Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review Days

I love doing series lessons.  We've done a series on great people of faith (Billy Sunday, Fanny Crosby, Billy Graham, The Five Missionaries to the Waodoni, Martin Luther, etc), did a super fun series on the Judges, "toured" the Holy Land in a Biblical travel series, and lots of others.  And each series ends with one Review Day Sunday that is full of lots of games to help them remember what we have learned.  We had one recently to finish our current series and I was reminded of a couple things that are helpful when doing a Review day so I thought I'd pass them along to you.

Not every child was there every week
In fact, there is a high probability that none of the children were there every week.  A series is usually 6-8 weeks long and in that time we will have either one or possibly two Family Sunday services where our children will be in the main sanctuary and not children's church so that extends the time a bit longer.  If you stop to think about it, probably most of your kids will miss at least one Sunday over the course of 8-10 weeks.  So keep that in mind when preparing your games.  I combat this issue by using teams for the games.  No child is ever on their own so no one has to have all the answers.  They work together no one feels pressure to know the answer all the time.

Include at least two games that can be played by a visitor 
A new child won't know many (or any) answers from the series you are reviewing, so include a couple games where they won't feel like the outsider. For example, we were just finishing up a series where we were "traveling" to different locations in the Holy Land and one of our games was a bingo game that reviewed those locations and lots of others too. Every child could play and even the newest had opportunity to win because it was Bingo, not a question/answer game. I also included a game where the answers to some of the questions were literally in front of them on the pages of a previous game.  We had two new children at our last review game and I think they had just as much fun as everyone else simply because the service was planned with them in mind...even before we knew they were coming. :-)

Be flexible and be prepared to change things up
Like everything else in ministry, the unexpected is to be expected. Be ready to add a game or activity if the service goes long or perhaps change a game if necessary. My preschool teacher had a family emergency urging our last review game so I can a child much younger than the others stay in our service...but with a few tweaks, all went well.

Have fun!
Review days should be lots of fun. Enjoy it! Praise their memory when they answer correctly and encourage team work when a question is missed. It's not about who wins (in fact I've started taking away points from a team if I see/hear gloating), it a celebration of what they have learned and how they are growing in their walks with the Lord.

Until next week!

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