Certain church events just stick; ones that become a tradition your church enjoys doing every year. These might include a children’s Christmas program, a chicken BBQ to raise money for missions, or a Vacation Bible School in the summertime. However, not every event is a yearly tradition. It’s also great to have new one-time events to change things up.
As you plan for the new school year, you may be looking for some fresh events to include in your children’s ministry. If you’ve been leading this ministry for a while, you may also feel like you’ve already hosted every type of event possible. It may seem like there isn’t anything left. You’ve been there, done that!
The thing is, there are always endless possibilities! Thinking outside the box and doing something a little more unique and memorable can bring fresh excitement to your ministry and maybe even become a new yearly tradition! Here are 3 unique event ideas you're children's ministry probably hasn't hosted ... yet!
Event 1: Paint Party
Why not host a kid’s paint party? The first thing you want to do is inform parents to send their kids in paint-appropriate clothes. You will be providing washable paints, but children still shouldn’t wear their Sunday best.
Prepare Your Painting Area
First, cover the floor by taping down plastic or floor protection paper. Give each kid a piece of cardboard to work on top of, paint paper, a brush or two, a pencil, and paints. Be sure to pick a type of paint that works well with the kind of painting they will be creating. Watercolor or Tempera paint are probably the best choices for kids; plus, they’re washable. Steer clear of using easels, especially for watercolor, because it will continually drip and won’t dry well.
Watch a Tutorial Video
Begin the event with a tutorial video or a local artist teaching the kids how to paint an object or scene. There are a ton of free YouTube videos to choose from, and you can even go old school and select a Bob Ross painting!
Set up the painting video or an artist guest in the front of the room and invite kids to paint along with the instructor. Encourage them to add their creative flare to the paintings to make them unique and one-of-a-kind!
Bring It Back to the Creator
When paint instruction is over, take the opportunity to speak about how God is the creator and how He made us to be creative. Tie the event to scripture, such as Proverbs 22:29, and do a short object lesson by painting an image of the world.
Bonus Activity: Let Loose! Get Messy
Take this part of the event outside! Prepare a giant blank canvas ahead of time, covered in water balloons full of paint. Be sure to cover the grass with a tarp or drop cloth directly under the canvas.
(There are many instruction videos online that will aid you in how to fill balloons without them popping. One way to do this is by stapling the tied-off section to the canvas without popping the paint-filled part of the balloon. Another option is to use small pieces of duct tape to hold the balloons in place.)
Give kids wooden skewers to pop balloons with. Instruct them to go up, a few at a time, and pick a balloon to pop. Let your balloon art dry and hang it somewhere in your children’s ministry classrooms or the church hallway for everyone to enjoy.
Cleaning Up Can Be Fun!
Give kids a chance to wash up with buckets of water and soap. Then, provide a rainbow of colorful popsicles as a treat at the end. Send kids home with their paintings from the beginning of the event.
This Paint Party would be ideal for late Summer to early Fall or late Spring!
Event 2: Noah’s Ark
Step into the Bible and go back in time and create an "ark" for your kids to explore! It may seem ambitious (and will take some preparation plus volunteers to help), but no more than building a set for a VBS or kid’s musical.
Setup: Use Your Space
Choose a large auditorium or split the ark rooms up by using individual classrooms. If you use a large auditorium, you might want to build a few walls or use room dividers to create the illusion of the different sections of the boat. If you have the means, you can build the front of the boat, giving kids the feeling of looking at the real thing when they enter the room.
If you use a hallway of classrooms, decorate the walls to look like the outside of the ark by covering the walls with paper and having an artist draw the boat. Use your imagination and add windows with animals and more!
Make It a Community Event!
Once you have made what looks like an ark, the next fun part begins. Organize pet owners, local farmers, or a local zoo keeper to bring some animals in for the event. The animals can be split up into different sections of the boat so that each room has something exciting to see.
Begin the event with actors dressed up as Noah and his wife greeting the children. Have them tell their story of the flood, and then invite the kids to explore their ark! Split children into groups and rotate them to different rooms. Inside each room, have the volunteers pretend to be Noah’s children and explain what each animal is and some interesting facts about the creatures. Try to have everyone stay in character so that kids feel like they are really visiting Noah’s Ark.
End with a Movie Night!
At the end of the event, show a kid’s Noah’s Ark movie. A great option that is only 25 minutes is, “Superbook: Noah and the Ark.” Animal crackers or Teddy Grams are excellent choices for a snack!
Event 3: Make it with Model Magic
Invite kids to a contest called, “Make it with Model Magic!” Begin the event by telling the children that they will have the opportunity to participate in an exciting competition. Talk about how there are many different sorts of competitions around the world. You can show short videos of interesting creative competitions, such as the Galveston TX Sandcastle Competition.
Separate Into Teams
Create a competition where everyone will get some kind of certificate at the end. For a small size group, all the students can compete against one another. For a large size group, split the kids into teams and have them compete against their teammates.
Next, provide each kid with a pouch of model magic and lots of Crayola markers for everyone to share. All you will need to do is buy white model magic and kids can use markers to add different colors to their creations. After adding the color, mix it all up and watch the white turn into whatever color the child used!
Once everyone has made their design, ask adult leaders to be the judges and write down which kid gets what award. Some great categories you can use are most creative, tiniest, most unique, extremely colorful, cutest, etc.
Announce the winners and call a student from each team upfront to collect their certificate from the category they won. Be sure every kid has gotten recognition for their effort by making enough categories for everyone in a team to have a different award.
Finally, end the session with a brief object lesson using model magic that you can create into a human shape. Talk about how God created each of us and we are all special and unique. Dive into a few verses such as Genesis 1:27 or Psalm 139:14 that talk about how we are made in the image of God and that each of us is loved, valued, and a child of God!
Think Outside the Box
We hope these ideas will inspire you! There are many more ways that our children’s ministries can provide exceptional programs for our students. Let’s get creative, think outside the box, and tune in to the things children enjoy to discover some creative and bright ideas!