Category Archives: Children’s Games

Church Based After School Ministry – Don’t Give In To “BORING”

images (22)We had a half-hour before the end of the day and I had four rambunctious sixth grade boys.

“Come on I have a game to teach you. Sit on the floor here with me.”

They grudgingly came and sat down as I announced that we were going to play Rhythms.

“Rhythms? What’s that!” one boy whined.

“I’ll teach you this will be fun.”

“The goal of this game is that you want to be #1. I will be the first #1 and you want to get me out of my spot by getting me to call off the wrong number or not being in rhythm.” I explained.

I proceeded to show them how to hit their folded legs with their hands, then clap, then snap, snap. They had great difficulty getting their hands to cooperate – they immediately wanted to give up.

As I snapped my right thumb and middle finger I called “Number One.” Then I snapped my left fingers and called “Number Four.” Maurice was Number Four and he called out “Number Four” but couldn’t get someone else’s number out in time.

This is BORING” Maurice complained and the other three chimed in “BORING!”

I insisted that they could do this, I insisted it wasn’t boring – the complaints continued.

I praised them for their effort and promised it might take time but if we worked at it they would get it.  As much as I insisted that they could do this they insisted that this was BORING and we should stop, “Can’t we just play a game on the computers,” they begged.

“No! You are going to do this,” I continued to insist.

Then suddenly something happened, suddenly their hands and fingers did what they wanted them to do. Suddenly they were calling out the numbers – SUDDENLY I GOT OFF RHYTHM and had to go to the end of the circle. Raymond moved into the Number One spot.

The next thing we knew we were being called in for Family Time – the closing of the day.

I will forever remember as they headed out the door,



KidTrek: After School Programs – Healthy Snacks

  1. Veggies:  carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes,cucumber, bell pepper — can be eaten with ranch dip, peanut butter, or bean spread
  2. Fruit:  apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, and seasonal fruit
  3. Applesauce, without added sugar, in small cups
  4. Mountain High vanilla yogurt – You would buy a large tub and dish it out.
  5. Apples with peanut butter
  6. Dried fruit – raisins, figs, dates, plums, apricots, cranberries, apples
  7. Purchase cookies that use canola oil at a health food store.
  8. Salad
  9. Nuts – Make sure that no one is allergic.
  10. Seeds
  11. Frozen foods: anything from Amy’sCo.- burritos, bananas, tofutti cuties, cut up veggie burritos (serve with pita bread), frozen waffles – Look at a health food store or most large supermarkets carry Amy’s products in their health food section.
  12. Juice popsicles – You make them.
  13. Puffins peanut butter cereal – Eat it dry. (Can be purchased at Trader Joe’s and Albertson’s.)
  14. Boiled eggs
  15. Granola
  16. Popcorn
  17. Pretzels
  18. Pita wedges with bean dip or a spinach/vegetable dip
  19. Make jello from juice – the recipe is on the box of Knox Gelatin
  20. Cheese
  21. Juices that are 100% juice – Stay away from the sugary juices.
  22. Rice cakes
  23. Plain yogurt and add honey, a little juice, or some fresh/frozen/dried fruit
  24. Healthy granola bars – Read the ingredients.
  25. Triscuits or other whole grain crackers
  26. Cottage Cheese
  27. For a treat, low fat Chocolate Milk English muffin pizzas with pineapple or tomato slice, mushrooms, etc.
  28. Baked potatoes with chili beans or broccoli and cheese
  29. Waffles topped with fresh fruit. Choose fruits that are in season
  30. Tortillas and beans
  31. Yogurt and fruit topped with cereal (yogurt sundaes)
  32. Raw vegetables cut into slices or sticks with a yogurt dip. (Mix your favorite dry salad dressing mix into plain yogurt to make a great tasting low-fat dip!)
  33. Trail mix made with several types of cereal, dried fruit and nuts or sunflower seeds
  34. Yogurt grahams. (Spread fruit-flavored yogurt on a graham cracker square, top with a second square. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.)
  35. chocolate covered bananas
  36. apples dipped in peanut butter
  37. celery with cheese spread
  38. whole wheat crackers with slices of ham and cheese
  39. nuts
  40. ice cream
  41. grilled cheese squares
  42. fruit salad
  43. ice cones with fruit juice
  44. whole wheat pretzels with cheese dip
  45. chopped carrots, celery, cucumbers with ranch dressing dip
  46. animal crackers
  47. Whole grain bagel with fruit jam
  48. hot apple bran muffins
  49. watermelon or cantaloupe
  50. home made pudding
  51. milkshakes, try adding blended fruit
  52. dried fruits, nature’s candy
  53. raisins or fresh grapes or strawberries with a little whipped cream dip
  54. Make your own individual pizza (use low fat cheese, whole-grain pizza crust, and lots of veggies for toppings.)
  55. Cereal with fruit and milk
  56. Tuna sandwich on whole-grain bread
  57. Peanuts and pretzels
  58. Macaroni and cheese (use an all-natural boxed variety such as Annie’s)
  59. Apple and banana slices spread with peanut butter
  60. Popcorn and homemade soda (mix seltzer with 100-percent fruit juice)
  61. Hot chocolate made with milk
  62. Mixed fruit that’s already cut up and ready for eating
  63. Ready-to-eat, cut-up veggies, including carrot sticks, pepper strips, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, and low-fat dip
  64. Leftovers from dinner the night before, such as cold chicken and pasta
  65. Homemade whole-grain muffins containing fruit or veggies, such as carrot, blueberry or zucchini (Make them using vegetable oil and low-fat milk.)
  66. Low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers, served with fruits and/or veggies.
  67. Milk shakes made with non-fat milk and non-fat frozen yogurt.
  68. Tortilla filled with shredded low-fat cheese and salsa, warmed in microwave
  69. Veggie burger
  70. Low-fat luncheon meat rolled around a carrot stick or cucumber spear
  71. For beverages at snack time, serve milk, 100-percent juice, or water. Avoid sports drinks or sodas that provide calories but little else.
  72. Veggie Munchies from Health is Wealth,
  73. Select only juices that are 100 percent juice
  74. Cubed cheese – they come in bags already cut up

Frozen Yogurt Cups

Serves: 3 to 4
Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes
Freezing time: 1 to 2 hours


  • 8-ounce container of your favorite flavor of yogurt


  • small paper cups
  • wooden popsicle sticks (available in craft stores)
  • plastic wrap


  1. Pour yogurt into paper cups.  Fill them almost to the top.
  2. Stretch a small piece of plastic wrap across the top of each cup.
  3. Using the popsicle stick, poke a hole in the plastic wrap.  Stand the stick straight up in the center of the cup.
  4. Put the cups in the freezer until the yogurt is frozen solid.
  5. Remove the plastic wrap, peel away the paper cup, and eat your pop!

Ants On A Log

Serves: 2
Prep time: 5 minutes


  • 2 celery sticks
  • peanut butter
  • raisins


  • knife


  1. Wash the celery and cut it into pieces.  Each piece should be about 5 inches long.
  2. Spread peanut butter in u-shaped part of celery, from one end to the other.
  3. Press raisins gently into peanut butter.
  4. Enjoy your ants on a log!

Healthy Nachos

Make a great taco chip dip by melting a cup of Monterey Jack cheese (or a mixture of whatever cheeses you have on hand) in a Pyrex measuring cup and adding 1/4 cup of store-bought mild salsa.

Fun Mixture

  • Buy pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds, granola, nuts, and dried fruits (in bulk, if available).
  • Let the kids combine the ingredients to make their own trail mixes.
  • Variety is important, as it enables the kids to explore different tastes.
  • They can make up several packets to be used over several weeks by wrapping in foil or colored cellophane.
  • Next week they can try each other’s mixes.

Fruit Snacks

  • Spread spicy cheddar cheese mixture on apple slices
  • Banana sandwiches with cream cheese and granola filling

 Cracker Pizzas

  • Top crackers with pizza sauce and cheese and melt under the broiler

Kids’ Choice

  • Take a six-cupcake tin and put a different treat in each cupcake spot.
  • Some choices include:

◘    cheese cubes
◘     vegetables,
◘    cereal,
◘    raisins or fruit,
◘    yogurt,
◘    pretzels,
◘    crackers,
◘    nuts, pieces of bagel etc.

Slushies Aren’t Just for Summer

In a blender, combine half 100 percent fruit juice and half water with unthawed, unsweetened frozen fruit. Pour into fun cups.

Dip Sticks

Take a variety of celery, carrots and cucumbers. Clean vegetables thoroughly. Pour a small amount of light or fat-free salad dressing into an unbreakable container and dip vegetables.

Mud and Crackers

Low-fat graham crackers dipped in chocolate pudding make for a wonderful snack. For added variety, try vanilla or other flavors of pudding.

An Apple a Day…

Serve applesauce with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg and two teaspoons of dried fruit.

Rice Cake Stackers

Rice cakes stacked with bananas make great afternoon snacks.

Child Discipleship: A Scripture Memorization Ministry Plan

(I am now writing in regard to Children’s Ministry at  I will continue writing in regard to Christian After School Programs here at

Hugo approached the director’s office asking, “May I quote a memory verse to you?”

“Sure,” Vonnie responded, with a thrill in her voice.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2

Hugo proudly continued . . .

It’s a good thing I memorized that verse. A kid was calling me names today and getting in my face. I kept saying this verse to myself and kept my arms at my sides . . .

“ . . . Miss Vonnie, I was steadfast.”

What a difference when kids apply the Word of God into their everyday lives.

But if Hugo hadn’t memorized that verse the week before he wouldn’t have had it on his heart when he needed it.

Scripture memorization is a vital part of discipling children whole-istically. Sunday Plus Curriculum encourages churches to set up a Scripture Memorization Ministry which eventually engages the entire church (or almost entire church).


Children will have one verse a month to memorize.  The verse will relate to the concept they are learning on Sunday morning.

Why only one verse a month?

  • Children have a tendency to memorize a verse on the way to church Sunday morning and forget it on the way home. Working on a verse for a whole month, saying it weekly to the Memory Verse Specialists and then continuing to say it in the months to come it won’t be easily forgotten.
  • Kids are taught the meaning of the verse in the Midweek Celebration.
  • The current month’s verse may be recited to the Memory Verse Specialists between services.

Children earn Bucks for memorizing the verses.

  • Children will receive additional Bucks as they retain verses and recite each of the previous month’s verses.
    • Children say past months’ verses at home to their parents.
    • The parents sign a voucher which the child turns in on Sunday morning to the Memory Verse Specialists.
  • The Memory Verse Specialist gives the child the allotted number of Bucks when the child quotes that month’s verse between services.
  • Vouchers can be picked up at the Memory Verse tables each Sunday.
    • They could also be passed out in The Shema Focus.
    • Children may say their verses and turn in the vouchers every week.

If a parent or other adult (must always be the same adult) accompany the child to the Memory Verse Specialist and can quote that month’s verse, the child receives extra KidTrek Bucks.

  • Adults may quote the verse in the translation in which they learned it.
  • An adult can quote the verse for only one child.
    • If there are four children in a family the father can quote for one child and the mother for a second child.
    • Children three and four will need to recruit other adults in the church to be their scripture memorization partners.
      • This again engages more of the church body in the discipleship of children.
      • Children are connecting with more adults in the church.

4 year olds through 2nd graders may memorize an abbreviated verse.

  • A “slash” is placed in the verse to indicate the portion they are to memorize.
  • Encourage them to memorize the entire verse if they are able.
  • Parents should also make adjustments for children with learning disabilities.


  • A child receives 5 Bucks for each verse quoted.
  • A child receives 5 Bucks for an adult who quotes the present month’s verse.
  • A child receives 5 Bucks for each past verse s/he quotes to parents and returns the voucher.
  • When two verses are given for a month and the child learns both verses, s/he receives 5 Bucks for each verse

Parental Voucher

If you would like a “Sample Voucher”  Then scroll down to the Scripture Memorization Plan pdf

Child Discipleship – Scripture Memorization Games

By Wanda Parker

(I am now blogging on Children’s Ministry at  I will continue blogging on Christian After School Programs at this site.)

It is vital that we assist kids in memorizing scripture. We never know how long we will have easy access to the Bible.

I remember hearing the story of Brother Andrew meeting with a group of pastors to discuss how the church should prepare to go underground. The response of the pastors was that this is ridiculous, this will never happen in “our country.” The following weekend the country fell to communists and it was illegal to have a Bible.

Be sure the kids understand the verse they are memorizing before playing the games.

Here are a few game to use to encourage kids as they memorize scriptures.

Dizzy Drop

Materials: a penny, blindfold, small pieces of paper with 1,000; 2,000;3,000; 4,000; 5,000   written on them


  • Decide the teams you will use for this game, Primary or Secondary.
  • Lay out the numbered pieces of paper on the floor


  • Select a volunteer from the first team to quote the verse from memory.
  • If she is able to correctly quote the verse she is blindfolded, spun around and given the penny to drop.
  • Her team receives the points closest to where the penny dropped.
  • If she is unable to correctly quote the verse she does not get any points.
  • Next select a volunteer from the second team to quote the verse from memory.
  • To go faster have a kid quote the verse to one Discipler while a second Discipler is supervising the spin and drop.
  • Don’t forget to give out Spirit Points for participation, encouraging other players, sitting quietly when it isn’t your turn.


Materials: a plate per team, a penny per team, copies of the verses

  • A Discipler from an opposing team works with a team.
  • The Discipler lays the dish down approximately 6ft.from the player.
  • The Discipler asks the player to quote the verse.
  • If she is able to quote the verse she is allowed to toss the penny.
  • If the penny lands in the plate that team gets a point.
  • The players may keep studying the verse when it is not their turn.
  • Make sure everyone goes home with a copy of the verse.

Duck Duck Verse

Materials: copy of The Ten Commandments for each kid


  • Give each kid a sheet with the verse written on it.
  • Give them a couple of minutes to study.
  • Play the game in the two big teams from recreation.
  • One player from each team is chosen to be “IT”
  • “IT” goes around the circle tapping each player on the head and saying, “Duck, Duck Duck, Verse.”
  • The player whose head is tapped “Verse” stands and chases “IT.”
  • If “IT” makes it around to the space of the player he tagged then “Verse” must say the verse.
  • If “VERSE” tags “IT” before getting to the vacant spot then “IT” must say the verse.
  • If the player is able to say the verse their team gets 1,000 points.
  • Give teams points for cheering on their players.

What’s The Next Word

Materials: a set of cards for each team, each set will have one word written on                            each  card, the reference stands as one word


  • Determine if this will be played in Primary Teams or Secondary Teams.
  • This is played similar to a relay.
  • All the word cards are laid at one end of the room and scrambled.
  • Teams are at the opposite end of the room.
  • When the adult says “GO” the first person from each team runs down and finds the first word of the verse.
  • She then runs back to his team and lays the word down.
  • The second player then runs down and looks for the second word, runs back and lays his word down.
  • If a wrong word is brought back the player must return to find the correct word.
  • The team to win is the first team to have laid its verse(s) out correctly.

More Games Click Here

In this PDF are a list of games to review the verses they’ve learned in the past year  Memory Verse Review

Child Discipleship – How Children Learn

By Wanda Parker

(Now posting on Children’s Ministry at KidTrek Sunday Plus. I will continue to post here on After School Ministries)

“I had to go to the hospital because I had a bug in my stomach,” ten year old Olivia told her Sunday school teacher. When the doctor told her she had a bug his picture of the bug looked very different from the bug Olivia saw.

What we want more than anything is for children to internalize the truths that we are presenting to them. However, how can they do so when we present these abstract truths in ways that their brains can’t yet grasp?


They need to taste, touch, see, hear and smell what is being taught. In other words they need to experience the concept being taught. When the truth is presented in this way it is internalized, the child has an internal understanding that they still can’t put into words.

New studies show us that the teen brain isn’t as developed as once thought but they fool us because of the experiences they have had. They can communicate at a higher level because through living they have internalized concepts.

Elsa, a kindergartener, and her Mom went to visit Grammy.  Upon entering the house Mom said, “Elsa, tell Grammy what the pump is in your body.”

Elsa replied, “My heart.”

“Elsa, tell Grammy what makes you breathe.”  Mom prodded

“My lungs,” Elsa proudly replied.

Grammy quickly asked, “Elsa what does it mean to breathe?”

“I don’t know,” came the hesitant answer

Not to be outdone Mom told Elsa to show Grammy what it meant to breathe.  With that Elsa took two huge intakes of breath.  To put into words what the word “breathe” meant was too abstract.  But Elsa did know what it meant to breathe because she had experienced breathing and thus had internalized the concept. The abstract concept had become concrete to Elsa, she could use the word breathe and know what it meant but she could not explain it.


Our challenge as we present the Biblical concepts is to make them concrete so that the children can understand them.

In Sunday Plus Curriculum we do this through what we call Reality Check. – the first portion of each Kids’ Bible Focus lesson.

Reality Check is intended to bring alive the Biblical truth being taught.  This usually means making abstract concepts concrete – allowing the child to taste, touch, see, hear, and smell the concept being taught.  You are also permitting emotions to become a part of the learning process.  In other words, you are allowing the whole child to experience the truth – bringing reality into the lesson.  The kids will actually experience the concept.

The best way to explain such learning is to give you a couple of examples.


As the children entered the room, there was a large stack of newspapers next to the door.  One of the adults told them they could take the paper and do anything they wanted with it.  However, they were directed towards a table where there was a craft they could make out of the newspaper.

Each child came in and began working on the craft.  After a few minutes, you could almost see the wheels turning in Kevin’s mind as he looked at this “stupid” craft he was working on and then looked over at the stack of newspapers.  He got out of his chair, walked over to the adult, Miss Tish, who was welcoming the children and asked, “Did you say we could do anything we wanted with this paper?”

“That’s right,” she answered.

“You mean I could take and wad up the paper and throw it around the room?” he prodded.

“As long as you don’t hit anyone,” Miss Tish directed.

With that Kevin took one piece of paper after another, wadded it up and threw it across the room.  The other boys, after seeing the fun Kevin was having, didn’t want to work on any “stupid” old craft.  They left the table and joined Kevin in making a mess of the room with the newspaper.  When it was time to clean up the adults helped the children who had been working on the craft.   Those children got their area cleaned up quickly and were given donuts and juice.

“Hey!  How come they are getting donuts and juice?”  Kevin demanded.

“Because they got their mess cleaned up.”  Miss Tish answered.

The whole room was now paying attention to the exchange between Kevin and Miss Tish.

“But you helped them clean up,” Kevin responded

“They were working on the craft,” Miss Tish explained.

“But you said we could do anything we wanted!”  Kevin argued.

“That’s right, and that is called TEMPTATION.” Miss Tish explained.  “In the world people tell you all the time to do whatever you want.  You know what the best things are to do.  You have to make choices.  There are always consequences for the choices we make.  When we give into temptation and choose to do what looks like its more fun or easier, though we know the other choice is the better choice, we will eventually pay the consequence.”

The children were then sat down and immediately told a Bible story which related to temptation.


Miss Marla led the kids in a game of Red Light, Green Light.

The game was played on the honor system.  Miss Marla never turned around.  The winners were given a baggie full of candy, but were told not to open it until the end of class.

Then they had the Bible lesson on honesty after which the adults brought out the video camera that had been secretly recording the children as they played Red Light, Green Light.  Upon playing the video, those children who had cheated had to give their candy back.

Reality Learning also engages the emotions. When does God teach you the most? My experience has been that it has been when he has engaged my emotions – that is when the truth moves from the head to the heart.


Object Lessons

These are both abstract presentations – object lessons in particular.

If you would like to learn how to use Reality Learning in your ministry and also how to create your own I am offering a two hour free training to the first ten people to email me at If you live outside the United States it may mean middle of the night.

Child Discipleship: Gathering Games

By Wanda Parker

(I am now blogging about Children’s Ministry at  I will continue to Blog about After School Ministries at this site.)

What do you do when the kids first arrive? Here are a few games to get kids involved as soon as they enter.

  • Always think of that kid who has never been to church – thus an activity that everyone is engaged in, he doesn’t have to make a choice when he is feeling insecure.
  • An activity into which kids can engage as they come in one at a time.
  • Nothing Biblical – again for that kid that has never been to church before. How embarrassing when everyone but you knows what the answers are, or you have no idea what the adult is talking about. There will be plenty of time to share Christ once the child is comfortable.
  • Always have an adult at the door to greet kids and guide them into the game while a second adult is with the kids guiding the game.

Hidden Surprise

Materials :      lots of masking tape, pill bottle, Bucks, flat box, dice

Object:            To be the one to unwrap the pill box with the Bucks inside.

  • Have the kids sit with you on the floor in a circle.
    • If there is more than one Trek Team per age group have all teams sit in one large circle.
    • Disciplers play too – except for the one greeting at the door.
  • You may want to have more than one pill box wrapped so the game can be played more than once.
  • Take an empty pill bottle and place any amount of Bucks in it.
  • Wrap it up with layers of newspaper and duct tape, electrical tape or any other kind of tape.
    • You can even layer it with different types and make a huge tape ball.
  • Take a set of dice and place them in a flat box.
  • If the person rolls a double, they start working on getting the tape ball apart, while the other kids pass the dice attempting to be the next one to get a double.
  • They continue unwrapping until the next person rolls a double.
  • Keep going until someone wins the Bucks.

Play again if time allows and you have a pill bottle prepared



Materials: Several balloons of different colors

Object of game is to keep your balloon in the air longer than the opposing team.

  • Children sit in a circle.
  • Number kids off 1,2,1,2 around the circle.
  • Give a number 1 player a blown up blue balloon and a number 2 player a blown up red balloon.
  • When the adult says “GO” the balloons are batted to another player.
  • Players can only hit their own balloon.
  • If a player hits the wrong balloon he is out of the game.
    • The winning team is the team that can keep their balloon up in the air the longest.
    • This is a fun game to play over and over – expect craziness.
    • Have the kids take some deep breaths and sit without speaking for 30 seconds before going into Reality Check.

Musical Spoons

Materials :  plastic spoons

  • Kids sit in a circle.
  • Using a permanent marker place a spot on one of the spoons where it is not readily noticeable.
  • One less spoon than players are placed in the center of the circle.
    • Make sure the spoon with the dot is in the pile from the first round.
  • All players are given 3 Bucks.
  • Music is played or leader claps.
  • When the sound stops everyone tries to get a spoon.
  • The player to not get a spoon must give the leader a Buck.
  • Every fifth round the person who gets the spoon with the black dot gets all the Bucks the leader is holding.


Materials: cotton balls, masking tape

Object: to be the team with the least amount of cotton balls on their side of the circle.

  • Kids sit in a circle.
  • Cut the circle in half so half the kids are on one team and the other half are on a second team.
  • Put a strip across the center of the circle so there is no question which side the cotton balls fall.
  • Every kid starts off with 5 cotton balls.
  • When the adult says “GO” everyone begins throwing their cotton balls to the opposite side of the circle.
  • They keep throwing until the adult says, “STOP.”
  • The team with the least amount of cotton balls on their side is the winner.
  • Play it several times – the best of 3 or 5.
  • When finished have the kids take deep breaths to relax before moving into the remainder of the morning.

Every Sunday Plus lesson has a Gathering Game suggestion.