12 Fun “Welcome Back to Sunday School” Ideas for this Fall - Children's Ministry Deals

Fall will be here before we know it. While planning for this new season (and picking out what curriculum you will be using), it’s often fun to add a special “Welcome Back to Sunday School” event. These events can really help to get the ball rolling.  

It’s beneficial to choose something that will engage the children’s interest, set the tone for a positive new year in children's ministry, and give the kids a chance to have a bit of fun!

12 Fun Kids Ministry Ideas for This Fall

1. Throw an End of Summer Beach Party!

Keep the beach theme from the summer going. Create an “End of Summer Beach Party” atmosphere with volleyball games, beach balls, and sandboxes/sand tables (complete with toys). Play games like Shell Bingo. Offer snack foods and drinks. Play Hawaiian luau music and hand out flower leis. 

Break the kids up into groups so they can experience each beach activity. Have a few volunteers in charge of a game of volleyball and relay races with beach balls. Other volunteers can lead Shell Bingo: have kids put small shells on the cards as they to try to get BINGO! Direct kids during sensory play with sand. Finally, play a game of musical chairs with Hawaiian music.

2. Create a Welcome Back to Sunday School Show and Tell!  

Give your kids an opportunity to bring something from their summer to show their friends. Encourage ideas such as

  • Something you found or bought at the beach 
  • A picture from your trip
  • A fun activity you did 
  • A project you made this summer 

This is a fun way to celebrate the summer the kids have just had and give them a chance to express themselves and share a part of their experience. Wrap up your time with a Show and Tell object lesson where you can share a Bible lesson that will tie into your new curriculum for the coming season.

3. Break Records and Challenge Your Kids!

Have a “Guinness Book of World Records” or an Olympics-themed day where children do a series of challenges. Host a strength challenge where you use an upside-down table with heavy objects on it. The kids then work as a team to pull the table as far as they can without stopping. 

Another idea is a balloon challenge: see who can keep the balloon up without hitting the floor the longest. There are also many “minute to win it” challenges that you can do, such as knocking down five block towers with beanbags in the shortest amount of time. 

Be sure to have volunteers keep track of the record holders and have a fun ceremony at the end where you announce winners. You can even give out certificates or metals! 

4. Invite a Guest Speaker

Invite a speaker such as an entomologist, local author, poet, artist, or local craftsman (builder, potter, etc.) to speak about their expertise, show visual aids, and give the kids hands-on experience. Use the verse Colossians 3:23 as your theme, and finish your session with a lesson on working hard and doing your best for Jesus in the new season to come!

5. Host a Movie Night

On a Friday or Saturday night host a fun end-of-the-summer movie night event and pick a good Christian family movie. Provide pizza, drinks, and healthy snacks. 

At the end of the movie, present the new curriculum through a funny skit or video.  

6. Go "Camping"

Do a fun Camping theme for one of your lessons. Decorate the room with a few set-up tents, lanterns, rolled-up sleeping bags, backpacks, water canteens, kayaks, and more. 

Begin with a pretend fire pit in the middle of the room and have the kids sit in a large circle around it. Do some fun familiar worship songs around the fire and tell a bible story.   

Later, lead a hands-on craft such as candle dipping, where kids make candles by walking around in a circle and dipping them in buckets. (Be sure to do this outside or use a floor covering because of wax.) Play "Gone Fishing" tag, and have half of the kids be fish and the other half fishermen trying to tag the fish.  

End the night with a s’more snack around the campfire.  

7. Tie-Dye Day!

Have a giant tie-dye set up with t-shirts for all of the kids. Order white t-shirts ahead of time with your church’s name and your children’s ministry program name and logo on the front or back! Be sure to write the kids’ names on the tag of the shirt in permanent marker.  

Have fun designing t-shirts and show kids different ways to tie them with rubber bands to get all sorts of designs. Follow instructions for drying and washing shirts for the first time and give them to the kids the following week as a gift for the new Sunday school year! Encourage kids to wear their new shirts over their clothes.

8. Create a Bible Zoo

This is a great idea for your preschool kids: Have a zoo of a time with an “Animals in the Bible” theme day!

Split the kids into groups. Create stations with interactive stories in the Bible. Make a Daniel and the Lion's Den station with a person dressed up like Daniel telling his story of how he was in a lion’s den. Provide a few stuffed lions for kids to pet. Have Daniel explain how God tamed the lion so that he was able to sit next to it, and he could have even pet it without it biting him.  

Next, have kids visit Jonah. Have a leader or volunteer play Jonah and tell his story of how Jonah tried to run from God, but it was impossible because God is everywhere. Provide a few buckets of water with toy fish, ducks, whales, etc., that kids can play with. 

Create a station with someone dressed up like Noah. Include a large rainbow behind him, and have him tell his story of the rain, the ark, and God’s promise. Put out toy animals in sets of twos for kids to play with, as well as blocks to build an ark. Finally, have kids sit as a large group while a local farmer or zoologist shows a few live animals and teaches them some fun facts.

9. Celebrate the Seasons

Transition to the new fall season with the theme “God Is with Me in Every Season. Create four distinct centers celebrating the four seasons of the year.  

At the Winter center, provide snow cones and wool or paper ball dodge snowball game. Display the verse Psalm 147:16-18, and talk about how God is with us even in the snowy cold of wintertime.  

For Spring, give children a small pot, dirt, and seed to plant. As they water their plant, read the passage 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 and talk about how God makes everything green and grow again!  

At the Summer station, create a picnic scene with lots of blankets for kids to sit on. Provide a watermelon and pretzel snack. While children eat, read the passage Matthew 14:13-21. Talk about how Jesus had a VERY large picnic and provided what the people needed!  

Finally, for Fall, do a fun take-home craft. Print out the words “God Is with Me in Every Season” and have kids put a foam stick-frame around the paper and decorate it with fall-themed leaf, acorn, pumpkin, etc. foam stickers. Read Ecclesiastes 3:1 and talk about how God has a season for everything, and we can trust Him to be with us!

10. Lead a Scavenger Hunt

Split children into teams and create a fun scavenger hunt. Have kids follow clues to help them find the next clue. Create clues that relate to your new curriculum theme and use them to lead the kids to the prize. Spend the remainder of your time with a large group game and introduction lesson for the new curriculum!

11. Hold a Day of Games!

Plan out party games like the hokey pokey, pin the tail on the donkey, heads up seven-up, capture the flag, etc. Make a numbered list of all of the games displayed on the large screen. Write all of the numbers down on scrap paper and mix them up in a hat. Ask a volunteer to come up and draw a number. Whichever that number is pulled, that is the game you will play. Do as many games as you can fit in your time frame.  

12. Put on a Play for Your Kids

Have all of your volunteers put on a play. Choose something that will go well with your new curriculum and perform a Bible story or fun skit. This is a great way to give kids a chance to see all the leaders on stage, have a few laughs, and feel more comfortable with them.  

Your options for fun ideas are limitless as you create a welcoming environment in this new Sunday school season!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Children's Ministry Curriculum