I was reading a discussion over on the Kidology.org forums about how to teach to a wide age range and there were some comments suggesting different age ranges to aim for. Some were suggesting “aiming for the middle” or “targeting the older kids” so as not to bore them, whereas others thought it better to teach to the younger ones so as not to lose them. I’d like to suggest a different approach after having taught over 1,000 children’s church services to first through sixth graders for over fifteen years. It’s a rather simple suggestion: AIM FOR EVERYONE! The key in a large group with a large age range is to shift your focus constantly. The secret is to be highly visual and to be physically moving and animated to keep the younger ones tracking with you (don’t stand still and never sit, meaning you the teacher) and use humor constantly to keep a connection with your audience. Think about it: Senior pastors preach to a wide audience range of age and intelligence and education and world view and learning styles and they can do it! They don’t break their audience into groups! How do they do it? It isn’t …
On Kidology.org we have nearly 100 vendors many of whom are very small ministries with big hearts for reaching and teaching kids. Today, I would like to highlight on of the hidden gems in our store called, Little Fish with a Big Mouth. It is a beautifully illustrated story imagined right from the pages of Scripture. In this video lesson, kids meet a little fish who played a big role in helping Jesus demonstrate his power in Matthew 17: 24-26. It comes with a lesson plan, fun coloring pages and the video. Watch this demo video: Let me encourage you to check it out and have on hand for when you have a special event or opportunity for a short, simple and engaging lesson for your children. It only costs $9.99 in the Kidology.org Store for Premium Members ($10.99 for guests)
I hope that this blog post will generate some honest, polite and important dialogue. I am not trying to stir anything up – but sincerely want to get your feedback on a question I got. Several months ago, I received the following question from a listener to my podcast: Good morning Karl, I am… (name and church removed) I listened to your podcast, and absolutely loved it! Great job, keep up the great work that you’re doing for all of the professionals in the kids ministry world. I did have a question, however, that I would love to see you address. The question is, “How do you encourage and promote diversity in your kids ministry?” We are living in a day and age, that unfortunately, kids and families are exposed to the rise of division because of race and ethnic background. How do you promote unity and diversity in the mist of these unfortunate events? This is a fantastic question – but I must admit, I had to really wrestle with it because the premise of the question bothers me, that we live in a day and age when, yes, there are a lot of events …
Thanksgiving isn’t just something we do once a year – it is an annual reminder that we should be THANKSLIVING! That is why for Thanksgiving this year, I created this simple game, based off the classic game of “MEMORY,” will help kids to think of things they are thankful for – and then focus on them. You could easily make this yourself, but I made your job easy by creating all the tools for you: Complete Instructions for the interactive Large or Small Group game 5 pairs of ThanksLiving Verses 5 pairs of ThanksLiving Objects Blank template for making your own Back cover for every sheet in the game PowerPoint of the ThanksLiving Verses as well as the Team Names Printable Numbers to determine the order of play. HAVE FUN this Thanksgiving helping your kids to be ThanksLIVING! Giving thanks ALWAYS and for EVERYTHING to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20 HOW TO GET IT: Available in the Kidology.org Store Or FREE for Premium Members of Kidology.org
The Gauntlet was one of the best scenes in the classic movie staring Sean Connery as Kind Arthur – but it wasn’t until this week that I saw a Gauntlet used in kidmin! Was this some kind of new disciplinary device? Did the kids forget to bring their Bibles? What could this be? Actually, it was just a fun way to honor the kids who had completed a section in their Awana Handbooks – and judging by the smiles and laughter, they loved it. Is handing out candy or giving stickers not getting the results you’d like? Perhaps it is time to add a Gauntlet to your children’s ministry! Regardless of whether you start handing out swim tubes to leaders – I commend their creativity in doing some NEW and DIFFERENT to recognize kids and motivate them to participate. What creative thing are YOU doing to engage kids in your ministry?