There is a supply closet in one of our rooms that the kids like to raid. It has all of our art supplies, games, etc. It’s no wonder they want to go in there! However, it really is not set up to be accessed by kids, nor is it safe for the little ones. I wanted to put up some kind of Keep Out sign, but keep it lighthearted at the same time. The sign I came up with says “KEEP OUT, Unless you are old & boring.” It’s to the point, but kids will appreciate the humor. Just an idea, in case you need something like this in your kid’s area.
We have issues in children’s church with kids bringing in toys that are distracting, or a cup full of snacks from the snack counter. In the past it has been a disruption to the class. To help curb that behavior, we’ve now put up a sign on the door that tells kids to put their snacks and toys on the counter at the back of the room. They can claim them when class is over. Even if the kids don’t remember the rule when they come in, it’s easy for teachers to point to the sign and remind them. Kids tend not to argue with a written sign.
One of our church outreach activities this year for the Christmas season was making cards for all the kids who will go through the line at the local food pantry. We ended up making 50 cards. I went out and bought some red and green card stock, plus some Christmas stamps. In addition to that, I also brought my own personal supplies. If you’d like to do something like this yourself, here is a list of the supplies you may want:
- card stock (red, green, white)
- Christmas-themed paper
- Christmas stamps
- ink pads (black, red, green, gold)
- paper trimmer
- glue/glue sticks
- Christmas stickers
- adhesive-backed jewels
- embossing/die cutting machine
- embossing folders & die cuts
- paper punches
- glitter glue
I also have a few bits of advice for you:
1. Cut and pre-fold plain cards ahead of time. This will speed up the process and you will have the correct number of cards to begin with.
2. Give the kids limited access to the craft supplies. Anything you give them free access to can get ruined or used up. Keep this in mind when deciding what to give them.
3. For the stamped images, it is easiest to have an adult/teen make the prints assembly line style. They can stamp several of the same image in a row on one sheet of paper and then go on to the next stamp. Another person can cut around the stamped images and distribute them to the kids. This will keep the kids from getting full of ink.
4. Designate a specific place for finished cards to go. Those that are still wet will have a chance to dry this way.
5. It may help to have sample phrases to write in the cards. Some kids don’t know what to write.
I hope these tips help! This was a nice fun, relaxing activity. The kids had a blast being creative and they were the ones who ended up making most of our cards.
Last week the older kids made these cute thankfulness journals. Our teacher just happened to have the materials sitting around her house. She had gotten them years ago and had never gotten around to making them. Perfect!
- Cheap notepade/notebooks (she said these were 3 for $1 at the dollar store and they already had a cover on them)
- Patterned scrapbook paper/card stock
- Printed “Give Thanks” tags
1. Allow each child to pick out the papers they would like to use.
2. Cut out pieces to fit. They should have one large piece that will fold around the notebook’s cover. Smaller accent pieces can also be used. Let the kids get creative.
3. Glue large piece so that it covers the front and back of the notebook. Glue other decorative pieces in place, including the “Give Thanks” tag.
4. Label with names. You don’t want kids fighting over them!
- styrofoam balls (1 small & 1 medium per kid)
- paint (orange & brown)
- constructions paper (yellow, orange & brown)
- googly eyes
1. Do some prep work ahead of time. Shave off a small portion of each medium ball so that it will sit flat on the table. Paint the medium styrofoam ball brown and the small one orange. Cut out feathers for the turkey in skinny leaf-type shapes. Also cut out small diamond-shape beaks.
2. Fold each feather in half the long way and glue a toothpick to it, allowing it to stick out a bit at the end.
3. Have child attach head to body with a toothpick.
4. Glue eyes and beak to head.
5. Let child push toothpick feathers into the body.
Another object lesson I did with the older kids was this one involving baking soda and vinegar. It is so easy to do. Just put some baking soda in the bottom of a cup. Make sure it is on something that will catch the spillover. We talked about our anger and how if we let it build up, it will eventually spill over or erupt and we’ll say and do mean things to those around us. It’s at this point that you want to pour some vinegar into the cup so that it can bubble up and spill over. Then you can ask the kids for ideas of things they can do to deal with their anger, so they don’t boil over, too.
- construction paper (orange, yellow, brown)
- paper plates
- lg. craft sticks
- hot glue & gun
1. Cut out the middle part of the paper plates.
2. Cut out strips of paper ahead of time for the lion’s mane.
3. Also cut out brown ears for the lion (shaped like a bear’s ear).
4. Hot glue craft stick to bottom of plate.
5. Write “Daniel 6″ on craft stick handle.
6. Let kids glue hair and ears onto paper plate mask to look like lion.