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SSTN # 93 - September 3, 2003

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1) Full Armor of God / Medieval VBS Theme?
2) Paying attention   
3) Halloween Alternative   

--> Last Minute Ideas!

4) Paying attention
5) How to make 3-5 year listen
6) Halloween Alternative   

--> His Name Shall Be Called...

7) Sunday School Drive   
8) Taking God Out of Schools, society...
9) Short Attention Spans

--> Fruit of the Spirit - Bingo Game

10) Noah's Ark Ideas for 3-5 yr olds?
11) Mission Friends 2-4 year olds   
12) Halloween Games?

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1) Full Armor of God / Medieval VBS Theme?

Hi ! I am looking for ideas for props , decorations , games and snacks etc
for a VBS set in "Camelot" times.  Especially using the Full Armour of God
.   Any help would be really appreciated!  Thanks so much  In Christ,
Scarlett..... RI

--from SSTN: check out the Armor of God lesson with activities at:

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2) Paying attention

I've taught 4-6 year olds for several years now, but used to teach 2-3
year olds. One thing that worked well for me was getting carpet samples
(rectangles about 12 x 18"). Each child got a carpet from the stack, and
took it to a spot in front of my chair. That was their place for story
time. The main rule was "each carpet gets its own space" - meaning they
can't overlap. Then I went through a finger play (open shut them, open
shut them, give a little clap; open shut them, open shut them, and put
them in your lap) and my usual spiel : now that we're sitting on our
rugs and we've said open shut them, your hands should be touching only
things that belong to you, and your mouth should be quiet (take one hand
out of your lap and zzzzip your lips), and your eyes and ears looking at

They seemed to enjoy the routine and reminded me if I left out any
parts of my "speech". With the carpets, it's easy to define "your place
to sit", and easy to move if someone needs to be a little farther away
from his/her friends (still part of the group, just out of reach).

A short story, told with lots of drama (different voices for different
people, etc.) and things to look at (pictures, flannelgraph, puppets,
etc.) usually held their attention. If they've been sitting quietly
before story time, a few minutes of action - songs or games with lots of
movement - also helped.

Now, I teach 4-6 year olds, usually 35-45 each week. I give them their
snack, then tell the story while they're eating. I tell them "you have
your snack to keep your mouths busy, and here's a story to keep your
eyes and ears busy" - works for most of them.

I hope this helps.
Linda in Cedarville, OH

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3) Halloween Alternative   

Have you noticed how much halloween has changed from the time we were
kids?  We used to have so much fun going door to door.  Now between the
churches and the schools (having children go room to room) we have no
trick or treaters at all.  Our church has a very clever "trunk or treat"
night.  We decorate our trunks, pass out the candy and there even is a
prize for the best decorated trunk.

God bless,

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--> Last Minute Ideas!

It's Saturday night and you've just been asked to fill in for Sunday
morning. Or maybe you've had a busy week and ran out of time to prepare
for your class. Or you just need a change of pace and a fun activity to add to
your existing curriculum.  If you have found yourself in any of these
situations, give our "Easy Make N' Take Projects" a try!
Learn more at: 


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4) Paying attention

>how could i or we as a sunday school teacher to gather the three to 5
>years old to concentrate on what we teach?

Dear Anne,
I teach 4-6 year olds and I have found the best time for the lesson is
when they are sitting down and eating their snack.  Sometimes their
snack relates to the lesson, so that in itself gets their attention.  I
sit down at the table with them and we "talk".

I think you will agree that 3-5 year olds cannot concentrate, instead we
as teachers must bring them or direct them into our lesson, therefore we
are the ones concentrating on the lesson we teach and not the children.
Your concentration on the lesson will bring the children in by you
incorporating the lesson into the snacks they eat, the songs they sings,
the crafts they make and the games they play.  They need a lot of
activity at this age.  The one thing I have learned in teaching this age
group is that even when you don't think they are learning...they ARE
learning. Praise God!  The most important thing that I have found to
work is prayer.  Pray before each class you teach and with each class
you teach.  It really does work!

Joppa, AL

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5) How to make 3-5 year listen?   

I too am a Sunday School Teacher of this age.  One way to help them learn
the lessons is by talking the lesson during crafts or during snack time.
You can also play games with them to make a point.  They love stickers and
things that are age related.  I hope thisa may help a little.  Email if
you need something else.  NancyK803@aol.com
Nancy Kitts

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6) Halloween Alternative   

Hello, this message is in response to the message about Halloween
Alternatives. Instead of having a Halloween celebration, our church holds
a Fall Festival on Halloween every year. The entire month of October the
church collects candy that is put into drop boxes located in the church
lobby. People then volunteer the trunk of their car for the Trunk Or Treat
line. Kids come on Halloween in their costumes, and trick or treat from
trunk to trunk. Some parents choose to decorate the trunk of their cars,
and most sit in lawn chairs nearby and just fill their empty trunks with
candy. The kids get to walk from trunk to trunk, just like they would go
house to house. We also have things like an Astro Jump, free caramel
apples and popcorn, sometimes even a band. This has always been a very
successful event at our church, and we usually end up with a lot of new
comers who check out our church because of this event. It's a great way to
involve the surrounding community. Sometimes, members of our church who
are talented paint faces, make balloon hats and animals, etc. One time we
even rented a rock climbing wall, and another time we rented a swing ride
similar to what you would see at a fair. We also have a mini train some
years that runs along the parking lot all the way around the church. Hope
this message is helpful. Love in Christ, Sarah

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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. "His Name Shall Be Called..." seeks to teach children how to obey the
third commandment, which says, "Do Not Misuse God’s Name". This series
contains a variety of fun lessons, crafts, and games to teach respect and
honor for God to the children in your ministry. For Kindergarten - 5th
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7) Sunday School Drive   

Hello, this is in response to the person who was inquiring about how to
encourage more children to attend Sunday school. There are many ways to go
about doing this. One of the best ways is to let the kids be your
advertising. Encourage them to bring friends to class (some churches even
reward children with an incentive for bringing a friend to class),
encourage them to tell their friends about what they learned, etc. Also,
things like Christmas and other holiday programs are a great way to let
the church know all about Sunday school and it's happenings. Another idea
is to print what the children will be learning in the church program or
bulletin, this encourages parents to bring their children to Sunday school
classes. If your church has announcements or an opening, have them give
Sunday school a plug from time to time, encouraging newcomers to check out
the Sunday school classes. You can also set up a booth at a table in a
church lobby or a foyer where everyone will pass through after church, you
can display work of children currently in Sunday school classes, have as
many of your teachers as possible on hand to meet newcomers with
questions, etc. Be sure to make bright posters advertising your Sunday
school to hand on the booth. Lastly, an event similar to an open house
that public schools hold is a great way to encourage people to check out
the Sunday school classes. Plan a mini lesson with a project, advertise
the event in the church. If parents get a feel for what their children
will be learning, they will be more likely to leave their children in the
Sunday School classes, and if the kids see their parents enjoying the
lesson, they will be at ease when it's time for them to go to Sunday
school classes. Hope this helps. Love in Christ, Sarah

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8) Taking God Out of Schools, society...

This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football
game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee, by school
Principal, Jody McLoud:

"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games,
to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and

Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a
Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at this
time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and
call it "an alternate lifestyle," and if someone is offended, that's OK.

I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and
calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.
I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing
an unborn baby as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is
offended, no problem. I can designate a school day as "Earth Day"
and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the
goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology."

I can use literature, videos, and presentations in the classroom that
depict people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as :simple
minded" and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment."
However, if anyone uses this facility to honor God and to ask Him to
bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case Law
is violated.

This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical.
Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except
God and His Commandments.

Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and
students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree.
For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst,
hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally.
I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.

For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is
Caesar's," and refrain from praying at this time.  "However,
if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank God and ask
Him, in the name of Jesus, to bless this event, please feel free
to do so. As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet."
One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held
hands with one another and began to pray. They prayed in the stands.
They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at
the concession stand and they prayed in the Announcer's Box!

The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the
United States of America - the Seat of "Justice" in the "one nation, under

Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee remembered what so many have forgotten.
We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion.
Praise God that His remnant remains! Celebrate Jesus in 2003!

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9) Short Attention Spans

<<how could i or we as a sunday school teacher to gather the three to 5
>>years old to concentrate on what we teach? i found it very hard to get
<<them sit down

Yep! 3-5 year olds have short attention spans- that's for sure! And they
have so much energy and so much curiosity!!!

I would say to plan hands-on activities as much as possible. They love to
use their 5 senses to learn things!

Also, since they are easily distracted and on the go, don't expect them
to sit still during a story time that lasts more than a few minutes! They
can generally only sit still and pay attention for the number of minutes
that corresponds to their age (3 year olds for 3 mins, 4 year olds for 4
mins, etc.), and especially if they are not actively engaged in the

Since you can't change the make-up of a preschooler, you gotta' change
methods! I think it really helps to have a lesson or story during snack
because the kids will usually sit still and listen (even though it may
like they're not listening when they stop you to ask for another cookie,
etc...) while eating.

At any rate, find other ways to teach the children besides counting on
storytelling or reading all the time. Use activities and games that let
them move and respond to questions! During play time, ask relevant
questions like, "Who made the food that you're cooking? That's right! God
made our food!"  Or, "Look at you, Abby! You are growing so big and
learning so much! You can work that puzzle by yourself! You know, God
helps you grow strong because He loves you!"

Most importantly, don't be afraid to try new things, and don't be afraid
stop what isn't working. For example, some people have had great success
with puppets during story time for this age group. Others find that the
get overly excited and run up and try and grab the puppets, keeping the
other kids from hearing the story...you gotta' find what works and keep
doing it!

In His Service,

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--> Fruit of the Spirit - Bingo Game

A fun way for players to learn the Fruit of the Spirit characteristics.
Players score using real fruit candy! FREE SHIPPING!
Learn more here:
(you may need to copy and paste this address to your browser)

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10) Noah's Ark Ideas for 3-5 yr olds?

I am looking for some additional Noah's ark ideas for 3-5 year olds on
Wednesday night.  We normally have around 20 kids and split into two
classes.  We will be doing a month long series on Noah's Ark and I need
for "new" ideas.  Thanks for any help you can offer!

Whitney White
Cleveland, Tennessee

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11) Mission Friends 2-4 year olds   

I'm not familiar with this program, but I can give you ideas about music
for this age : check out the tapes/videos/CDs by Miss PattyCake and by
Karyn Henley. I use these a lot with my 4-6 year olds, but I think the
younger kids would enjoy them and could learn some of the songs.

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12) Halloween Games?

To the people who responded to the halloween alternative, what kind of
games did you do?


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