The Future of Water Balloons

Water Balloons

This is incredible. Bunch O Balloons will be an amazing resource for children’s ministries everywhere. Who knew that someone could revolutionize the water balloon industry? If you want to see what the future holds, check out this video and visit the Kickstarter page.

Are you excited for this like I am? Share your excitement in the comment section below!

A Few Fun Patriotic Jokes from Kids!

Grunge American flagFor our U.S. friends, I hope you are able to enjoy this day off and appreciate the freedom that we have in our country.

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!

The Huge List of Children’s Ministry Curriculum Providers

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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:

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.

Fun Ways to Practice a Memory Verse

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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:

  1. Whisper the memory verse
  2. Yell the memory verse
  3. Say the verse fast
  4. Say the verse slow
  5. Split the room into two teams, and have the teams alternate by each word or each line
  6. Pinch your nose and say the verse in a “mosquito-style” voice
  7. Have a kid lead the verse activity
  8. Make the verse into a song
  9. Make the verse into a rap (don’t forget a handy beatbox app!)
  10. 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
  11. Teach hand motions with the words of the verse
  12. Have the kids spin in a circle after every line of the verse
  13. Throw the ball to a kid in the crowd and ask him/her to say between 1-5 words of the verse
  14. Use a rhythm (such as clapping hands, thighs, tummies, etc) while reciting the verse
  15. 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
  16. Recite the memory verse once for each month’s birthdays (January kids go first, then February, etc)
  17. Practice the verse backwards
  18. Say the verse in a pirate voice

Memory Verse Activity:

  1. 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)
  2. Do a Bible sword drill (first one to find the verse and say it gets a prize!)
  3. Pass a ball around the room, allowing the kid holding the ball to say the next word of the verse before passing it on
  4. 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
  5. Write the verse down on different craft sticks, then put them in Jello. Have the kids look for it and put the verse together!
  6. 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
  7. Let the kids create bookmarks with the memory verse on it (works with other craft activities as well)
  8. Play a game of charades and act out each word of the verse
  9. Play wheel of fortune with the memory verse
  10. 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
  11. Have kids recite the verse while doing a jump rope (maybe have a kid or two do this on stage)
  12. Write out the verse without vowels. Have the kids guess the vowels
  13. 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
  14. Pull a word out of a bowl of whipped cream, slime, or other interesting food choice, then put the words together
  15. Hold a word relay, where every runner gets the next word in the verse. First team done wins!
  16. Turn the memory verse into a word search

What are some of your favorite memory verse activities? Share them in the comments!

The New Awana Mission

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:

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Connect with Kids in 10 Seconds or Less

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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?

From the Kidmin Experts: Children’s Pastors, Retaining Volunteers, Handling Critics, Kidmin Trends, and Beating Burnout

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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!):

Additionally, prepare yourself for this summer by reading my article on 5 Ways to Beat Burnout!