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Breezy Bulletin Board idea

Looks like Punxsutawney Phil may have been wrong! The winds are blowing but the temperature is a lot milder than it normally is at the beginning of March. Anyway, it made me think of hanging my own laundry out in the breezy sunshine. So here is a fun bulletin board idea for March.

I used  recycled paper grocery bags for the wooden wash tub, opening up one and drawing the tub on the plain side. I added the wood grain with black marker and brown dye-based ink which I swiped right on the paper from the ink pad.. Then I drew the black bands around the tub with marker. You can’t see it here, but I added some black brads for texture. The “water” is red pigment ink blotted on the  paper and filled in with  red marker. I added a little clear embossing powder to give it a wet look.

The bubbles were fun to make with vellum paper and a bit of clear embossing powder to give them a wet look too. On the  right, the washboard is actually folded with alternating mountain and valley folds – again for texture with silver crayon marking each valley fold to make it more visible. I put the words, “tough love” on the top of the washboard.The grass and clothes are made from construction paper.

The verse is printed on the clouds using letters printed from my Cricut Jubilee cartridge, but you could print them or stencil them in by hand.On the front of the detergent box it says, “Blood of Jesus – extra strength,”. and on the side of the box, the fine print reads, “Cleans all kinds of sin. For all stubborn sins, apply as often as needed.”

Happy March!


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).


“Gotta Have It” Tool for Children’s ministry – I Love My Xyron!

My dear husband knows I’m a gadget junkie – especially when it comes to tools for my card making addiction. I have a craft area full of wonderful do-dads and  thing-a-ma-jigs.

But the truth is – I really do use my paper crafting tools, especially for teaching children’s church.So over the next few weeks. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tools  for paper crafting in children’s church.  While I’m not suggesting you run right out and buy them, you may find a few that will make an indispensible addition to your arsenal of teaching tools. 

One of my very favorite tools is my Xyron machine. It is simply a sticker making machine.  I can print out any image from my computer, a die cut image, magazine picture or any kind of photo and run it through the machine and voila! I have a perfect sticker.

How it works:
The cartridge has two rolls of material – the top one is a clear plastic film and the bottom is a waxy type paper which has a glue substance on it. The image of your choice slides between two rollers and gets sandwiched between the film and waxy glue-paper. When it comes out the other side, you cut it away from the machine and peel off the plastic film which also removes the excess glue from the waxy paper. You’re left with an image that is stuck to the waxy paper. When you’re ready to use the image as a sticker, just peel off the waxy back leaving a layer of glue on the back surface of your image.

The glue comes in permanent and repositionable types as well laminate and magnetic materials. The Xyron machine comes in several sizes which make stickers  from 1 1/2″ to  whole scrapbook page sizes of 12 “. I have a 5″ machine and a small 1 1/2” X-shaped model, both of which I use often for ministry, depending on the paper projects I’m doing or the type of stickers I need.

Attendance Chart stickers, reward stickers, etc – I never have to worry about finding the right pre-made stickers for my projects. I can print the them in any size I want  from my computer clip art program and create custom stickers for all lessons, seasons, etc. When I make the small stickers, I usually use my little Xyron.

Gluing small pieces – When projects call for small pieces to be glued  in place, I like to use the Xyron  rather than  glue with my children’s church kids simply because there’s no mess! It also works great when you don’t have time for glue to dry before they take their projects home.

The stickers themselves make a great  craft  project – the kids can color their own or even make scratch-n-sniff stickers

Refill cartridges have 18 to 20 feet of material and can be a little pricey, but I usually wait to buy refills when I have a 40 or 50% off coupon at my local craft store, making it economical to use.

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