When you go to a Mexican restaurant, what is always brought to the table immediately upon sitting down? Chips and salsa!
When kids walk through your doors on Sunday morning, there should be 2 things readily available: 1) a volunteer and 2) an activity they can dive right into. Your volunteer is like the waiter at the restaurant, helping kids settle in and get comfortable and sharing options for ways to dig in. The activity is like the chips and salsa of your ministry time. It gives kids a taste of what’s to come while also occupying them until everyone arrives and the morning officially begins. And it’s OK if it’s a game – kids need time to build relationships with each other before diving into a deep, spiritual lesson.
When you have leaders and activities ready to go, there’s no time for kids to plunder the room because there is something they are immediately engaged in. When kids are not engaged, there are two things that happen: Boys often find something to throw or get physical, while girls tend to get mean and gossip. Neither are ideal, so having an activity ready upon arrival is crucial!
Here are some simple and easy arrival activity ideas:
- Coloring sheets or paper to draw on
- Activity pages (bonus points if they relate to the day’s scripture or lesson!)
- Legos, Magna-Tiles, pipe cleaners, or other building manipulatives
- Board games or puzzles
- Group games that are easy to jump in to (Simon Says, Ninja, etc.)
- Discussion questions or get-to-know-you printables (These were designed for families at home, but are great to use at church too!)
- Bible skills games
- Scripture Memory Verse Games like these or these
- Review Games from Previous Lessons or Bible Trivia Games
When you engage kids with a leader and an activity as soon as they walk through your doors, you minimize the opportunity for chaos and help kids focus their hearts and minds on the day ahead.