5 Tips On Keeping Kids Engaged In Children’s Ministry
PRESS AND RELEASE
Research tells us that students have an attention span of about their age plus one in minutes. A 5 year-old child can process information for about 6 minutes, then he or she will need a release. Keep that in mind when planning lessons. Your youngest child should be the gauge of how long you are pressing.
Unfortunately, kids sit way too much – especially in school. At church, we need to make sure we are incorporating movement. This includes during your lesson or teaching. Think of a call and response with hand movement (such as a clap or snap) that could be easily incorporated in the lesson and refocuses kids.
Kids need to talk! Use the simple turn and talk to you neighbor (or elbow partner) to allow all kids to talk quickly and then come back to your lesson. This allows all kids to participate and talk about the lesson without dragging out the time. You can ask one or two kids to share, or you can just share out possible answers. You maintain the structure of the lesson, but you give them a little time to talk. This takes practice and if doing it in a large service, make sure helpers are ready to refocus the kids. Don’t let them take over the service, instead quickly have helpers ready to help so you can continue with your service.
We now know that groups are not as effective as partnerships for getting students involved. Have kids partner up throughout the class or kids’ church. This will help hold them accountable to someone for all the activities you use, and it will inspire as close to 100% involvement as we can get.
Create a sense of urgency in your class or service. Kids respond to the atmosphere we create. If we take our time moving from one part of service to another or wait too long for students to reengage, we tell kids what we are doing isn’t that important. Instead give kids a little less time than they need to finish an activity or move from one part of service to another. Not too short that it creates frustration, but just short enough that they know that they have to move quickly. Time is valuable real estate, and we want kids to know that what we are doing is so important that we can’t waste any time. It’s urgent!