Kids in Worship in COVID times

Conversation | Karen Mitchell Lambert | 2nd July 2020

In the last couple of weeks, there have been changes to expectations around COVID-19. With these changes have bought new opportunities to gather which is exciting, but these come at a cost.

Children and young people are in a lower risk category yet they still have the ability to transmit the disease, so hygiene and social / physical distancing is essential during these times.

It is essential at these times that when leading a group your Church Council knows and has agreed to what is happening with your groups for insurance purposes. But more than that council offers another collection of eyes to help you see what you may have missed.  Whether meeting online, through letters and activity packs or when you go to meet back in person. It is good to have a plan about how you will offer ministry going forward, rather than just waiting and reacting to the latest Covid news. This is a time where we need to be responsible and working together.

It is much better to take it slowly and minimise risk than rush in and do things that we will later regret. If you are unsure, feel free to contact the Synod Covid team or the Pulse Team if you need more information.

We know that up until this point some churches have not engaged at all with their children and young people, remember they too are part of your community and are in need of your love and support.

There is mixed feelings for children as they go back, some with genuine fear and worry about what will happen next, or that they could be the cause of someone else they care about getting sick and dying. Maintain social distancing with children is really hard and you need to be realistic about what is possible.

We also need to consider our volunteers, are they people at risk? How can we best support them and set clear expectations to take the pressure off these amazing people who make such a difference to our communities.

Worship

Before jumping back into Sunday School or Kids clubs (of which you need Covid plans) you might want to consider keeping your kids in Church. Explore how you can make worship more inclusive for everyone, using more visual or interactive prayers, short clips (Bible Project is awesome for this) and different ways to do readings.

There are many options for supporting kids in the pews, get them to bring their own activities, create a pack that has their name on it and have it ready for when they come containing their own pencils, sheets and resources, get clipboards and worksheets for the kids to use. Just remember if they are not allocated to specific children you will need to clean the boards and the pencils every time.

Printable options

You could use PULSEmail which will still be running online till the end of August if your congregation is using it and you would like us to continue, please reach out before the end of August and we will consider extending our cutoff. PULSEmail has a Preschool, Primary and High School option, usually following the lectionary.

Illustrated Ministry is one of our favourite resources, as is Spill the Beans.

Seasons of the Spirit has resource worksheets in their multi-age worship option. Lectionary Doodles is also a good option.

Booklet options

I went and raided the shelves of Koorong and came up with 4 possible options:

77 Bible Activities for kids: an A5 size booklet  with literally 77 activities which means it would last quite a few weeks for kids to work their way through.

Big Book of Bible Story Activity Pages #01 (Reproducible) Paperback

Bible Story Activity fun: About 30 pages of activities. Won’t last as long for the kids to use but is cheaper.

God’s Very Good Idea: Beautifully illustrated with not a huge amount of content, this is a good one for a special occasion that you would want to make a special effort for the kids with.

Big Book of Bible Story Activity Pages : There are a number of options in the Big book collection they offer reproducable pages to print off.

The Lost Sheep series are a great Australian resource that has great story telling and activity sheets.

Online active options

Bible App for Kids (You Version) works its way through the bible stories in an interactive and fun way, even younger kids could use it.

Guardians of Ancora is more for older primary aged kids or even early high school. It was designed by Scripture Union in the UK.

Being the whole family of God means that we need to think about everyone as we consider worshiping and that includes our littlest ones!



Karen Mitchell-Lambert is ordained in the ministry of Deacon and is the team leader of PULSE.