19 Things You Need in Children’s Ministry

children's ministry

We know we need lots of prayer, lots of leaders who love the Lord, and lots of leaders who love kids.

This is not that kind of “need” list. These are things that are good to have … in case.

1. Post-it notes. Some place to write a quick note to a parent and be able to quickly attach it to a kid’s book or coat.

2. Bibles in the version that you use. Sometimes classes have a good supply of Bibles. Other times they have a conglomeration of Bibles in every version imaginable. You need Bibles in the version you use so you can have the kids follow along when you teach.

3. First-aid kit. Yes, your church hopefully has one somewhere, but sometimes a handy band-aid for an “owie” that you can’t see without a microscope is good to have nearby.

4. Kleenex. Need we say more?

5. Tape. Tape to put a picture on a wall, a fix a torn paper, to tape that post-it note (that’s lost its stickiness) to a book.

6. Change of clothes. If you’re teaching early elementary, an extra pair of kids sweat pants/shirt (because they stretch to many sizes) is good to have on hand. Usually preschool classes have children bring their own extra set of clothes, but sometimes older kids have accidents, or fall in the paint or …

7. Pens. Have a good supply handy because they “walk away” and you can spend a lot of time looking for something to write with.

8. Lots of pencils. You want the kids to do an activity sheet or write down their favorite game – but don’t have enough pencils to go around, so then you have to wait until kids share.

9. Camera (or someone who is always there with a good camera phone). You never know when that silly or cute moment will happen. You need to be ready.

10. Flashlights. Who wants to be in a room with 20 three-year-olds (or 13-year-olds) when the electricity goes out and the thunder is booming?

11. Paper supply. Not just for coloring, but to cut into pieces for a game or to give to a child who wants to write down her verse as a way to memorize it.

12. Contact information. Yes, the child’s registration form is in the church office – down two floors and across the entire building. You need to be able to get to that information quickly.

13. Scissors. Yes, scissors for the kids, but also regular scissors so you can cut that activity sheet in half, trim the picture you want to hang or cut the new package of crayons open (that is engulfed in plastic so thick you can’t bend it).

14. Paper cups. Even if you don’t have regular snacks, cups come in handy for organizing little pieces, getting some water for a child who is coughing, holding water for paint brushes, etc.

15. Lots of small paint brushes. Not only to paint, but some teachers give each child a piece of heavy paper and squirt a little mound of glue on the plate. The child then “paints” with the glue on the desired spot, rather than have kids individually squeeze the bottle of glue all over the place.

16. Stapler. Just comes in handy at times.

17. Clock. Many people use their phones for the time these days, but having a wall clock is a must. Whether you’re teaching a Large Group lesson or running games, being able to quickly glance at a clock is a lot easier than digging your phone out of your pocket and distracting the entire class.

18. Sandwich bags. Whether you have a craft with small pieces, a child’s barrette breaks or you want to send home an award—sandwich bags are a must.

19. Timer. In children’s ministry, timers come in handy for timing rounds of games, for helping a child regain control (“Timmy, I need you to sit in the chair for three minutes, breathe deeply and calm down”) and for fun (“How quickly can YOU say the books of the Bible?”—I had a fifth grader do it in 25 seconds).

Can you add to our list?  


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Linda serves as part of the writing team for Awana. A 30-year KidMin veteran, her insight and influence have shaped the Awana curriculum at all levels. Linda is also a frequent speaker, writer, and workshop leader on issues relating to all aspects of children’s ministry.