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SSTN  # 56 - May 30, 2002

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1) Why have children's church
2) Animal Songs
3) Why have Children's Church

-> Destination Unknown...Mystery Trip

4) Adults and Children worshipping together
5) Used VBS Materials?
6) Discipline in the classroom
7) Discipline suggestion

-> Summer Sale On Curriculum Items!

8) Why have Children's Church
9) Water games
10) Holy Spirit Lessons?
11) Special Needs Craft/BB
12) Water Games    

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1) Why have children's church

I work in Sunday School and our Kidz Church, we dont exclude our children
from any service! On Sunday mornings our children go to a class according
to age for an hour- then dismissed for our morning worship service. Sunday
nights the children are left with the parents, and also on our Wendsday
night service. Friday night is set aside for our Kidz Church, where we
teach, play games, puppets and so on- then one Saturday in the month we
meet for a fun day where we do all kinds of fun and crazy things, the
point of Childrens Church is to reach our children- the world offers alot
lets at least try to offer more!

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2) Animal Songs

> I teach a multi-age class in a small church. We do not have VBS anymore
> but do a summer theme along those lines. This year we are doing an
> animal theme (still trying to come up with a catchy title). I am looking
> for a theme song (mostly 8-12 year olds) that will keep their interest

There is a song on the tape "1st Sunday Sing Along" called "If I were a
Butterfly."  The animals mentioned include butterfly, bird, bear, fish,
and octopus, and probably some more I can't remember.  I do know the chorus:

'Cause you gave me a heart, and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you, Father, for making me "me."

It is a catchy little tune, but maybe too young for 12-year-olds.

Sarah, don't know if you want to print those lyrics or not -- I'm sure
they are copyrighted.  I just wanted to give her an idea of the theme of the
song in case she wants to use it.  Use your best judgment.

Columbus, MS

--from SSTN: Yes, that is a great song! It is ok to print some of the
verse...just not the entire thing without copyright approval. ;o))

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3) Why have Children's Church

Hi Sarah,
I must be subscribing to the incorrect newsletter, I mean all the
discussion about Children's Church really confused me! This is because
here in South Africa Sunday School and Children's Church are the same
thing, in our denomination and all other denominations I am aware of. So
I am not sure what the difference is but I have the following comment.

We have our Sunday School/Children's church the same time as church
during school terms but during school holidays there is no Sunday
School/Children's church for the kids so they remain in the service with
their parents. This gives them plenty of opportunity to learn more about
adult services and worship. We also have many children that attend
Sunday School/Children's church even though their parents do not attend
a church. Would these kids still come if they were made to sit in the
service even for praise and worship? Probably not! Also these children
are instrumental in bringing the gospel of Christ to their parents and
families and I have seen many adults turn to Christ because of these
children. Jesus even made a comment about us becoming like children but
all we seem to want is our children becoming like adults.

Vicky - Full Gospel - South Africa

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Destination Unknown...Mystery Trip

50 Quick Mystery Trips for Youth Groups: Youth programs with a twist. The
teens go to an unknown destination which opens up a new dimension of
relating the Bible to life. Destinations include a courtroom, a rooftop,
an emergency room, a cornerstone, a garden, a potter's shop, and many
more. Ideal for both small and larger groups.
In the Christian Education section of the bookstore:


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4) Adults and Children worshipping together

There's an inspirational book called Children in Worship: Congregations in
Bloom by Caroline Fairless (pub. Church Publishing Inc; ISBN: 0
89869-326-8). It talks about her congregation recognised the right of the
child to worship alongside adults - and thus their congregational life of
worship had to radically change.

Mary Hawes
Children's Adviser, Diocese of London
36 Causton Street
London SW1P 4AU

--from SSTN: try the bookstore. Type the title into the search box:

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5) Used VBS Materials?

I want to thank you for this wonderful resourceful site.  I have been
reading back issues of your newsletter and have found very helpful hints.
I am from Cape Town, South Africa and I minister to children from an area
in the community where parents are either unemployed or underpaid.  We
have no budget and what we do is mostly generated from our own funds
(which are few) or self made crafts are from recycled material.  We have
become very resourceful in this way.  I need your readers help.  All over
I read about VBS programs that you can buy and I approached our local
bible bookstore for the programs but they and most of the other books
mentioned on your site are extremely expensive here in South Africa.  It
might be because it is imported.  We are unable to afford them.  Could
somebody please help me with VBS programs that they have used and might
want to pass on to us.  I have a friend who will be visiting the US at the
end of June and I am sure I could ask her to collect (if any) it for us.
We are in need of any kind of resources that people might have used and
would like to give away. God bless you and each person who will be
responding to this letter.
Charlene Thomas

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6) Discipline in the classroom   

I teach 1st and 2nd graders in a regular Sunday School classroom setting.
I use a STOP SIGN when I'm trying to present the bible story and the
children are talking or interrupting.  Here's how it works:  During my
presentation of the bible story, if any child/children talks or interrupts
the story, I just place a red STOP SIGN I made in front of their face.  If
I have to do this 3 times, they must leave the group for some quiet time
by themselves.  It helps to settle them down and re-think what they have
been doing.  By using the STOP SIGN I can keep presenting the story
without having to constantly stop and call out a child's name who is
talking or interrupting.  The children in my class know by now what I
expect of them and that my STOP SIGN may pay them a visit if they aren't
listening or keep interrupting.  I have used this since I started teaching
this class and it really works.  The kids now want to know where my GO
SIGN is!  You can make the STOP SIGN by printing one off your computer or
making one yourself.
Make two sides so you can insert a tongue depresser or large popsicle
stick in between the signs for a handle.  Just glue them together.  I also
laminate my signs so they will last an extra long time.  Try it!
In Faith, Wenda
Valleyview Friends Church,
Delaware, Ohio

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7) Discipline suggestion

Finally, I've found something that works with 3rd and 4th grade
boys....look them dead in the eye and say, "I know your grandmother."
I've been told it works all the way through the teen years!

--from SSTN: I love it! "I know your parents...and where they are right
now" works for me too! ;o))
ysic, sarah <><

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Summer Sale On Curriculum Items!

Buggie For Jesus - I'm A BEE-liever! and the VBS FUNPAK
are NOW on sale for the summer! Get them at:


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8) Why have Children's Church

I have been reading through this discussion and have seen valid points on
both sides.  The primary reason to do anything in the church is to help
people begin and grow in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our church has only one hour service -- there is no "Sunday School".
Therefore, our children are in a learning class while their parents
worship and learn.  All Sunday School curriculums I have used have time
for worship and in these days, even more.  On special occaisions and for
our evening communion service, children elementary age and up are
included in the church service.


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9) Water games       

>I'm getting ready to lead a children's camp this summer and I'm some
>games (games OUTSIDE the water, with the water).

A long time ago, I did some work with youth groups in the summer.  We went
in for a week long retreat and did group building activities.  One of the
favorites in every town we went to that summer, was a water game.  It went
like this:

We had a plastic wash tub about 15 inches around and 8 inches deep.  (I
think our director picked it up at a farm store -- originally it was a
water tub for animals)  This game is more challenging if you get a tub
that does not have a large lip around the edge.

The youth then lay in a circle on the ground with their bottoms facing in
and their feet in the air.  Each youth puts both feet around the outside
of the tub (not underneath) and when it is balanced, the leader pours
about 1 gallon of water in the tub.  The object of the game is for
everyone to work together and remove their shoes and socks while keeping
the water tub balanced above their circle.  If the tub becomes unbalanced
youth get wet!  It is really fun and has a tendency, once they have
completed it, to get to the point where a tub of water is thrown on
someone (We found it was usually one of the leader team members!)

One safety issue is to watch the tub when it falls.  The kids were really
good about deflecting it away from heads and faces, but you don't want
someone to get hurt by a flying tub (we never had anyone really hurt)

Hope this idea gives you a fun option while teaching the kids that they
need to work together as a group.  P.S. this works really good as a
teambuilding activity for a survivor theme. ;-}

Take Care,
Amy Asmus

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10) Holy Spirit Lessons?

Dear Sstn,
Could this question be posted in the network?

I would like to ask if anyone knows of good curriculum to teach about :
Who Is The Holy Spirit, The Work Of The Holy Spirit and
The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit .
I live in the heart of Borneo where we have little resources.
I work with children of all ages but am wanting this curriculum
for a group of 8-10 year olds.
Any feedback?

Thank you,
Barbara Wong

--from SSTN: for those responding, please give title and product
number/ISBN so that I may try and locate the book(s) for the bookstore.
Thank you! ysic, sarah <><

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"Get em' in the LOOP!" 

L-eading kids to Christ,
O-ffering advice
O-pen discussion forum
P-roviding free resources

Invite your friends, pastors, and coworkers
to join our discussion in SSTN.


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11) Special Needs Craft/BB   

>craft ideas and bulletin board ideas for a special needs
>Sunday school class of students from ages 10-40

A few ideas on adapting crafts (any age/skill level)  for special needs:

Materials used need to be extra durable so that it can be worked and
re-worked and still look good. Provide the craft in  a few different sizes
... sizes best suited to class members physical size and abilities. Pre-
prepare crafts  so they are in progress and  vary as to how far they are

What kinds of crafts:

Crafts that produce usable itmes .. . something they  may use or give to
Crafts made with raw materials  or unique recycled products.
Crafts that  can take more than one "sitting" to complete.

Craft suggestions:
Key  Tags
Boxes...boxes that stack or boxes that fit inside one another
Note Paper/ Stationary
Wearable Art

Bulletin Board:

Design each theme to address the varying skill levels. For those that read
and those who don't (and for those who are learning). For those who
understand things at face value and those who have more developed
interpretation/discrimination skills. Sometimes less is more ... not too
many distractions from  what you are wanting to highlight and focus on.

Hope this is helpful. What a challenge you have!  Many blessings.

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12) Water Games    

For my daughter's birthday last year we had a "Wet/Messy theme" and these
are some ideas we used.   I don't know why you couldn't adapt them if you
like them.   First we put various toys and candy in ziplock bags and then
covered them in a layer of tissue paper (Gather it at the top and staple,
tape, or tie it).   Then we hung it and let the kids shoot at it with
water pistols.   When the tissue was wet the goodies spilled out.
Also you can fill a large heavy duty trash bag with water and hang it and
let the kids hit it with a stick; when it breaks, they get wet.
And finally, if you have access to a slide, you can put a tarp at the
bottom of it and put a sprinkler where it sprays on the slide and the kids
can slide down it on to the tarp.   Smaller children go really far so make
sure you have a long enough tarp and there are no obstacles in the way.
Hope this helps,

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