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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).



Candy Making Time

Whether as a fundraiser, or just plain fun, why not try making some candy with your group?

It’s not too expensive after the first costs of materials. For example, our group  spent about $32 for 8 plastic candy  bottles in which we melted the chocolate pieces and the 8 pretzel molds. These are reuseable. We watched for sales to buy the candy wafers for about $2 per bag. A bag of candy wafers goes a long way – We used one bag of yellow, green, pink, purple and blue, then 3 white chocolate and 5 mmilk chocolate. Some of the items were donated so what the group earned went completely to the missions project.

After making the candy, we sold them at a women’s spring rally and to families in the church. The $128 we raised from the sale of the candy was donated to a local missions project – clocks for a community center in a run down part of a nearby city.

The children made the candy, sold it, donated it and then received a visit from  one of the ministers involved in the project. It was truly a missions experience from start to finish.

Candy wafers are melted in small 4 oz plastic squeeze bottles. We used a crock pot with a small amount of water to slowly heat the chocolate to the melting point. The chocolate wafers come in many colors so the older children got creative as they filled the molds. What a great idea! This keeps the process from being messy. It also makes it easier for little hands to fill the candy molds.

After the molds are filled about halfway, the pretzels are added, then more chocolate is added. A little candy is drizzled over the pretzel. Then the molds are tapped gently to get out any air bubbles and placed in the fridge for a few moments until hardened sufficiently to pop out.

We wrapped each pretzel rod individually in a small piece of plastic wrap, added a bow and tag explaining our project.

We had so much fun last year, we made candy for the children themselves this yea., This time our only cost was the chocolate wafers.

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