Most parts of the country are facing their coldest and wettest time of the year. With this cold, damp weather, parents and kids just don’t want to go out. At the same time, the school year is half to two-thirds of the way over; and schools are gearing up for concerts, recitals, and regional competitions. Children are busier than ever. All these factors can keep students away from Kids4Truth Clubs, but leaders can do several things to help overcome these hindrances and keep students actively engaged in attending and doing memory work. Make wintertime a memorable time in your church’s Kids4Truth Clubs program.
Here are four activities to add to your calendar to bust the wintertime blahs.
Wintertime Blahs Buster: Special-Event Nights
Holding special-event nights throughout the winter and spring months is an effective way to keep your club from becoming boring and stale. Ideas for these nights are limitless, but here are two categories and a few ideas in each one:
- Special activities
- Glow in the dark (For ideas, read “Glow in VBS: Use Black Lights,” first in the series “How to Do VBS in the Dark.” Ideas can be modified for Kids4Truth Clubs.)
- Annual Wiffle ball night (Play games with Wiffle balls. Search online for game ideas.)
- Super Bowl (Play a football review game; keep track of points using football-related terms; or go a different direction and play games with bowls.)
- Outreach nights—Unless recipients need to be anonymous, let students know beforehand who will receive the gifts of food, money, or toys they will give. And don’t forget to take photos, read thank-you notes, or in some other way report on how the gifts were received. This reinforces the students’ joy in giving and reassures them that their gifts went to the intended recipients.
- Food Pantry (Ask each student to bring a canned food.)
- Baby Bottle (Use one novelty giant baby bottle for the group or smaller plastic bottles for teams. Ask students to bring pennies or dimes to fill the bottle/s.)
- Toy Drive (Ask students to bring a new toy.)
Wintertime Blahs Buster: Short-Term Competitions
One of my favorite Kids4Truth Clubs pick-me-ups is to add short-term, all-club competitions. They can last a month, a doctrinal theme, or whatever length of time you think is best. However, it is better to keep these competitions short, as holding more competitions provides more opportunities for different students to win.
Choose a competition
I recommend two kinds of competitions: group competitions and team competitions. With the group competition, the entire group memorizes a certain number of questions and answers with verses. When the goal is reached, everyone in the group receives a reward (something tangible). With team competitions, teams compete to earn the most points during the time you’ve set. The reward can be something tangible or a privilege, such as going first for refreshments.
Provide a visual to track the group’s or teams’ progress, such as a Kids4Truth Clubs thermometer. My favorite “thermometer” is the Kids4Truth Clubs logo, which can be colored to represent met goals. Students enjoy filling in the grid spaces and watching themselves getting closer to their goal.
In addition to a thermometer, Kids4Truth Clubs cash helps track points. If possible, set clear bucket(s) in the front of the room for collecting the “cash.” Students can watch the points filling the bucket each week. Workers should count the cash/points before the end of each service and announce the points so students know where they are at meeting their goal. Tip: when using Kids4Truth Clubs cash as points, multiply each denomination by 100, as the larger the points are, the more exciting the competition is to kids. Our How to Earn Cash poster provides ideas on how students can earn Kids4Truth Clubs cash. It is editable, so you can adjust it to your clubs’ individual needs.
Wintertime Blahs Buster: Refreshment Nights
Choose winter-related refreshments to give as rewards for earning points. Students can earn points toward a refreshment night through attendance, memorization, and completing TruthBook exercises. When the group has earned the desired number of points, they have earned a special refreshment. Favorite winter refreshments include s’mores, hot chocolate with marshmallows, marshmallows, cookies, and cookies and hot chocolate.
Wintertime Blahs Buster: Dress-Up Nights
Dress-up nights are popular, and adding a few during the winter months helps ramp up excitement. Dress up each week for a certain number of weeks, or dress up every other week for two months. Ideas for fun dress-up nights are unlimited, but here are a few popular ones:
- Kids4Truth Clubs level color (lime, red, khaki/gold, or royal blue)
- Kids4Truth Clubs theme (treasure hunters, construction workers, detectives, or knights / ladies-in-waiting)
- Crazy-wacky (socks, hair, hats; backward clothing; clashing clothes)
- Sports fanatic (team colors, jerseys, logos, etc.)
- Neon/glow in the dark (For ideas, read “Glow in VBS: Use Black Lights,” first in the series “How to Do VBS in the Dark.” Ideas can be modified for Kids4Truth Clubs.)
- Animal (kids dress as animals or bring stuffed animals)
You can download Adding Fun Events and Activities for even more ideas for fighting the wintertime blahs!