When One Teaches, Two Learn

Figuring out children's ministry one day at a time

Busy Bags for Little Ones

on September 13, 2012

Whenever we have a communion Sunday, rather than dismissing the kids mid-service for Children’s Church, we keep the kids in the service with the adults.  I usually give a children’s sermon during these services to ensure that there is something accessible for them during the message portion of the service.  Some of the older children are quite capable of sitting still during the service, but I know that it is a bit of a stretch for some of the littler ones.  To make things easier on the parents, I’ve been thinking of putting together “busy bags.”  It would be one of those things that I would only pull out on those special Sundays when everyone is all together in the sanctuary during the sermon.

Now I’ve heard of busy bags before, but as soon as I started searching for ideas online I found a plethora of ideas!  Here are some of my initial finds:

Itsy Bitsy Learners created these CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) puzzle cards that kids can put together.  Many of their images appear to be clip art from Microsoft Word, but still a great idea!

2 Teaching Mommies created this beautiful Ice Cream unit for preschoolers.  I don’t know that I would use all of the activities in a busy bag, but a lot of them would work well.

How cute are these alphabet cards?  Well done, 1+1+1=1.

Simple, but solid.  Thank you, Education.com.

Dandee-Designs suggests creating several of these tiles and playing a matching game.

So many different ways to use this idea from Little Family Fun!  I need to dig through our stash of wrapping paper, though…

I love this idea for a pizza factory from Second Story Window!  I have plenty of felt in our resource room, so I can see this working out well for us.

Walking by the Way hit on a simple, but effective way to help kids practice their number skills.

This is probably one of my favorite ideas that I have found this far.  Imperfect Homemaking – you’re brilliant!

Now, here in lies my issue: I want to make the most of every opportunity to tell the kids about Jesus.  In light of that, do I really want to occupy our kids minds with things that they already spend the rest of the week thinking about at school, or is there a way to create busy bag activities that prompt our kids to set their minds on Jesus?  Some of the activities I found can be very easily adapted for church, but others not so much.  What do you think?  Should busy bags at church have a solely Scriptural focus?  A mix?  Does it really matter?


4 responses to “Busy Bags for Little Ones

  1. […] out children's ministry one day at a time « Busy Bags for Little Ones Sep […]

  2. Karlene says:

    What you are thinking of doing sounds an awful lot like what I implemented at my church, except I call them SSBs – Special Service Boxes. They’re 12×12 scrapbooking cases and I put crayons, pencils, pens, Bible story books and worksheets in them. Oh, and fruit snacks and peppermints. Last time I put pipe cleaners and beads in the boxes. One thing that has been a HIT, however, is a bingo game. I connect with the pastor the week before and get the text and topic that he will be using in his sermon. Then I go to an online bingo creator and make up the cards by inserting words I think he’ll say. I put instructions on there that the kids have to listen to the sermon, mark off the words, they have to write one thing they learned, and then turn it into me at the end of the service for a treat. (We have a smaller church so it works.) The adults are even getting into it, so I put the bingo card in the bulletin. And for little kids who can’t read yet, I do want to make a card with pictures, though that will take some more effort.

    I just stumbled on your blog today and reading it has gotten me excited. Thanks so much!

    • Karlene, I absolutely LOVE the Bingo idea! I can’t wait to try it out! Thanks for stopping by. It’s always great to hear about people who have enjoyed reading some of my posts. Have a great Sunday!

  3. […] a year ago, I started to brainstorm ideas for busy bags for little ones to use during the service until they are dismissed for children’s church.  I never ended up […]

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