I was so excited to learn that our church was starting up a new Kids’ Club for all ages up through 6th grade. We already had a youth group for 7th-12th grade, so the younger kids needed an outlet as well.
It didn’t take very long to realize that there weren’t many resources out there that spoke to the Kids’ Club theme as opposed to a classroom/Sunday School atmosphere. There were a few resources that covered a few fun activities, but nothing that covered everything for every evening–book reading, lesson with discussion and application, themed snack, physical/game-type activity, and craft. We needed something to make the kids love it enough to return every week excited for whatever was going to happen next.
I decided to do The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, thinking that there would be endless ideas on the internet. Nope. Lots of random ideas scattered all over the place, but no one-stop shop that would allow me to click and have my evening already planned. So, for the next 8 months, I read the chapter, then rushed around the internet looking for ideas related to what I had read. Once I had figured out how we would fill our two hour time slot, I spent several hours a week putting together the lesson and related worksheets for discussion. THEN, I needed to go out and buy resources for the craft and/or game time. Once I got those supplies home, I would try to craft and tweak whatever the projects were so that they would fit into a 30 minute time slot. My criteria for those projects was that it would be something that the whole family could treasure and it wouldn’t end up in the trash 48 hours after getting home. For those projects that took longer than 30 minutes, we would keep them at church until they were done, some as many as three weeks long.
What all of this work resulted in was a more than 100% attendance rate among the students at our church (every kid came plus some would bring friends with them). That was so much more than I had hoped for. Because I was teaching 4th-6th grade, I now knew that I needed to have a revolving three-year curriculum. The second year we did Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and the third year we did Pilgrim’s Progress.
What do your Kids’ Clubs at church look like? What kind of activities/lessons/fun do y’all do? How did you come to do it that way and was finding resources a problem?