Attention-Getters for Children's Ministry

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There are two types of children on a typical Sunday morning.  Those who look like they may just launch into orbit and those who are in orbit already.  Those who have had one too many a jelly donut for breakfast and those who could use a little sugar kick.
Sometimes it’s hard to get the attention of students in our ministries.  However, we have a life-giving message to teach and it’s imperative that they hear it. Here are some practical suggestions for acquiring the attention of your students whether they are bouncing off the walls or falling asleep in their chairs.
These suggestions can be utilized at any point in the lesson.  If students seem drowsy during the Bible lesson, take a break to get them moving.  If students seem out of control after a game, reel them in with a song.  If students are getting too loud working on a project, stand on a chair and whisper.
Whatever you do, stay away from losing your temper, yelling over the students, and making an example out of an individual.  Our message gets lost if the messenger loses credibility.
Five Simple Attention-Getters
1.  Sing a Song: Whether you’ve got a good voice or not, don’t be afraid to break out in song.  Kids love it!   It can be a silly one like “On Top of Spaghetti”, a children’s Bible song like “This Little Light of Mine”, or an action song like “Father Abraham.”
2.  Quiet Your Voice: If we try to speak over our students, we end up straining our voice and sounding like we’re yelling.  However, when we quiet our voice to a whisper, students stop talking to listen.  Everyone leans in and you have regained control.
3.  A Consistent Signal: Children crave consistency, so these types of signals usually work well within a classroom.  You can turn the lights off, use a train whistle or bell, clap a rhythm and have students repeat it, or play a statement and response game.  For example, the teacher says, “Macaroni and cheese” and the students say, “Freeze.”  The teacher says, “God is good” and the students say, “All the time.”
4.  Be Silly: Stand on a chair, host a funny face challenge, wear a crazy prop (hat, glasses, tie, etc.), perform a strange talent,  tell a joke.  Really, the sillier the better!
5.  Get Them Moving: A brief moment of exercise always seems to help get students back on track again.  You can do jumping jacks, stretches, arm circles, jog in place, play a game, sing a song full of action movements such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, ”  or take a “train ride” with younger students.
What effective attention-getters do you use in your ministry?

Need More Ideas? Then read our tips about motivating kids to learn, or our thoughts on using rewards in children’s ministry. You may also enjoy some classic teaching principles for kids ministry.

New Sunday School Curriculum: Our Bible lessons are designed to keep the kids’ attention and show how God's Word makes a difference. Every series is flexible enough for a wide-age group and affordable enough for small churches. Download a free Bible lesson in pdf or view our latest Sunday School curriculum for small churches.