Transition times can be tricky as kids are dropped off or picked up. Clothing, crafts and handouts must be rounded up, and everything must be connected with parents. Room dynamics change quickly and dramatically as the population changes. This is when leaders’ attention and juggling skills are tested, as they deal with getting kids and their stuff in and out.
Ideally, transition times help kids feel good about kids ministry, and should be “open-ended” and easy to quit. They should be easy to do with one kid or large groups, and they should prepare kids for whatever is next. Don’t do activities that have an end or goal that you may have to abandon before completion. As an example, don’t start stories that may be cut short when ministry time begins.
Plan simple things that will attract the boisterous kids, while you also offer your quieter, introverted kids something too.
For opening transition, add a countdown clock video in the background about 5 minutes before you want ministry time to begin. That way, leaders and students will be ready and anticipating the start of your ministry time together. Some kids will simply watch the countdowns, while others will let them be the sub-conscious background to their activities.
Countdowns keep everyone aware of when things will start, and focus their attention on the next activity. It’s like watching the countdown to a rocket blast-off. After “3-2-1-0!!” everybody is ready to start. It’s a great audio/visual cue that something important is about to begin.
Activities should be as self-tending as possible, with little-to-no cleaning or pick-up. Avoid transition activities with lots of parts that must be collected and stored. Trust me–opening & closing transition time is not the time to start macaroni art projects!
To illustrate these points, here are a few transition time suggestions for quiet and exuberant kids:
Bob Singleton, Head Worship Guy at God’s Kids Worship; worship ministry leader, Grammy & Dove nominated kids music producer & composer.
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