Books to Stock in your Church Nursery or Preschool

Reading books to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers helps them build language, learn about the world around them, and develop listening skills. Even reading to babies is important to help them begin developing the tone and rhythm of language. So as you're snuggling with babies and playing with preschoolers, here are some books I recommend for your church nursery or preschool classes. Are there any you recognize? Are there any you'd add to these lists? Nursery Books: Good News! God Made Me! by Glennys Nellist (this is one of my toddler's favorites!) Thank You, God from A to Z by Pamela Kennedy Baby's Hug-a-Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones First 100 Words by Roger Priddy Psalms of Praise: A Movement Primer by Danielle Hitchen and Jessica Blanchard All Day Long, God Loves Me by Mikal Keefer First I Say a Prayer by Crystal Bowman...

Simple Scripture Habits For Families

Sometimes parents feel overwhelmed by the thought of family devotions or reading the Bible with their kids. But you can remind them that even the simplest habits can help them incorporate Scripture into their daily lives! Here are a few ideas to share with the families in your church: Decorate with scripture - Many families have more scripture in their homes than they realize, but it's also easy to make it an art project or part of a holiday celebration! With an activity like Scripture Stars or even encouraging kids to make their own Bible verse poster, families can hang up scripture around their homes where they'll see it every day. If they're decorating for a certain holiday or season, they can find Bible verses that relate to that celebration, add them to some decorations, and hang those up too! Then each time they pass the scripture...

Sizzling Summer Resources for Your KidMin

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Things are heating up as summer rolls around, but that doesn't mean the spiritual life of your kids has to cool down! While summertime often means even more sporadic church attendance as families enjoy trips, vacations, and downtime, the summer can be an opportunity for spiritual growth for the kids and families you lead. Let us help you and your families dive into God's Word this summer with some of these sizzling summer resources![/vc_column_text][vc_toggle title="New for 2021" custom_font_container="tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%233ac1e1" custom_use_theme_fonts="yes" use_custom_heading="true"] Summer Social Media Challenges - We know that summer (and especially summer in a worldwide pandemic!) can be a tough time to try to connect with families, so this resource includes eight simple and fun ideas you...

Teaching Kids About Pentecost

Does your church recognize and celebrate Pentecost Sunday? It's a church holiday that I didn't even learn about until I was an adult, but recognizing Pentecost offers great value to kids in teaching them about the early church and the Holy Spirit. Use this resource and the ideas below to help your kids and families learn about and celebrate this special day in the Church! What is Pentecost? Pentecost is a Christian day that commemorates the descending of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the church, also known as the birthday of the church. You can read about Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. Christians celebrate this day on the 50th day after Easter. And - because God's timing is so cool and He intentionally orchestrates events - Pentecost is actually a Jewish holiday, also called Shavuot, that happened 50 days after...

Baby Dedication Gifts From Your Ministry

I'd bet there were a lot of baby dedications this past weekend for Mother's Day. What a perfect day to honor new babies and welcome them into your church family! But did you feel fully equipped to teach the parents what a baby dedication is all about? Because - plot twist - a baby dedication is not about the baby. It's about the parents and their commitment to raise their child in the church. It's about the church's commitment to partner with parents in the discipleship of their child. (Psst - If you want a full resource to help you communicate the significance of a child dedication, check out our baby dedication guide here.) Many leaders and churches also give a special gift to the family for a baby dedication to help them commemorate the day and start them off on their discipleship journey as a family. Here are some of the most popular...

Children’s Ministry Mother’s Day Ideas for the 5 Love Languages

Moms are pretty special, and they deserve to be celebrated. But each mom is unique and feels celebrated in a different way. Use some of these ideas and resources to celebrate the moms in your ministry in the way(s) they feel loved the most. Offer a combination of the different ideas to hit all 5 love languages! Quality time: Pass to a local family museum or fun family outing - Even as something simple as an ice cream coupon so the family can go on an ice cream date with mom! Mother/Son Prayer Journal by Christie Thomas - I don't have sons, but I bought a copy of this family devotional. Wow, what a resource! What better way to spend quality time together than by studying God's word as a family? It would make the perfect gift for the boy moms in your ministry! Bible Moms Award Event - Make a night of it and celebrate moms with a...

Connecting Digitally With Your Volunteers

We can't talk about ministry - even digital ministry - without talking about volunteers! Whether you use texts, emails, vlogs, blog posts, or social media, take advantage of our digital world to connect with your volunteers, especially in this season of COVID-19. One of the ways I connected digitally with my volunteers (especially since we were a mobile church and had no permanent space) was through a Volunteer Facebook Group. The Volunteer Facebook Group was a secret group, meaning volunteers could request permission to join, but only I (the Children’s Ministry Director) could approve their request. All posts in this group were private and only seen by members of the group. Volunteers could request to join the Facebook Group after training. We used this secret group to ask for subs/switching weeks of service, share news or funny stories...

KidMin Social Media Planner Template

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]An effective social media strategy for your children's ministry requires planning, but that doesn't mean it has to take up hours of your precious time! Use this week's free download to help you plan weeks' worth of social media posts at a time. Print 1 copy of the first page and use it to choose one idea for each day to help you create a template plan for your ministry social media posts. Print multiple copies of the second page, then use it to map out your weekly posts, several weeks at a time![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the KidMin Social Media Planner Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F04%2FDKM-KidMin-Weekly-Social-Media-Planner-2.pdf|target:_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="55414"...

Double Feature Freebie: Emoji Prayer Activity + God’s Promises Cards

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Confession: I couldn't decide between 2 awesome freebies this week, so we're giving away BOTH![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_custom_heading text="Emoji Prayer Activity" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:center" use_theme_fonts="yes" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F04%2FDKM-Emoji-Prayer-Activity-All-the-Feels.pdf"][vc_column_text]Invite kids to pray about their feelings using this Emoji Prayer Activity. Kids choose an emoji that describes their feelings, then color it in and write a prayer to God about their feeling(s) on the back of the paper. (This version is based off the original Back To School Emoji Prayer Activity). This activity comes from our 6-week zoom-based preteen study, All the Feels, that invites preteens to explore...

5 Tips for Engaging Kids Through Video

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As you're returning to in-person services, you may consider continuing your virtual lessons as part of your digital discipleship strategy.  Use the tips below to make it the best possible experience for your kids and families (and you)! Make a plan. Just like you wouldn't walk into a regular Sunday morning without a plan for the day, don't try to do that with a video either! Make sure you and your team know the order and flow of the video, and be sure to set any props off-screen but within reach. You may also want to have links ready to share, like links to a folder on Google Drive of activity worksheets that go with the lesson, links to worship videos, links to a video lesson, and more! (Just make sure your curriculum & worship songs allow sharing the resources in this way). Spend the time prepping for...

Sample Social Media Policy for KidMin

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We can all recognize that the world of technology keeps changing and the digital age is here to stay. Therefore, we should be committed to ensuring that we embrace modern methods of communication and sharing the gospel. But we also understand that some digital methods of communication require regulation so that they can be more effective and so we can ensure the safety and integrity of our teams and our families. This free social media policy template provides guidelines for church staff, volunteers, and leaders when using social media tools on behalf of or in the role of your children's ministry. These policies are set in place to protect the children, families, volunteers, and leaders of your ministry when engaging in digital discipleship.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Social Media Policy...

Social-Distanced Games for Kids Ministry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Earlier in the week we shared our top 10 screen-based games for kids. Today, we're sharing 10 non-screen-based games! Play these social-distanced games with the kids in your ministry to encourage laughter and help kids engage with the Bible story![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download a Printable Version of the Games Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F03%2FDKM-Social-distanced-Games-for-Kids-Ministry.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_column_text]BUST A RHYME - Ideal for more than five players, so this game is perfect for small groups to play together, or you can play as one large group! Invite all participants to stand in a circle 6 feet apart. Next, choose a leader to say a word from the Bible story (you can provide the words for them, or let kids come up with...

3 Reasons Why Children’s Ministry Leaders Must Embrace Digital Discipleship

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Discipleship in the broader sense is the process of guiding someone into a deeper, more vibrant relationship with Jesus through teaching, encouragement, and personal connection. In her book From Social Media to Social Ministry, Nona Jones emphasizes the importance of relationships in the discipleship process as she defines discipleship as “the product of dialogue about how to apply [Biblical] content to people’s lives in a way that leads to continual transformation.” Discipleship in children’s ministry means partnering with parents in that continual process of growing kids deeper in their relationship with Jesus. We may have more hand motions in our worship songs and there may be glitter in our supply closets, but the goal of discipleship remains the same. 2 Peter 3:18 says, “Grow in the...

Top 10 Screen-Based Games for Kids

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Playing games is a key element of children's ministry, but social-distancing can make that difficult sometimes. On Friday, we'll share a free list of social-distanced games for kids, but until then, here are our top 10 on-screen games for kids that leaders like YOU have downloaded over the past year! You can play these games in person or online.[/vc_column_text][products columns="2" orderby="date" order="DESC" ids="31124, 29065, 54017, 54295, 39256, 44703, 32186, 38648, 51502, 40224"][vc_custom_heading text="Find even more screen-based games here!" font_container="tag:h1|text_align:center" use_theme_fonts="yes" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct-category%2Fgames%2Fppt-games%2F|target:_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Simple but Meaningful Holy Week Activities for Families

The families you serve probably know all about the excitement of Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, but do they know what happens in between? How can you help them remember and honor the full story of Jesus' last days on earth? Here are some simple and meaningful Holy Week activities to share with your families or add to your Holy Week events! Palm Sunday - Make a Palm Sunday craft (like this free one) with your kids at church. Or share the printables (and other fun ones like these) with your families to do at home. Encourage families to use their Palm branches to host a parade around their house or down their street, waving their palm branches and shouting "Hosanna!" (P.S. It wouldn't be too late to give families an Eggs of Easter Resurrection Eggs Kit either - they can double up on the days!) Holy Monday - Holy Monday is the day that Jesus...

Around-the-Town Easter Egg Hunt

around the town egg hunt
Kim, a kidmin leader in Virginia, recently shared about her team's idea for an around-the-town egg hunt, and I couldn't wait to learn more! Normally, Kim and her team host a big community event with over 2,000 eggs. They usually promote the event on lots of different platforms and hold the event during a community farmers market that is held across the street. That obviously wasn't an option this year as we continue through the global pandemic. Kim said... "We always target the community with our Easter egg hunt, but this year I felt like we needed to focus on our own families and gently leading them back to the building and back into Christian activities." Even as she's focusing on her church families rather than the community, Kim is finding that a lot of them are inviting their friends to the around-the-town egg hunt, so that's a huge...

The Best Way to Reach Families this Easter

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at and attended the Bible Creative Online Conference. One of the speakers, Dale Hudson of Building Children's Ministry, talked about one of the best ways to reach the families at our church: give them opportunities for shared, memorable experiences that point to a greater purpose. So this Easter, how can we give our families a chance to create a shared, memorable experience that points to a greater purpose? These ideas might help! Help them throw a family Easter party - Everyone loves celebrations! And while you may not be able to host your regular Easter events in-person, you can provide ideas and supplies for your families to celebrate Easter at home! Just like an in-person event, think through a special theme, games, family devotion, snacks, and fun for your families! This...

Easter 2021 Resources

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Well, here we are again, friends. Almost a full year later, and the global pandemic is still going strong, limiting our Easter plans and celebrations. While I’m lamenting all that we’ve missed over the last year, I’m also grateful for the creativity God has inspired in the church! Let us help you and your families celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior, no matter what your Easter looks like. If you'd like a more visual version of this list, find that here.[/vc_column_text][vc_toggle title="New for 2021" custom_font_container="tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%233ac1e1" custom_use_theme_fonts="yes" use_custom_heading="true"]These are our BRAND NEW resources made for 2021! The Eggs of Easter - This 12-Day Family Devotion Kit leads families toward the true meaning of Easter through...

L(am)ent

lent and lament
This week brings Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lent season. I've learned (and am still learning) most of what I know about Lent as an adult. One word I've come to associate with Lent is "lament" because both Lent and lamenting bring into sharp focus the reality of suffering. And this year, lament seems to be a relevant word as we head toward the 1-year "anniversary" of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A full year of lockdowns and quarantines and masks and social-distancing. A full year of canceled plans, virtual church, and sickness. And now we're trying to balance lamenting the pandemic while still living through it. At least for now, the pandemic is still going strong, and we'll probably be having virtual church for Easter again. As we dive headlong into Jesus' journey of suffering to the cross through Lent, let's take time...

15 Socially-Distanced Greetings for Sunday Mornings

socially distanced greetings for kids
I know you LOVE seeing your kids walk through your doors on Sunday mornings, and even though masks make it harder for them to see your big smile (and you theirs), here are some fun, safe, socially-distanced ways you can greet your kids each Sunday. Wave - A classic. Double wave - Taking the classic up a notch. Air five - Just like a regular high five, but without actually touching. Can be done from 6 ft apart or even across the lobby. Air fist bump - Just like an air high five, but with a fist bump instead. Air hug - stretch your arms out and around the air in front of you, pretending to hug the child from across the lobby. Elbow bump - OK, so this one requires you getting closer than 6 ft apart, BUT it still helps prevent the spread of germs since your hands don't come in contact! Simply stick out your elbow and (gently) bump...

10 Non-Candy Valentine Gifts for Kids

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With Valentine's Day falling on a Sunday this year, you may be considering a simple Valentine gift or treat to share with the kids and families in your ministry. But if you've worked with kids long, you know giving a room full of kids a bunch of sugar can lead to complete chaos (especially when they still have to social distance). So I've been researching, and here are my 10 favorite non-candy Valentine gifts for kids along with some links to the printables when possible! (Trust me, the parents in your ministry will appreciate the non-sugary gift!) Scripture Valentine Cards + Heart Stress Ball (Kids are dealing with a lot these days! Remind them that they are loved and that they can count on God with this simple idea!) "I'm Stuck on You, Valentine" + Sticker Pack (Kids love stickers! Use Generic stickers...

Family Fasting Activity

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Share this printable activity with the families in your ministry to help them be intentional about their fasting this Lent. [/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Family Fasting Activity Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F01%2FDKM-Family-Fasting-Activity-Freebie.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_column_text]This activity sheet helps them not only choose what each family member wants to fast, but it also helps them identify ways they can make room for God to fill them up![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="49177" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/product/fast-feast-a-family-guide-for-lent/"][/vc_column][vc_column...

Helping Kids Understand the Spiritual Discipline of Fasting

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]One of the typical practices during Lent is fasting. Fasting is meant to mirror the practice of Jesus, who fasted 40 days in the desert in preparation for his public ministry. Fasting during Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter) is meant to help us draw closer to Jesus and prepare our hearts and spirits to remember His death and resurrection. And we can help guide the families we serve through this season of fasting and prayer by intentionally teaching them (and their kids) about the spiritual discipline of fasting. I know what you're thinking - should kids fast? Valid question. We would discourage kids and teens from fasting meals - for health reasons, and also because of their maturity. (And we discuss the answer to "should kids fast" in more detail here.) However, people of any age (kids included!)...

3 Hospital Appreciation Ideas for Children’s Ministries

My church and my neighborhood are located just 2 miles down the road from a major hospital, and several of our church members work at the hospital or in the medical field. After talking with some of these frontline workers about how things are going, here are some of their responses: "Morale is dipping and community support has been lacking." "Support was great at the beginning, but people have gone back to their normal lives, and there's hardly any extra show of support now." "Our employees need encouragement." And here's a recent post in my neighborhood's FB group: "The staff is exhausted... The signs of support from the community will be a big morale booster for the staff." It's obvious our local hospitals need some encouragement as they continue to risk their lives to save and protect ours. And what better place for that...

Get It Done Post-It Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Does anyone else have a weird obsession with sticky notes? Just me? Well I've discovered a way to help me keep my post-it notes a little more organized... Use this "Get It Done" Post-It To-Do List Printable to help you, well, get things done![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Get It Done Post It Printable Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2020%2F12%2FDKM-GET-IT-DONE-POST-IT-PRINTABLE.pdf|target:_blank"][vc_column_text] Write your thoughts, lists, tasks, and to-dos on a post-it note, then put the post-it in the boxes to help you accomplish them today, tomorrow, sometime this week, or in the near future. You can also laminate the printable and then use an expo marker to write in the boxes instead of using post-it notes. Pro tip: Before leaving the...