I love doing theme days with my kids. I introduced theme days in my kid’s ministry a little over 2 years ago, and still love them just as much as I did then, because it’s a new and innovative way to get the kids even more excited about coming to church. I have done many theme days with my elementary-aged group, but I haven’t done many with my preschool group. The biggest differences in doing a theme day for the younger kids versus older kids are the multiple shared environments, and parents not wanting to have to put a lot of effort into costumes. It’s hard enough to get children who are under five out the door to church in the morning, without adding elaborate costumes into the mix. We had two classrooms participating in “What’s Your Favorite Color Day.” The Tendervines Class is for kids ages 2-3 and the Amazing Grapes Class is for kids ages 4-5. Some of the activities/prizes varied to fit the age group, so I will indicate below what we did differently for the two classrooms.
What’s Your Favorite Color Day is about as simple of a theme day for this age group as you are going to get, while still being a bit more out of the box than your usual PJ Day or Mis-matched Sock Day. The concept is quite simple: wear your favorite color to church. This can be as simple or as complicated as the parents want to make it. They can simply wear a blue shirt, or they can wear a blue hat, blue hair dye, a blue shirt, blue pants, blue socks, blue shoes, etc…you get the point. We actually had one little guy show up in all camo as his favorite color. It was pretty adorable. Of course, we encouraged all the leaders to come dressed in their favorite color, and we provided these ridiculous rainbow hats for them to wear as well. If you can’t tell from the pictures below, my favorite color is mint green.
I always like to wrap everything for the day around whatever theme we are focusing on. So, I decided to focus on teaching the kids about the promise God gave us through the rainbow. Everything we did for the morning was rainbow-themed. We didn’t have the ability to do a lot of decorating because the rooms we use on Sundays are also used on Friday nights, but the good news is our rooms are already quite colorful, and simply adding this awesome rainbow cloth to all the tables in the rooms made a huge difference. You can see how great the table cloths look on the tables below, as well as the coloring sheet we used for the morning. We bought brand new jumbo crayons for our 2-3 year olds, and regular size crayons for our 4-5 year olds to make it even more special.
When I do theme days with the older kids, we do a costume contest, and only the kids who dress up get prizes. However, with this being a theme day for the little ones, we had gift bags for everyone who came. I got the colorful party bags for .99 cents for 20 bags at Wal-Mart. Our gift bags were different for the two classrooms. For our 2-3 year olds the bags included: 2 jumbo crayons, a sheet of rainbow stickers, a bag of rainbow goldfish, and a small container of playdough. For our 4-5 year olds the bags included: 2 twistable crayons, a sheet of rainbow stickers, a bag of rainbow cookies, and a small container of playdough. I got all the items for the gift bags at Wal-Mart. We didn’t give the gift bags to the kids until their parents picked them up at the end of service. For our rainbow snack, the 2-3 year olds had rainbow goldfish, and the 4-5 year olds had animal crackers with this super addictive homemade funfetti cake batter dip.
Our younger kids love story time, in fact, it seems like the favorite part of the morning for our 2-3 year olds. We decided to read one secular book and the Bible story of Noah and the Ark for story time. Both classes read Rainbow Moments by Nikki Rogers, but we used The Jesus Storybook Bible for our 4-5 year old class and The Read With Me Bible for our 2-3 year old class to get a more age appropriate version of the story for each group.
The rainbow craft we chose was this adorable foam God is love cross craft. It was mean to be a magnet, but we decided to forgo that part of the craft to make it all stick and peel so all the kids could easily make it on their own without glue. We planned two completely different games for the classes because of the big difference in maturity level and comprehension. The game was super simple for the 2-3 year olds, I got a huge rainbow beach ball at Walmart that the kids could pass around a circle. When a kid would catch the ball, they would say their favorite color. Simple as that! We had a little more complicated game planned for our 4-5 year olds. Set up chairs in a circle with one fewer chair than you have children. Have one child stand in the center of the circle with all the other kids seated in a chair. The child in the center of the circle will shout out a color. Anyone wearing that color will get out of their seat and find another one. The child who doesn’t find a seat becomes the child in the center of the circle. You can keep playing this game as long as the children are enjoying it, or until all of the children have been in the center of the circle.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Our kids and leaders had a blast on this special theme day, and it wasn’t a lot of work to put together on my part. That’s a win for everyone! If you are interested in the full schedules for each classroom for the morning:
Have you ever tried doing a special theme day for the younger kids in your ministry? I would love to hear what you have done, and how it worked for you.