Spring has sprung! The trees and grass are turning green again, warmer weather is on its way, and you can start putting up the winter clothes and unpacking the shorts. The kids are all dying to go outside each week. What better time than this to take them outside to plan out an Easter OMC at your church! It will allow the kids to run around and be crazy, but still allow you an opportunity to debrief the game and point it back to Scripture.
We have over 15 different editions and add-ons of OMC (not including each summer’s themed editions), but some of my favorites are the seasonally-themed add-ons. They bring the fun of OMC that we play at camp during the summer into the rest of the year and what is happening at the time. Here is how to create an Easter themed OMC at your church or ministry.
First, if you do not have the official OMC game yet, you’ll want to get one of those! You can find it online here if you need to get it. There are two full editions available. You can choose if you want the “Yellow Edition” or “Messy Edition”– or even get both to have at the ready at any time! Each of those editions comes with 50 unique task cards. Both can be played simultaneously as well; it will just make the game that much messier and fun!
Once you have the digital version of the OMC game, you want to access the Easter bonus edition instructions and additional tasks. With these combined versions, you will be good to go. Each edition will provide you with instructions on what supplies are needed, as well as how many cards to print, and the overall setup of the field.
Remember, once the game is over, debrief it to remind kids of the truth of Scripture and why we celebrate Jesus dying and coming back to life. See this past blog about tips on debriefing. We hope you have a great Easter OMC, and are able to impact kids with the great news of Jesus’ resurrection that we are celebrating! Feel free to check out our other special editions as well as some FAQs about OMC at centrikid.com.
Here is a fun look at CentriKid Camps history. I realized that while the logos and the themes have changed, there have always been summer staff committed to sharing the Gospel with kids.
When CentriKid began, there was an huge need to connect the name of the camp to Centrifuge Camps, which was the camp we got our name from. In the original logo there was even a dash and a bunch of colors to demonstrate the kid-friendliness of this new camp. (By the way, we now format our name as “CentriKid.” NOT “Centri-Kid” or “Centrikid.”)
This is the inaugural team that piloted CentriKid at Linden Valley in 2000. I only know a few of people in this picture. I remember that my friend Tim directed this first pilot week of CentriKid, but these guys are not celebrities, in fact CentriKid culture has never been one that is a “green room” culture, nor have we tried to create celebrities.
We’ve had some pretty awesome people through the years, but basically our staff are a bunch of ordinary college kids and young professionals who choose to give their summer to serve in kingdom work and promoting the Gospel.
This picture is the very first stack of OMC cards that weren’t printed on computer paper and hand-cut during the summer at camp. OMC began as a grab bag adventure… And has evolved and improved every year to become the phenomenally fun game that you know at camp now!
CentriKid has used a lot of themes through the years, we’ve played a lot of games through the years, and we’ve offered a lot of track times through the years. All of these are tools to help make the message of Christ clear in the lives of kids.
How many themes did you attend as a camper, staffer, or church leader?
Games are one of my personal favorite ways to connect and build relationships. This is especially true in kids ministry. My first love at CentriKid Camps was leading kids at recreation. I loved getting kids crazy, playing super fun games, competing, having tons of fun, and then channeling that energy to spiritual applications.
Kidmin pros are experts at this. All kids can learn through games just like all kids can learn through the bible study lesson, but kinesthetic learners especially benefit from the inclusion of active games. So it is a no brainer Kid Ministers are always honing their skills and looking for the next best games.
Here are a couple of games which have really become popular and if you have not seen them I think it is worth giving them a look.
1. Hungry Hungry Hippos
Remember this popular game? Maybe you still have it at your house and play it often. A new craze in the recreation world is getting four scooters, four laundry baskets, 4 sets of elbow and knee pads, and optional bungee cords.
The kids are the hippos. One kid will lay on each scooter with his or her laundry basket outfitted with their skin rash protection. Strap a bungee cord to the kid’s waist or instruct another kid to hold their partner “hippo’s” feet. Whenever you say go unleash as many colorful tennis ball sized recreation balls onto the play area and have the partners push his or her hippo into the play area to grab as many recreation balls as possible. You can make it where the hippos grab only their team color recreation balls or just a free for all. Start over by asking the hippos if they are still hungry. Look online and you will find a ton of videos of the game in action.
2. Spot it
This is a game in which you will have to invest. You can get it on amazon here. I always keep this game in my backpack ready to play at a moments notice. It is very simple. It can even be played indoors. Here is a video by the creators with an explanation on how to play. SPOT it is such a great game, because it can be played a lot of different ways.
3. Recreation: Rooted in Scripture
We recently wrote a blog about this new CentriKid Camps game resource guide called Recreation: Rooted in Scripture. Again, we believe providing a spiritual application to games is so important. Making games intentional is something we always do at CentriKid. One of our values is for everything we do at camp to be rooted in scripture. So every game you see in this resource has a debrief with a verse to teach kids a biblical truth based on the game they just played. If you are interested in purchasing one of these resources you will have to purchase it onsite at a CentriKid Camps Store.
Amidst all the Christmas parties you are attending, planning, and skipping, you are inevitably charged with creating Christmas fun in your kids ministry. These Christmas games are fun, but they are built in a way to create a spiritual application. Your Christmas party will be a success with lots of fun and lessons will be taught through these games.
If you are looking for more ideas try looking at a previous post. We love the celebration of Christmas, and even more we love to use it as a teachable moment in our kids ministry. Take the next step whenever planning your Christmas fun and make a connection to biblical truths your kids need to hear.
Experts say that a child’s attention span is only a few minutes per each year they are old. It’s important when teaching or leading a game with kids to keep in mind how long you are asking them to focus on one thing. With games, we tend to forget that if we let it go on too long, our kids will stop having fun and often get out of hand. Once a game has reached this point, your success level with the game plummets and you lose the ability to use that game effectively again in the future.
A great phrase to keep in mind when leading activities or games with kids is “kill it before it dies.” What this means is that you keep a watchful eye on the activity and cut it before your kids begin to lose interest. The more you practice this skill, the better you will become at timing when to cut a game. At the very latest, stop the game as soon as you see your first kids begin to lose interest. The majority of the group is only a short step behind them.
Another way to keep games going with your kids is to add in new rules or adaptations along the way. This can lengthen the life of a game for at least a few more minutes and gives kids something new to focus on. Adding fun new rules keeps kids guessing at what is coming next. From time to time, let the kids who are playing come up with new rules themselves. Being in charge of the game gives them a sense of buy-in to the activity.
What are some creative ways you have kept kids interested in games or activities?
Spring is almost here! It may seem cold right now, but the warm weather is coming and we’re sure your kids are tired of being stuck inside during these winter months.
Here are 5 ways you can get kids excited about spring and summer:
1. Play OMC! There is no better way to get kids excited about the summer than playing OMC on a nice, spring day! The cold months of winter will feel long gone when kids are getting sprayed with shaving cream and busting water balloons over the heads.
2. Do a service project around your church or neighborhood and plant flowers as a group. This gets the kids involved in serving and lets them tangibly see the difference they can make when they help others.
3. Play games outside as much as possible! The days are getting longer and warmer, so take advantage of playing outside. Start off your Wednesday or Sunday nights with a fun game outside!
4. Dedicate a Wednesday night to being “summer food themed.” Fix snow cones, lemonade, hotdogs, and other fun foods that kids love to eat in the summer.
5. Plan a trip to the zoo or park since you haven’t been able to do any fun outdoor activities for a few months!
There are lots of fun things that springs and summer are bringing your way, so make sure you get the kids excited about what is to come!
LifeWay Kids has a blog dedicated to helping children’s workers, and yesterday on the Kids Ministry 101 blog, Meredith wrote about the special edition Christmas tasks to add to the Official OMC Game!
We love to hear how it works at your church, and if you have pictures, please post them on the CentriKid Facebook wall.
At camp, we love games. Games are fun when it’s warm outside, but here are some crazy fun, semi-messy games that you can play, even when it is cold outside! Here are two of our favorites – and can be used for fun Saturday events, DNow Weekends, and more!
1. Ninja Search
Combining the best of capture the flag and sharks and minnows, all you need are two teams and two flags.
Each team huddles together on their side and chooses one person to hide the flag on them where no one can see it (pocket, ect.). The other team should not know which team member of the opposing team has the flag. Both teams line up at the back boundary line. At the whistle, both teams run towards each other tagging everyone they can before they make it to the opposite back boundary line. If the person with the hidden flag made it to the opposite back boundary line without being tagged, that team gets a point.
Divide kids into teams (you will want to have the same number of teams that you have baby pools.) You can also use some sort of large mouth bucket instead of baby pools if you have smaller teams.
Lead kids to sit on the ground around baby pools filled with pudding (marbles are already hidden in the pudding)
Kids use their feet to get as many marbles out as they can after you say “go”. The team with the most marbles out after a certain amount of time will be the winner.
Other variations: Use water, jello, or leftovers. Have 2 teams per a pool, make certain colors worth more points than others.
***MAKE SURE TO PUT DOWN A TARP FOR THIS ONE IF YOU ARE PLAYING INSIDE!
Mary Carlisle serves on the CentriKid office team, and loves recreation and developing fun games for track times. She served in a church and messy games were always one of her favorite things to do! She serves as Camp Director for the CK3 team at Millsaps College. Follow Mary on twitter.
OMC stands for Organized Mass Chaos, and that is just what it is. Every player knows exactly what task he is doing, but each player in the game is doing something different. Players attempt to complete as many tasks as possible (one task at a time), but players are interrupted to help other players complete their tasks during the game.
One description of OMC that I love is that it “looks like an ant bed was stirred up!”
OMC is best when played in a large space outside with a few hundred participants, however it can be adapted to play inside if weather or darkness do not allow outside play. Plan to use a big space like a gym or large fellowship hall. This is not a classroom game.
Inside the package for OMC | The Official Game are playing cards and a DVD with videos to help get you prepared. All the rules, a setup diagram, and a supply list are included on the DVD-ROM portion of the disc. And something left off the disc, but available for free download here or at facebook.com/CentriKid is a t-shirt design for scoring OMC that you can use at your VBS or DNow event.
We love feedback! Contact us with new task ideas, pictures of your event, stories about the gameplay, etc by emailing our camp office at firstname.lastname@example.org.