch holes in clear plastic lids (like from Pringles or
coffee cans) and string fishing line through them.  Cut (or let the kids
tear) wrapping tissue into little pieces.  (The colors on "art tissue"
run onto little fingers when it gets wet--so use up recycled gift tissue
instead.)  Smear some slightly watered-down glue on the lid (you can use
sponge bits clamped in a clothespin for a handle if you like), and let
the child arrange tissue pieces on top any way he likes.

To adapt to "Fruit of the Spirits" theme:  cut sandpaper into fruit
shapes ahead of time (and perhaps glue shapes onto construction paper
when they're done).  Use permanent marker to draw fruit on the back of
the plastic lid, and let the kids add color with the tissue paper.
(Don't insist the fruit be the "right" color!)

Dana in Cincinnati

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