FLIP IT to Gratitude

Introducing The Complaining Game! How do we help kids focus on the positive? This is what I did one Sunday. I put 10 common complaints of kids onto slips of paper and then put them on the top of 10 buckets. Kids then go 3 Popsicle sticks to use to vote. They put a Popsicle stick in the top three buckets they complain about the most. Then, we totaled them to discover the top complaints. Here was our results: BUT, then I flipped the papers over to reveal the postive aspect of that complaint. Don’t like to clean your room? Be thankful you have a room, and a house! Hate eating veggies? Be thankful you have food to eat! Internet too slow? Be thankful you have Internet! Download all the complaints and “flipped” gratitude statements here. Find out what your kids top complaints are, then help them “flip it” to see why they should be thankful instead. Included is a full size version of this graphic I sent to parents to help them see what their kids were complaining about.

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Expect Much, Get Much!

Children typically only rise as far as you expect them to. Rarely does a student exceed the expectations of the leaders in their life. I’ve learned, “Expect Little, Get Little; Expect Much, Get Much.” Many children have a low opinion of themselves, but if you think more of them than they think of themselves, you can have the power to help lift them to the next level on their Christian journey! As a young boy, one of my teachers, Helen Reed, gave me a passion for Scripture memory. I still remember hearing, “I think you can do it,” whispered in my ear as I worked to memorize the Bible verses she provided. Her consistent encouragement pushed me to accomplish much! I would have never memorized all of those verses, nor would I have the grasp of Scripture I have today, if it wasn’t for her faithful challenging. When it came to Scripture memory, I knew that was an area of strength, so did I no longer need challenging? Far from it! We moved and I got a new church teacher. Mr. Ralph could have just complimented me on my knowledge of Scripture, but instead he commented, “I’ll be impressed when…

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STOP, DROP and ROLL!

As teachers, we have an agenda. We have a lesson plan we are trying to teach, a game we are trying to lead, a craft we are trying to complete, or some other activity that we prayed about, planned, prepared and now are trying to pull off. But often our children have other ideas about how the time in the classroom is going to be spent. There is an old children’s ministry saying that goes, “If you don’t have a plan for the kids, they’ll have a plan for you!” What do you do when you are trying to lead young children in one direction and they are moving in an entirely different direction? We usually tell them to stop what they are doing and to do what we tell them to do. Does this work? Not usually. Someone once defined insanity as taking something that doesn’t work and working harder at it. When children don’t respond well to our request to stop and obey, we have a conflict. In the classroom we are dealing with other peoples’ children, so we lack the authority and leverage we’d normally have over our own children, so we feel rather powerless. We try…

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THE NO RULES GAME!

Why did God give us commandments and rules? Was it to spoil our fun? Rather than merely explain it, have your kids experience it! Play the NO RULES GAME! Randomly divide the kids up. Put out a bunch of game stuff. Blow the whistle say “GO!” As the kids start to try and play with the stuff, start awarding points AND penalties and declare a winner and loser. See how the kids respond. They won’t like a game with no rules where it is unclear how to be a winner! Finally stop the game and explain that’s WHY God gave us commandments. A life lived without rules leads to chaos. We need rules in order to win in life! WATCH THE GAME IN ACTION: LIKE GAMES THAT TEACH? Be sure to check out The Game Zone on Kidology!

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The LEAST vs. GREATEST GAME!

The LEAST vs. GREATEST GAME! “The Last Shall Be First” Prep: Number the Chairs: ROW # and SEAT # (Signs Provided at Link Below) Points: You need something physical for points – popsicle sticks, beans, etc. Something that can be passed out quickly that kids can hold so the points are tangible. PLAY: Kids Move Around and Choose a Chair, then the next RULE is read! (Option: You can make it appear that the rules are random by drawing a rule from a hat, just make sure you draw the final rule last.) Don’t mislead or lie to the kids, but you can make it appear that the winner will be those with the most points. This is a natural assumption. The final rule will turn that around! Those who thought they were doing poorly will win, and those who thought they we were winning, weren’t. The last slip taped to side so it can be drawn last. NOTE: When you have many winners (like Odd or Even numbers) to speed up the game, just say “If you won come up here and get a point.” Don’t challenge any kids who may come up to get a point who didn’t…

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