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SSTN # 80 - September 8, 2004

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Teach Your Kids to F.R.O.G.

1) Autistic Children in Sunday School?
2) Lava Lava Island
3) Wilderness wanderings
4) Children in church

"His Name Shall Be Called..."

5) Sunday School Picnic
6) Cross-Generational curriculum?
7) Leadership HELP!!
8) Lessons For Preschool

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

9) Mixed Age Groups
10) Fun Day / Picnic
11) Children's Day
12) Songs in Sign

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Teach Your Kids to "F.R.O.G."

Teach your kids to "Fully Rely On God". Check out our new craft project
based on Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart...". Learn
more at:


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1) Autistic Children in Sunday School?

Has anyone out there had a child who is autistic in Sunday School? I will
be having a young girl (10 yrs) start on September 12, 2004 (I just found
out last Sunday) and I would like to make sure that the teachers and
myself are prepared. I already have a loose-leaf binder, which has cue
cards that can be Velcroed to the front (I read this in a book). However,
I want to make sure that we cover all the bases (this is a first for our

For those of you who have dealt with this in the past, what should I look
for and do to give her the best advantages in our Kids Club. She is a
beautiful little girl and I am excited that she will be joining us.

In Christ
SKC Director

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2) Lava Lava Island

We used this material & had an amazing week. We've been using Group's VBS
material for 3 years & find it to be far superior to any of the other
publishers. Most of the trouble people find (this from speaking with other
directors who used it) is when they try to do things "their own way". The
only station we had trouble with was the one that the leader didn't feel
like doing it as written. Also, the support you get from Group's message
board is excellent. For those of us with little budget, there were
literally thousands of ideas from other directors across the country on
what worked, what didn't, decorating ideas, craft alternatives, & where to
find the best buys on everything from kraft paper to hula shirts. Also,
the director networking parties are invaluable in showing you how it all
connects together. Some publishers have started doing this, but Group's
provides you with more information. I'm surprised that you had this
negative of an experience. My first question to those of you who didn't
like the material is: Why didn't you ask other directors for help?
Everyone I know had all of their questions answered from the others on the

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3) Wilderness wanderings

This is not original with me.  I used it years ago when teaching the
wilderness wanderings.  Using a poster board, cut in the shape of a
cloud.  On one side, accent billows with pale blue.  On the other, make it
look like fire.  Attach to a long slat which one child will carry.  Let
the kids follow it, as the children of Israel did, turning the cloud,
depending on day or night.  You could make different places in the room
each week where the people stopped, etc.
Another idea I used was to make a shallow sand box and cardboard figues of
Moses, Aaron, and others.  Let kids act the stories out.  You could make
small tents, also the tabernacle and palm trees.
Helen Setser

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4) Children in church

I have been reading with interest the discussion regarding children in
church. We have had this same discussion for some years at the church I
attend in the Cayman Islands. It is my personal opinion that children
certainly belong in church. How can we say we are leading our children to
God if we leave them behind when we worship? How can we expect them to
suddenly reach some magical age where they will decide that they want to
be in church if they haven't had the experience all along?

I took my two daughters to church from the time they were young babies and
never left them in the nursery which was provided at that time. They were
in worship with me each Sunday and if I ever thought either of them was
distracting others, I'd take them outside until they settled down and then
returned to service. I always thought it was important that they returned
so that they learned that this was a place they belonged.

I too, like to hear the sounds of children in worship. Perhaps those who
seem disturbed by those sounds could get accustomed to it after a while
and grow to love them too if we would only persevere.

Over the past few years there has not been a nursery available at the
church, and a Time With the Children is included in the worship time each
Sunday. During this time the pastor, youth worker or someone else talks to
the children about the day's scripture on a level they can understand.
Speakers have been placed in the adjoining Church Hall so that if a parent
needs to take a child out for a while they can still hear what's going on
in the service.

We say that the children are the future of the church, but in reality,
they will not be the future if they are not included in the present.

In Christ's love, Laura

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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) Sunday School Picnic

>By the way, I'm working on a lesson plan for Moses- Wandering in the
>Wilderness.  Does anyone have any good ideas for this?  I checked the
>archives, but didn't find much on this particular part of the Moses

I have taught the aspect of the manna by using a small sand bucket with a
couple of napkins inside and a napkin on top.  In the bottom I put gummy
worms.  Then a napkin on top of them and then some cheddar crackers.  I
told the story about the wandering Israelites and how they ran out of food
and began to complain.  Moses told them that in the morning there would be
food to eat.  I had one of the children lie down and cover up with a
blanket.  In the morning, as I talked I took the top napkin off and tossed
some crackers on the floor.  I had the child gather the "manna" and put it
into the basket.  I held the basket for them and as the crackers were put
in I discreetly put my hand in and pushed the top napkin over so that the
worms were showing and put the top cover napkin back on the bucket.  I
told them how Moses said only collect enough manna for ONE day.  But this
family didn't believe, didn't obey, didn't trust God or Moses (whichever
way you want to go) and collected enough for two days.  The child goes to
sleep again.  In the morning I show them the basket and the manna had
turned to worms!  I took a handful of worms and threw them out into the
kids.  They loved it!  Then I went over the Saturday to Sunday collecting
of manna for two days.  I told them the mom, the dad, the kids, no one
wanted to look in the basket.  But the manna was fresh!  (Special note:  I
made sure to have enough gummy worms for everyone to get one as they left
that day.)
God bless,

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6) Cross-generational curriculum?

Hello everyone,
I asked awhile back about cross-generational curriculum and I don't think
I explained myself very well.  We are in a VERY small church and want to
have everyone together (adults and children) for a 1/2 sunday school time.
Are there any expeirnces out ther? Ideas? Especially curriculum, etc?
Blessings fom Saskatchewan, Canada

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7) Leadership HELP!!

Hi everyone,
I have a problem and I was wondering if anyone would have any advice for
my situation. I am 18 and love working with children and one day would
like to be a children's pastor. I have been working in our church's sunday
school for 6 years, most of this time I worked with children in grades 1
to 7.

Last year one of the leaders in our 3-5 age group left and I was asked to
take over her team. This was fine and I have enjoyed being the leader of a
team. At the end of the year lase year I was asked to become the
curriculum organiser. My mum and I also offered to get all the resouces
ready ie if we needed stuff cut out we would do it. But now we find
ourselves at a stage where we do every thing! - We plan all the lessons
and do all the preparation, do the setting up and the clean up. This had
meant that we arrive at church a 8:00 most morings (church doesn't start
until 9:30) and we often don't leave until 12:30 and many times we have
had to come back later in the afternoon.

The crowning event is that we have been getting our father's day presents
ready and I have been down every week to help. This week the leader ( who
is the leader of our small program) we rang her and asked her to look at
her lesson and see what activities she wanted to do. We didn't hear from
her and I eventually got on to her on Friday night. She said that she had
been busy and couldn't plan her lesson, I said we might do an alternative
so we could get the father's day stuff done and said all that we need to
do is find a story. She asked me to find the story and then teach it. So
on Sunday I spent the morning directing the children and on behaviour
management as well as trying to father's day presents and teach the
morning. Also we spoke to the leader that is on on sunday and she said "oh
you plan the lesson but don't bother getting it to me until Sunday

Mum and I have just reached the stage where we are worn out and we want to
keep going but if all that is going to happen is that it is wasted well
then why bother - it is just wasting our time, the church's money. This is
really hurting me because I love the children so much and want what is
best for them But I can't do it on my own!! There is no one that I can
really talk to 1 reason is that I'm 18, the other is that the people
overall in charge of Children's ministry have no idea of what happens in
the 3-5 age group they haven't even been in to see what we do - even
though we have invited them.
Some advice PLEASE!!
Rachel Onions

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8) Lessons For Preschool

>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 resources.

Dear Valerie,
I have a series of 47 preschool lessons that I compiled from many sources
to use with our preschoolers last year. These are available for free to
anyone who would like to have them. Simply go to my webpage at
http://www.whnazarene.org/SS/Children/ChildrensWorkers.dsp and scroll down
near the bottom where you'll see a section titled "Freebies for Your
Ministry." There is a free Christmas Skit and "A-Z Memory Verse
Activities" available right on the website. There is also a series of Fruit of the
Spirit Lessons and the Preschool lessons I mentioned. If you'll just email
me through the link on the webpage, I'd be happy to send those out to you.
The website's rather new, but I'm gradually adding more and more
activities, crafts, games, etc. to the archives. Check it out!


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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) Mixed Age Groups

>>>Our church is a small one. We have decided to have
>individual classes for grades Pre-K thru 6th. 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?

My husband and I teach ages 3-11 on Wednesday evenings. Last year, we kept
all the kids together and paired the younger ones with the older ones, but
it was difficult finding lessons/games/crafts that kept the attention of
all the ages. This year, our plan is to have all the kids come together
for 10 minutes, line up around the room, and say the pledges to the
American flag, Christian flag, and Bible; Recite our key memory verse;
Sing our Kids in Action song; and have prayer. Then, we'll separate into
two different classes for a short age-appropriate devotion and craft or
activity (20 mins.) The split will probably be Preschool/K and Grades 1-5.
Next, we'll all come back together for one short activity and close with
snack...I think the routine will be good for the kids and it will mix
things up just enough to keep it exciting. I have found that having the
opening gets the kids calmed down more quickly, and parents are amazed
that their 3 and 4 year olds know the pledges!! We'll also be sending home
"At Home Activities" for them to do with their parents that reinforces
what they learned at KIA on Wednesday. These activities will be optional,
but kids who do them will receive recognition...

Check out my webpage for some craft ideas that you can adapt for all ages.
The list is short right now, but growing, so check back often:


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10) Fun Day / Picnic

> 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.

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

The games we have used in our church for our picnics and Kids Church would
fit both of these areas.  Here is the link of our website with the games
listed and the instructions on how to make them and play them.
We have lots of fun with these games.  A few other games we've done is
taken 15 empty 2-liter soda bottles, filled the bottoms with water and
removed the labels.  We printed a picture of the pastor and the pastor's
wife and taped them to the front of 2 of the soda bottles.  We then lined
the soda bottles up in order like bowling pins, 5 at the back row, 4 at
the next row, then 3 bottles, then 2 then 1 in the front.  We have wooden
or plastic rings and made a ring toss game out of it.  Whoever gets a ring
around the pastor's image or the pastor's wife's image gets extra points. 
You can play it with the highest score as winning or we have also played
it with no winners and losers, just kept score and played for fun. 
Another variation on our lion game was we bought an inexpensive toddler
basketball hoop, attached it to the front of the stand-up lion and let the
kids throw "stones"(sponge ball) in the hoop (hitting the lion with
stones).  Beside each game we made a stand-up poster that gave the
scripture relating to the game and instructions on how to play.

More church picnic ideas -- we are doing an "Old Fashioned Days" in Sept.
at our small country church.  Everyone that wants to participate will be
dressed in old-fashioned clothing (you pick the era whether it be Civil
War days, Pioneer days, etc.)  Prizes will be given out for the most original
dressed in each age group.  We are playing old fashioned games like stick
horse races, sack races, etc.

If you are having a picnic in the fall months one of the group games that
has worked out well with us for kids of all ages is carve the same amount
of items from 5 pumpkins (or less).  Each one will get 2 eyebrows, 2 eyes,
one nose, one mouth and 2 ears, but each pumpkin's face is carved a little
bit differently (one may have big wide eyes, another small squinty eyes, a
triange nose or a round nose cut out, etc.)  Each pumpkin has the same
amount of facial features cut out.  You put the finished carved pumpkins
on a table in front of your group. (If you have 3 teams you carve 3 pumpkins,
5 teams carve 5 pumpkins).  There is one big box in the middle of the
table that you've put all the carved pieces in and gently mixed them up.  This
is a relay game and the kids on "go" have to find a piece that fits their
pumpkin. Adults also like to play this game.  If they picked the wrong
piece they put it back in the box and go to the end of the line.  If they
guess the correct piece, they just go to the end of the line.  Whoever's
team completes putting their correct carved pieces back into their pumpkin
I hope this helps.
Bren in Ohio

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11) Children's Day

Why not include the teens. This will give you a few more helpers. They can
choose the songs for worship, read the announcements, take up the offering
and help with the scripture reading. Instead of the children taking over
the whole service. Let them help with it and then see if the minister can
preach a sermon about children or children's ministry.

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12) Songs in Sign

www.saltandlightmin.org has several videos and DVDs
with sign language, interpretive dance, dowel rods, etc...
A lot of it is for the older children and youth but the little ones catch
on to. You have to purchase the videos to have the right to perform them
My girls love Testify to Love. they also have awesome tie dye cross

Lynette Story
Broadway Baptist Church

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