16 answers

Activity Bags During Worship

I am in charge of keeping our activity bags filled for children to use during worship. I am looking for new ideas to keep it interesting for the kids. The age range for the kids who use them is 3-10 or so. Here is what is currently in the bags: crayons, post-it note pad, make-a-story sticker sheet, gel pen, pencil, small puzzle (4 to 9 pieces), small activity pad (coloring, mazes, etc), and a wood lace up shape. I would love to add something new and interesting, but really am not sure of what to add.

Do your churches have similar things for kids who remain in worship? Thanks for any ideas!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Creative Kid Stuff has a inexpensive product called waxies. It looks a bit like a piece of licorice but it is made of wax and it can be shaped and stuck to it's self and other waxies for sculpting. Just another idea.

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At our church we just bring our own bag and I have the Crayola Markers in there the one's that only write on certain paper. They are awesome and impossible to make a mess with but a little spendy.

Our church has a book station that we use, rather than the activity bags. The books and pictures seem to keep everyone happy and the kids can choose their own.

What about a Doodle pro (a tiny one) for each bag. Everyone likes those. They might get spendy if you're filling 25 bags though.

We have paper, crayons, a small stencil, pencil, lacing cards, coloring book and pipe cleaners. Pipe cleaners are amazing - fun for little ones but open-ended enough for older kids, inexpensive and reusable.

I would be happy to donate my books, Let's Get Ready For Kindergarten! for ages 2-6 and Let's Get Ready For First Grade! for ages 5-8. Just email me your address at: ____@____.com and I will gladly send you a set for your church!
Smiles - S.

You might check out Oriental Trading, they have religious items and fun little trickets/toys/activities. I would have a hard time coming up with new ideas too. Maybe you could ask the older group of kids that are regulars what they would like to see in the bags (appropriate items of course).
We offer the bags too and I do think that some of the kids get bored with the items, especially if they come every sunday. In each of our bags is a pop-up book with one of the bible stories, the younger kids especially love this because they like peek-a-boo.

Mini magnadoodles, or woodkins maybe?

We have bags like that at church, but I also bring along plastic animals or figures, and really thick Disney storybooks. Between that and the bags, it usually keeps my son happy the entire hour.

Travel etch a scetch or the doodle pro. Large beads to thread throug a shoe lace. Safety pins with small beads and they can attach them to their shoe laces or on their clothes after. Any travel board games like checkers or something.

As an usher at our church, I don't update these, but I do offer them regularly and they are so appreciated. We used them when our son was smaller. My suggestion isn't novel, but a change in what you're currently doing. Remove the pen and replace with a box of chunky crayons. The very youngest children are the ones who need these, and gel pen says "messy on the pews and church clothes" to me! LOL. Also, if you contact a christian bookstore, you might be able to get a good price on toddler bible story books. We have a few board books and a few paperbacks in each one of our bags. Final tip ... be sure your ushering staff knows where they are kept. Not all families pick them up ... especially visitors! Visitors will be so THANKFUL to receive one!

Our church also includes small hand puppets or stuffed animals, as well as the Duplo Lego blocks. My girls love playing with this stuff, and it keeps them in service at least a bit longer before they go to nursery.

Our kids also like the little hand-held water games that you try to get the loops around the posts. I just saw them at the dollar store so I know they are cheap too. Another thing that I have seen is a felt-material scene that you put together with different colors of felt. It could be any scene with enough pieces to keep them busy arranging it. (Nativity scene, Last Supper, etc.)

Good luck!

I do our activity bags at our church as well and as crazy as it sounds I have found a lot of items at the Family dollar store and regular dollar stores that are bible orientated like coloring books, activity books, reading books, puzzles, games, cards, and some other things i put in are the foam activities you can buy at orientaltradingcompany.com or michaels stores and the kids really love it because they can take them with them when they are done with service and you can order apropriately themed items for what the discussion is about durring service and they are still learning about god while having fun.

Creative Kid Stuff has a inexpensive product called waxies. It looks a bit like a piece of licorice but it is made of wax and it can be shaped and stuck to it's self and other waxies for sculpting. Just another idea.

You might want to try these:

- Wikki Sticks. These are similar to the "waxies" another poster mentioned. If your church is Christian or Jewish, they offer packs specifically for services. Otherwise, the regular sets are good: http://www.wikkistix.com/index1.htm

- Slide puzzles. These are those old fashioned toys made up of a grid of interlinked, slidable squares. Century Novelty has some examples, but you can find them a lot of places: http://www.centurynovelty.com/

- Squishy balls. Personally, I think these are kind of gross, but all the kids I know just love them, and find a lot of things to do with them. They don't bounce, so they wouldn't be a distraction that way.

- Small magna-doodle or etch-a-sketches. I would vote for the latter, because it's quieter and requires more concentration. http://www.world-of-toys.com. I've found the "mini" versions to be too small to do anything interesting, but the "pocket" and "travel" sizes are pretty good, and not too expensive (they might offer a volume discount, too).

Hi H.!
I'd try oriental trading company. They have a complete section on religious/spritual things. My only suggestion, as a parent who brings little ones to church, is that you try to keep the things in the bag themed around religious/spiritual.

Our church has little water games - where you press the button and the little rings float up and you try to get them on a little post. Hopefully, you have some idea of what I'm talking about! :) My 4 year old son loves those! He also loves getting little cars in his bag.
An idea for older kids would be Learning Wrap-ups. These are little key-like items with strings and you use them to quiz yourself on math, letters, states/capitals, etc. My nephew who is 8 loves them! They are available through Usborne Books - www.ubah.com/g2687. Hope that helps!

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