Sunday, 4 August 2013

10 ideas for using Blu-tack in children ministry

I don't know about you, but I start to feel a little panicky when I can't find my pack of Blu-tack. I have just found it to be so useful. When we need kids to pin up pictures and Bible points in our lessons- Blu-tack. When we want kids to rearrange the words for our Bible verse on the wall, we use Blu-tack. When we organise our decoration materials to redesign for a new theme, Blu-tack is top of the list. When we restock our resources cupboard and trolleys, Blu-tack is an essential.

So I thought it might be helpful to list some of the ways that we have used Blu-tack in our children's ministry programs. 

10 uses in kidmin:
1. Use a blob as a replacement for lost paint container caps.
2. Give restless kids a blob to play with, sort of like a stress ball.
3. Attach balloons to walls and ceilings with Blu-tack.
4. Stop the buzz of a vibrating speaker with a wad of Blu-tack.
5. Position a small ball of Blu-tack under a projector to level the projection.
6. Use to create figures for your Bible story. (It also works well to use the figures to create a stop motion clip.)
7. Hold paint pots in place to prevent kids tipping them.
8. Attach a blob to the whiteboard to hold markers.
9. Pick up spilled beads easily with a blob of Blu-tack.
10. Use a ball of' Blu-tack to secure the 'Special seat' prize to the base of one of your kidmin chairs.

I've even heard of rolling some into a string to contain a paint spill. What creative uses have you devised for Blu-tack?

Check out the following YouTube clip with some more great ideas for Blu-tack.

You might also be interested in: 
Easy decorating ideas for children's ministry
Free powerpoint slides for your children's ministry
Special' thank you' gift for volunteers

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Your jellybeans

Have you noticed how kids love those ‘guess the jellybeans in the jar’ competitions? They will spend forever shaking the jar and trying to count the jellybeans at the bottom of the jar, losing track and starting again.

There’s a YouTube clip that you may have seen called, ‘The time you have… in jellybeans’ and it’s an amazing representation of how we use our time. Did you know that we spend nearly 5 times more days watching TV than caring for friends and family? We spend over 23 years of our lives (after the age of 15) asleep. We spend only slightly more time investing in our communities and churches than we do grooming ourselves. (Who spends time working out all those stats?) Check out the clip below.

Those of us who work in children and family ministry always seem to be short of time. There’s always something else that needs to be done, prepared, organised or cleaned up. 

But maybe, there are some ways that we can restructure our time and our lives for greater purpose. For example, if I watch half as much TV, I will have another 1338 days. If I listen to podcasts and audio books whilst travelling, I will have used my time in a more meaningful and useful fashion. The majority of my meals can become memorable experiences with friends and family if I plan to eat with others.

Psalm 90:12 is a great reminder: Help us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Instead of just crossing tasks off your to-do list, how can you plan your day for greater impact? What life-changing decision/s will you make today? How much time will you spend building memories? How much joy for others can you create?

What would you do differently if you only had one more day?

Find FRESH enthusiasm and energy
You might also be interested in: 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Visuals and teaching strategies for children's ministry

Can you believe it? We all forget 90% of what we learn within a month, most of us within an hour. In some ways, that's very reassuring. I had begun to think that I was experiencing early onset of Alzheimer's, so it's nice to know I'm relatively normal. This and other snippets of information relating to the brain and how we learn is listed on an infographic by Chris Lema, 'Smart Teaching- understanding what a brain can't ignore.'   Check out the infographic and you can evaluate your teaching strategies for your children's ministry programs. You can also download and print the infographic as a reminder to regularly review your lessons. See here..

I was reminded again of the importance of visual materials and graphics for kids in the learning process. Apparently half our brain focuses on processing visual content. But finding great faith-focused graphics for your children's ministries and resources can be difficult and time-consuming. I've found a couple of resources that you may find helpful to check out.  

There are many sites that provide quality, royalty-free images but what about images for your children's ministry programs, vbs materials or midweek programs. Now, with LightStock, you can find faith-based photos for just what you need- nativity images, resurrection, for kids' VBS activities, back-to-school, service projects and so much more. They have some great photos; even a simple search, like 'children' produces some wonderful images. You'll find individual images or collections that showcase a particular artist or a present photos with a similar theme. And, the growing base of faithful believers provides a safe-search environment. Read more about LiteStock here.

Then, then check out the resources offered by Eikon- Bible Art. Their stunning graphics can be used in many different contexts in children's ministry- Sunday morning, mid-week programs, kids' segments in church and more. And the prices are affordable, and some downloads are free.These powerpoint slides and packs provide the image you need.. you tell the story in your own words. Find out more about the range of resources offered by Eikon here..

Monday, 15 July 2013

Bible Memory Resources for Kidmin

Last week, I was organised. I started the week so well and had planned my time and commitments, structured my writing time and scheduled my blog posts. But then, life intervened. My youngest- to-be granddaughter decided to arrive early and so, amongst all the excitement, I drove up and collected her sister, Dakotah, as the others dashed to the hospital.

Dakotah is 2 years old and learning new words and expressions at the astonishing rate of 2year-olds while understanding so much more of adult conversations. And when phrases elude her, the facial expressions and gestures more than make up for her lack of words. She’s a heap of cuteness and fun!

But I was reminded afresh of the importance of the topics I’d planned to write about. When children are absorbing foundational words and expressions, we need to be sure that they are also absorbing God’s word. And yes, the words and phrases must be simple but children understand so much more of what we say than we’re aware. Easiest Bible Memory Verses for Toddlers was one of the resources about Bible Memorization that I’d planned to review. 

You can read about it here.

And you can find the other resources here:
1.       Adventure Biblewebsite and Bible memory app
2.       Bible Memory Buddies from Group
3.       Kids4Truth Biblememory app
4.       Impress Kids- onlinegames for Bible memory
5.       Scripture Fun- dvddue for release August ’13.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Tools to help share on Pinterest

Pinterest for Kidmin
Pinterest provides a wonderful opportunity for you to showcase your kidmin programs, events and activities and connect with families and the community. Join up  and create your own online display boards for your ministry's programs, events, crafts and more. See here for more information about using Pinterest for your children's ministry.

Having organised your kidmin Pinterest account and set up your boards with inspiring photos, images and clips, you may still find it difficult to display some of your information and content in an interesting and attractive way. 

Tools to help share
Don't despair- there are tools to help. Previously, I've mentioned Pixlr Express, the great little website (and app) that enables you to easily add wonderful effects, borders, stickers and text to your images before uploading them to Pinterest. This means that you can create you own graphics of photo plus Bible point, verse or other text in next-to-no-time. Check it out here if you haven't used it yet.

Another helpful tool is the site, Pinstamatic. This site will create images of your information and content that can be pinned to your boards or saved and shared on other social media such as your ministry Facebook page. If you wish to add an inspirational quote to your board, Pinstamatic will create an image of your quote with the reference. Just want to include a short message with a link to more information? Pinstamatic will create a sticky note for you to pin or save. You can also: create an image of a website or blog, add a map with information plus a link to your Pinterest board, create a date graphic for your upcoming event, and add text to a photo. Pinstamatic will even locate a music track or album and provide the image with a link enabling the music to be heard with a simple click.

There is no need to create an account with this website or provide any contact details. and the site is free to use. It is also really easy to use so check it out and get started!
More information and ideas...