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Rules of the Room: How to Keep a Kidmin Group Focused

I’m often asked: “How do you keep a large group of children focused on what’s being taught every week?” My first response is…make the experience so interesting and so much fun that every kid is engaged from start to finish. This is our goal every week but obviously some Sundays are better than others.

So what’s my backup plan? Simple…we have a few stated rules that we share every Sunday. Yes, I share these rules every Sunday morning at the start of every service:

Rules of the Room

  1. Remember why we are here…to meet with others and to meet with…GOD! (kids response)
  2. When someone on the stage is speaking you are…LISTENING (kids response). Which means you are not…TALKING! (kids response)
  3. Have FUN!

Add: “If we remember rule number one and we practice rule number two, we will have a great time this morning.”

I start every service off with stating the Rules of the Room while they are being projected on the screen. This lets every child know what the expectations are and that it’s our plan to have fun. I have found that this simple practice has eliminated the need for a long list of rules and helps
to keep our kids focused.

Today I wanted to also share some fun ideas that have been shared with me about communicating rules to the kids. I have a friend who uses puppets and characters to share the rules using their own words and personalities.  I’ve found this is a great way to keep the rules fresh without changing them.  So, here are the Rules of the Room shared creatively by “friends”:

Bubba is a good ol’ boy puppet with a Southern accent:

1. Ya’ll be- a rememberin’ that we’s here to hang out with one ‘nother and the Big Guy!

2.  Don’t ya be-a talkin whilest the teacher be-a talkin..

3.  Let’s get ta boot skootin’!

Ernest the BRAIN puppet:

1. We are here collectively to interact with one another and our Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient Father.

2. Please do not converse during instructional periods. (“What could be more simple to understand than that?”)

3.  Please enthusiastically partake in activities.

Freddie the lovable monster puppet:

1.  Meet God.

2.  Don’t talk.

3.  Have Fun.

Spot the dog puppet:

1. Meet the Master.

2.  No barking.

3.  Wag your tail.

The bottom line is to make the rules clear, keep them short, keep them simple and communicate them each week.