When kids show up 30 minutes before service, you need early arrival activities for kids church. I never want to turn kids away but I’m not naive. I know kids need constant monitoring, even the ones that tend to stay out of trouble. Prepare for those early birds with early arrival activities that will excite your children. Working on crafts and coloring pages will do in a pinch but activities keep hands and brains busy. Why not take advantage of this “extra” time with activities that encourage a sense of wholesome play?
Play With Noodles: I’m talking about the big, foamy kind that you use in the swimming pool. Cut long noodles in half and you’ve got the perfect marble race track. If you feel more inspired, tie halved “noodles” around a ladder for an elaborate race track. Kids can take turns dropping marbles down the chute. That will keep kids busy and active!
Fishers of Men activity: For this you’ll need a dozen or more die cut people and animal shapes. Give each child a straw and spread out the cut outs. Kids have to use the straw to suck up and hold the shapes, then move them to a bowl.
Bottle Play: Arrange a set of “discovery bottles” in the activity area for children to play with. Pour hair gel or shampoo in a clear, plastic bottle with some marbles. Hot glue the lid in place and let the kids turn and twist the contents. Mix glitter and glycerin in a bottle or hide tiny plastic animals in paper shred.
Felt Play Boards: It’s an oldie but goodie! Hang a cork board on your classroom wall but keep it low enough for kids to play with. Cover the board with felt and have felt animals, people and shapes ready for play. You’d be surprised at how many kids like playing with felt boards.
Pipe Cleaner Palooza: Set a large block of foam on a table. Provide kids with plenty of pipe cleaners and pencils. Show them how to make interesting curlicues using the pencils as a guide. When they’ve completed their shapes, they can poke them in the foam. At the end of this activity, your class will have an interesting art display.
I do believer every minute we get with kids is precious but I don’t stress over the “extra” time. If I can incorporate a Bible lesson or principle I do that. If not, I just enjoy being with my kids.
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