What better way to kick off a new school year than with a Back-to-School Sizzle? Never mind the thunder and lightning that rolled in just moments before the event even started…we still had fun!
Goal: The goal of this event is to provide an opportunity for the children of our church to celebrate the beginning of a new school year and learn to use the armor of God to stand against Satan’s tricks. This event also presents the opportunity for children from the community to engage with the Fillmore Kids program in a non-threatening environment
Key Scripture: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” – Ephesians 6:10-11, NIV
Here’s what you’ll need to pull it off:
- Streamers (I used green)
- 6-12 red paper apples
- Poster board cutouts of each piece of the armor or God
- Masking tape
- Two balls of varied sizes
- Goofy sunglasses
- 4 small buckets
- 2 Styrofoam cups with a small hole in the bottom of each
- 10 water balloons, filled with water
- 10 spray bottles, filled with water, set to mist
- 1 balloon, inflated
- Shopping bag filled with school supplies
- Bible with sticky note marking Ephesians 6:10-11
- A bucket filled with slips of paper listing “tricks” Satan might use against us
Decorations: I kept the decor low-key for this event as I had planned to spend half of our time outside. As you can see in the picture at the beginning of this post, I hung red paper apples and green streamers over the sign-in table.
Arrival Time Activity: Have the cardboard cutouts of each piece of the armor of God out on a table with crayons. As the children arrive, have them work to decorate the armor.
Game Time: Once enough children have arrived, let the games begin! I’d recommend playing these games outside if you can..
- Beach Ball Relay: Before the game, use tape or chalk to mark a starting line and a finish line at least ten feet apart. Have the children stand in a line behind the starting line. Give the first child in line the smaller of the two balls and a pair of goofy sunglasses. While wearing the sunglasses and carrying the ball between his or her knees, the first person races to the finish line and back to the starting line, where he or she must hand off the sunglasses and ball to the next person in line. Time the children to see how fast they can complete the race. To add to the giggles, try the race again using a larger ball!
- Bucket Blast: For this game, you need two or more children. The first child fills the cup with water from the full bucket and runs with it to the empty bucket to pour their water into it. Both children (or teams) continue until they empty the original bucket of water and fill the second bucket. The child or team with the most water in the bucket wins.
- Water Balloon Toss: Divide the children into pairs and line up in two lines facing each other, with one partner on each side. Give every person on one side a water balloon. When you say to start, everyone must toss their balloon to their partner. Those who drop their balloons or whose balloons pop are out. Everyone else takes one step back so the distance between partners is further apart. Have the pairs continue to toss the balloons until only one set of partners remains.
- Squirt Bottle Float: Give each child a squirt bottle (set to mist). Toss a balloon in the air and have the children use just their squirt bottles to keep the balloon in the air.
Snack: Serve the kids “pencils” (pretzel sticks) and “erasers” (gumdrops).
Message: I found a fabulous back-to-school message on putting on the armor of God at Ministry-to-Children.com. I adapted it slightly to meet my needs, but not significantly enough to post my version. Check out the full message here: http://ministry-to-children.com/back-to-school-bible-lesson/. P.S. I used the armor that the kids decorated during the lesson!
After the message and prayer, I introduced some of our J.A.M. Time songs to get the kids excited for the fall ministries that will be taking place at our church. I also took them on a quick tour of the newly decorated rooms. Hopefully the kids are excited as I am!