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What to Include in a Worship Activity Center

10 Aug 2017 2:33 PM | Christine Hides

Laura Stahl is Director of Children’s and Family Ministries at First United Methodist Church, Duluth, MN (The Coppertop).  She formerly served in similar capacities at United Church of Two Harbors (MN) and Aley United Methodist Church (OH).  She lives in Two Harbors, Minnesota with her husband Dale. Together they have four foreign exchange daughters from Germany, Belgium (Flanders) and Jordan. 

As the number of families in worship increased, it was time to move away from activity bags with crayons and children’s bulletins to more engaging worship resources that reflected the theme, scriptures, and/or season of the church.  Over time the Family Worship Resource Table has grown to include resources for toddlers through elementary-aged children.  Staff and office volunteers help to keep the activities fresh and rotate holiday and seasonal books and extras into the mix.  Below is a list of our worship table resources. For more pictures and seasonal activities, please download this Worship Activity Table Primer. 

Children’s Bibles –Spark Story Bible, Deep Blue Story Bibles, Children of God Storybook Bible and others

Basket of Books – board books, books for preschoolers, seasonal books (Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter, Pentecost, All Saints/Halloween, Thanksgiving)

Toddler Busy Boxes – homemade from large plastic canisters. I removed the center from the lid and added a slotted felt piece.  Inside are large items that toddlers can drop in and remove from the box.  Items are XL Pom Pom, Felted characters, small stuffy, large wooden doll pin, chunky heart.

Toddler Meal Prayers or Prayer Books 

Writing Utensils – crocks of pencils* and colored pencils* on table; bags of crayons in baskets, 1 pen & 1 dry erase crayon in each Elementary zip case

Felt Mosaic packs – In each bag there is one piece of felt with lots of little squares or other shapes of felt.  I have some repeating suggested pictures for church seasons and regular services like communion.  I also make pictures that go with the sermon/scripture theme* of the day.

Preschool Clipboards – Holds preschool age Children’s Worship Bulletin* (online subscription so I can choose scripture or theme)

Elementary Packs – zip pencil packs contain 1 pen, 1 dry erase crayon, 1 small white board, 1 Pocket magazine, 1 Children’s Worship Bulletin*.

Church Wi-Fi sign (Children’s Worship Bulletins have a game code that coordinates with the topic)

Writing Pads & Bookmarks – I collect colorful scratch pads that charities mass mail for fundraising & change them with the season.  Curriculum bookmarks, Camp Registrations, and other resources for the taking.

Preschool Leaflets – leftover class leaflets (aka “bulletins”) that fits the theme or from the week before. 

*I download and copy Children’s Worship Bulletins and switch out some pictures for the Felt Mosaics at the end of each month. A regular office volunteer folds the bulletins, and switches out the bulletins and Pocket magazines. Volunteers also sharpen pencils, check crayons and straighten books.  I spend a very small amount of time checking the Toddler Busy Box and occasionally add seasonal items.  

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