My youngest granddaughter has discovered jigsaw puzzles and regularly drags them all out for me to help her complete. It doesn't seem to matter that we've worked on the same puzzles over and over. She still delightedly claps her hands when we've finished.
I've noticed that the older kids are just as happy to work on online jigsaw puzzles, too. And... it's easy to create your own FREE puzzles with images from your computer.
What a great way to share the weekly memory verse, Bible point or perhaps a picture of Sunday's lesson with your kids' church! You can alter the number of jigsaw pieces to change the difficulty level and even use different shapes for the puzzle. Once you've made your puzzles online( and it takes only minutes to create), you can share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email them to families or embed them in your blog or website.. easy.
There are a number of sites that allow you to create these jigsaw puzzles, but I used JigsawPlanet.
Try the sample below. If you have trouble viewing or playing the puzzle, use the link HERE
to access it online. Have fun!
If you'd like to use this puzzle yourself, just copy the code listed below the puzzle and add it to your blog or site:
<iframe frameborder=0 src="http://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=1471499fdb6f&view=iframe" title="Your Word - online jigsaw puzzle - 24 pieces">[Your web browser does not support frames or is currently configured not to display frames. However, you may visit <a href="http://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=1471499fdb6f" target="_top">the related page</a>.]</iframe>
The devastating tornado in Oklahoma and the magnitude of this disaster has generated world-wide attention. Even here on the Gold Coast, it has received front-page newspaper coverage. Our thoughts and prayers are with this community as they deal with the heart-breaking destruction and loss.
The Skit Guys have responded to this tragedy with the offer of a free clip, 'The Storms of Life'
, in the hope that you can download and use this to encourage discussion about this and other tragedies. (see below) "We hope that your church community will remember ours. Remember that there’s a community aching. Remember there’s a lot to rebuild––both homes and hearts. Please keep OK in your prayers today and in the weeks to come.' Skit Guys
In Australia, natural disasters are common: drought, cyclones, fire, floods. The predictability of these disasters has been immortalized in the imagery of our poetry and literature, but are you and your children's ministry team prepared for it? Can you comfort families and children and help them cope with disaster?
There are a number of points to keep in mind.
1. Children need physical reassurance. They need to be with their family to feel safe. Keep in mind that displaced children will require even more physical comforting. 2. Children need to talk. Listen to them. They need to know others understand and share their worries and concerns. 3. Talk honestly.... but don't scare them. Share worries in an age-appropriate manner. 4. Remain as calm as possible. Maintain normal routines as much as you are able. 5. Expect regressive behaviour. Generally, such behaviours will fade over time. More helpful information can be found from the following resources:
The dictionary defines creative as: cre·a·tive 1. having the quality or power of creating. 2. resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative: creative writing. 3. originative; productive (usually fol. by of). 4. Facetious. using or creating exaggerated or skewed data, information, etc.: creative bookkeeping. Creative Bible Study blog is a Christian blog and site dedicated to getting believers excited about God's Word and all it holds. The site provides information for children, preschoolers, youth, object lessons, prayer, Bible lessons, devotions and more..
It's helpful and encouraging to share creative ideas, information and resources (one of the reasons that Pinterest has become so popular, so quickly) and this is just one website and blog that does just that. And, since we're on the subject, Creative Bible Study's Pinterest boards are well worth taking a look.. see here. 'Today is your day to be creative as you let the truth of God's Word impact your life and the lives of those around you.' Creative Bible Study
Be sure to 'LIKE'
page, and then select:
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...to make sure you don't miss any blogs filled with information and ideas for children & family ministry.
A couple of months ago, a free webinar was aired as part of a book launch by Nils Smith. The book was 'Social Media- a guide for ministry' and the webinar was helpful for those interested in learning more about 'whys' and 'hows' of using social media for ministry- yes, children & family ministry, too.
If you missed it and would still like to learn more, you can view these presentation online HERE...
The book is available here
or as a Kindle version here..
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Kids love puppets.. They love to watch puppet shows and the antics of character puppets. They love to use puppets and they love to make puppets. But generally, we think of little kids when we plan to include finger puppets.
And yes, younger kids enjoy finger puppets. We've previously mentioned finger puppets, how to use finger puppets with little ones in your Bible lessons and listed some good examples... here.
These cardboard Farm Finger Puppets are an amazing variation and would be terrific for older kids to use because they can 'talk'. The kits include 4 puppets (cow, donkey, pig and chicken) and there is a safari animals and dino kit, too. I must admit, I had wondered if they would work or maybe they would just balance on the end of your finger, but they do. You just need to curl your finger up and down and the mouth will open and close. So.. how about including these in your kids church Bible story lesson or having the kids retell the story with finger puppets. Animals are often involved in these stories.. Balaam's donkey, Prodigal son, Samson, and more. You can find Bible character figures HERE
to print off and include in the stories as needed. Attach a small dowel to the back of each to create a stick puppet.
You can find them online here..
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This Sunday afternoon, our church is presenting a special family concert as a community outreach event. A large part of the community has no connection with church, has never attended a church service and many do not even know a church exists nearby.
We hope and pray that this free concert, one of a number of community family events planned over the next few months, will create an awareness of the church and will encourage families to come along and enjoy this event.
The concert includes a meal (BBQ) with plenty of fun, kids' activities- jumping castle, music, face-painting, balloons, inflatable activity centre and more. We will have a live Christian band and a guest presenter- Christopher Wayne, a gospel illusionist. I've included a clip about Chris below.
A community outreach event can be a daunting task but just requires a bit of planning ahead of time. If you need a little assistance with this, check out the Children's Ministry Easy Planner Pack. It includes plenty of set-by-step checklists for your kidmin event planning. See here
for more information.
I've also included a Special Invitation ppt slide for an event that can be easily altered to your needs.
No matter how organised or prepared your kidmin programs may be, there may come a time when you need to occupy a child or some children for a short period of time. Check out some of these games, quiz or activity apps. Be prepared- download a couple now so you're ready for any need. They would also be great for a fun segment for families to included in their family devotion time. Click on the links or images for more information about each app. Children's Bible Game
s: 5 exciting games- puzzles, seek & find, Bible stickers, colouring, memory. Dot to Dot Bible Stories:
Complete the dot-to-dot puzzle and the picture comes to life with animations and sounds. Pictures can also be coloured. Bible Word Scramble
: Use your knowledge of the Bible to solve hundreds of word puzzles. Bible Stories Hidden Objects
: 10 puzzles.. new one opens on completion of previous game. Christian Bible Heroes
: 5 different games, animated animal reward stickers Bible Colouring Book
: includes 12 stories to colour and more books available to download. Bible Pairs
: Find the matching pair. Some are simple, others require greater Bible knowledge. Bible Quest- Just for Fun
: Unusual or funny questions from the Bible.. just for fun. (If you cannot see the gallery of app images, click HERE to view the post in your browser.)
Looking for last minute Mother's Day printables? The following ideas can be downloaded and printed ready to create a highlight of Mother's Day for the mothers in your church family and your kidmin.
1. Mother's Day cards... ready to be downloaded in either colour or black/white format. See here
2. Mother's Day coupons ....Print these coupons ready for the kids to cut out and assemble into a special book for Mum... a great ideas from 'I should be mopping the floor.'
3. Colouring-in page for Mother's Day... find it here
4. Tags and labels for Mother's Day ready to add to beautiful cupcakes or bouquets. Find them here.
5. Mother's Day bookmarks.. ready to print and decorate. These would be even better with a great book to accompany them. see here.
If you still can't find just what you're looking for, you may like to check out the wonderful list of Mother's Day ideas here
Highlight Mother's Day, this year, with a special Chocolate Rose for each mother. Following our kids' item during the worship service, the children will be handing out these roses to every mother and lady in our church family. They are quite simple to make- see the instructions below and the slideshow of images.
MATERIALS- per rose:
* 8 x 10cm circles of tissue paper. (You can use all the same colour or a mix of colours.)
*1/2 length of florist wire (#20)
* small chocolate
* 12cm square of clear cellophane
* florist tape
* 50cm length of ribbon (per rose)
1. Wrap the square of cellophane tightly around the chocolate and secure by twisting the end of the florist wire around the base of the chocolate. It should look like a chocolate ball on the end of a wire.
2. Holding the circles of tissue together, cut 2 small slits in the centre.
3. Gently push the wire of the chocolate and cellophane ends through the slits in the tissue circles.
4. Holding the tissue circles firmly around the chocolate, start winding the florist tape around the tissue circles, cellophane ends and wire and continue along the length of wire to the end.
5. Gently crush the tissue circles around the chocolate to give it a rose-like shape.
6. Tie a ribbon bow around the wire beneath the rose.
7. Finished.. ready to give out on Sunday!
Vision- animates, inspires, transforms purpose into action. Our church Vision Dinner was held last Friday evening.. a time when we could consider: 'Who are we? Where is God leading us as a church and in our ministry?'
It gave us the opportunity to highlight our focus on Family Ministry, explain more about our programs and encourage the church family to visit our Tweedkids Facebook page.
We used a number of resources in preparation for our special Vision Dinner event and you may find them helpful yourself.
First, I found a great powerpoint presentation template at Graphicriver
that was so easy to add text and images for a dynamic presentation. They do charge a few dollars for these templates but, for a special event, it's really worth it in terms of quality and time. You can find more here...
I also used Animoto
to create a short clip for our TweedKids and you can check it out below. I've mentioned Animoto before and you might like to read more about this online program here...
I created some great littleBox Brownie cameras
to add to the tables since a 'Vision Dinner gives a picture of what lies ahead.' I added the wording to the design before printing the boxes and assembling them. The design cost $4 to download but again, worth it.. it was a great little focus point for the dinner and I filled the cameras with M&Ms.