Fall is right around the corner! And you might find that fall decorations are available everywhere and in every store you turn to. Depending on your budget, an overhaul of your kids ministry area could provide a great experience for anyone that joins. As you think of the fall, all that comes with the changing of leaves, it provides an excellent metaphor for each person's life as we pursue a relationship with Jesus. There are always new seasons that await in our faith journey. Maybe it is a brand new start to a lifelong relationship with Jesus or a deeper growth like never before. The changes you make in your Sunday School classrooms could resemble similar changes in the hearts of those to whom you are able to minister. That being said, it does not have to break the bank! Below are 8 decoration ideas to try out.
- Butcher Paper Trees. If you have a resource room full of brown butcher paper, now is the time to pull it out! Create fun and inviting fall trees in the corners of your classrooms by pulling the paper and crinkling it as you go. When you wind it, you will see something that resembles the bark of a tree. Staple it in the corner (use the wrinkles to disguise the pins or staples) and take it all the way to the ceiling (if applicable). Then, use other brown paper to create limbs to attach at the top. Cut construction paper leaves to staple to the various branches. Invite your teachers to write things they are thankful for about their classes on each leaf to build community.
- Thankful Pumpkins. Using strips of orange construction paper, invite your class to write one thing they are thankful for on each strip. Encourage them to be mindful and lead a discussion around thankfulness. Fan them out like a starburst and staple them in the middle. Pull the other edges up and staple, so the words are showing on the outside. Add leaves with green construction paper. To go the extra step, use a pencil to curl a small piece of green construction paper to attach to the leaves. Put them around the room to remember what we can all be thankful for throughout the season. (Original Craft Idea HERE towards the bottom of the page.)
- Baskets, Baskets, Baskets. If you have any brown wooden crates or wicker-type baskets, now is the time to pull them out! You can replace other supply bins with them or use them as bookshelves or other decor throughout the room. Another option is to use brown butcher paper to cover other bins to create the same look. This simple decoration can have a great impact!
- Bulletin Board Decor. Change up the bulletin board to reflect this changing season. Create an outdoor scene with paper and other craft supplies. You can also add a tree with leaves, names of the students on the leaves, and pumpkins around. If you have a die cut machine, this is a great opportunity to use that leaf die cut that rarely gets used! This is a great focal point to change with the seasons.
- Fruit of the Spirit. This is a great chance to highlight the Fruit of the Spirit in your classrooms! Using construction paper, butcher paper, or fake fruit, label or write the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5. Place them in a focal area so they can be referred to every week. Each week, use one of the fruits of the Spirit to spark discussions on how you have seen that characteristic in God and others throughout the season. This decoration idea is a great opportunity to show that God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and uses self-control, and we can too!
- Owls are a HOOT! Owls are a great fall addition to any classroom. Use a paper sack to create an owl puppet. The bottom of the sack will act as the face of the owl. Use construction paper and googly eyes to add eyes and a mouth. On the long side of the sack, use markers to make "feathers" by drawing a wave shape. Invite the class to decorate them as they would like and display them on a bulletin board or focal wall. You can forgo the puppets and make owls to add to any wall, tree scene, or bulletin board. Identifying each with a student's name will add a great community effect. At the end of the fall, send them home!
- Thankful Paper Chains. Use brown, orange, yellow, and red strips of construction paper to write reasons your class is thankful this season. Connect them into a large paper chain. If it is long enough, attach it to the ceiling or around the room. You can also use this as a countdown to winter (or the Christmas season) and take off a couple of chains each week. If you choose this option, read the notes on each chain to spark a discussion on thankfulness.
- Garland. Use die cut leaves, acorns, and pumpkins. Hole punch a hole at the top of each item and string them together with yarn, tying them to ensure they stay in place. You can place it over the door or focal wall, making sure the ends are tied. If you make several strips, attaching them to the top of the door will create a fun entrance to each room.
- Bonus: Photo Area! Add some of these decoration ideas to a common area to create a special photo op for families. Use hay bales (fake or real), baskets, pumpkins, and garlands. Add some chairs or a bench for families to sit. Create a banner that has your children's ministry logo to help promote when families post on social media. Taking time to set up a photo area will encourage families to get excited about the season.
The fall is a great opportunity to show thankfulness throughout your area. So often, we rush through the fall season to get to Christmas, but what if these thankfulness moments are crucial to the celebration at Christmas? What if pursuing gratitude and thankfulness prepares our hearts to experience the joy Christmas brings? Christmas is when we push back materialism to celebrate God sending Jesus to be our Immanuel. A great step in preparing our hearts is to move forward with thankfulness recognizing all God has provided to us in this season. Using decorations around your classroom intentionally has the potential to create lasting community among your children. You can also tie the activities back to Scripture and spark meaningful discussions. Several of these ideas can be done on a budget with paper, yarn, and staples. If you do not have a large volunteer base, prepare the items ahead of time and allow the class to put them together during their Sunday School time as a fall activity. With small adjustments and additions to the classroom decor, your kids and families will be able to see God's faithfulness throughout the season.