Activities for Summer

Activities for Summer

Below is a collection of summer crafts and activities suitable for children’s clubs and Sunday Schools. Craft: CD Weaving What You Need: Old CDs, scrap yarn, scissors, and if you want to make the flexible needles, plastic lids, and a hole punch. To make the needles, cut the rim off the plastic lid. Cut the remaining flat circle of plastic into pie shaped pieces, then round the top edge. Punch a hole in the rounded end to make the eye of the needle. Trim if needed. You can prepare the CD looms in advance if you like. To Warp the CD: The warp yarn is between 4 and 6 feet long. Tie it to the CD by putting one end through the centre hole and knotting it to itself on the back. Turn the CD over to the front, pulling the thread through the centre and wrapping around the CD, creating the spokes. Make sure the warp threads are pretty tight! It’s IMPORTANT to have the warp threads be an UNEVEN number. It’s easy to check this by pushing the spokes together in pairs, making sure your last one is a SINGLE… The total number of warp threads can vary, as long as it’s an uneven number. The fewer spokes, the faster it is to weave, but the looser the weaving will be, especially out near the edge. Knot the last thread on the back of the CD by tying it to the first thread. Then spread out the warp threads evenly on the front. Now you’re ready to weave! Choose your first yarn. It will be the centre...
Stress Toolkit for Children and Young People

Stress Toolkit for Children and Young People

Stress Toolkit for Children and Young People Stress is a natural part of every young person’s life. Stress is any change, internal or external, positive or negative, to which a young person must adapt; simply, stress is anything that causes physical and/or mental wear and tear on the body and mind. Children and young people’s stress is usually related to everyday experiences, worries and challenges at school, home, in the community and within their peer group. For example, young people may experience stress resulting from bullying, name calling, social isolation, not getting what they want, body image, academic difficulties, and unsafe neighbourhoods. While each student will respond to and resolve stress differently, the impact of ongoing and/or unresolved stress can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability, poor concentration, aggression, physical illness, fatigue, sleep disturbance and poor coping skills such as tobacco, drug and/or alcohol use. Therefore, young people, like adults, can benefit from learning and practicing stress management skills. Students who develop stress reduction skills learn how to feel and cope better without hurting themselves or others. Identifying and acknowledging the causes of stress and expressing feelings about them are usually the most effective tools students have to reduce stress, in addition to learning practical stress reduction skills. The attached Stress Toolkit is designed to teach children and young people a variety of practical and fun stress reduction techniques. Click Here: Toolkit: Stress Reduction For Children and Young...
Children’s Session – Who is Jesus?

Children’s Session – Who is Jesus?

Children’s Session –  Who is this Jesus? This session helps young people think about the different metaphors that are often applied to Jesus. Introductory Activities Guess Who Game – Ask as many questions as it takes to guess the face Who am I Post-it Note Game Write the name of a famous person or character on a sticky note for each child. Characters can be dead or alive, fictional or non-fictional, real or “cartoon”. Making sure that the player can’t see it, stick the note to their forehead. When everyone is named players mingle and walk around the room asking the sort of questions that can be answered by “yes”, “no” and “not applicable” to try to work out who they are. Cracker Challenge How many Crackers can the children eat without having a drink of water? What does it feel like to be thirsty? What does it feel like to have your thirst quenched? “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 Snack: Chocolate pastries and juice Main Activities Game: Wrap a Leader Split the group into teams and assign a leader for each team. Provide wrapping paper, ribbon and tape. The first team to wrap the leader up the quickest and prettiest wins. Make sure they can breathe and make sure they person being wrapped up is comfortable with this. Game: Am I telling the Truth The leader will read out five statements about themselves and the children have to decide whether you are telling...
Children’s Session: Palm Sunday

Children’s Session: Palm Sunday

Children’s Session – Palm Sunday Introductory Activities Famous Faces Quiz Can the children and young people guess which famous celebrities are in each mash-up. Quiz Powerpoint: Famous Faces Pin the tail on the donkey Available from Amazon Lotus Party Game – Pin The Tail On The Donkey – 12 Player Palm Branches Children will make their own palm branches that they can take into the service with them. You will need a piece of green construction paper, scissors and tape. Cut your construction paper in ½ inch strips about half way down the length of the paper. Roll uncut end of paper into a tube and tape. Fluff top pieces of paper where you cut into strips to create palm branch. Palm Sunday Worksheets Palm-Sunday-Coloring-Page Newspaper Front Page Wordsearch Main Activities Palm Sunday Relay Race Break the children into two teams. Each team are given a stick donkey, 3 cardboard palm branches and a t-shirt card template. This is a race but when the children are riding the donkey they can only step on the branches or t-shirt template on the ground. To get up and down they will need another member of the group to move the branches/t-shirt after they’ve been stood on. The winning team will be the first with each member to race to the top of the hall and back Palm Sunday Video   Invite children and young people to wonder using such statements as : I wonder why it is called Palm Sunday I wonder what the people were feeling as Jesus rode into Jerusalem I wonder what you would have said to Jesus I wonder how Jesus felt with all...
Ideas: Youth Group Games

Ideas: Youth Group Games

A collection of youth group games suitable for  groups both large and small. Can be used as icebreakers or as stand alone games. Grog You take apart a torch and hide the parts throughout the play area. One kid is the Grog, which is a monster that can freeze you in place by tagging you. Everyone has to work together to find the parts, assemble the torch , and shine it on the Grog to defeat “it.” Sardines  Sardines is hide and seek, backwards. One person hides in a dark place, and then as people find them, they join in hiding, until one person remains. This was my groups favourite game to play on sleepovers at the church. Scatterball Dodge ball with a twist. To start, everyone must have a hand on a nerf ball. Throw the ball up in the air and everyone scatters. Somebody grabs the ball in the air or off the ground. Whoever has the ball can only take two steps. After two steps, the player must throw the ball — dodge ball style — at another player. If the ball hits a player, that player sits down right where they are. BUT, they can still play, they just can’t move from their seated spot.
 If a player is hit by the ball and catches it, then the throwing player sits down. At any time sitting players can snag the ball if it rolls by, and they can throw it at standing players trying to get them out. The game ends when only one player is standing Lifesize Clue The youth group gathers in the evening when the church...
Children’s Session: Prayer

Children’s Session: Prayer

Children’s Session Prayer Prayer Collage In the week before this activity collect a variety of local newspapers. Organize your class into twos and threes and give each group a different local newspaper. Have the groups look through the newspapers for stories of people they would like to pray for. It’s not hard to find people who have been victims of different crimes, are facing challenges, or would benefit from prayer in some way. Have them create a collage of newspaper stories, with short prayers for the people they want to pray for written on the collage. Feelings Prayer Game Game Board: feelings prayer game Dots and Squares Prayer Game You will need: A piece of paper, pens or pencils (each player should have a different colour) Draw some dots in lines and columns on the paper The example below has 10 rows of 7 dots. Each player takes it in turns to draw a line between two of the dots.  Eventually, you will be able to close up boxes.  Whoever draws the line that closes the box can write or draw inside the box… Someone’s name- ask God to bless them and help them Something that you want to thank God for Something you would like to ask God for Take time to say the prayer out loud or in your head, then carry on! The winner is the player who has filled the most boxes by the end of the game. Worksheets Directions Prayer Maze Prayer Wordsearch Popcorn Challenge To start off have the kids stand in two straight lines, facing each other. The kids will be paired up in...
Children’s Session – Light of the World

Children’s Session – Light of the World

Children’s Session: Light of the World Matthew 5:14 ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.’ Indoor Fireworks Use some indoor fireworks to introduce the theme of light. Set up a table and use a non-flammable surface such as a baking tray to put the fireworks on. Safety is paramount so remember to keep children at a safe distance and use a well-ventilated space. You can read a review of indoor fireworks here. Video: Night and Day Craft: Salt Dough Sun Catchers Begin by mixing together the flour, salt and water to make the salt dough (2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water).  Roll out dough and make shapes using large star shaped cookie cutter. Use the smaller star cookie cutter on the centre of the cut out shapes.  Remove the dough from the middle.  Using a toothpick or skewer make a small hole in the top of the star. Using a spatula careful lift each star onto a cooking tray covered with parchment paper.  Have the children fill the middle of the stars with the transparent beads.  Try to make sure that there are no spaces left between the beads. Depending on time children can take their finished sun catchers home with instructions to bake. Loosely cover with tinfoil and bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 1- 1.5 hours or until the beads are melted together.  Remember oven temperatures can vary it may take a longer or shorter amount of time.  The salt dough will turn a light to dark brown colour.  Let cool completely. Game: Sun, Moon,...
Children’s Session – Remembrance Day

Children’s Session – Remembrance Day

Children’s Session Remembrance Day Worksheets Remembrance Day Wordsearch Remembrance Day Word Scramble Game: Poppy Relay You will need: large petal shapes from red paper/cardboard and a large centre from black paper, blu-tac. This is a game that can help introduce the theme of remembrance and gives the opportunity to build things by working together. Split the children into relay teams to build up a poppy on the wall. Don’t explain that the black centre needs to be put on last. After they are finished see how they got in. Was the centre placed on last? If so it will cover the rough edges of the petals in the middle. Video: The Poppy Story http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Poppy-Story-First-Level-Up.mp4 Was there anything in the video story that you hadn’t heard before? Why do we wear poppies? Why is it important to remember events of the past? Why do we maintain a minutes silence at Remembrance Day? Poppy Craft (Older Children) You need 2 pieces of cardboard for this project. One for the background and one for the poppy. Trace a poppy shape on the cardboard and cut out. Starting on the outside of one of the petals spread some tacky glue and start laying down the wool. For this project the tacky glue is the best, it holds down the yarn immediately whereas PVA glue may not stick at first and gets soaked up in the wool. Now you can add different shades of yarn in the poppy to add depth. You can also add some black yarn in bits and pieces as well. For the centre first paint it black and then add...
Children’s Session: Jesus heals a leper

Children’s Session: Jesus heals a leper

I wonder if you’ve ever felt left out?Matthew 8: Jesus Heals a Leper Jesus showed us who God is by touching the untouchable and loving those who were often feared and rejected. Group Mandala Have each child and volunteer draw around their hands on the circle of card using the chalk. Encourage the children to take some time to think about how they feel this morning and what colours/images match those feelings.  They can add their design to the inside of their hand outlines. Once they’ve done that ask what feelings/images/colours come to mind when they think about being part of this group. They use these to fill the remaining space between each of the hands. Selection of First Aid Quizzes Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Quiz 3 Garden Dangers First Aid Risky Business First Aid Game: Operation During the session explain that in Biblical times Leprosy was a word for all kinds of skin diseases. These diseases were not like having the common cold! Some of them were contagious and eventually led to paralysis, loss of body parts, and even death. In Jesus’ culture, people who had leprosy were viewed as filth and unacceptable. Hey had to wear torn clothing and announce themselves whenever they encountered people. By law they had to be completely separate from family the community. Game: No Touching Allowed What if, like people with leprosy, we couldn’t touch anyone else? Our lives would be very different, and sometimes quite challenging. Pair children, and give each pair an orange. Have the pair place the orange between their foreheads and then try to walk to the opposite end...
Children’s Session: Matthew 11:28

Children’s Session: Matthew 11:28

Children’s Session Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Snakes and Ladders Play a game of snakes and Ladders with your group as a way of introducing that life has many ups and downs. Sometimes when we are the midst of difficulties we might ask where is God. Believing in God doesn’t guarantee that we will avoid hardship – but God is with us to help us keep moving forward. In what way might the game of snakes and ladders be like life? Exercise Relay game Divide your group into teams and see who can complete the exercise course the quickest. EG, 5 sit ups, 5 push ups, 10 star jumps, and lift some not too heavy weights 10 times ETC. Those not running can act as spotters and encourage the team players. Strength Test (You will need: four bags of plain flour, plus a few spares in case they burst; a large plastic mat; stopwatch.) Stand on the mat opposite a friend. Take two bags of flour each, one in each hand. Hold your arms out straight and hold for as long as possible. See who can hold out for the longest. Place the flour down when your arms are too tired. (Smaller bags of sugar could be used for younger children.) After trying to do it on their own offer them help. This should make it much easier to lift. How did you feel after these two challenges? What are some things that make you tired? What are some of the things that make you feel refreshed or...