Kids Ministry Room Signs

On a recent visit to Woodstock City Church, I noticed their signs.  There were 2 things that I noticed.  I noticed what signs they had displayed, and what signs they didn’t have displayed.

Let’s start with the signs they didn’t have up.  They didn’t have any printed or hand written signs on their walls or doors.  There were no signs advertising upcoming events or displaying messages.  This made their space clean, and clutter free.  It also meant that any signs that were displayed were noticed because they looked professional, clear and to the point.  Here were some signs that they did have on their walls:

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This sign was just on the inside of the room beside the door.  It prompted volunteers to ask important questions when kids arrived.

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This sign clearly outlined how the program was supposed to run and what time each section started and ended for each service.

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This sign was for training new volunteers.  This made sure that everything was covered so that new volunteers knew the policies and procedures while volunteering in that room.

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This sign clearly communicated the bathroom policy and was posted beside the restroom door in every kids room.  Here are a few more signs that were posted in their kids rooms.

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What signs do you have in your kids rooms?  Are there any signs you need to remove so that more attention can be given to signs that are important?  Are there any signs that you could include that you do not currently have posted?  Hopefully, these ideas will help you be more intentional with the signs you post in your kids rooms.

 

Celebrating Birthdays in Kids Ministry – an inside look at birthdays at Woodstock City Church

I was so impressed to see what Woodstock City Church does to celebrate birthdays for kids.  The kids look forward to their Birthday all year long so that they can visit the Birthday Cart.  The Birthday Cart is pretty exciting, but it doesn’t compare to the PERSON who is at the Birthday Cart.  I did not find out this person’s name, but he was amazing as he celebrated each child and their birthday.

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His enthusiasm was off the charts as the kids approached the Birthday Cart.  He called them each by name and asked how old they were.  Then he proceeded to do this:

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He had a bucket full of confetti and he piled it on each child.  He threw it in the air & sang the birthday song!  He made each child feel like the most important person on the planet because it was their birthday.

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At the end of the celebration he pulled out a broom and cleaned it all up, so the area was ready for the next child who came to celebrate their birthday, and he treated them in just the same way.

It doesn’t take much to make a kid feel special on their birthday (or on the Sunday closest to their birthday).  A cart with some prizes, a bucket full of confetti, and a very enthusiastic volunteer who is willing to go all out to make each child feel special.

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Here are a few other ideas I picked up from my visit to Northpoint Church:

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Make a sign so that parents and kids know where to go to celebrate birthdays.

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Have stickers or buttons available for kids to wear so that everyone knows it’s their birthday.

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Make sure you have several different prizes for them to choose from.

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Try to find a volunteer who is outgoing and would be willing to be the Birthday Cart Volunteer.  Birthday prizes are fun, but an enthusiastic volunteer is what takes the experience to a whole new level.

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They even had a Birthday Cart in the Preschool Area.  The prizes were age appropriate and someone dressed in a bee costume greeted each birthday child.  This bear can be found in the preschool area at Northpoint Church.

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This is the Preschool Birthday Cart at Woodstock City Church.

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What do you do for birthdays at your church? Maybe one of these ideas will help you take birthday celebrations to a whole new level!

DIY Kids Photo Wall

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We are just getting ready to launch a new campus.  We have a smaller space available for our kids ministry rooms, but we still wanted to make it fun and kid friendly.  So, we decided to make a photo wall down our kids hallway.  The idea can from a photo I saw on worshipfacilities.com .  Here’s what we did to make it.

Step 1.  We took pics of some kids in our kids ministry.  We tried to get close up shots of kids faces and them in action.  I contacted the parents of each child to get permission to print and display their child’s photo.  Then I ordered photos to be printed on canvas.  These pics are 30″ x 30″ and were aprox. $75 each.  Bestcanvas.ca was where we ordered them from.  They had the best prices I could find online, and the quality was great!  No taxes, duty or shipping cost (on orders over $150).  I searched for a coupon code so that saved us extra money as well.  They shipped within 24 hours and arrived in just a few days. Talk about fast turn around!

Step 2.  I asked some handymen to cut me some rectangles from 1/2 inch 4×8 MDF board.  I took a piece of paper 4inchs by 8 inches and drew out how many rectangles could fit on one board in various sizes.

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This is what they looked like when they were all cut out. We used 4 sheets of MDF board, but we probably only needed 2 or 3.  We had a lot left over.

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Step 3.  I took the pieces of wood and set them out on the floor as I ‘freestyled’ the design.  I left spaces that were 32 x 32 inches (or the dimensions of the photos with a little space around) so that the pics would fit in the design.

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Step 4.  I took a panoramic photo of the design so I would remember how to put it together later.  We used 6 colours of paint. (They were the same colours used in our kids rooms.) I dabbed my finger in a bit of paint and smeared it on each board so I would know what colour to paint each board.  We only painted the boards needed for the design and not the extras. Each board got 2 coats of paint.  I printed the panoramic photo on 11×17 paper, and took a q-tip and dabbed the colours on the printed version so that I would remember what colours went where. We let the paint dry and transported everything to the location where it was to be installed.

Step 5.  I set out the pieces on the floor in the hall where we were putting the photo wall.  I used the 11×17 panoramic map to help me figure out where the pieces went.

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Step 6.  My handymen helped me put the pieces up on the wall.  We found the center of the wall and hung the center photo up first.  Then we placed the coloured rectangles around the photo according to the panoramic map that I printed on 11×17 paper.  The rectangles were hung by using a nail gun & nails. We worked our way out from the center doing one side then the other.

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Step 7.  The final touch is to fill in the tiny holes left from the nails & paint over them.

We love that the pictures are of kids from our church and they are creatively displayed!

 

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Booklet For New Volunteers

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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

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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.

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DIY Mailbox – Volunteer Appreciation Idea

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.