When the weather turns cool and pumpkins appear at the farmer’s market kids start thinking about candy, costumes and Halloween. If your church is like mine, you like offering parents a trick or treating alternative. Soliciting candy door-to-door isn’t safe and let’s face it, some of the costumes and decorations are over the top scary. Traditionally, our kids’ ministry partners with other church departments, working together to arrange jumps, games and safe activities for the family. Like many of our families, our church has tightened the purse strings on the extras. Instead of one big expensive event, we hold smaller, more cost effective ones that still allow kids to hang out safely.
Professional storytellers: We hired a professional (Christian) storyteller to come and spin some yarns for us. We had a campfire, roasted marshmallows and stories that lifted our spirits. It was a wonderful experience that everyone loved! Our storyteller told us the story of a boy who was afraid of everything but overcame that fear when he found an ancient book, (the Bible) and a new best friend, (Jesus). It was amazing!
Holy hayride: Hayrides don’t have to be scary. Our youth department created scenes from the Bible using props and live action. As the hayride rolled by, the actors played familiar scenes like Jesus washing Peter’s feet and David defeating Goliath.
Arts and craft show: Our kids have so much artistic talent, we had to show it off. We sponsored a community-wide arts and craft show for children 12 and under. Our teachers got together and came up with the theme, “The Harvest is Plentiful.” Kids had to make a craft or art piece that followed that theme. The night of the event, we held an art show and allowed judges to vote for their favorites. Everyone took home a ribbon and we awarded prizes.
Costumed pet parade: Pets in costumes are always fun to watch. We invited guests to bring their leashed pets in costume and we let the kids cast ballots for their favorite. Afterwards, pets took home treats and so did the kids.
If hosting a fall festival seems to challenging this year, consider a smaller, cozier event. You’ll still have an enjoyable evening and minister to your kids.