Little disciples, big faith: 20 exciting & fun children's ministry ideas

September 11, 2023

The littlest members of your church are the next generation of faithful Christians and church leaders. It’s important to partner with parents to invest in their children by teaching, modeling, and discipling them. 

At the same time, you and your team need fresh children’s ministry ideas to make your church the place kids look forward to each week, even to the point where they motivate their parents to attend. 

As you draw up plans for your kids ministry, take a look at twenty fun ways to build a level of excitement and encourage children along their faith journey.

20 fun & creative children’s ministry ideas

1. Unleash imagination in your classes

Children have impressive imaginations. Give a child a cardboard box, and they’ll build a fort or a spaceship. They can make a pretend restaurant on a playground with only pinecones and wood chips. Simple, everyday items can unleash the imagination and creativity inside the minds of children. 

Stories light up their imagination and drive home the principles of scripture (even when they don’t realize it). Bring props and costumes to class to give kids a chance to act out the story by pretending to be Noah building the ark or Moses in front of the burning bush. Activities that unlock their imagination bring the scriptures to life, and they’ll continue to remember these stories for years to come.

2. Ignite learning with interactive Bible games

Kids enjoy playing all kinds of games. Whether it’s hide-and-seek or a store-bought board game, you’ll have their attention turning a lesson into a game. 

Create or purchase games that relay Bible stories or concepts. Set up a scavenger hunt to find Bible-themed items around the classroom. Host a trivia game during Sunday school with questions about Bible stories you’ve discussed recently. Give out prizes for the winners and make it a fun, friendly competition.

3. Craft their faith with hands-on projects

Most kids love to color, paint, and more. A quick search online can provide hundreds of ideas for Bible-themed arts and crafts. As an art project, you might print out a few coloring pages based on that week’s Bible lesson or plan craft activities to represent the days of creation. Gather several art supplies and encourage kids to create something to help them tell the story from that week.

4. Teach the joy of worship

Children typically don’t have the same reservations as adults when it comes to singing, clapping, or dancing. Encourage them to write their own worship songs. Involve children by allowing them to select songs that are more relatable to them. If possible, form a children’s choir and host mini-musical performances during services.

5. Explore God’s creation

Help kids see and appreciate the intricate details of God’s creation. When presenting the creation story, show pictures of butterflies, birds, reptiles, flowers, and trees. Show how different these things are and how they reveal God’s creativity. 

Plan a nature hike around the church property and make special note of various wildlife along the way. Even an outdoor playground can provide opportunities to point out plants, bugs, and nearby trees. Create a few lessons to discuss how God designed trees to clean the air and bees to pollinate fruit trees.

6. Be superheroes of hope

Kids like being “big helpers.” Give them a chance to serve others with age-appropriate activities like making get-well cards, singing Christmas carols for those in a nearby nursing home, or helping with community cleanup efforts.

7. Make VBS an adventure

Vacation Bible School is a hallmark of most children’s ministries. It’s also the perfect time to attract families from your community who haven’t attended church lately or are new to the area. Plan a fun week of activities to teach key Bible lessons and help kids engage with scripture in new ways.

8. Build strong family foundations

Support families by hosting periodic events geared towards them. Organize a game night, potluck, or other event that helps parents and children grow closer together. You could also offer a parent’s night out where your church provides childcare for a few hours while mom and dad get a date night.

9. Champion special needs inclusivity

Talk with parents of special needs children and work with organizations that specialize in serving them. Learn what your church can do to support special needs families at church and beyond. Create a safe ministry space by helping other children understand why some kids wear headphones during worship, or by creating sensory-friendly activities for those who need them. 

Make your church app exciting with shows from The Chosen and more!

10. Teach how to navigate faith in a digital world

Technology can be a helpful tool or a destructive force, depending on how we use it. Equip parents with information on apps or websites that include age-appropriate Bible lessons. Host workshops to discuss the potentially harmful effects of technology and how to protect children against it. Lean into digital resources when it’s beneficial, such as virtual lessons for those who can’t attend a service or a Bible podcast just for kids.

11. Get messy

One creative idea that resonates with many children (but not necessarily all adults) is to play messy games. For example, have your kids try to feed each other pudding or yogurt while blindfolded. Fill up aluminum pie trays with whipped cream topped with gummy fish and see who catches the most. Go outdoors and have an egg toss competition or create a messy obstacle course with kiddie pools full of shaving cream and rope covered in slime. Messy games and activities like these allow children to use up their energy and have lots of fun. 

12. Show them how to pray 

Teach the Lord’s Prayer and explain how Jesus used it to show us the way we should pray. Discuss what prayer is and that they can talk to God whenever they want. Give children opportunities each week to pray out loud. Ask them to write down prayer requests and commit to praying over them during the week. Celebrate answered prayers in class to reinforce God’s faithfulness. 

13. Make Bible memorization meaningful

Kids are little sponges who are excellent at memorization. Start with short verses and have them repeat the verse after you each week. Give them little cards with the Bible verse printed on them and encourage them to read it out loud each day. Hand out prizes for those who can say the verse by memory.

14. Celebrate holidays with purpose

Holidays are a great chance to plan lessons, activities, and snacks around a Bible theme. You could host a Christmas pageant or concert and include kids in the production. During Advent, help kids make Advent wreaths and explain the meaning behind each candle. For Palm Sunday, bring palm branches and act out Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem.

15. Train future ministry leaders

Provide leadership training for children as they mature. Teach them how to lead various activities and invite them to help plan various events. Show them how to perform a task, do it with them, then celebrate as they complete it.

16. Create a culture of safety & security

Parents need to feel their children are safe with your team. Establish policies including background checks for ministry workers, use child check-in software to identify children and their parents, first-aid training, emergency protocols, and more. Train staff and volunteers on these procedures and inspect regularly to ensure they’re following them faithfully.

17. Celebrate cultural diversity

Part of celebrating God’s creation is to highlight the different cultures, traditions, and cuisines from around the world. Invite families to share a recipe or tradition from their heritage. Encourage visiting missionaries to share stories of adventures they’ve had bringing the gospel to other nations. Create lesson plans for various regions of the world and discuss the clothing, practices, and meals that are part of that culture. 

18. Empower emotional & spiritual support

Some children may come from broken homes or other difficult situations. Prepare staff and volunteers with training to help children going through challenging circumstances. These efforts don’t replace actual counseling, but volunteers can listen to, pray with, and share stories from scripture that can comfort a child. 

19. Open their eyes to their worldwide faith family

Help children realize there are Christians all around the world. Put a globe in Sunday school classrooms and discuss how Christians live in different regions or countries. Consider gathering items like toys or clothes and donating them as a mission project to missionaries overseas. These activities help kids start to consider the needs of others and how God wants us to be selfless and serve.

20. Give kids a voice in shaping your ministry

Gather feedback from parents and kids alike about your children’s ministry. Talk with volunteers and ask if they need anything to be more successful in kids ministry. Use their input to make improvements and enhance how your church develops disciples. 

Children’s ministry ideas—a worthwhile investment

Spending time, money, and resources on the littlest members of your church is an important task. Many of today’s adult Christians remember Sunday school teachers who made a lasting impact on their young minds and hearts. 

We hope this list inspires you and your team, and that you consider taking a few of the top ideas that stand out and implement them at your church.

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Deborah Ike, Guest author

Deborah Ike is a wife, home-schooling mama, and writer. With over 20 years of experience in business consulting and ministry, she writes to provide insights and tips to church leaders. She specializes in church business administration topics. 

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