Columbus Kingdom Kids Program Overview Featured

Written by  Joe & Stacy Dean Columbus, OH. Thursday, 21 March 2013 18:30
Columbus Church of Christ - Kingdom Kids Programs – Overview
Joe and Stacey Dean

The Columbus Church of Christ has quarterly Kingdom Kids rotations with one couple serving as coordinators, and teachers assigned according to the standard adult/child ratios. Currently there are three couples serving as coordinators, with one of the couples as the head coordinators. We are actively recruiting for a fourth couple so that no one needs to serve more than one session per calendar year.

Graduations for the children are done at the start of the summer rotation – July, August, September – with the exception of children graduating between the infants, 2s and 3s, and 4-5-K classes. These children move up at the discretion of the parents and coordinators.

For the last six years (since our arrival in Columbus) the Sunday services have been primarily in an elementary school and the Kingdom Kids classes have been held in the full-sized gymnasium. There are cafeteria tables set up in areas of the gym that serve as the “rooms” for each age group, with a minimum of two tables for each class. More tables are added as needed to accommodate the number of children in the class.

Foam floor mats that join together like puzzle pieces are used to make an infant-friendly area. The mats are 2’x2’, and currently a total space of 10’x10’ is created each Sunday with the mats. The area is surrounded by safety gates locked together. Each week the mats are wiped down with a non-toxic, Clorox cleaning product and stored “face to face” to prevent grime on the gym floor from contaminating the “baby facing” side of the mats.

Singing is done all together as a large group in the center of the gymnasium.

Diagram of how we divide the room - not to scale.

Sign In at the left bottom corner with the Infants right Behind the Table

Joe and Stacey Dean have served as coordinators for various terms, but generally over the summer rotation. (July, August, September) Generally, each term they have coordinated has a theme, decorations and props at the entrance area of the gymnasium, and costumes or recognizable shirts on the coordinators. There is a “Kingdom Kids Cheer” that we do at the end of each singing session. (only during our term- the other coordinators haven’t really picked up on it.)

Entryway – the entry area always has a “structure” made of PVC pipes and joints. We’ve used it to make a separate entryway, or provide a way to hang decorations at the entry area because the gym is too large to effectively decorate. We have positioned the structure over the tables before (large enough to go all the way around a table) and we have placed it between the tables to be like a “gateway” into the class area. It’s 6 feet high, 8-12 feet long and about 2 feet deep.

Sometimes we cover it with fabric, other times we use a large roll of butcher paper and tape the paper around the structure to make “walls.” Sometimes we just hand decorations from it loosely. We’ve also used large rolls of brown packaging paper – it’s very thick and sturdy – and covered it to make a castle.

The most common elements we use almost every term are: roll of white butcher paper (about $10-15 at a GFS or wholesale shop), poster paints and foam brushes to paint signs on the paper (we had leftover paints from one of our kids and the brushes are $2 for a pack of 10 or so), clear packaging tape ($1-$4 a roll depending on where you buy it) to hang the paper on the structure. We usually cut the paper to the lengths we need and then each week, we take the paper off the structure and roll it up, take the structure apart and store everything in a utility closet at the school.

Here is a list and brief summary of the activities and themes we have used over the last six years.

Summer of Fun
  • We hung large, easy-to-read signs at each class table and assigned each class a “theme” or “character” for each month. Pictures of each character were taped to the signs for the month.

  • Each month was a different theme with a different theme scripture.

  • June - International – “Go make disciples of all nations” – each class was a different country

  • July – Under the Sea – “” – each class was a different sea creature

  • August – Olympics – “” – each class was a different sport

  • The entry area had a large map hanging on the PVC structure, and decorations and props (like old suitcases, travel maps and stuff) on the entry-way tables.

  • The coordinators dressed like tourists. (Hawaiian shirts, cameras, sandals…), then dressed in summer clothes with floaties, then dressed in referee outfits with whistles and hats and such.

  • We attached summer-themed foam shapes to the sign-in table pens to keep them at the tables and not in parent pockets. (At this time, sign in was taking place at individual class areas.)

  • Teachers participated in weekly games and activities during the singing circle. Especially during the “Olympics” session, when the entire group was divided into two teams and competed against one another. We encouraged the children to cheer for their teachers during the relay races and other activities.

  • Each month a long banner hung down the side of the entry structure with a list of birthday names for that month.

Winter Session
  • October – Harvest, giving, FARM

  • November – Thanksgiving, serving, RESTAURANT

  • December – Christmas, celebrate, BETHLEHEM

    • Created a walk-through display with children’s art and ended in a nativity scene. The kids walked their families through the structure and explained the nativity story as they went through the display.

  • The coordinators dressed in costume according to the theme (farmers, short order cook and waitress, “Mary and Joseph”-type robes)

  • Teachers were encouraged to dress up for the theme

  • The structure – decorations relating to the theme hung on it, and also the theme scripture for that month was posted on the structure.

  • Each week during the singing circle we reviewed the theme scripture, played a game of some sort and then sang songs together

Bible Adventures – “Indiana Jones” type theme
  • Large map of the world posted on the wall

  • Structure had maps and travel items on it, the sign in area was decorated with “treasures” from around the world (household items, garage sale stuff…)

  • Our goal was to have children memorize scriptures and work together to get the “plane” across the world map.

  • Each week, we would gather near the map and move the plane across the map as children memorized verses and verified them with their teachers

  • We passed out memory verses printed on small scrolls (tan paper rolled up with a ribbon)

  • Children who memorized a set number of scriptures during the term earned a “bible adventures” t-shirt. We created a logo and made the shirts ourselves with iron-on transfer sheets.

Camp Waukahndawahduh (walk on the water)
  • We made T-shirts for every “camp counselor” (teacher) for the term

  • Used a hula hoop as the campfire and sat around it each week for singing time

  • Created a campfire song – combination of six common Kingdom Kids songs and ended with a “Camp Waukahndawahduh” chant

  • At the end of the term, all the kids went out during service and performed the camp song

The Kingdom
  • There was a castle at the entry way – each week we added something new to the castle – “building up the kingdom” – blue fabric for a moat, hanging vines and greenery (Christmas decorations), flags, a window cut out of the wall.

  • Focused on the Word as the sword – how we can fight temptations with God’s word

  • Every class had two or three memory verses that everyone had to learn. If a child did those two, they could train to become a “knight”

  • Parents and children worked together to come up with something to strengthen in their character

  • Each child was given a personal scripture relating to that area – honesty, obedience, leadership

  • Battles – each week a coordinator “battled” with an enemy (a teacher pretending). The enemy would challenge (“You can’t do this, you’re weak.”) and the children had to call out scriptures to give the “good knight” strength. (“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”) If the kids could recite a scripture, then the knight would win, if not, the enemy would win the battle.

  • Each child who memorized the two general and one personal scripture was knighted – named “Lady Sophia, the serving” or “Sir Grant, the obedient” – we had a knighting ceremony each week after the first month.

  • Each knight received a special bracelet with a cross charm (made with rope we already had on hand)

  • Each knight was addressed as “Sir” or “Lady” as they signed in to class

Emmanuel Studios Presents
  • The church had a theme of “God With Us” for the year, so we carried that into the Kingdom Kids theme and covered bible stories that showed God was with people in the bible

  • Smaller structure at the entrance had a sign – each week was a different “movie” we were going to do that week. For example: 40 Days After Tomorrow (Noah); Saving Private Gideon, The Floating Hand (Daniel), we tried to cover different movie genres as well as boy/girl stories

  • Movie theme – entryway had red curtains hanging from it and the children entered through the movie screen into the class area.

  • Inflatable ‘Oscar awardsstood at the entrance

  • Small popcorn boxes and palm trees were table decorations at the sign in area

  • Coordinators dressed like directors

  • Each week we gathered together in the singing circle – but we went over a story in the bible and then acted out the story and filmed the kids doing the story. (used a teacher’s video camera)

  • The plan was to make a video as a string of movie trailers, but we never got that part done.

  • At the end of the term each teacher received an award for being a great servant (small movie awards)

Joe & Stacy Dean
Columbus, OH.

Read 2809 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 March 2013 21:28
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