4 Summer Activities and Ministries for Kids in Uncertain Times
It feels strange to put together a list of summer activities for kids when so many states are under stay-at-home orders. But summer is coming, and churches should be thinking about how they’ll minister to children in a variety of potential scenarios.
We’ve put together some ideas that you can adapt to your local situation this summer.
1. Outdoor concerts and shows
You could put on a worship concert, puppet show, or host a comedian in a local park—or even on the church grounds. If you hold it in the right location, families can stretch out and not worry about being on top of one another. This way they can enjoy the gathering while maintaining social distance.
2. Zoom VBS
It might not be an ideal time for churches to gather children every day to put on a traditional VBS, but with some creativity, you can pull off a digital VBS.
You could schedule different times for various age groups and run programming for consecutive days. You might want to keep it between 30–45 minutes. But you can do many of the same things you would include in a normal VBS: singing, stories, teaching, and interaction. If you’re really creative, you might be able to come up with some crafts and activities by working with parents ahead of time.
3. Social media scavenger hunts
You could always use your youth group’s Facebook page to create photo scavenger hunts. Every morning you can post a couple of things that kids need to find around their house, assigning points based on difficulty. They find the items, take photos, and post them on your page. At the end of the week, you choose the winners and offer some cool prizes.
For older kids, you can also do a Bible scavenger hunt. Instead of an item they have to find around the house, kids are looking for Bible stories or passages based on prompts. For instance, you might post something like “find a story about a ghost in the Bible.” When they message you back with the medium at Endor story from 1 Samuel 28 or the disciples mistaking Jesus for a ghost in Matthew 14, they get points. The kids can redeem those points in whatever manner you choose.
4. Drop off care packages
More than anything, kids struggle to process uncertainty. We can often miss how difficult it is for them to process anxiety because, on the surface, it looks like they’re adapting to change well. But they need to be reminded that they’re loved and supported.
So even if you don’t do any special activities, maintain contact and let kids know that they’re not forgotten. One fun way to do that is to create little gift bags. You can put in puzzles, snacks, notes, lessons, or anything else that reminds them that their church leaders are thinking about them.
Leaving a legacy with your kids
Study after study has shown that childhood is the most critical time to reach people with the gospel. It’s not just about exposing them to gospel truth at a young age, but it’s about helping them see the church as a place where they are safe, loved, and cared for. This is the legacy you want to leave with your kids—even when you can’t gather regularly.
This should be part of the mission of your children’s ministry. If you’re looking for a little more guidance on creating a vision and mission that impacts people in positive ways, pick up a free copy of How to Grow a Lasting Church Legacy.