When One Teaches, Two Learn

Figuring out children's ministry one day at a time


on November 17, 2012

Last night was our Fillmore Kids Bananza and, let me tell you, we had some fun!  We had quite a crew – almost 20 kids! – due mostly to the major hook I had going for us:  I promoted the event at our Halloween Harvest Bash while wearing a giant banana costume AND promised a 10-foot-long banana split!  Check out what we were up to and feel free to adapt it to meet your own needs.

Goal:  The goal of this event is to provide an opportunity for the children of Fillmore Wesleyan Church to have fun together and learn that God does not look at outside appearances, but at our hearts. 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: “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Personnel: 4 minimum, 6 preferred

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Banana coloring pages
  • Crayons
  • Jungle Animal Bean Bag Toss set
  • Bean bags
  • Jumpin’ Monkeys board game
  • Yellow and brown Play Dough
  • Conversation ball
  • Instruction cards for arrival time games
  • Yellow balloons
  • Bucket
  • Slips of paper with challenges for the Monkey Blast game
  • 2 bananas
  • Chairs, one for each child
  • Clues for each group for the treasure hunt
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Whipped cream
  • Candy toppings
  • 1 banana, refrigerated for several days
  •  TV with DVD Player
  • Music DVD
  • 1 10-foot piece of gutter
  • Tin foil
  • Approximately 15 bananas
  • 10 gallons of vanilla ice cream
  • Styrofoam bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • 4 large serving spoons
  • 2-3 ice cream scoops

Decorations:  Create a tent-like effect with yellow table cloths and green balloons in the center of the room.

Add green streamers throughout to accent, along with several inflatable monkeys.

I had to get a closer shot of these monkeys for you.  I got them at Oriental Trading.  Aren’t they adorable?

Use a jungle-themed table cloth on the registration table and hang a few monkey posters throughout the room.

Arrival Time (10 minutes):  As the children arrive, have them check in at the registration table.  If they do not have a registration form on file, have the parent/guardian fill one out.  Give each parent a check-out slip for each child.  Before the parents leave, invite them to join us for the banana split.  (Personnel Needs: 1)

Have the following activities available as the children arrive, along with instruction cards for each.  (Personnel Needs: 3)

  • Banana Coloring Pages:  Have crayons available for the children to color a variety of banana pictures.
  • Jungle Animal Bean Bag Toss:  Give each child five tosses with the goal of getting one beanbag in each jungle animal’s mouth. (NOTE: This was a game that we already had at the church.)
  • Jumpin’ Monkeys Board Game:  Use your launcher to shoot your monkeys onto the tree.  If one of your monkeys lands on the tree, then you get a banana!  Whoever earns the most bananas wins.  (NOTE: This was a game that we already had at the church.)
  • Play Dough Sculpture:   Provide yellow and brown Play Dough and ask the children to use them to create their best banana and/or monkey.
  • Conversation Ball:  Have small groups of children toss the conversation ball to each other.  When a child catches the ball, he or she must answer the question that is under his or her right thumb.  (NOTE:  We used Group’s Throw & Tell Ball)

Monkey Blast (10 minutes):  While music is playing, have the kids bop yellow balloons in the air without letting them touch the floor.  When the music stops, have the children grab and hold onto the balloons.  Have a bucket with several slips of paper with monkey-related challenges written on them.  Pull a challenge out and have the children complete the challenge.  Restart the music and repeat until the challenges have run out. Below are a few of the challenges we used. (Personnel Needs: 2)

  • Dance like a monkey
  • Rub your stomach while patting your head
  • Walk across the floor like a gorilla making gorilla noises

Banana Relay (10 minutes):  Divide the group into two teams and have each team line up in a straight line.  Give the first person in line a banana and explain that they must pass the banana all the way down the line and all the way back to the first person using only their elbows.  As a variation, have the children complete the relay using only their knees.  (Personnel Needs: 1)

Banana Split!  (10 minutes):  Have the children sit in chairs a circle and assign everyone an ingredient in a banana split (banana, whipped cream, chocolate, or ice cream).  Have one child stand in the middle and call out either an ingredient or “Banana split!”  If the child in the middle calls an ingredient, all children who are assigned that ingredient must jump up and find a new place to sit.  At the same time, the child in the middle must try find a place to sit.  The child left in the middle calls out the next ingredient – and so the game continues.  If the child in the middle calls “banana split,” all children must stand up and find a new place to sit.  (Personnel Needs: 1)        

Treasure Hunt (20 minutes):  Ahead of time, hide the chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and candy toppings throughout the church and create clues that the kids must find and follow to discover their treasure.  I developed 4 clues for each team.  Have a copy of the clues with you during the scavenger hunt so you can assist groups as necessary.  (Personnel Needs: 4)

Lesson & Songs (15 minutes):  We spent some time singing some of our J.A.M. Time songs, then I used a lesson on 1 Samuel 16:7 that I found on eHow.   After the lesson, I previewed our upcoming unit on Bible Heroes and invited the kids to join us on Sunday mornings.  To wrap things up, we sang two of the new songs that accompany the Bible Heroes unit.

Snack (15 minutes):  While you are teaching the lesson, have volunteers prepare a banana split for the kids.  Cover a 10-foot piece of gutter with tin foil, then fill with bananas and vanilla ice cream.  Top portions with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, or both.  Have a selection of fun-size bags of candy available as additional topping options (Allow no more than one per child).  Offer a quick prayer of thanks for the food, then serve the children.

I’m so bummed that my camera battery died halfway through the evening.  I only got a few pictures of the kids and didn’t even get a picture of the completed banana split 😦  Oh well!  The kids loved it and that’s what matters!


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