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SSTN # 63 - May 21, 2003

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--> JULY 4th Activity

1) Promotion Sunday
2) Anger?
3) CE Director Tips?
4) Mini VBS
5) Finding a New Church   
6) Multiple Ages?
7) How we handle VBS
8) Bible Bucks   
9) Promotion Sunday   

--> First Aid "Others" Kit

10) Fruit of the Spirit crafts?
11) Two and Three Year Olds   
12) Skits for 1950's Theme?
13) Jacob VBS?
14) Painted Wall Murals   

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--> JULY 4th Activity

The USA Patriotic Catcher toy will help kids learn the answers to eight
basic USA citizenship questions such as, "Why did the Pilgrims come to
America?"; What is the US Constitution?, and "What does the First
Amendment guarantee?". A great activity for July 4th! Kids can make it and
take it home! Print out as many patterns as you need for a onetime fee of
only $3.00. Once you've purchased the pattern you'll receive instructions
via email on how to download it from the site. Available only online. No
waiting and no shipping costs!

Find the USA Patriotic Catcher at:

(You may need to copy and paste the address to your browser)

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1) Promotion Sunday

Focus on the memory verses.  Turn them into a song use the melody of a
they already know like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or "This ole man"

Try acting the lesson out I often use this as a teaching skill in my class
ages 3-5 years old.  Also you could try displaying crafts from the lesson

FYI: I'm praying for you and asking God to expand your territory and
now in the name of Jesus

Onda Berger

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2) Anger?

I would like to ask a question about teaching what the Bible says
concerning anger to 6 and 7 year olds.

In Christ

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3) CE Director Tips?

I am doing a 45-minute workshop for people who have just been put in
of their church's CE program. I am gathering a list of tips that I wish
someone had told me when I first started, such as "You don't have to do
this alone. Get a Committee." What one suggestion do you wish someone had
told you when you first began working in Chrisitan formation?


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4) Mini VBS

Our church is small with a small volunteer base.  We do a one day "mini"
VBS from 9-noon on a Saturday.  We have a short (15 minute) opening then
rotate through the following centers:
        Bible story
We make sure we build a snack into one of the centers.  We keep our
groups close in age and/or developmental stage.  I have 2 folks per
center plus one or two folks that rotate through each center with the
Mary Quick
Round Grove United Church, UCC
Lewisville, TX

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5) Finding a New Church   

<<  Just take that in to consideration if folks act
hesitant to take you on as a volunteer. >>

I think I gave the people the wrong impression when I said the minister
and the Christian Education Director were cold to us.  The minister had no
idea we were interested in teaching Sunday School.  He was just shaking
our hand and greeting us at the end of the service like they all do. We
mentioned that we were visiting from another church in the area. I would
have thought the minister would have at least said, it was nice having you
and come back again, but his attitude in general was cold. We then asked
to see the Sunday School and he pointed in the direction of it.  When we
got to the Sunday School I met the assistant (whom I knew from Christian
workshops...and she was nice.  She remembered me...but when I met the
director she seemed cool. ( I have to admit here, that they were both busy
getting ready for Sunday School.)  Thank you to everyone who replied to my
situation.  I just thought I needed to clear this up.
God bless to all

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6) Multiple Ages?

I have recently changed churches because God called me to teach at this
other church and I didnt realize the ages were combined to one sunday
school class. There is about fifteen kids ages 2 to 12 and i need help.
what kinds of materials shoould I use with this class. please help.

Thank you  kim in california

--from SSTN: check the archives for either, "Multi-aged" classes or
"multiple" ages.

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7) How we handle VBS

Over the years, we have tried many different venues....3 hour/day VBS for
5 days, 2 hour/day
at night VBS for 5 days, etc.  But, because of the hectic lives of our
people, what has worked
best for us in the past 3 years is doing a ONE DAY VBS.  We do this on a
Saturday from
10-4 for ages 3 thru 12.  We use 8 or 10 rooms, each one a different
Bible Exploration ....Craft....Snack(kids make it themselves and serve
each other....Games....
Theater(video, puppet or drama)....Music....Missions.....Prayer Station
or Bible Memorization
Games.    Kids are divided into groups of 10 and a "guide" is assigned
whose only
responsibility is to take their group from station to station.  Every
group visits each station
for 30 minutes...the VBS director rings a bell when it is time for groups
to go to the next
station.  We serve McDonalds Kids Meals to each group in the station they
are in at 12:30
Lunch is one hour and allows for bathroom breaks, handwashing, etc.
Stations resume
after lunch and conclude with all "daycampers" meeting for a final joint
assembly to "debrief" the days activities and have an invitation to
follow Christ.

Preschoolers do not like change, so their classes are all conducted in
one room/age.  If
we have too many 3's we just have two rooms of 3's , etc.

Workers are easier to find because they sign up to work a station for a 2
hour time slot
(although they can work more if they want).  We usually have a parenting
seminar during
the final two hours that the kids are at camp and we try to make the
topic that is "community friendly"....something even non-believing
parents would be interested in
attending and would profit from.  Then the whole family leaves together.

Since following this format, our number of kids and parents from
"outside" the church
has increased by about 20 per year. 

easier to recruit....more family-friendly(parents don't have to rush home
from work to get to VBS by 7 pm)...more men and youth are able to
participate....the day goes by VERY quickly....can enhance outreach
efforts to both adults and kids

setting up and decorating can be a problem:  we usually have a
"Preparation, Prayer and
Picnic" day on the Friday before.  A team gets together and decorates the
entire area, sets up, etc.  We share a simple lunch and pray together for
the next
day's ministry. Registration can be a nightmare with "dropins" and
latecomers(we are
STILL revising our methods to better attack this problem.
this model might not work for any of you, but it might help you to think
about what you CAN do.

Brenda Bateman, Children's Minister
Arlington Chinese Church
Arlington, TX

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8)  Bible Bucks   

    I would like to respond about the Bible Bucks.  We use "Bible Bucks"
in our Thursday night Bible Study class.  We use paper dollars from the
dollar store.  We give out dollars if the child brings their bible and if
they bring in an offering.  When the children accumulate six dollars, they
get a trip to the prize box.  The prize box consists of small items bought
at the Dollar Store or Oriental Trading Company in bulk.  The children
the privilege of the prize box.  We also held two auctions.  The children
were accumulating so many dollars, that we decided to do an auction.  The
children can "bid" on prizes from the prize box.  We use a podium and a
"gavel" just like a real auction.  We hold up prizes from the prize box,
and the highest bidder wins the prize.  The auction is a lot of fun, and
the children really look forward to it.  The Bible Bucks system works well
for us.  We feel it is a great way to reward the children.  We are a small
congregation, but by shopping at the Dollar Store and buying in bulk, not
much money is spent.  And to the children, it's not the amount of money
spent, it is the thought of being rewarded that is special to them.  Thank
you for letting my suggestion.  I hope it helps someone.
Burbank, IL

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9) Promotion Sunday   

To Alice:
I have a suggestion for your Promotion Sunday.  In two weeks, we
will be concluding our Kids Club (Thursday night Bible Study).  The
children range in age from 5 to 8.  We are planning a special closing
ceremony.  Each child has a part in the ceremony.  Our services always
start with singing of the club song, reciting the club motto, saying the
Pledge of Alliegance, Pledge to the Christian Flag, and reciting two club
bible verses.  The class wll stand in front of the congregation and
participate in each of those, with one child (a different child for each
activity) to lead the way.  This way everyone gets to feel "special".  We
have planned a couple of special songs for the children to sing.  And at
the end of the ceremony, each child will be presented with a trophy with
his or her name on it, sort of like a graduation ceremony.  If your budget
does not allow you to buy trophies, ribbons work just at well, and they
can be bought from the Oriental Trading Company.  After the presentation
of the trophies, we will have refreshments (cookies and drinks) for all
participants and their families.  Our first practice was last night, and
we will practice again next week.  I have to say, the children are really
excited about it.  Receiving the award gives them a real sense of
accomplishment for the hard work that they put into
their studies during the year.  We plan on taking pictures of each child
receiving their award, and we are going to make a bulletin board of all
pictures to encourage more children to become involved in the club for
year.  If you feel that the children in your class could not memorize
phrases or songs, just having them sing special songs and giving them some
kind of award in front of the whole congregation will give them a sense of
accomplishment and "promotion" or "graduation" to the next level.  I hope
this helped you.  Good Luck
Burbank, IL

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--> First Aid "Others" Kit

Holds a Band-Aid, a stick of Gum, a Lifesaver candy, an Eraser, and a
Toothpick. Discover why, follow the link below to learn more:


Children can make it and take it home. Print out as many patterns as you
need for a onetime fee of only $3.00. Once you've purchased the pattern
you'll receive instructions via email on how to download it from the site.
Available only online. No waiting and no shipping costs!

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10) Fruit of the Spirit Crafts?

I am planning our curriculum for summer Sunday school.  We combine all the
classes from nursery to 5th grade in the summer months due to low
attendance (around 30 kids per week).  We have decided to explore the
Fruits of the Spirit (1 fruit per week).  We have come up w/some really
good ideas for object talks, snacks, games, and activities but are
struggling when it comes to crafts.  We have ideas for Kindness and Joy,
but other than that we are stumped.  I have surfed the net intensively and
haven't come up with alot.  Hopefully some of you might have some fresh
ideas.  Also, if anyone would like more information regarding some of what
we've planned feel free to email me at schubarthc@yahoo.com . God Bless,

--from SSTN: check the crafts section and the Archives at:
Also, please share new ideas with all of SSTN.
sarah <><

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11) Two and Three Year Olds   

We have been using a great program for 2 and 3 year-olds in our church.
It is called Kids Own Worship and it is through Group Publishing
www.kidsownworship.com  This program is excellent if you have a budget for
the expense for it is well worth it.  It runs about $90 for 3 months of
curriculum and lesson props.  The kit also contains lessons for elementary
kids.  The toddler or preschool lessons contain about a 5-7 minute lesson,
usually an object lesson, a dog puppet skit (you provide any dog puppet -
no need to purchase their puppet), a CD with cute, upbeat music and 7-8
props for the lessons and an alternate craft for the day booklet.  If you
need a good program for kid's church for elementary ages this is well
worth the expense since this kit covers ages 2-12.  We add a craft from
Oriental Trading to our day plus watch videos like Veggie Tales, Little
Dogs on the Prairie, etc.  Group Publishing is the same company that has
SCUBA VBS this year and they have many tried and tested programs you can
choose from.  They also have a message board you can go to and get more
Bren in Ohio

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12) Skits for 1950's Theme?

My church is putting on a VBS themed to the 50's. We are having a hard
time finding any skits to do. Thank You

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13) Jacob VBS?   

We are planning on using the story of Jacob for our VBS (particularly his
dream and wrestling with an angel, not just the story of "Jacob and Esau")
this year and I was wondering whether anyone had any crafts, visual aids,
or other suggestions that we might incorporate into our theme.   I've
searched the archives as well as the internet and I cannot find much on
Thanks for any help,

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14) Painted Wall Murals   

Our youth group did a mural of the Last Supper. I got clear plastic sheets
for overhead projectors that are made for printers, and I printed several
images from the computer. After selecting one, we used the overhead
projector (move it until you have the desired size) and painted the
outline, then painted the rest the next day once the outline had dried. It
came out beautiful.
Christine, Stoneham, MA

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