Booklet For New Volunteers


When people sign up to volunteer in our Kids Rooms, we want to equip them with all the info they need to get started, and do their job well.  It can be a little overwhelming for a new volunteer to try to remember everything, so we created some booklets for each room that give them the basics to get started.  This one page (double sided) document gives them some basic info that they can take home with them, and they can refer to.  We also have another volunteer training booklet that we give to all volunteers that covers our vision & our goals as well as our safety training, but these room booklets are specific to each room and outline things that volunteers will need to know while serving in that room.  You can download a copy of each of these booklets:

Nursery Booklet
Preschool Booklet
JK/SK Small Group Leader Booklet
Grades 1-2 Small Group Leader Booklet

Hopefully you will find these helpful!

New Volunteer Gift


When people sign up to volunteer in Kids Ministry, we have a lot of stuff and info that we give them to get started.  To help simplify the process, we put together a gift bag for them.  Here’s what’s in the bag:

  1.  A Booklet that is specific to their ministry area.  It gives them basic ‘need to know’ info so that they can get started.
  2. Our Kids Ministry Orientation Training Booklet.  This is general info about our Kids Ministry that is relevant to all kids rooms.  You can download the PDF version here or the Adobe InDesign file here.
  3. A Creekside Kids t-shirt.  We want all of our Kids Volunteers to wear a Creekside Kids t-shirt when they are serving.
  4. A Name Tag.  They wear this name tag when they are serving, and leave it in the kids room when they are done for the day.
  5. Extras.  We include a few little gifts so that new volunteers know that we are excited to have them join our team.  A travel mug or plastic cup, a Creekside pen & some candies usually do the trick.


DIY Mailbox – Volunteer Appreciation Idea


I finally finished a project that I have been working on for a few weeks.  I wanted to create a way for kids and parents to say thank you to the volunteers who help on Sunday mornings.  I created a mailbox, where kids can mail a thank you card.  We set up tables in an open area where parents and kids could work on making a card together.  Then, once they finished making their card, they could mail it in the mailbox.  At the end of the month, we will distribute all the thank you cards to the volunteers.  I printed off a list of all the volunteers for each room, so parents could find the names of the volunteers if they need them.  If you want to create your own mailbox, this is how you can do it:


I went to my local used clothing/furniture store, and picked up this set of shelves.  Once I looked it over, I thought I could make a front part that would hold the “opening” where letters could be mailed.


I own a jig saw & a sander, but that’s all.  I made a template out of poster board so that I could make any adjustments before I cut the actual wood.


I assembled the template to make sure it would all fit together.  I took measurements, purchased the wood that I would need, and got the straight pieces of wood cut (for free) at Home Depot.  I just cut the curved pieces with my jig saw, and sanded everything down.


Once the ‘drawer’ piece was cut and assembled using wood glue & finishing nails, I cut an opening in the front piece for the drawer to fit into.  I used 4 tiny hinges to attach the drawer to the front panel.


I tested it out to make sure it would fit.  I sanded down the sides a little more so the drawer would open & close easily.  Before I attached the front panel to the shelves, I painted everything with 2 coats of paint.  I decided it would be easier to paint it before it was assembled.


Once the paint was dry, I attached the front panel with screws.  I also attached the handle, and a sign holder from Staples.  I decided a to use a sign holder so I could change out the sign to use the mailbox for different projects.  I attached a larger piece of wood with hinges for the back, and used sticky velcro to keep it closed.


I set up tables with cards, markers & instructions.  I found printable thank you cards from My Sister’s Suitcase blog.  You can download them for free HERE.

We will leave the supplies on the tables for all the Sundays in May, so families can have plenty of opportunity to participate.


Once they finish making a card, they can put it in an envelope that is provided, write the volunteer’s name on the front, and mail it in the mailbox.


So far, the mailbox has been very popular.  It’s a way for families to show their appreciation to the volunteers who serve their kids so faithfully.  At the end of May, we will collect all the cards, and distribute them to all the volunteers, making sure that each volunteer gets at least one.


Princess Party


Recently we hosted a Princess Party at our church. We had over 800 people attend the event.  60% of people were not regular church attenders.  We received a lot of positive feedback after the event about how much people enjoyed coming to the event.  Here are some of the things we included at the Princess Party:

Decorations.  Keeping with a low budget, we used rolls of table cloth material to decorate the room to give it the princess look.  We used tree stumps with a dowel drilled & glued in the center to help hold the draped material.  We purchased the frame from IKEA.


Food.  Yummy treats are always a great thing to include in any party!


Activities. We had nail painting, crafts, coloring sheets, cupcake decorating, bouncy castle, & our indoor playground.


Photobooth.  Families could get their photo taken at the photobooth.  Pinterest has all kinds of ideas on ways to dress up a backdrop for a Princess Party.  We had princess dresses in various sizes for kids to put on for a picture, as well as other royal props that they could choose from.  Photos are uploaded to a website where families can download full size images a few days later.


Princesses.  Adults in princess costumes freely roamed around the party.  Parents could take pics of their kids with each of the princesses.  We purchased princess dresses, a knight costume & a king costume online from Amazon & Ebay.


Other details:

Families pre-registered for the event online through our church website.  This helped us know how many people to expect at the party so we could plan accordingly.  We charged $5 per family to help cover the cost of the event.

Volunteers helped run each activity center.  We replenished supplies as they got low, and changed garbage bags as they filled up.

We played music in each room.  Songs from Disney movies made up our playlist.

We showed a video on the TV’s and screens in each room to give people a glimpse into what Sunday mornings are like at our church.  The video was 7 minutes long, and looped for the entire length of the party.

We handed out a flyer as each family arrived at the registration table.  One side was information about the party and each of the activities.  The other side had details about our Sunday morning services for kids & adults.

The party was on a Saturday, from 1-5pm.  It was drop in style.  People could arrive when it was convenient for them, and stay as long or as little as they liked.  They rotated to the activities at their own pace.

If you have any questions about the event, feel free to post them in the comments below.

How to Focus on Kids Ministry Priorities

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Sometimes the number of things that need to be done in Kids Ministry can be overwhelming.  How do you balance the urgent things with things that should be a priority?  So many times the urgent can take a lot of our time, but they are not necessarily things that are a priority.

Start by making a list of things that you would consider priorities in your kids ministry.  What will it take to accomplish those things?  Make a list of things that take a lot of your time.  Then evaluate.  Do you need to make some adjustments so that you have more time to focus on your priorities?

Try using a 3, 6 and 12 month goals list.  Take time to write down 3 things that you would like to accomplish in the next 3 months.  Then write down 3 things to accomplish in the next 6 months, and do the same for 12 months.  Having goals written down on paper helps you to focus on priorities that need to be done.

Thanking volunteers is one of those things that is important, but we never seem to get around to doing that on a regular basis.  If you make a goal of writing one thank you note for each day that you are in the office, then you could make a big difference in a short amount of time, on a regular basis.

I created a “To Do” list and customized it for Kids Ministry to help keep me on track.  Some things are pre-printed on the list to remind me to do them on a regular basis.  The spaces for “this week” and “this month” are the same size as a standard post-it note.  Just write the items that you need to accomplish this week or this month on a post-it note, and transfer the post-it notes to each new page instead of re-writing your list for longer range items.

You can download the Kidmin To Do list for free.  Hopefully it will help you stay organized and focused on what you need to do.


Changing Curriculum? How To Transition Your Volunteers To Something New.


Change is usually pretty difficult for most people.  If you are thinking of trying something new when it comes to lessons in your kids ministry, it’s probably a good idea to help your volunteers process the change.  Here are some things I learned along the journey of transitioning my team to a new curriculum.

  1.  Do your research.  Before you decide to make the change, find out what your volunteers like about your current curriculum, and what is not working.  Then research what options could potentially solve some of your challenges, or take your kids ministry to a new level.
  2. Decide on your budget.  There are some really great FREE options out there that are worth investigating.  Life Church’s Kids Curriculum, Crossroads Kids Club, NewSpring Church and Kids Kount Publishing are some great FREE options.  If you have some $$ to spend, then there are many options available.  When I transitioned my team of 200 volunteers, we switched to The Gospel Project for Kids.
  3. Communicate.  You can never over communicate.  Email short emails.  Send volunteers little bits of info at a time.  Send them sample videos.  Send them a sample lesson.  Let them know some of the benefits the new curriculum will bring.
  4. Invite them to a meeting.  Invite your key leaders or teachers to come to see and hear about the new curriculum.  Have samples printed off, and outline what changes will be taking place.
  5. Take the new Curriculum on a Test Drive.  Tell your volunteers that you are going to try something new.  They might be more open to a ‘test drive’ than a big change that is set in stone.  Try it out for a few months, and then decide if you are going to keep going with the new curriculum.
  6. Ask for Feedback.  Ask how things are going.  Tweak things along the way that need tweaking.  Listen to your volunteers to see if the new curriculum will be helpful or you need to go back to the drawing board.

Preschool Worship Videos


Preschoolers love to sing!  When looking for some new Preschool Worship Videos, I found some from NewSpring Church.  They have done a great job of making videos for preschoolers.  You can view them for free on YouTube.  Here are some of the songs we are doing with the preschoolers at our church.

  1.  Guess What
  2.  Jump Around
  3.  When I Look

Here are some ideas that you can use to help your preschoolers participate in worship time:

  1.  Have preschoolers stand/sit on a mat.  You can buy small size mats (from Target for about $3) that are just big enough for a preschooler to stand on.  When it’s time to sing, have them stand on their mat & it helps to define the space where they should stay.
  2. Songs on Video.  If you can play videos on a screen it will help take your preschool worship time to a whole new level.  However, it’s important to have a person lead the songs from the front while the video is playing, and do not use the video as a replacement for human interaction.
  3. GO BIG.  Choose songs that have people doing actions on screen.  Then get all the helpers in the room to do the actions too.  Big, over-exaggerated actions help kids to participate.
  4. Simple Words.  Choose songs that have just a few lines that are repeated over and over.
  5. Repeat the same songs.  We do the same 3 songs every week in our preschool room.  The kids will learn the songs and be able to participate easier if you keep the selection to just a handful of songs.