You Gotta ♥ Valentine;s Day

Valentines Day really has a lot of great applications for children’s ministry.

How about some “Conversation Heart” Bingo?  Using the sayings from a (clearance) bag of candy hearts, make up some Bingo  cards.  Then pick one heart from the bag at a time and call out the saying until one of the children has a bingo. Whoever wins, gets the hearts that were called. Tie this game in with a lesson on Christ’s love  – any time of the year.

Speaking of Conversation Hearts,  About.com has a free printable page with conversation hearts, in color and black and white. There are even some blank hearts which you can customize for your lessons, activities and games. Too cute!

Kevin Savitz also offers free printable Valentine items from games to cards and even candy box patterns you can use for your children’s class. He offers a family safe free resource.

Clearance sales after Valentines’ Day offer a great time to stock up on little items for treasure chests and prizes. And you can purchase boxed valentines to give to the children the next year or to use for craft projects.

Stuffies with hearts on them make great prayer reminders:

  • Attach a prayer card with the name of  a person or situation that needs prayer to each stuffie and send it home with the child as a reminder to pray for that person or situation.
  • Or use them during prayer time in class by lining them up across the front for a month at a time. Have each toy represent one prayer need.
  • Play a memory game associated with the prayer requests to see if the children can remember  what prayer request each stuffie represents.
  • You can also pass them out during prayer time and have each recipient pray out loud for the request associated with his stuffie.
  • The animals holding little hearts are a great reminder that Jesus loves. others. Use them to pray for the salvation of loved ones.

According to Jennifer at Clip With Purpose, these after holiday sales are a great time to pick up shoe box items for Operation Christmas Child too. Don’t forget, not only will valentine candy, trinkets and stuffies be on clearance, so will winter hats and mittens which make great shoebox items. (or gift items for your class for next Christmas).

 

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Tools for scripture memorization

It’s snowing today here in central PA.  The freshly fallen snow covers up the dry brown grass and the winter grit along the roadsides, leaving everything white and pure.

What a great day to spend indoors, perhaps memorizing scripture?

I belong to a great rubberstamping community, frequented by many Christian crafters. One of my favorite threads of conversation on that site is “Divine Bible Designs” where the gals encourage each other to memorize scriptures by creating a monthly paper craft project – a card, scrapbook page, altered book or anything else paper-crafty with a scripture as a focal point. ( You can visit the thread as a guest and scroll 100_0185down through the conversation, clicking on the various submissions to see the projects at Splitcoast Stampers. )

I’ve been a lurker in the past, looking but never participating. But this year, I decided to submit a card  each month with a scripture verse focal point.  In honor of our lovely snowfall, I submitted this card with Psalm 51:7 “Take away my sin and I will be clean. Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.

Supplies used: Nestabilities small scalloped octagons to create the mats for the verse, the Cuttlebug snowflakes embossing folder to create the raised snowflake design on the blue and white striped design paper from DCWV, white and blue cardstock, rhinestones and ribbon scraps.

One of the things that helps as we work to memorize scriptures is to create a visual of the verse we want to memorize. By creating a card or scrapbook page, I take time to think about the verse as I plan the project. I involve  my tactile senses in the creation process and after completion, I have a visual reminder of the verse that I can look at each day to help memorize it.

Perhaps you’re not a crafty person? No matter! Here’s some other Bible memory verse ideas:

Make or purchase a screen saver  for your computer with the Bible verse on it.

Find an old calendar and print your chosen verse on your computer. Attach the verse to one of the photos and frame it, hanging it somewhere you will see it on a daily basis. You might move it from time to time so it doesn’t become “invisible.”

Print out the Bible verse words and cut them apart. Put a magnetic strip on the back of each word and put them on your fridge. Play a game each time you go into the fridge where you put the words in their proper order. It’s fun for the kids too – they can help you by mixing the words up each time.

No matter how you do it, you’ll be glad you started hiding God’s word in your heart!

The Armor of God

The Armor of God is a fun lesson series which generates lots of ideas!

Consider some of these:

Games:

The Sword Drill with a twist: Using a jousting tournament theme for the lesson about the sword which is the Word of God, Ipaired the children up, an older child with a younger child. Since the younger ones weren’t all able to read, I wanted them to still be able to participate. Using masking tape, I made 10 lines on the floor about a foot apart. The older children were lined up at the 10 foot line while the younger ones were lined up on the first line, opposite their partner.

After the bible references were read, the younger children shouted “Charge,” which signalled their partners to look up the reference. The older child who found the verse first, read it aloud and then he and his partner each advanced the the next line, closing the distance between them. The pair that met in the middle first was the winner. 

Indoor “snowball” fight: For the lesson on the shield, we made chipboard shields and played a game similar to dodgeball. One team lined up against the wall while the other team launched wadded paper “balls” at them. the team being attacked, used their shields to fend off the paper wads, but if a person was hit by a wad, he was “out.” Then we switched sides so the other team had a chance to dodge the paperwad snowballs.

Crafts:

Helmet of Salvation: We used heavy duty paper plates. Make a straight  cut from the outer edge of the plate into the center. Then overlap the edge an inch or two  until you have a hat shape. Staple the overlapping edges for added strength.cover the hat with foil and add a face protector with brads.  Cut the face protectors out of card stock, chipboard (opened and flatened cereal boxes) or other sturdy material You may add feathers if desired to look like plumes on the helmet.

Shield of Faith:  Cut out a shield shape from chipboard (cereal boxes  which have been carefully
opened up work well!). Glue ric-rac onto the chipboard. This will make a raised design under the foil
in a later step. The children can get creative with their ric-rac, putting it around the edges or making cross designs, etc.

Using a glue stick, put some glue on the chipboard to hold the foil in place then cover the chipboard and ric-rac with foil. Using their fingers, the children should smooth the foil on the shield, especially rubbing the areas where it covers the ric-rac – this makes a raised (embossed) design in the foil.

They can decorate the front of their shields with foam shapes or any other embellishments you have on hand. Cut a strip for the back to use as a handle (I used plastic canvas so it was sturdier) and fasten it on using gold or silver brads.

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