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SSTN # 78 - August 27, 2004

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--> Hands On Lessons of the Bible

1) Finger Puppets
2) Behavior
3) Behavior
4) Children In Church

"His Name Shall Be Called..."

5) Children's day at church
6) Songs in Sign
7) Lessons for Preschool?
8) Behavior

--> Spirit Gifts...An Introduction For Children

9) Workshop Topics?
10) Fun Day Ideas?
11) Sunday School Picnic
12) Multiage Ideas?

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--> Hands On Lessons of the Bible

Our "Hands On Lessons of the Bible" are easy to implement and are a creative
teaching resource for Sunday or midweek classes. Lessons include crafts,
games, enrichment ideas and song-time suggestions. One book is all you
need for an entire class!
For Kindergarten - 5th grade.

Available at:   http://www.christiancrafters.com/curriculum.html   

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1) Finger Puppets

"Finger Puppet Mania" - These simple puppets can be used to illustrate
Bible stories and develop lessons around Bible truths.

--from SSTN: type the title into the bookstore search box to locate it:

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2) Behavior

>Every time she comes to class, she brings something
>to attract the attention of the other kids.

This message is for the behavior question about the little girl. It sounds
as though you are dealing with a couple of very different issues. The
first one about bringing objects to Sunday school that disrupt the class,
is one that I have dealt exhaustingly with over the past two+ years. We
have a policy that toys and other items from home (with the exception of
Bibles and jackets) cannot be brought to Sunday school, and yet still we
have parents that insist that their child bring items to avoid "an
argument". After asking the other readers of SSTN for ideas of how to
collect such items, we came up with a bucket that stays in the classroom,
every child who brings items from home, be it a stuffed toy, a princess
crown, candy, etc, the items go in the bucket on the way in the door (no
ifs, or "I am keeping it in my pocket") because the fact of the matter is,
even when a child promises to put it away, sooner or later, you will see
it out again, it's a temptation to play with whatever they brought, or eat
whatever candy they brought that most kids just cannot resist. If the box
idea will not work for you, maybe you could designate an entire counter to
items that are brought from home, or use one of the many other ideas that
are mentioned in the SSTN archives. I know when I originally made a post
about items from home, dozens of people responded with some awesome ideas.
I have found the box idea very successful, because it is up to the child
to retrieve his/her items from the box. I do not hand the items back, this
teaches them responsibility for their belongings, and also to take care of
things that are important to them.

The second thing it sounds like you are dealing with is organization. If
there are things that are used on a weekly basis (in this case the
offering basket and attendance cards), then they really have to have a
designated place where they will be week after week. Even if you cannot
leave things set up in a classroom throughout the week, designate a
cabinet, a table, a cupboard, any place where the items can be put week
after week. If for some reason the superintendent wasn't there one week,
it sounds like no one would know where the attendance cards or offering
basket is, and if even the superintendent cannot keep track of the items,
that is saying that they are likely not being put in the same place every
As for the little girl being so "bored" she is tired, she may not be
"bored" at all, she may very well be tired. I teach the first service at
our church (8:15 am) and you would be surprised how many kids come with
their hair not brushed, their teeth not brushed, half asleep, without
breakfast, etc. Many of the parents wait until the very last minute before
they walk out the door Sunday morning to wake their child up, because for
kids Saturday night is a sleep-in weekend night. You can mention to the
parents that the child is falling asleep in class, and maybe they will see
fit for the child to go to sleep earlier on Saturday nights, beyond that
there is not much you can do to keep the child from falling asleep. That
is just one scenario, that she may not be getting enough sleep, but there
are also various other scenarios. One of which is that if the child only
hears the Word of God in Sunday school, she may not show any interest in
it, because it is not "important" enough for her parents to mention during
the week. You may want to send a parent letter of some sort home, with the
current lesson and Bible verse on it and activity ideas to reinforce the
Biblical learning throughout the week, and not just on Sunday, as hearing
the Word of God only once a week, isn't enough to truly satisfy any
believers soul. The other possible scenario is that the little girl may
have been in Sunday school since she was little, and if that is the case,
she has probably heard the story of Jonah, Noah, the Crucifixion, and
other well-known Bible stories dozens of time, and is just bored stiff by
hearing them again. If this is the case, you may want to introduce some
lesser known Bible stories once in awhile, to mix up the pace of the

The last part about it, where you mentioned her talking about her own
thing, sounds as though she may not get enough attention at home, or that
her opinions do not matter at home. It is really important to leave room
for discussion during Sunday school, where the children can give their
input, share the happenings in their life, and so on and so forth. If a
child strays too far off topic (and let's face it, we all do that), remind
the child what you are discussing, such as "God will help us to not be
afraid, can you tell me about a time when you were scared?". Giving
children a time to fellowship and socialize, whether it's a few minutes of
class time, during snack, during a game, or other times, is also very
important, just as fellowship is to us as adults.

Hope this helps!
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California
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3) Behavior

In reference to the question about Behavior. I have a
few in my class that poses problems. Usually, I tell
my class if they don't want to behave they can always
go sit in church with the adults. However a couple
other alternatives is to ask her to be your special
helper. This usually makes them feel needed and
wanted. It also keeps them busy with no time to
distract the class.

Another possiblity is have them put a notice in the
church bulletin for parents to refrain their children
from bringing toys and candy into class because it
distracts the other children. There are many ways of
handeling this. These are just a few!

Be blessed,

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4) Children In Church

>How will babies/children ever learn to sit for more than 5 minutes
>without being entertained if we never give them the chance?

The problem is not well-behaved children like yours. The problem is that
not all parents agree with you and therefore, don't feel it's necessary or
desirable to *discipline* their children for not being able to sit still.
As church leaders, we cannot force parents to keep their children quiet
and still, and the larger the congregation, the more noise and distractions.
In a perfect world, every child would come to church with two parents and two
siblings in a mini-van with a good breakfast in their tummy and a song in
their hearts. I have found that in the real world, this isn't the case.
There are kids whose parents don't bring them~ they come on the van~ OR
whose parents are busy leading worship, singing in the choir, or taking
care of the sound system. Some haven't had anything to eat since yesterday
at noon. Some are really tired and fussy.

>>>My secret? Discipline and cheerios in a snack cup. My children did not
>"drive any one crazy", the one time my daughter did fuss I just took her
>out of the room for a minute.

Imagine if there were 25 babies in the service. Each of them fussed only
once during the service. Each mother left only once during the service.
That would be enough to "drive me crazy!"

>>>I don't think it is too much to expect kids to sit for an hour or two
>ONE day a week to worship God.

Even kids with autism or other special needs?

>>>They can do crafts, videos,etc. at home too, I am all for making
learning about God fun for kids, but give them a little credit. Do YOU get
tired of doing the same thing every week? If children are brought up in
the way they should go, inclusion in worship will be a normal part of
their life, from babyhood on.

I agree about including them in worship, but there are many ways to do
this, and it doesn't have to be done in a way that is over a child's head
or *boring*. My little girl (almost 2) definitely worships God~ she loves
my choir CD that I practice to in the car. She says, "Sing Hallelujah,
Mommy!" And when we sing in the car, she raises her little hands and sings
her heart out! Before naptime and bedtime she prays and prays and prays,
asking God to bless every person she knows! At church, though, the adult
worship does not hold her interest. Being very young, she's naturally
distracted easily. She will stand on my lap and clap during music and
she'll bow her head for part of prayer. But that's about it. Once the
preacher starts preaching, she talks non-stop. She asks questions. She
points out the fly on papa's head.
She notices the pretty colors coming in the window...it's hopeless. People
all around us are distracted. They make over her and talk to her and play
with her. None of them hear what the preacher has to say. Should I take
her out and spank her for noticing the pretty colors?? Or would it make more
sense to have her go to the Nursery where the teachers can show her more
pretty colors and let her know that God made the pretty colors, etc.?

>>>My son LOVES SS class, but he understands that sometimes there isn't
one,and that he has to sit and be quiet, because we are in God's house.
The baby has toys, but he understands that he is a big boy, and he may
look at the song book or his picture bible, but not play. I don't
understand why this is such a novel idea.

It's not a novel idea. It's just that if you have a better way available,
why not make the best use of it? Just because our parents and grandparents
had to sit still in church and dream about when it was over doesn't mean
have to follow suit. Why teach our kids to *endure* the Word of God when
have the chance to make it real, interesting, and alive for them?!

>>>Think about Jesus in the temple as a child!

Let's do think about Jesus in the temple as a child. They traveled many
days to go to the temple. It was a once a year event. Jesus, even at 12
(for he wasn't 2 or 3), didn't have to go and sit still every Sunday.
PLUS, let's remember, Jesus didn't sit quietly. He was Jesus. He was
teaching the church leaders!

Jesus most often ministered to people outside of church, and when he did
it, he did so on a mountainside, near a lake, or on a boat. He made things
interesting. He brought his lessons down to a level where people would be
interested and would understand them. I think He would have us do the


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--> "His Name Shall Be Called..."

The God of the Old and New Testament is known by many names. These names
help us to understand his nature and reputation. They define him as
Protector, Defender, Friend, Advisor, Judge, and Savior to name just a
few. The Third Commandment says, "Do Not Misuse God’s Name". It is my
desire that this study will help you to teach respect and honor for God to
the children in your ministry. Free USA shipping!

To learn more, go to this page:
(you may need to copy and paste this address to your browser)

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5) Children's day at church

Dear Karen,
My first thought to this was to have a great day showing the adult church
a children's service.  Since you have a problem with faithfulness in the
kids maybe you could teach on faithfulness in a fun way.  Have the kids
help with all you mentioned plus maybe do some object lessons, a puppet
play and so on let the kids do these and you take the responsibility of
doing the main teaching with help (have some of the kids read your
scripture, or have a repeat after me of the main points and have the kids
lead in the repeating)  I to have only a couple of faithful kids and some
who are sporadic in attendance.  I know how ruff it is to do much.  But do
what you can and use who you've got.  You have the perfect opportunity to
get the adults excited so that they may become more diligent in getting
the kids to church. 
Bless you,

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6) Songs in Sign

in reply to songs in sign language....they can go to the Karen Wheaton
website and order a video of her youth group Chosen...they do powerful
worship videos and do dramatic signing to the songs...

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7) Lessons For Preschool?

I am looking for ideas for our church nursery. We have the children for
two hours on Sunday. We would like to teach the 3 to 4 year olds a lesson,
have crafts and games.
I would appreciate any ideas on format and materials. We have very limited
Valerie Mackey

--from SSTN: Pray & Play Bible (Vol. 1 and 2) are great resources.
You can find them in the Bibles section of our Bookstore at:

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8) Behavior

Dear M,
This child sounds a bit ADD.  My friends daughter is that way exactly, she
also has a bit of a problem reading which makes her act out too.  This may
be some of your problem.  You might let her be your "special" helper & let
her sit next to you.  That helps Jennifer, it will also get her away from
the other kids so they don't start being mean to her.  She may be one of
those who need to be in control like our Jennifer.  If she is by herself
or just 1 other child she is great.  In a room full though she tends to
freak.  All my best to you I know I have an ADHD child in my ACTEENS class
who is sooooooo disruptive she also happens to be the pastors daughter so
now what do you do????
Just a bit of help I pray
Missy n Ky

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--> Spirit Gifts...An Introduction For Children

An inspirational midweek program that contains a variety of fun lessons,
crafts, and games to teach the children in your ministry about the
following Spirit-filled Gifts:

To learn more, visit this webpage:

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9) Workshop Topics?

Looking for ideals for a Sunday School Workshop, for children and adults.

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10) Fun Day Ideas

I am a Sunday School teacher in Durban, South Africa and am looking for
ideas on a fun day for all our kids, ages ranging from 4 to 18 years.  The
invitation will also be open to kids that do not know our Lord Jesus.  The
ideas with have to be for both indoor and outdoor.  Any kind of bible
games will be appreciated.  we are also looking at ways to get the non believing
kids interested in our Sunday School. 
Please help - any ideas will be appreciated.

Sagree Naidoo

--from SSTN: check out the Bible Games page at:

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11) Sunday School Picnic

>do you have any good ideas for sunday school picnics for tiny
>churches...ours is only about 30 adults and children total.

How about a "Survivors Picnic"???? Give the kids and adults a map, and
they have to find all the treasures. There's a Survivors Game on the
website  ( http://christiancrafters.com/page10.html ).
That would be really neat!

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12) Multiage ideas?

Our church is a small one. We have decided to have
individual classes for grades Pre-K thru 6th. Every
other Sunday and group meetings the other Sundays.
This has worked well for us last year. The one
difficult thing is to find story and most of all craft
ideas that will cover all age groups. We need short
time craft ideas, 20-30 minutes. Any ideas?

--from SSTN: all of the "Hands-on Bible Lessons" include craft ideas. Most
can be implemented in a 30 min. time slot. The age range is k-5th,
however, they could be stretched up one level and stretched down one level
with assistance. There are a few sample crafts listed with the books on
the Curriculum Creatives page at:

ALSO, search the archives for "Multiple ages", or "Multiage" at:

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