Jolie, the children’s pastor at my church, came up with a BRILLIANT social-distanced kids event for the K-5th graders at our church, and she has graciously agreed to let me share her ideas with you!
What is Hoops? A social-distanced event for kids that everyone loves (and that’s easy to host)!
How does Hoops work? Set up hula hoops 6ft apart in your church or ministry space. Invite kids to pack a lunch and meet you at the church (we divide up by small groups – each small group comes on a specific day to keep our numbers low). Hoops is a social-distanced kids event where parents drop their kids off at the church at 11:15 am for lunch, then pick the kids up again at 12:15 once lunch is over. Kids enter the building, find a hula hoop to sit in, and the fun begins! We talk, laugh, play a game, invite kids to share any prayer requests, and then close in prayer.
What do kids bring? Themselves, a lunch and a drink, and a beach towel to sit on inside their hula hoop.
How long does it last? About an hour. Similar to a carpool line at school, parents drop kids off at the doors of our children’s building at 11:15, then parents pick up their kids in the carpool line at 12:15. Parents never even have to get out of their cars!
What do you do at Hoops? Each week, Jolie has a couple of simple discussion questions ready to ask the kids while they eat. Things like “Are you going on any trips? What’s your favorite thing about summer? What did you bring for lunch today?” Kids eat lunch while we talk, laugh, and catch up, and then there’s time for a little game!
A game?! What kind of game? So far, we have played the ABC Game, Mad Libs (free Mad Libs printable coming Friday!), and a version of this Heads or Tails video-led game. All of these games are played with kids staying in their hula hoops and making no contact with each other. If you want to explore all of our screen-based, social-distanced-friendly games, check them out here! Some of my favorites include Rock, Paper, Scissors, Double Vision: Summer Edition, Heads or Tails, and Emoji Bible Stories.
How often do you host Hoops, and do all the kids come at once? Jolie hosts it every other week, dividing up the days of the week between the different small groups. Depending on the size of your children’s ministry and the space you have available, you could host just one small group at a time, or invite all of the kids at once.
Can volunteers come to Hoops? Yes, and you should encourage them to! It’s a great way to stay connected with your volunteers and invite them to be part of your children’s ministry during this season when you may not be meeting in person regularly. I’m a volunteer in our children’s ministry and am so thankful for this opportunity to see my small group and spend time with them! Plus, it’s a low-commitment, low-risk way for your volunteers to serve.
What about you? Have you hosted any social-distanced events that have gone well in your ministry this summer?