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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Worship Bag Ideas


I've been reading a lot of posts about ideas for worship bags, and at a recent conference of Christian Educators I attended a workshop where we discussed the topic as well. So, in order to remember everything I've read and learned I decided to write a blog with all the ideas!!  This is a compilation from different educators from different facebook groups, my conversations and the Internet. Lots of great ideas out there! Enjoy! I hope you find something new you can use to liven up your bags :)

If you aren't familiar with worship bags, different churches use them in different ways.  Mainly, they are used in churches where the young children stay in the same worship service as the parents.  I'm a proponent of this :)  The bags are a great supplement to the sermon.  It is amazing to me how children can be engrossed in one activity (like coloring, doing a word search, etc) and still hear the sermon.  In fact, I think it helps them concentrate even more!  Just like adults, some kids listen better when they are fidgeting or using their hands (have you seen adults sewing in church?  I have!  Same concept :)  Anyway, I use them in our "prayground" (click to see pictures of our prayground) which is a comfortable, quiet place where the kids can sit and read/color or do what's in the worship bag during the sermon.  I'm sure other churches have found other uses for them though...please share if you have!

Just one thing - do me a favor - as a parent of a child with a severe allergy, a child with multiple intolerances and the Aunt of a special needs child who is on a strict diet...please refrain from putting candy/snacks in your bag.  If a child can't make it an hour without a snack, let the parents take care of it.  This will help all the other parents whose children can't have the snacks from having to restrict their children while others are enjoying the food.  Thanks!

Worship Bag Ideas!

1.  The basics: pencil, crayons/colored pencils, paper, book, Bible, clipboard, worship bulletin (sermons4kids.com is a great resource) to supplement the sermon.  Coloring pages - those adult coloring pages are a huge hit with my older elementary kids!

2.  A popular one many people mentioned is pipe cleaners/chenille stems! Neat idea...and now they make animal striped, glitter...you name it! Endless possibilities :)  (these are from Michael's)



Creatology Stems, Jumbo ChenilleCreatology Chenille Stems, Glitter, GoldGiant Zebra Chenille Stem by Creatology

3.  Kleenex...cause, ya know, kids are snotty 😉

4.  Scratch shapes - Oriental Trading has many different types - crosses, butterflies, hearts, animals, etc. 
Magic Color Scratch Cross OrnamentsColorful Magic Color Scratch Fall LeavesMagic Color Scratch Butterfly Ornaments
5.  Lacing cards - homemade or bought

from Oriental Trading...
Nativity Lacing CardsBible Story Lacing Cards

or make your own!         
 

7.  Bookmarks if you have hymns or Bible verses the kids can mark. 

8.  Fidget sticks! This is one I'm definitely going to get! Wonderful idea - and not just for the worship bags - but for Sunday school!  i've had a number of ADD/ADHD and autistic children and these are wonderful for them...youth and adults as well!!  I bite my nails, and something like this would've been (and is!) great for me!
Bendeez - Caribbean Blue 6 Pack
These are called "bendeez" and you can actually go to another website (this link takes you to amazon) and get them customized.  But, you have to buy over 100 and it costs over $300.  cool, but pricey.
Tangle Jr.
tangle jr. from National Autism Resources
9.  Popsicle stick puzzles.  You can make your own - any theme you want!

faces...

popsicle stick photo puzzles - the photos are all the same size so you can mix them and match them into kooky pics also - hilarious for kids...:


objects...

An easy storage idea is a plastic baggy.  These puzzles would be great to put in a diaper bag or purse to pull-out when you’re on-the-go and need a quiet activity!:


or your own!

Craft Stick Name Puzzle could have kids make for name puzzles in literacy centers:

10.  Page that says "my artistic offering to God" for the kids to put in the offering plate. 

11.  Take pictures of symbols around the room (cross, baptismal font, pulpit, instruments, any symbols in the room, etc), then print them out and put them in page covers to make an I Spy book! Great and creative idea!  Add to that a description of each item and it's also educational 😉

12.  Magnetic prayers or Bible verses - $1 tree cookie sheets and laminate words with magnetic tape on the back!


14. Small dry erase board (or white paper in a page protector) and a dry erase marker. 

15.  Worship bulletin you could make or print from sermons4kids.com

16.  Lego Bible story tin.  This is too cute :)  I'm thinking little tins for Jesus and Zachaeus, Moses in the basket or the burning bush, Adam and Eve, Jesus calms the storm, so many possibilities!


Fine motor on the go!  Perfect for purse when your little needs a distraction. Fine motor on the go! LEGO in a tin, with a base on top!:


17.  Magnetic Bible story books:  




18.  flannel board pieces:
Product Details

19.  Wikki Stix:  
Product Details

20.  Lastly, oriental trading has great Bible story sticker scenes that are pretty cheap!  
Make An Easter “He Lives!” Sticker Scenes
This is Easter, but they also have Noah's Ark, Joseph, Moses, Last Supper, Christmas, and more!  Just search "religious sticker scenes".  
21.  Almost forgot this one!  Someone else put little puzzles in our bags.  I didn't think they'd be worth anything or that the kids would like them...but they're one of their favorite things!  They are mini-puzzles and come in a little box.  I thought they were bought from Dollar Tree or Oriental trading but I can't find them!  They are all religious - would love to know if anyone finds them!  They'd be best kept in a ziploc baggie.

22.  Another thing I forgot that someone reminded me of - special holiday items.  Valentine's at Valentine's Day, Nativity ornament at Christmas, Thanksgiving craft at Thanksgiving, etc.  Best time to get this stuff...after the holiday!! :)

23.  Someone just shared another idea and I love it so I have to pass it on :) One educator says she makes a Bible Bingo for her readers.  Each square contains a word they should hear in the sermon - love, joy, faith, maybe the book of the bible of the Scripture you're reading, etc.  They can see how many they hear!  What an awesome idea!

If you have something that works well in your worship bag let me know and we'll add it to the list!!

Have fun worshiping :)