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Community Builders for Kids

Bobbie Bower

As children build good relationships with one another, they're better able to learn and pray together. Here are 4 fun ways to develop group unity.

Although children may be in the same class, they may not know each other well. And they need to.

Your children's relationships are crucial to their successful learning. As children build good relationships with one another, they're better able to learn and pray together. They can open up and trust others to help them grow. It's the basic principle of the body of Christ at work -- even with kids as young as preschoolers.

The following ideas build mutual appreciation, nurture group identity, and develop an atmosphere of trust. Have fun leading your kids into greater community!

CLIP ART

Supplies: Paper clips.
Activity: Form groups of four. Have groups each sit in a circle. Place four paper clips in each circle. Have group members connect the paper clips, with each person using only one hand. Then have them form the strand into a shape and stand up when finished.

Ask: How well did you work together? What was your best technique to connect the paper clips? What did you learn about each other during this process? about yourself?


I LIKE

Supplies: None needed
Activity: Form groups of four. Read each statement aloud and allow time for each group to agree on an answer. Each group must agree to one answer that is true for all four of them. For example, if three of the kids like ice cream and one doesn't, that group must decide on a different snack food that all four kids like.

Read these statements:

  1. Something you like to do in the water.
  2. A snack food you like to eat.
  3. A story of Jesus you like.
  4. A subject in school you like.
  5. A place you like to go for fun.
  6. A holiday you enjoy.
  7. A sport you enjoy playing or watching.
  8. A TV program you enjoy.

Ask: How easy or difficult was it to agree? Which statements were the most difficult to agree on? What was the most surprising thing you all were able to agree on? What did you learn about each other?


SHARED IDEA

Supplies: Paper and pencils.
Activity: This activity works best with older children. Form groups of four. Give each group one sheet of paper and a pencil. Tell groups they're each going to draw their ideal Sunday school classroom. (You could also have them draw a playground, church building, or vacation spot.)

Explain that this is an activity where there can be no talking. Groups will communicate through marks on the paper and eye contact. Each person can draw only one straight line at a time. After each mark, pass the pencil to the right for the next person to make a straight line in silence.

After 10 minutes, have groups stop and discuss their drawing.

Ask: How did you feel during this activity? How well did your group work together? How close is your drawing to what each person originally imagined?

Have groups display and explain their pictures. Point out any similarities. (Note: This is also a great way to discover ways to make your classroom more appealing.)


SHOE SCRAMBLE

Supplies: Kids' shoes
Activity: Tell kids this is not a contest but an opportunity to help each other. Have kids place their shoes in the center of the room. Have kids form a circle around the shoes and sit down. Have children count off by threes. On "go," have all the 1's find their shoes without using their hands. Have the 1's each find someone to put on their left shoe. Then have the 1's each find a different person to put on their right shoe. Kids can never touch their own shoes. Then have them go back to their place and sit down. Repeat this process with the 2's and 3's.

Ask: How did you feel during this activity? How did you feel when someone helped you? when you helped someone?

Say: Think about one way the person on your right has helped you or others. We'll go around the circle and thank God for that person and tell the way he or she has helped others.

Bobbie Bower is a children's ministry consultant in Kansas. Please keep in mind that phone numbers, addresses, and prices are subject to change.

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