Sunday School does not have to be boring! It is a great opportunity to teach the good news of the Gospel and connect with children who need to know they are loved and welcomed. Especially in the days we find ourselves in, children need to know even more that they are welcomed, loved, and matter. There are many easy ways you can implement intentionality and fun into your Sunday School class to make kids want to return again and again. Here are just a few to consider:
- Special Greetings. Get creative with some special greetings as the kids enter the classroom. You can pick one to do each week (high five, elbow to elbow, do a silly dance) or have some options for the kids to choose as they come in. The options can be placed on the door or wall for the kids to see each week. Remember their names and be at the door, ready to greet them.
- Call Backs. Create a fun class call back that also helps you get the class back on track. Examples: You say “flat tire,” and the kids say “SHHHHH” as if the air is going out of a tire, and everyone is quiet at the end. You say, “hey [grade level],” and the kids say “Oh Yeah!” You may have to practice a few times, so everyone knows what to do.
- Art Display/Wall. As you prepare your lesson, find ways to infuse art or draw out the lesson. They can draw as you tell the story, provide color sheets, or a fun craft that applies to the day. After the kids participate in creating their art, find a spot on the wall to display it proudly. This will remind everyone of the lesson but also get the kids excited and proud to display something they made in their Sunday School classroom.
- Incentives. If your children’s ministry as a whole does not provide incentives, you can create a specific one for your Sunday School class! It can be as simple as a piece of candy for bringing their Bible or a friend to a class or a whole class participation incentive for donuts or breakfast one weekend. Purchasing bulk party favor-type items work great for incentives as well. Incentives can create a fun class culture, so make sure everyone has an opportunity to receive them.
- Get Them Moving! This seems simple but can be so impactful. Elementary-age kids definitely need a lot of movement as they learn and grow. Find a way to get the whole class up and standing. During the application portion, ask the kids to stand up if they know the right answer rather than merely raising their hand.
- Technology. Infusing technology into your lesson is a great way to add some fun with a purpose. You can introduce your lesson or the book of the Bible with a fun overview from The Bible Project , look for application videos from Worship House Kids or other reliable sources. Technology does not have to replace the lesson in its entirety to be relevant, but it can definitely enhance the engagement of your class.
- Move the Furniture. Change up the position of the tables, etc., in your classroom to add more fun. Move the tables out of the way and have the main lesson in a circle of chairs. Change the spot where you typically teach. These things can add an expectant attitude to the kids who come into the room. (Please keep in mind those in your room that may have special needs and need extra warnings before furniture moves).
- Circle. Do not underestimate the circle. Whether in chairs, standing, or sitting, moving kids to participate in a circle requires inclusivity. It leaves no room for someone to be left out. You can create fun games, ask a chain of questions, or simply see your whole class all at once by sitting in a circle.
- Act It Out. This is a great way to add fun and engagement to your lesson. Any appropriate story, try to act it out. Kids can read straight from the Bible, from a fun script based on the main Scripture, or lines that you prepare in reader-friendly language. Some of the most fun to act out are Esther, Good Samaritan, Feeding the 5,000, and Moses and the Exodus.
- Leadership Jobs. Like a school classroom, jobs can add fun and excitement to those joining each week. You may not know who will join you each weekend, so changing the jobs regularly is appropriate. This can also help those students who need extra guidance to succeed. Kids can lead through jobs like the electrician (turning lights off and on), line leader, caboose (end of the line), paper manager (passing out paper), supply manager (making sure everyone has supplies they need), and board eraser. Come up with some other fun options as well.
- Connection. Kids need to feel connected, and what better place than their Sunday School classroom. At the beginning of the year, do a get-to-know activity where you can find out what your kids like to do outside of attending church. Remember these things and bring them up in conversations with your kids weekly. This connection will allow all the kids in the class to experience the Gospel in a fun, inviting way. Another connection point is remembering their birthdays and having a mini celebration if they arrive on or near their birthday week. Create a class card to sign, balloons, and a fun crown to make their day extra special. They will be more willing to participate in any part of your lesson as well.
- Use Music. Music has a way of illuminating the lesson, engaging the auditory learners, and providing a fun outlet for everyone throughout the Sunday School hour. Create a fun class playlist to play on your phone or a bluetooth speaker as kids enter the classroom, during craft or activity time, and as they exit. If you notice your class is getting too loud, using some quiet, instrumental music might help them remain calm.
- Go With the Theme. This might be the easiest way to add fun to your Sunday School class. If your children’s ministry curriculum provides a theme for each month, quarter, or semester, participate! Put up posters and decorations in your classroom, wear costumes, give out theme incentives, and ask engaging questions about the theme.
Adding fun into the Sunday School hour does not have to be overwhelming. Using these simple ideas can enhance the hour and get kids excited to come each week. Finding what works best for your kids will create the excitement they need to engage fully in the Gospel-centered lessons you are teaching. Remember, if you think it is fun, so will your class! Making Sunday School fun is one step toward kids understanding and participating in the class. Do not underestimate your creativity; it will go a long way.