Kids Can Club
How to Organize a Successful Midweek Program
Starting a kids' club or midweek program can be an exciting time in the life of a congregation! A club is a great way to reach out to children and form faith. As you anticipate the club, take time to give thanks for those with whom you will work, the materials you will use, and the children with whom you will interact. Give thanks to God for this wonderful opportunity!
Adults who have energy and enthusiasm, not only for working with children but also for the Bible, are needed to lead a kids' club. Some adults will lead aspects of the program (see About the leaders for program components), while other adults will help guide and supervise children. Choose an overall leader who will ensure implementation of the various components of the club. The leader should also facilitate consistent communication among the adults regarding activities and the children who participate.
Determine meeting times
Decide how often kids' club will meet. Take into consideration activities such as school functions, church meetings, and other events. Consider an appropriate location. Will you meet in the church basement, a home, or another place? Be clear regarding meeting times and locations when connecting with children and their parents about the kids' club. You might want to call your group "Kids Can Club," or something else.
Tell children and their parents about the kids' club as soon as possible so that they can mark it on their calendars! Make announcements during church, send personal letters and e-mails, and make a special effort to talk with children and their parents. Personal connections are important so that questions can be answered and children feel welcomed to the program.
About the Children
This curriculum is for six- to ten-year-old children, but can be adapted for other ages. What are these children like? If you are a parent or teacher, you know that children come in all shapes and sizes. Each one is unique. God's creativity is imprinted on each child. As you get to know the children as individuals, remember that children
- learn in different ways
- learn best by experiencing, seeing, discovering, and doing
- have different reading abilities
- are beginning to develop abstract thinking skills
- like to move around and be active
- respond well to loving and caring adult models they can trust and follow
- like to have friends and be friends
- can be exclusive in their friendships and often have a best friend
- have a strong sense of fairness, of right and wrong
- are already in relationship with God, even though they may not have language for their relationship
- are beginning to ask questions and need a safe environment to do so
- thrive when treated with love, respect, and compassion
About the Leaders
Children's experiences of faith are memorable due in part to the leaders who guide them. Leaders who work with children
- model God's love, forgiveness, and care for everyone
- are mature youth or adults who always act as adults
- do not see themselves as buddies to the children, but guides
- love children
- are energetic and enthusiastic
- have a passion for peacemaking
- have good conflict resolution skills
- see that children are safe at all times
Gifts of leadership needed
Music: Choose songs and lead the singing.
Kids Talk Peace: Tell Bible stories and/or work with children to present the readers theaters or Bible skits, and lead in faith conversations.
Kids Create: Decide on the craft activities that will be offered; gather materials, and work with the children on a handcraft that they will take home with them.
Find helpers to work with children or lead a group if you plan more than one activity.
Kids Move: Lead the games and talk about how they fit in with the theme.
Group leaders: Adults or mature youth whose main role is to build relationships with a small group of children (up to ten children per group).
Memory tutors (optional): an adult who is willing to work one-on-one with children to learn memory verses.
Prayer pals (optional): an adult matched with a child so that they can pray for each other. Invite the pals to join you for the closing celebration.
About the Session Format
- is geared to children in grades one through five
- can be used with multi-age groups or separate younger and older groups
- can be adapted for kindergarten children or junior youth
- includes plans for sessions that last forty-five minutes to an hour
- includes time for gathering, singing, Bible story and discussion, crafts, and games
- includes ten complete sessions: kickoff session to introduce theme, eight peace-related topics, and a final celebration event
- includes resource/reference pages with ideas for opening and closing activities, memory verses and tips for memorizing, snacks, book list, additional craft ideas, service projects, and how to manage unwanted behavior
- includes lots of suggestions for crafts and games for each session.
Suggested times during each session
Kids Cluster (5 minutes)
•suggestions for early arrivals, singing, memory review
Kids Talk Peace (10 minutes)
•introduction to theme, Bible story, reflection, and conversation starters
Kids Create and Kids Move (20 to 35 minutes)
•suggestions for activities, crafts, and/or games
Closing (5 minutes), optional
•gathering time ideas for closing blessing and ending rituals