I’m serious. This is literally the biggest mistake you can ever make in children’s ministry, or in any ministry for that matter. In fact, it may be one of the very reasons that children will walk away from church without a Biblical foundation for their faith. What is it?
I’m always excited to share great deals and discounts with you. This week, What’s in the Bible is offering 30% off of their products if your order is over $30. They have some great stuff, so check out the store and save big with this discount!
Regardless of where you are from, you can enjoy these patriotic jokes from children!
- Do they have a 4th of July in England? Yes, that’s how they get from the 3rd to the 5th.
- What did King George think of the American colonists? He thought they were revolting!
- Did you hear the one about the Liberty Bell? Yeah, it cracked me up!
It’s official- there is finally a comprehensive list of children’s ministry curriculum and resource providers! Because of the size of this list, I have divided it into several different categories:
- Major Children’s Ministry Curriculum Providers
- Curriculum Packs and Single Lesson Providers (coming soon)
- Children’s Bibles and Bible Resources (coming soon)
Children’s ministry curriculum providers are companies that create curriculum with a scope and sequence that runs for over 3 months, and typically have a scope and sequence of 1-3 years.
These lists are designed to give you the ability to take a look at all of your options when it comes to curriculum- so that you can choose the best curriculum for your ministry needs! As you can imagine, it was alot of work to put together this list, and there is definitely a good chance I missed a curriculum provider or two. So if you see that I missed one, add it into the comments, and I will add it to the list!
Curriculum Providers: If you would like to request a review for one of your products, please visit the Product Reviews section and contact me for further details.
Ladies and gentlemen… here are your curriculum providers!
Major Kidmin Curriculum Providers:
- Answers in Genesis: Answers Bible Curriculum (3y)
- Augsberg Fortress: Classroom (2y), Lectionary (3y), and Spark Rotation
- Children Desiring God: OT & NT for Preschoolers (2y) and Sunday School Study Series (9m)
- Cokesbury: Grow, Proclaim, Serve! (3y)
- David C. Cook: Bible-in-Life (2-3y), Echos (2-3y), Rio (2y), Scripture Press (2y), Tru
- DiscipleLand: Adventure, Core Bible (1y), DiscipleTown (2y), Discovery: OT and NT for Preschool
- Elevate: Elevate Kids, Elevate Kids Jr.
- Faith Alive Curriculum: DWELL (1-3y), Kid Connection (4y), Walk with Me (1-3y)
- Friends and Heroes: Church Bible Lessons (1.5y)
- Gospel Light: Sunday School, Kids Church, Give Me Jesus (2-4y)
- Gospel Publishing: Explorers (1y), Radiant Life
- Great Commission Publications: Kids Quest Catechism Club
- Group: Buzz (2y), FaithWeaver (3y), Faithweaver Friends (3y), Hands On Bible Curriculum (2y), Hands On Worship (2y), KidsOwn Worship (3y), LIVE Children’s Curriculum (3y), Living Inside Out (3y), Play-N-Worship
- Harper Collins Publishers: Jesus Storybook Bible curriculum (10m)
- Harvest Bible Chapel: Harvest Kids Curriculum (1y)
- Hillsong Kids: BIG curriculum (1y)
- Karen Henley Resources: Bible Learning (7m), Foundations (1.5y)
- Kidology: Open Source Curriculum (3y)
- KidsKount Publishing: Kingdom Quest (10y) and Kids Church (6y)
- Kids Sunday School: Simple Sunday School Lessons
- Kidtrek: Sunday Plus
- Kidzana: Sunday School Curriculum (1-2y)
- Kidzmatter: This iKnow Curriculum (3y)
- Life Bible Study: Treasuring Christ (4y)
- Lifeway: Explore the Bible (3m), The Gospel Project (3y)
- Nazarene Publishing House: EPIC (1y), Tell Me the Story (1y), and Wiggles, Giggles, and God
- Orange: 252 Basics (3y) and First Look
- Praise Factory: 104 Big Questions of the Bible and Teach, Take, and Tell
- Randall House: D6 Curriculum (6y)
- Shine Curriculum: Becoming God’s People (3y)
- Standard Publishing: HeartShaper
- Superchurch: Club Hero and Superchurch 2.0
- What’s in the Bible: What’s in the Bible Curriculum (over 1y)
Disclosure: I have not been compensated for including any company on this list, and the inclusion of a company on this list does not equal a recommendation from me. For curriculum recommendations, please contact me with your specific needs.
Memorizing Scripture is important for children, but let’s be honest- sometimes it can be difficult to engage them when we use the same methods repeatedly. To help kids memorize verses, we have to use every method possible to help them learn Scripture. Looking for fresh ideas for memory verse activities? Here are 34 fun ways that children can practice a memory verse:
Memory Verse Recitation:
- Whisper the memory verse
- Yell the memory verse
- Say the verse fast
- Say the verse slow
- Split the room into two teams, and have the teams alternate by each word or each line
- Pinch your nose and say the verse in a “mosquito-style” voice
- Have a kid lead the verse activity
- Make the verse into a song
- Make the verse into a rap (don’t forget a handy beatbox app!)
- Write the verse on a board, then erase a few words each time the kids repeat the verse. Pick a child to erase a few words of their choice each time
- Teach hand motions with the words of the verse
- Have the kids spin in a circle after every line of the verse
- Throw the ball to a kid in the crowd and ask him/her to say between 1-5 words of the verse
- Use a rhythm (such as clapping hands, thighs, tummies, etc) while reciting the verse
- Hold an object that you can raise or lower while kids recite the memory verse. Explain that when you raise the object, they need to yell the verse, and when you lower the object, they must whisper the verse
- Recite the memory verse once for each month’s birthdays (January kids go first, then February, etc)
- Practice the verse backwards
- Say the verse in a pirate voice
Memory Verse Activity:
- Write the words onto pieces of paper (2 or more sets of the verse), then hide the paper around the room. Split the room into teams, and let them see who can find their complete verse assemble it, then say it all together. First one to do it wins! (Note: different colors of paper for each team would make this game run smoothly)
- Do a Bible sword drill (first one to find the verse and say it gets a prize!)
- Pass a ball around the room, allowing the kid holding the ball to say the next word of the verse before passing it on
- Write the verse onto a piece of paper, then cut up the paper into a puzzle. Let the kids put the puzzle back together and say the verse
- Write the verse down on different craft sticks, then put them in Jello. Have the kids look for it and put the verse together!
- Give the kids a bunch of words on pieces of paper (about half of them from the verse, and half of them just random words) and let them put the memory verse together. Make sure each team has a Bible and the verse reference
- Let the kids create bookmarks with the memory verse on it (works with other craft activities as well)
- Play a game of charades and act out each word of the verse
- Play wheel of fortune with the memory verse
- Write the verse onto sports balls (taping a paper with a few of the words onto a football, basketball or soccer ball would work), then have the kids kick the balls into the right order
- Have kids recite the verse while doing a jump rope (maybe have a kid or two do this on stage)
- Write out the verse without vowels. Have the kids guess the vowels
- Write the verse out on post-it notes, then place the notes on the kids’ heads. They then have to line up in the correct order for the verse
- Pull a word out of a bowl of whipped cream, slime, or other interesting food choice, then put the words together
- Hold a word relay, where every runner gets the next word in the verse. First team done wins!
- Turn the memory verse into a word search
What are some of your favorite memory verse activities? Share them in the comments!
A few months ago I was invited to visit the Awana Headquarters and see some of the great things they are planning for the future. I’m excited to finally share that you can now learn about some of their new ministry!
The new Awana website is up and running, so feel free to take a look and learn more. Also, here are a few other things you may want to check out:
One of the things I love most about working with children is that it is easy to connect with them. Kids want to trust others, and the older they get, the more work it takes to earn their trust and connect with them. Here’s what I do to connect with kids in 10 seconds or less:
- When you first meet younger children, look to see if they are carrying a toy with them. If they are, start a conversation with them, engaging them if they begin talking about it or their imaginary world that involves their toy. The second you start engaging with them, they will begin to trust you, and after about two minutes will be your friend!
- With older children, I try to keep 8-10 topics in the back of my head that I can bring up to start a conversation with them. What are some of the latest movies out that they may have watched? Do they play any sports? What are there favorite books? If I strike out on one or two questions, I usually ask them what they did last weekend (if it’s Sunday, I ask what they did the day before). Usually, this question works great, because they get to tell you about something they did that isn’t related to school.
- One of the fastest ways to connect with kids of any age is to LITERALLY get down on their level. When I meet kids for the first time, I crouch down so that we are about the same height, introduce myself, ask for their name, and give them a high-five. This gives them the feeling that I value who they are.
What methods do you use to connect with kids when you meet them?
I am always looking for helpful podcasts and videos that address topics in children’s and family ministry that I think would be helpful for the kidmin community. This week, I found a few great resources for you (all of them free!):
- Jim Wideman on the Role of the Children’s Pastor
- Karl Bastian on retaining volunteers: Don’t Recruit, R.E.T.A.I.N.
- Ryan Frank on How to Handle Critics
- Craig Johnson and Mycal Rosales on Topics & Trends in Family and Children’s Ministry
Additionally, prepare yourself for this summer by reading my article on 5 Ways to Beat Burnout!
I’ve been blogging here on KidminTools for over 2 years, so I want to share with you a few things that I have learned that have really helped me for blogging:
- When starting a new blog, write a lot of posts! When you share your website with others, you want them to go to your site and have various resources and articles to access. Also, you increase your web traffic by having more posts.
- Once you get going, stay consistent. Over the past year, I tried to write a post every week. Going forward (into a new season of life), I may be able to write more every week, depending on my schedule. It’s better to stay consistent than post a bunch of articles, then disappear for a few months.
- Write about what you know and love. If you don’t already know about something, it’s hard to write an article that will be helpful for others as well. If you are knowledgeable and passionate about a topic, then write away!
- Find your niche. I have a broader range of topics that I write about on KidminTools, but they all fall within the category of “articles, tools, and resources for children’s and family ministry.” Some blogs are very specific (ex: crafts for Children’s lessons), while other blogs are very open in terms of what they write about. Decide what your desired niche is, figure out how broad it will be, and stick to it!
- Look for direction. In order to get inspired for my posts, I try to find out what kinds of questions ministry leaders are asking. I listen to leaders at my church, hear about topics from colleagues, read questions posted in online forums, and try to predict the needed resources that churches will need. When I look to others for direction for my posts, I am seeking to serve them by providing help for their ministry.
- Write your ideas down. I always try to keep a list of my ideas for posts. I usually keep this list on my phone or computer, so that I can write them down as soon as I get the idea.