In Main Street last summer (2011) we ended up playing games every week for about 15 minutes at beginning if the children’s ministry hour. It was fun. The students had a blast being silly and it brought some great playful energy to the large group time. And, it woke the sleepy students up and got them engaged!
Normally our routine in Main Street was to sing songs for the first 10 minutes and then on to offering, announcements, and birthday celebrations before we taught the large group the Bible story of the day. However, because of the game experiment over the summer we wanted to add that to the line up, but there was no room to put it in.
Then we had the idea to alternate every week between games and music. We would just be substituting games for music every other week instead of dipping into small group time. We didn’t want to keep making the large group time longer and the small group time shorter so the alternation seemed like a good idea.
And I’m happy to report that it has become a great tradition. If we did games every week it might become routine and expectant, but we don’t. When we did music every week, only certain students would participate while others were disengaged. Alternating weeks has added a sense of intrigue and mystery that is helpful when engaging with children on a Sunday morning.
It’s neat to be continually learning not just NEW things, but fresh ways of doing thing and packaging/arranging things with the students in mind.
Playing games has brought some great humor and created some fun memories of Sunday morning.