If you have access to a volunteer or staff member who likes building, you should consider these cool widgets for your kids ministry. These invaluable tools provide a lot of excitement and if taken care of, they can last a good long time. I don’t use these handy items every week but they are perfect for special events or themed Sundays when I need a few extra activities. Here is a brief description of each ministry tool and some suggestions on building them.
Buzz boxes: A buzz box is basically a three-sided, wooden box with a light bulb on top that is activated by pressing a button. You need two of these for trivia and game competitions. You set the box on top of a table or if you want to spend a bit more money, you can build a free-standing buzz box. I paint the boxes in wacky colors and paint question marks all over them. If you want to spend a few extra dollars, you can add a buzzer to the boxes for more fun. Kids pair up and respond to Bible trivia or lesson review questions. It’s a good investment in your ministry.
Offering machine: This cool widget is a large balance that holds two 5-gallon buckets on each side of the balance. The machine is made out of wood, except for the metal rollers that make it easier to move around. At either end of the balance are two hooks, one on the left and one on the right, that hold the buckets by the handles. Kids drop their change in and compete to see who’s bucket hangs lowest. We often do boys against the girls for a bit of competition.
Volunteer interaction boards: Want to make volunteers feel loved and appreciated? Post a bulletin board low along an entrance wall so kids can access it. Cover the board colorfully and post your volunteers’ photos on the board. Tack lightweight mesh buckets under each photo with push pins. Keep postcards or greeting cards on a table nearby with some pens. Encourage kids to leave volunteers thank you notes. This is a great tool for helping volunteers feel appreciated.
These fun widgets and tools work great for me, I’m sure they will for you too!