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SSTN # 82 - September 14, 2004

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

1) New VBS Themes?
2) Ministry of kindness?
3) Ages 8-12
4) Parachute games

--> Amazing Miracles of the Bible

5) Sharing Christ skit?
6) Keeping Kids Interested
7) Right Date for VBS
8) Parade Floats

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

9) Tying Knots story?
10) Kids Church
11) Behavior
12) Multiage ideas
13) Children's Day in Church
14) Children's Day in Church

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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 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." from Proverbs 3:5-6.
Learn more at:


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1) New VBS Themes?

Has anyone heard what the different themes will be from the different
companies for VBS 2005?

--from SSTN: some publisher websites have previews. Just login to their
sites to see what's coming up.

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2) Ministry of kindness?

>We have children's day on every third sunday.Ý The children do everything
>on this sunday.Ý They lead the worship, they do the ministry of kindness,
>the announcements, and sang.

Sandra what's the ministry of kindness?


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3) Ages 8-12

>>> I've been teaching sunday school for seven years now, and trying to
> kids interested in the bible and keeping them in church is very hard
> especially ages eight through twelve.

> >>Also, our main sunday school room is small and doesn't allow for much
> movement. If anyone has any advice please let me know.

Wow! Ages 8-12 is a big age gap! 8 year olds are just beginning to get
used to being a big kid, while 12 year olds are ready to move on to that
dreaded pre-pubescent stage!! All of them, though, enjoy hands-on activities, get
bored by long reading sessions and lecture-type teaching, and are able to
think more abstractly, and thus deeper, than the younger aged kids. This
makes for some great teaching moments! I would say not to worry too much
about the small room, as long as you allow them to move as much as you
can. I'd provide "active" lessons in which they get to use all their senses,
put themselves in the places of story characters, have discussions about
important ethical issues, and come up with ways to apply what they learn
in their own lives. Kids this age LOVE to help others and to try and make a
difference in bad situations. I'd come up with ways that they can
participate in helping the needy, too! Let them have a continuing service
project and put one of them in charge each month of coming up with an idea
for a worthy cause. Have them bring in needed items or collect them. Have
them write letters, be penpals, earn money to donate, or help the elderly
in the church. There are lots of things they can do to help others! Also,
I'd try and provide some structure, some incentives, and some fun!! To
keep the kids coming back, REALLY get to know them! Kids need to know that
you sincerely care about them. I like to pray for them individually out
loud in class or send them a "congratulations" or "thinking of you" card
when there's a big event in their life. They love to get mail, visits, and
phone calls, and love to be treated with respect and genuine concern. It's
also important to give each child a clean slate EVERY class time. Let them
know that if they have a bad day, it's ok. You'll get through it
together...Think about what you, as an adult, would want a teacher to be
like and be that teacher for your kids! And remember to have fun!!


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4) Parachute games

I have a list of parachute games I got from somewhere on the internet and
would be happy to email them to you...just send a request to


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--> Amazing Miracles of the Bible

God’s glory and love are revealed through the miracles he performed and
were fully realized when he came to earth in the form of a man to save
mankind. By studying the miracles of the Bible children will gain a better
understanding of God’s love and faithfulness and how he continues to be
loving and faithful in miraculous ways to his people today. Great for
rotation-type programs!

In the Curriculum Creatives section:

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5) Sharing Christ skit?

Dear Friend in Christ
I am looking for a short skit for my 3rd grade class chapel porgram. 
Topic from I Cornithian 1:18 the first line and the ending. " For the
message of the cross.......is the power of God.  Message sharing Christ
with others.  If you have any ideas they would be great appreciate.
  Thank you

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6) Keeping Kids Interested

For Barbara:
One thing that I did to keep kids' interest was to take out the table and
chairs.  We have carpeted floors, so it isn't an issue to have the kids
sit on the floor.  If you don't have carpeting, bring in an old blanket or
two for the kids to sit on.  It's amazing to see the difference in
attention that I got just from that.  Sometimes I bring the chairs back
in.  Sometimes I sit on the floor with them in a circle.  I use different
areas of the room for different things.  One corner is for games, the
middle is for the lesson, and another corner is for songs.  If you have a
table taking up 50% of the room, it helps a lot to take it out, even for
just a while.
The best advice I have, though, is to keep things short and choppy.  If
you have a long lesson, break it up into several parts.  I'm doing a
lesson on Esther this week, and start off talking about the king and the
search for his wife, then I stop for a game related to the story, and then
begin again with the story.  I will break the story up again later on in
the lesson, and have either another game or a song.  Sometimes I use
object lessons, too.  For a lesson about Job, I would look for an object
lesson about patience, which shakes things up a bit.  Then I always plan
for another song or game just in case I get through the lesson quicker
than anticipated.  Better to have lots to do that you don't use, then not
Lessons aside, have you considered a movie day or something like that?  I
don't know how your church feels about movies, but in our church it is
acceptable to watch Christian videos on occasion.  It is not something
that is done with any regularity, but around holidays or special events,
and although some people might say it is wrong, if your pastor and church
don't mind, then it would be a neat thing to do for the kids.  Send out a
note to the parents and tell the kids to invite their friends along. 
Bring in popcorn and have soda or juice and let them sit on the floor and
watch something fun.  You can probably find some good Christian videos
from your library.  Veggie Tales might be too young for them, but it would
depend on the group.  Maybe your church has a video or two from some
missionaries that would interest the kids.  Advertise it in the bulletin a
week or two beforehand.  Be sure to talk to the kids about the movie
you're watching and have a discussion afterwards, bringing in points from
the Bible.  Maybe, too, consider having an attendance contest for a month
or two.  Offer to throw the kids a pizza party or ice cream party during
one service if they bring in friends and visitors to reach a set goal. 
One thing that worked for me was to just show them that I cared.  I send
out birthday cards (postcards are cheaper to mail and just as effective)
and postcards when they don't come for a few weeks.  If you go through
your registration addresses and just send out some 10 cent postcards,
you'd be surprised how much response you'd get.  Be sure to include the
church's phone number if they need a ride to church, that can help a lot
at that age.
Best of luck to you.  It is a tricky age to work with, but God will bless
your efforts to keep them in church and learning about Him.

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7) Right Date for VBS
I have seen many responses to the question about perfect timing for a VBS
and none have came up with another option other than the summer weeks.
The Lord laid a similar burden on my heart 2 years ago - AFTER school had
started and the weather was getting cold here in Indiana. I woke up
several nights with ideas and promptings from God - and yet I still
questioned the idea that was eating away at me. I even wrote personally to
"Sarah" our SSTN Webservant for advice. She confirmed and encouraged me -
launching me on into a new time of year for VBS.
Camp Christmas - our WINTER VBS - was held the week following Christmas -
when the kids and parents all are going a bit stir crazy. The newness of
toys wears off and the boredom of a long vacation from school friends
makes the kids a bit antsy. Even parents are running out of ideas to
entertain their gang - so the timing was perfect and exceptionally well
I actually did not even approach the Pastor until the week of Thanksgiving
for his approval. With his blessing and only a month of official planning,
Camp Christmas VBS was underway. We had a couple of announcements, posters
displayed, and sign up sheets for volunteers in every category needed and
the plan fell into place with much excitement from the adults as well as
the kids.  The whole church helped in some way.
The decorating took place on the day after Christmas. The church family
was encouraged to undecorate their tree right after Christmas and bring it
to the church - along with as many twinkle lights and white sheets that
could be found. We transformed our sanctuary and each classroom needed
into a winter wonderland.  A nearby nursery even gave us their leftover
trees - with their wooden cross type stands. We used those along the
entrance of the walkway to the church. It was beautiful.
Our theme was "Jesus is the Reason - for EVERY Season!" We used a camp
theme. The creativity, lessons and skits were simply of the Lord. We had
good attendance, and more help than usual from the adults. We even met on
New Years Day!
All of this to say, don't let summer weather stifle your enthusiasm for a
VBS. If God is nudging you - forge ahead and allow HIM to work through
you. You will never be sorry for serving the Lord. HIS timing is ALWAYS
Emmalea Butler

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8) Parade Floats

This message is concerning parade floats, I am not sure how you plan to go
about building the float, but maybe you could use a theme from your church
or a Sunday school class as a basis. For instance God's Promise could be a
rainbow float, or you could even do a float of a VBS theme, or some other
theme. Not sure what kind of parade or anything you are entering, but
there is a great website with float ideas, and how-to's for building
floats at: http://www.valleydecorating.com/floatidea.html
You might want to start there.
Hope this helps!
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

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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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9) Tying Knots story?

Does anyone have any information on tying knots and the story that goes
with it in the Bible or where I can find a book with this information.
Please e-mail me at LAKECSLEEDS@JUNO.COM.

Thank You

--from SSTN: for those responding, please reply to SSTN so everyone may
benefit from your knowledge.

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10) Kids Church

Amen Angie!  I like your observations about kids in church. 


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11) Behavior

In reference to the question about Behavior. I have a few in my class that
poses problems.

I teach Children's Church during Worship service (directly following the
Song service) and have found that when a child is behaving and calling
attention to himself-or herself-I can go over and give the child a hug and
talk to him or her quietly for just a second asking what is the matter or
whatever and they settle down for a little while.  Sometimes that is all
the child needs is a hug. This has worked for me.

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12) Multiage ideas

> 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?"
Our church is also small and I have 5 yrs old to 3rd grade in my SS.  I
found "One' Room Sunday School" and it works great.  For each lesson there
are coloring sheets and workbook pages for all ages.  There are also
crafts and games that all ages would enjoy.  Hope it helps!
Yours in Christ

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13) Children's Day in Church

On Mother's day or Father's Day we don't ask the mother's and fathers to
take over the service, instead we have a service about them. Honoring
them. How about planning a children's Day with the children in mind? Have
music they like, the sermon at their level, perhaps complete with  flannel
graph? Even a skit for the kids to watch put on by adults? It was a big hit
when this was done at my church. The adults enjoyed it as much as the kids.

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14) Children's Day in Church

Our church has several variations on children's day. Every year the
children put on an Advent service (we use a Christmas/Advent pagent, our
pastor adds scripture readings and the choirs(Cherub/Junior/Seniors) also
add in musical worship segments). In addition we have various times of the
year where the kids either come for a message from the pastor or do
presentations for the congregations (for example bible story skits) as
part of the regular worship service. The older kids (gr. 5 and up) also
started ushering with a parent on a rotational basis bringing them to the
full service with new enthusiasm. Sunday school classes also participate
in hosting  fellowship (we found this a wonderful opportunity for the kids
to think about others before themselves
and learning to practise self restraint)

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