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10 Fun Ideas For A Friendship Lesson

12 Feb
  1. HappyRoll out butcher paper on the floor. Have kids write words that describe a good friend or draw pictures of someone being a good friend.

2. Tell a personal story of when someone was a good friend to you. Include what actions they took that made them a good friend and how it made you feel.

3. Memorize a bible verse. Make up actions to help the kids remember the words. Or better yet, have them create their own actions.

“A friend loves at all times.”  Proverbs 17:17

“Do to others as you want them to do to you.” Luke 6:31

4. Watch the Friendship Soup video

5. Discuss in small groups:

Why are arguments a part of friendship?

How do you think God wants you to deal with arguments in a friendship?

How can you disagree with someone in a kind way?

6. Make Friendship Soup. Put out bowls of snacks- goldfish crackers, pretzels, dried fruit, cheese puffs, Chex cereal, etc.  Each child spoons some of what they want into a bowl to make their own soup.

7. Make friendship bracelets and trade them with each other. Instructions can be found on these sites:

Cool and Easy to Make Friendship Bracelets

Basic Friendship Bracelets

8. Create an obstacle course. Divide kids into pairs. One child must close his/her eyes while the other ones leads through the course. Practice trusting a friend during this activity.

9. Tell a Bible story about friendship. The JellyTelly Parents blog has a good post with ideas.

10. Play Guess the Mood. Print off pictures of faces or tear them from magazines. Have the kids work together in teams to divide the pictures into similar emotions.

 

What ideas do you have to build friendship in your church, organization or family?

 

 

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Five Ways To Create a Fun Kidmin Environment

15 Jan

Recently I had the opportunity to tour the children’s area at Wooddale Church located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. One of our former employees, Zach, is now the Elementary Program Associate in the Wooddale Kids ministry.

I love to get inspiration from how other churches create a welcoming space for children. One of the things I learned from serving in small churches is how to create a fun environment similar to what a larger ministry would be able to financially afford. Many of the elements found at Wooddale could be recreated inexpensively. Large pillows can be sewn- recovered old pillows. Chairs similar to those pictured could be purchased from IKEA. A little paint on the walls can go a long way- especially when creating a themed area.

Five things I’ve learned about creating a fun, safe kidmin area:

  1. Find someone in your church who is talented at building things. Almost every church has someone who gets excited as the prospect of using his/her power tools on the weekend.
  2. Use materials that are cheap. Cardboard, PVC pipe and foam core are some examples.
  3. Go to garage sales with an eye on what could be repurposed in your kid’s ministry.
  4. Build a creative team. These people do not have to be good with kids- they just need to be able to build or sew or paint or decorate. It’s a great way to get people involved that wouldn’t normally think of kid’s ministry as a place to serve.
  5. Many larger churches retire their sets after a few years. Be on the lookout for opportunities to reuse these sets. Also, many churches give away their VBS decorations.

 

We’d love to hear your ideas.

Walk4Water

29 Jun
Walk4Water_studentsPhoto credits: Janelle Gustafson

One of my favorite days of the year is our annual Walk4Water at the church where I serve, Prairie Oak Community Church. We fill our buckets full of water and “feel the burn” as we trudge two miles through suburban Andover, Minnesota.

Walk4Water_firetruck

The purpose of our event is to change two communities: our own by bringing awareness of the need for clean water and the community where a well will be built with the proceeds. This year’s proceeds will go to a community in Liberia that was hard hit by the Ebola virus.

Sierra Leone well(1)
Past project results in a well in Sierra Leone

What I love about this event is how it brings us together as one no matter the age. Parents will often pull younger children in wagons. Dogs are always invited to walk along with us. Every generation is represented in the long line of people in matching blue shirts taking an hour of their time to make a difference in the world.

Walk4Water_headingout

Last year we added a 5K fun run to the event. I love the cheering and encouraging words that are shouted to the runners- especially by those who have finished the race and who wait at the finish line.

RunningWater5k_runner

Sponsoring a Walk4Water event in your community is a great way to not only raise money for clean water initiatives, but also to raise awareness in your community of the need for clean water. Ultimately the goal is to change two communities: one in need of water and one in need of compassion.

A Walk4Water event can be any size whether a small group of family members and friends or a large organization of 500.

The event can include a pre-walk party or information session, the 2-mile walk, 5K run and an after-party. During the walk participants carry buckets of water to “feel the burn” that those without clean water near them feel as they walk to the nearest water source. For those who are physically unable to carry buckets, supply water bottles to carry. Families enjoy walking together pulling younger kids in wagons. Also, participants can recruit teams from work, the gym, neighborhoods or extended family. After the walk consider holding a picnic with grilled hotdogs and other simple food.

Walk4Water_couplebackdrop

For detailed information on how to host your own Walk4Water click here. If you would like to donate this year’s Walk4Water project, visit our website.

River’s Edge has a Clean Water lesson for kids that helps them understand that a way we love others as Jesus told us to do is by supplying clean water to those in need. Consider teaching this lesson as a way to prepare for the walk.

Have you done something with your church, family or organization to raise money for clean water? We’d love to hear about it.