You put your heart into creating a ministry that kids love and look forward to coming back to each week. Having fun and engaging Theme Days throughout the year, can help generate anticipation and excitement from your kids and volunteers alike. But where do you start?
Right here! We've made a list of 24 silly and fun theme day ideas you can incorporate into your children's church throughout the year. That's two every month! We've assigned each theme day to a specific month, but feel free to use these themes at whatever time of the year works for you and your ministry to kids.
Have a “radical” Sunday where your kids get dressed up “to the max.” You'll get to relive your youth, while your kids learn about the “good old days(!).” Lessons that focus on God's faithfulness through the generations – such as God's covenant with Abraham – are a great fit for this day.
It may be cold outside, but that's no reason you can't enjoy a tropical paradise inside. It's also a great way to reuse some of those decorations you used at Lava Lava Luau VBS [provide link]. You could even use this theme day to refresh the kids on the lessons learned over the summer.
Round Up Sunday
Get out your jeans, books, and cowboy hats and enjoy some time in the Wild West. Invite kids to “round up” their friends to join in on the fun. Choose a lesson that illustrates one of the “wild” men from the Bible (John the Baptist eating locusts, Samson tying together foxes' tails, Elisha and the bears).
Pajamas and Pancakes
Enjoy a long morning as your kids and leaders all come to church in their pajamas. Enjoy a pancake breakfast, yawning contests, and maybe even a pillow fight. Lesson options include: Joseph interpreting dreams, God speaking to a young Samuel in the night, and God speaking to Solomon in a dream.
On the 100th day of class, many schools have kids dress up as 100 year olds. That's amateur hour! Celebrate the OG old man by having your kids dress up like they are 969 years old. And then teach them the genealogy in Genesis 5.
Polka Dot Party
Not every theme day needs to be a big production. Tape construction paper circles to the walls, the furniture, and even the kids who forgot to dress up. Add polka dots (sprinkles) to store bought cupcakes for an easy snack. Teach kids that while our sins are like polka dot blots on our hearts, Jesus can make us whole and holy.
The winter games and summer games come only once every four years, but you can celebrate the Spring Games whenever you want. Set up obstacle courses, track and field events, and whatever other games you like and have your kids compete and cheer each other on. All of this will provide a great backdrop as you study Paul's words about going into training to serve and live for Jesus. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
We tell our kids that they each have talents and traits that are uniquely theirs that God can use for his kingdom. Invite kids to show off their uniqueness with a talent show where your kids will sing, dance, do impressions, perform magic, or whatever else they can come up with. (Encourage kids to prepare their talents in the weeks leading up.) Drive the point home with a lesson about the parts in the Body of Christ, or with the Parable of the Talents.
School is ending for many of your kids. Seems like a good time to celebrate with a pizza party! Choose a lesson about having joy in the Lord, or about the importance of praise. If you have the space and resources, you could even turn the pizza party into a pizza making party, where kids roll the dough, choose the toppings, and get to savor the fruits – or maybe cheeses – of their labor.
Spring Cleaning Sunday
Don't let the word “cleaning” fool you; this theme day is all about fun! Broom races, bubble blowing contests, and maybe even a foam generator, all provide a lot of good clean fun. And it's a great way to share with kids that only Jesus can forgive our sins and make us clean.
Make Your Own Superhero Day
Kids love Superhero Day at school. No reason you can't do the same on a Sunday morning. Challenging kids to create their own, complete with unique names and super abilities, rather than pick a “ready made” superhero. Teach kids that Jesus said we have the power to move mountains if we have faith and will tap into His amazing power!
P.B. & J.A.M. (Perfect Buddies – Jesus and Me)
Celebrate kids' all-time favorite snack with messy crafts and gooey games. Enjoy some sticky (but delicious) sandwiches as you teach kids that when it comes to friendships, no one sticks closer than Jesus.
Summer wouldn't be complete without enjoying some ice cream with friends. Offer a sundae bar where you scoop the ice cream and kids pick the toppings to go with it. They'll scream, you'll scream, we'll all scream in delight learning how three men stayed cool in a fiery furnace.
Future Me Day
Kids are always being asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Have a day where kids show rather than tell you the answer by dressing up as their future career choice. Have the adult volunteers dress as the career they dreamed of having when they were kids. Teach kids that while none of us know the future, each of us can put our faith in the One who does – Jesus.
Music Festival Sunday
Kick up the rockin' praise music, dig out those instruments buried away in that church supply closet, and put up a stage for your “acts” to perform. Memorize one of the psalms of praise with your kids by setting it to music. Introduce them to the story of David dancing before God when the Ark was returned to Jerusalem.
Happy Campers Sunday
Summer is almost over, but there is still time to get in one last camping trip. . . even if it is inside! Set up tents, sit around tissue paper campfires, and enjoy some more s'mores. Finish off with a “ghost” story from the Bible, perhaps from 1 Samuel 28 or Mark 9.
Crazy Hair Day
How wild, outrageous, and downright CRAZY can your kids' hair get?! Have a crazy hair runway show, offering prizes for the Tangliest Hair, Wildest Prop in the Hair, Craziest Short Hair and whatever else you can come up with. The Samson and Delilah story is an obvious choice for a lesson here, but the death of David's son Absalom would also work.
B.F.F. (Bring a Friend For) Sunday
Days like today help to create a culture of kids bringing other kids to church to learn about Jesus. Fill the day with partner and team activities. You may have quite a few first timers, so keep the lesson foundational – Jesus loves us, came to save us from our sins, and wants to be our BFF (Best Friend Forever).
Bible Character Day
It's that time of year when kids are primed and ready to dress up in costume. Capitalize on that by having kids come to church as the person from the Bible they most like or find most fascinating. Read through the hall of faith in Hebrews 11, showing kids that, what was true for the people in the Bible is true for us – when we put our faith in God, it has a lasting impact.
God is the ultimate artist! He created us to be creative, and today is a great opportunity for your kids to show off their artistic skills with drawing, painting, sculpting, and writing stations. Let your kids be the art canvass by having face painters on hand. Teach kids that we are God's handiwork, created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10).
'Tis the season! Have kids dress in their favorite team jersey. Throwing a tailgate party with game day snacks, a pick up game of touch football, and a lesson about serving Jesus, puts us on the winning team! (Perhaps Matthew 25:31-46)
Silly Sock Day
Silly socks are very trendy these days. Challenge your kids to wear the craziest, wildest, and silliest socks they can get their hands on. Have a sock race, where kids slide across the floor. Tell your Bible story using sock puppets. As a memory verse, try Isaiah 52:7: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news. . .”
Anyone who's worked with kids for very long knows that they have A LOT of energy this time of year. Put their excess energy to good use with a dance party. Sing upbeat praise music with motions, have a dance contest, run a dancing relay race. Tell kids how the unborn John danced in Elizabeth's stomach when he encountered Mary and Jesus.
Red and Green Sunday
We know Advent and Christmas are the focus of most children's churches the entire month of December. Red and green day leans into that, while also providing something new for your kids. The week (or two) before, assign a color to each kid to wear on the day. Play group games that pits the red team against the green team. Celebrate the birth of the Savior who came to make us one in Him.
White Out Wednesday
White shirt, white pants, white socks, white hats - if it's white, it's right for tonight. Marshmallows, vanilla ice cream, vanilla cupcakes, all make great treats. This is a great night to teach about how God's grace can make us white as snow. OR you can encourage the wearing of white clothes that can get dirty, and spend the night playing messy games. Kids can go home in their not-so-white clothes as a reminder that none of us are perfect and we can't work hard enough on our own to keep our lives clean and free from sin. Only Jesus can wash our hearts clean.
Whether you do one a year or work them in several times a month, theme days are a great way to get kids and volunteers excited about what is happening at Kids' Church. And as these examples show, theme days can also be used to point kids to Jesus!