The holidays are a wonderful time for special services and activities that engage current and new families. But when extra holiday services are added, you might find yourself asking, “What do I do with the kids?”
We asked our Orange Kids Specialist team for advice. Here are a few ideas from them to get your creative juices going. (Your OS is happy to brainstorm with you or talk through details. Don’t know your OS? findmyos.com).
1. Utilize Orange Curriculum components to create a somewhat different version of a previous service. (ie, use video teaching from the media package at one service and live teaching from the Large Group scripts at another; save small group activities from a different age group or version to use at the other service; etc.) If your church does not currently utilize the premium curriculum tier or media package, your Orange Kids Specialist would be happy to share samples with you.
2. If you’re a curriculum user, check out the “Christmas Extra” folder. Host a birthday party for Jesus. Watch the Christmas Story video. For preschoolers, use the Christmas Eve bonus activities.
3. Keep it simple. Lead more from the front/stage. Have simple crowd games, whether it’s a big crowd game/activity or in smaller groups in one room. Regardless, have one or two people leading it all from the front.
4. Create a “chill” space/play area with board games and appropriate video games.
5. Utilize stations/rotations, such as cookie decorating, simple holiday activities, Bible story, games, snacks, etc.
6. Review the Christmas story. Use the video in your Christmas Extras folder or the Large Group script to remind kids they are celebrating God’s greatest gift, Jesus.
7. Give back! Lead your kids to create cards or Christmas decorations to bring to a hospital, nursing home, or other community center.
8. Host a Pajama Jam! Everyone wears P.J.’s, plays fun group games. show the Jingle Jam video or a Christmas movie. Serve hot cocoa and donuts.
9. Use dress-up clothes and props and let the kids act out the Christmas story.
10. Lay out a long roll of banner paper. Have the kids create a Christmas mural: angel on one end…wisemen on the other end. Have the kids fill in all the details in the middle.
BONUS: Offer classes for preschool, but include the elementary kids in Big Church. Involve them beyond activity bags, though. Maybe a kid/parent combo can share a devotional or read a scripture. Try including worship songs the kids know (and possibly even have a few kids on stage helping to lead them). Discuss the service with your pastor ahead of time to collaborate on how to make the message kid-friendly.
Christmastime is a busy season for everyone, but it’s also an important and unique time of year when you might find families are more willing to check their kids in, attend your family events, or be part of what your ministry is doing to serve your community. It can be easy to get caught up in the busy, but don’t forget to look for ways to make this season meaningful and fun as you lead families to celebrate God’s greatest gift, Jesus. Merry Christmas!