What we do in kids ministry matters. The message we have to share with kids about the Gospel and God’s love for them is life-changing — but the reality is that keeping kids attention is tough sometimes. Attention spans even seem to be getting shorter and shorter. Here are 5 tips from my toolbox that can hopefully help you.
- Be prepared .They need to know that you have a plan, and they respond better to you and to the material if they sense that it is something well thought-out and important.
- Create intrigue. anticipation is a powerful tool that can carry you into a lesson while you earn trust and favor with the kids. If they sense that you’ve got something “up your sleeve” then you’ve got them thinking, wondering, engaging with the lesson plan in a deeper way.
- Show enthusiasm. Kids will rarely exceed the enthusiasm you bring to a lesson or activity. They may have a lot of hyper-activity or nervous energy, but their true interest and enthusiasm will reflect what you model. If the leader is excited about something, the pupils will follow along. If you don’t care about the lesson or activity, why should the kids?
- Engage different learning styles. some kids connect better through reading, others through hearing, and sometimes a game or hands-on activity is the best way for a kid to understand a concept. In your lesson planning, keep these things in mind. Don’t get stuck in a rut of only using one teaching style. All children can learn through various styles, so keep your teaching methods varied.
- Kill it before it dies. this is a principle we use in games and recreation at Centrikid Camps… if something is going well, don’t run it all the way into the ground before you move on… stop the game while there is still interest so you can come back to it. If the game dies and kids lose interest while you are still playing, then its not something you (or they) will be excited about bringing back again another time.