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SSTN # 3 - January 11, 2006

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1) Games in Sunday School
2) Life of Jesus?
3) Nursery Age
4) Nursery Age

The Lion of Judah...

5) Christmas Party Games
6) On the Eve of the Pageant?
7) Actions to S-L-I-D-E song?
8) Game Books
9) Keep Preschoolers' Hands Busy

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1) Games in Sunday School
Games can be very valid way to teach lessons!  (If they're not having any
fun, chances are they aren't learning very much either.)  There are a
number of books and websites that link specific lessons/scriptures to
games.  For my multi-age classes, I incorporate at least 1 game or craft
each Sunday to REINFORCE the lesson.  I usually order things this way: 
a. Introduction:  simple activity or opener to get them involved,
cooperating and maybe even thinking about the lesson.  A prayer always
goes in this section.  Sometimes a very simple, quick game fits here.
(5-10 minutes)
b. Lesson:  read and discuss the scripture, sometimes with sound effects,
sometimes by acting out, sometimes from a Children's Bible with pictures,
sometimes with other visual aids. (10-15 minutes).  Sometimes a simple
game fits in here.
c.  Reinforcing activities: a craft or game that ties in with the lesson.
A more involved game would fit here. (20-30 minutes)
d. Close:  followup activities, reminders and a closing prayer. I always
give take home materials, including puzzles that reinforce the lesson.
(5-10 minutes)
I never use GENERIC games, coloring, puzzles or playground time just as
filler for Sunday School.  You only get ONE HOUR (at most) to teach them
per week.  Make the most of it!
Nancy J. in Texas

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2) Life of Jesus?

looking for help on going throught the life of jesus for primary grades?

--from SSTN: I've written a two-semester hands-on Bible series for this
age group. It is entitled, "Tell Me The Story of Jesus - From Childhood to
Pentecost". You can find it at:
Sarah Keith

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3) Nursery Age

>I would like to ask anyone if they have any experience with nursery
>age kids in sunday school.  I only have 3 kids but their ages are 2
>4 and 5 year olds. 

I teach 3-5 year olds and I believe that any child at any age can learn
and should be taught.  Just reading story with nice size pictures is a
good way to teach them or have puppets tell story or let the kids re-tell
after you tell.  Nancy

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4) Nursery Age

Sarah is right. This age groups is AWESOME!! I work with the 3 to 5 age
group at our church (which means we quiet often see 2 year olds as well).
Our church uses the program 'Serious Fun' by CEP which is aimed at this
age group.

Now the important thing that I have found with this program is being
flexible - some mornings it is only 2 songs and a really really short
story time because the children are so scatty and hyper.

Things I have learnt while working with these kids though is they love
music and action songs - at the moment my kids favourite song is 'Jesus
your my Superhero' by Hillsong/Kidsong - it has really upbeat music and
great actions. Story wise I try to mix it up - use pieces of video for
some stories (eg Moses), use a Story Book, Just tell it or use some
puppets. Try them out and see what works for you.

The main thing is never underestimate these children and what they are
taking in. In my group I have had children witness to me - telling me the
whole reason that Jesus came and why we should believe in him. I have seen
prayers answered.

Oh and my last piece of advice Enjoy the children and get to know them
because to them you are Jesus with skin on!!

If you need any other detail of would like to talk some more feel free to
email me at chello_1986@hotmail.com

Yours in Christ


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The Lion of Judah...

This is just one of the names of God children will learn about in the
hands-on Bible series: "His Name Shall Be Called... ".
You can read more on the following page:

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5) Christmas Party Games

>I'm having the kids a Christmas party and I'm trying to find some games
>use at the party.  My problem is - the kids range from 5 years old to 11
>years old.  Any ideas would be helpful.

I know this is too late for you for this Chrismas, but it might help for
next year.  We have 3-11year-olds.  The two games they like best year
after year are balloon battles and snowball fight.  Our children enjoy
games most when the grown-ups join in with them.  It also helps equalise
unequal teams a bit.  Adults can be as competant or incompetant as they
 *  To play balloon battles you need one chair for each participant and as
many inflated balloons as you can get.  Also one of those long ballons for
each child (+ a few spare in case they burst). The round ballons are kept
in bin bags or similar until you are ready to begin.
 Arrange the chairs in two straight lines facing each other.  The children
sit on the chairs and each hold a long balloon.  They should be about 3 or
four feet away from the opposing team - far enough not to reach to hit
them with their balloons. 
 Two adults stand, one at each end of the lines.  They throw the balloons
in above the children's heads and as the balloons fall the children swipe
them with their long balloons. 
  The winning team is the one that gets the most balloons behind the
opposing teams chairs.  Any balloons falling in disputed territory just
get picked up and thrown back in until all of them are behind one row or
the other.
*  To play snowball fight you need to prepare beforehand.  Get some old
newspapers and scrunch individual sheets into balls.  Use a bit of sticky
tape if they don't stay scrunched.  They need to be tight enough to stay
roughly ball-shaped, but not so hard they hurt when thrown at someone.
Divide equally between 2 or 4 bin bags.  We keep a bag of them in the
children's room, labelled 'not rubbish please do not throw away.'  They
have done us a few Christmases now.
To prepare to play mark out the room into roughly equal adjoining areas. 
With a small number or younger children two is enough.  Four is better for
more or older children.  Depending on your floor type you can do this with
chalk or duct tape or by laying out ropes on the floor.  Each area is a
'garden.'  Divide the children as equally as possible between the
gardens.  Empty one bag of snowballs into each garden.  On a given signal
the children have to throw the 'snowballs' out of their gardens into the
others.  Kicking them is not allowed.  when a suitable amount of time has
elapsed blow a whistle and tthe children must freeze.  The team with the
fewest 'snowballs' in their garden wins.  This game can be made to last as
long as seems best at the time.  Our children usually want to play it more
than once so we just share out the 'snowballs' and start again.  Even our
3 year-olds join in this and don't cry when a 'snowball' accidentally hits
We avoid elimination games that involve one child after another being
'out.'  They tend to cry and the ones who are 'out' get up to mischief
while the others are still playing.  We let them pin the tail on the
donkey as they arrive, but other than this we have developed 'nobody's
out' versions of musical chairs etc.
One game which went down well with the over 6s, particularly boys, was
balloon stomp:  Each child has a balloon tied to about 24 inches of string
with a looop in one end.  They put a foot through the loop.  The aim of
the game is to burst everyone else's balloons whilst keeping your own
intact.  Players are not allowed to touch balloons with hands.  It can be
difficult to spot who the last one is so it helps to tell them to do
something specific as soon as their balloon is burst: e.g. go to the side
and sit on a chair or go to a specified person to collect a sweet.  You
can play this with each child having two balloons - one on each foot.  A
good way of getting rid of balloons left over from balloon battle. 

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6) On the Eve of the Pageant?

Years ago I directed a children's musical entitled "On the Eve of the
Pageant". I am looking for the book with the whole dialog and music, can
anyone help me? The church where we were at the time is no longer in
existence and I did not keep a copy of the musical.
Chandler, AZ

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7) Actions to S-L-I-D-E song?

I picked up a Marantha Kids' Praise Cd of Action songs and it had this
song called S-L-I-D-E Unfortunately it doesn't include any type of actions
to any of the songs. 

The Chorus goes:
We're gonna slide down on the rainbow...
And then we'll climb back up again.
And slide down on the rainbow slide...
Down Mr.Rainbow's Stripes.
It's a cute song and I would love to know some of the actions to the song
to teach my kids.  Thanks for the help.

--from SSTN: some of the best actions have been thought up by our kids.
This allows for their creative input.

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8) Game Books

Someone was looking for some games to play with his or her students. There
is an excellent book entitled "Creative Bible Activities for Children
Series; Spur-of-the-Moment Games". It is written by NexGen. ISBN #
07814-4118-8. I also like to use a book entitled "The Game is Up; Book Two
Old Testament" it is published by TnT Ministries. ISBN # 1-85792-760-5

Sincerely, Connie G.

--from SSTN: you can locate them in our bookstore search box at:

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9)  Keep Preschoolers' Hands Busy

One of the most important things that I did with the PreSchoolers was to
give their hands something to do. I usually find some type of "stress"
ball (usually you can get them free somewhere - I have received many at
conferences) there squishy and they love to run them through their
fingers. I've tried playdough... not a good idea... it took us a while to
get it out of the carpet and off their shoes. If your wondering if this
would cause them to not concentrate?? I was teaching a lesson and one
little boy kept playing with his squishy ball. But, when I asked questions
about the lesson at hand... he had the answers. I have also made sure to
have lessons that are "not too long" and move through them pretty quickly.
As an example, we have 45 minutes , in that time we ate cinamon cupcakes
with 3 quarters baked in (no.... I was very careful to make sure they went
through the cupcakes BEFORE they were able to eat them!), created a
birthday present for Jesus ---- wrapped with a bow, and at the same time
the kid's walked around with one shoe ... the other shoe was on the stairs
and we filled them with a treat. What were we studying? Epiphany, and the
gifts of the 3 wisemen.

Sunday Kids Club Director

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