Youth & Children

Youth & Children’s Work

The resources below were complied by Rev’d Beki Cansdale during her time as Curate of St John’s Cathedral, Oban

 

Resources

(Starting in October and following the church year as you scroll down)

These are offered to you as things that might get you thinking, spark an idea or even provide a whole session that you could use. They are a from a huge variety of sources, so, as with everything when you’re googling away, please do assess what will be appropriate for your specific context.

General Resources

 

Scotland’s very own Claire Benton-Evans has written great books for kids. Here.

https://www.clairebentonevans.com/books.html

https://beastlybiblestories.wordpress.com/ 

Youthscape exists to provide research, innovative thinking, support and resources for young people and those working with them. Here.

https://www.youthscape.co.uk/ 

They have free downloadable resources to help young people deal with life’s challenges, including the pandemic. Here. 

https://www.youthscape.co.uk/brave 

All Age Worship Resources: A website run by an Anglican Vicar in the UK with 20 years of ministry. Lots of all age services, short talks, puppet scripts, drama scripts, prayer stations. Here.

https://www.allageworshipresources.org/ 

They also have a few things for helping children think about the pandemic and all that life has been. Here. 

https://www.allageworshipresources.org/category/puppet-scripts/page/2/ 

Seasonal creative material for children’s ministry to be used at home or in church/groups. Here.

http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/

Another website here. https://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/p/popcorn-index.html 

Seasonal resources for all age learning and faith formation. From Virginia Theological Seminary, their resources are designed by lay, clergy, those with practical experience from a whole range of backgrounds and church, and intended for use by a whole variety of denominations. Here.

https://buildfaith.org/ 

Youth For Christ – A whole bank of resources on different, relevant issues today, thinking about Christian responses to them, and broadening the conversation. Here. Main website here. 

https://request.org.uk/resource/?zr=SC 

https://yfc.co.uk/ 

Games 

Games with a Purpose by Martin Saunders

Games that have a deeper meaning and help you to link to teaching. Here.

https://www.youthscape.co.uk/store/product/games-with-a-purpose 

50 No-Prep Youth Group Games (blogpost)

Few resources required, no prep, and some games require just 3 people! Here. 

https://spirituallyhungry.com/no-prep-youth-group-games/

Games for Small Groups

Here.

https://youthgroupgames.com.au/category/small-groups/

Socially Distanced Games

Here. 

https://www.youthscape.co.uk/services/youth-work-news/25-socially-distanced-games-for-your-youth-group

Planned Games and Activities

Requires some prep, great if you have more time to plan. Here.

https://www.signupgenius.com/church/youth-group-games.cfm

Games for Online Meetings

Here. And Here.

https://youthgroupgames.com.au/collection/virtual-youth-group-games/

https://youthgroupgames.com.au/collection/video-call-games/ 

101 Fun Ideas for Youth Groups

For if you’re really stuck and you just need something to get you inspired. There are literally 101 different ideas in this PDF. Well worth a look! Here. 

https://www.stalbans.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/101-fun-ideas-for-working-with-young-people.pdf 

Games for Online Meetings with Kids

Here.

https://youthgroupgames.com.au/collection/video-call-games-for-kids/

Books 

God’s Daughter’s by Hannah Fytche

Great for working with teen girls, engaging with many challenges they face in life and at school. Here. 

God's Daughters: Loved, held, accepted, enough

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Halloween / All Soul’s & All Saint’s

 

Learning

 

What is Halloween?

Great wee YouTube video explanation of what Halloween is in relation to church, Jesus and light. Here.

History & Ideas & More Resources

A handy wee PDF with some history, ideas and further reading/resources. Here.

http://www.going4growth.com/downloads/AllHallowsAllSaints.pdf

More background information from BBC

Here.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/allsaints_1.shtml

 

Party / Group Gathering

 

Light Party – Halloween alternative. Resources and ideas from SU. here.

https://content.scriptureunion.org.uk/what-we-do/light-parties

Halloween Themed Snack Ideas

Here.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/okieathart/halloween-at-church/

Halloween / Light & Dark Games

Here.

https://youthgroupgames.com.au/collection/halloween-games/

 

Structured Services/Meetings

 

All Age Worship/Activity Ideas

Some fun, creative ideas for all age worship. Here.

All Saints Day

Printable Type Resources

Word searches, crosswords, prayers etc on Etsy. Great for the back of church in case any kids come. Here.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/kmTeach2020/all-saints-and-souls-day-resources/

Service/Meeting Ideas from Roots

Presented as a service, there are plenty of ideas for prayers, responses, songs and activities that could be used in a whole host of informal meetings with kids, ecumenical services, messy church, services of the word etc. Here.

https://www.rootsontheweb.com/seasons-and-festivals/festivals/all-saints/resources-for-celebrating-all-saints/all-age-services/saints-for-all-ages

Session from BRF around light (Bible Reading Foundation, Christian Charity)

Here.

Hallowe’en – Light and dark

 

Session from BRF around Saints

Here.

Saints alive

All Saints Day Activity Ideas

From Virginia Theological Seminary. Here.

8 Activities for All Saints’ Day

 

Books

 

Lectionary for readings and for looking up Scottish saints that can be learnt about and used in activities. Here.

https://www.scotland.anglican.org/who-we-are/publications/liturgies/calendar-and-lectionary/

Celebrating the Saints – lots of information on Saints. Here.

https://www.eden.co.uk/christian-books/the-church/prayer-books-and-liturgical-books/celebrating-the-saints/

Stories of the Saints – A beautifully illustrated book with Saints Stories. Here.

https://www.storiesofthesaints.net/

You can also find some of the saints stories read aloud on YouTube. Here.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLB-gWChH-VkWhkxQs1vybA

A Friend in the Dark by Alison Mitchell

Perhaps helpful for having at the back of church, just in case. It looks at Jesus as light and helps kids afraid of the dark. Here.

https://www.eden.co.uk/a-friend-in-the-dark/

The Bumper Book of Resources

Activities and ideas from a wide range of sources. Here.

https://www.eden.co.uk/christian-books/the-church/church-service-resources/all-age-service-resources/the-bumper-book-of-resources-harvest-all-saints-all-souls-volume-1/#descriptionSection

Story Assemblies of 24 Saints by Heather Butler

Here.

Story Assemblies of 24 Saints: 24 off-the-peg assemblies for the school year

 

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Bonfire Night

 

Primary resources, facts, figures.

https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/primary-resource/guy-fawkes-primary-resource/ 

Lots of ideas, links and more resources. Primary.

https://www.theschoolrun.com/homework-help/guy-fawkes-and-bonfire-night

Bonfire Night Craft Ideas

https://www.craftsonsea.co.uk/bonfire-night-crafts-activities-kids/

BBC Food Bonfire Night Recipes

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/occasions/bonfire_night 

Bonfire Night Party Ideas Teens 

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-throw-a-bonfire-party-for-teens-1197871 

Outdoor Bonfire Night Games

https://party.lovetoknow.com/Outdoor_Bonfire_Party_Games

Campfire Idea Teens

https://youthministry.com/attention-teens-already-belong/ 

Pintrest Search for Bonfire Night Baking

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=bonfire%20night%20baking&rs=typed&term_meta[]=bonfire%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=night%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=baking%7Ctyped 

 

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Remembrance Sunday

 

BBC Teaching Resource – Good for stories, structured ideas, themes. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/remembrance-sunday-2018-armistice-100/zvq4xyc 

Good For Early Years Resources

https://littleowlsresources.com/remembrance-day

Great for assembly ideas.

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/teaching-remembrance 

All age service ideas.

https://www.allageworshipresources.org/remembrance-sunday/ 

Ideas for structured times and using spaces.

https://churchsupporthub.org/remembrance-services-4469.php 

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Advent and Christmas

Some resources put together to help people think through planning in a pandemic and advent in a pandemic. A blog from a provisional deacon in the United Methodist Church who is a mum and youth group leader. Here and Here.

https://christinevhides.com/category/covid-19-planning-tools/

https://christinevhides.com/2020/10/11/advent-during-a-pandemic/

 

Learning / Schools

P6 & P7 resources from SU Scotland. Here.

https://www.suscotland.org.uk/what-we-do/schools/light-up-christmas/

 

Party Group/Gathering

12 Covid-friendly ways to celebrate Christmas with your youth group. Here.

https://www.youthscape.co.uk/services/youth-work-news/covid-christmas-12

A blog from a provisional deacon in the United Methodist Church who is a mum and youth group leader. Great for ideas for games, activities, themes. Here.

https://christinevhides.com/2017/12/06/advent-youth-group-when-the-plan-works/

Advent activities for families, to be done together or at home. Same blog as above. Here.

https://christinevhides.com/2020/10/25/13-and-counting-free-family-advent-activities-2/

Youth group Christmas game ideas. Here.

https://churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/146779-quick-and-easy-christmas-games-for-your-youth-group.html

More youth group game ideas, a whole range from competitive to team to challenging. Here.

https://www.signupgenius.com/church/youth-group-christmas-games-activities.cfm

Youth group games that are linked to bible passages and therefore learning points.

A group of experienced youth workers from America put resources together for youth leaders. Designed to be broad theologically and accessible/adaptable for all denominations. Here.

https://ministrytoyouth.com/youth-group-games/

Online games in case you have to meet virtually at the last minute. Here.

https://www.leadertreks.org/virtual-youth-group-games-for-covid-19/

182 Christmas Trivia Questions and Answers for fun. Here.

https://icebreakerideas.com/christmas-trivia/

 

Structured Services/Meetings 

All Age Worship from Services to short talks, puppet/drama scripts/ prayer stations and more. Here.

https://www.allageworshipresources.org/category/seasonal-services/

From Caritas (Australian Charity tackling poverty at home and abroad) – Youth resources for 4 weeks of advent. Here.

https://www.caritas.org.au/resources/library/advent-2021-youth-ministry-resource/

Advent ideas: things to think about, meditate on, do and read. Here.

https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/26-ideas-advent-2014-sybil-macbeth

Advent resources, reflections, challenges and prayers from the Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust. Here.

https://www.archbishopofyorkyouthtrust.co.uk/projects/advent-2019

Family Friendly Resources from Virginia Theological Seminary. Here.

https://buildfaith.org/free-resources-for-advent/

 

Activity/Craft Ideas

Mission Together, the children’s branch of Missio – the Catholic Church’s Official Children’s Charity for overseas mission. They have some good, free to download craft resources for advent. Here.

https://missiontogether.org.uk/advent-and-christmas/

YouthESource, from the Lutheran Church – Advent bible studies/devotions/skits/dramas. Here.

http://www.youthesource.com/2011/09/07/advent-resources/

A group of christians associated with the Reformed Church in America who produce Jesus centred resources, activities and ideas for families and children. Here.

https://www.faithward.org/fun-and-meaningful-ways-to-celebrate-advent-with-kids/

 

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New Year 

Structured services/meetings 

Session plan for looking at the New Year for youth groups from Ministry to Youth here. 

https://ministrytoyouth.com/youth-group-new-years-lessons/ 

Session plan for pre-teens for the New Year from Ministry to Youth here. 

https://preteenministry.net/youth-group-lesson-on-new-years/ 

All about making meaningful resolutions in the new year, discussion and bible study idea for teens. Here. 

https://www.youthworker.com/youth-culture-lesson-happy-new-year-now-what/ 

Some reflections on looking to God in the New Year. Here. 

https://fervr.net/teen-life/new-year-new-you 

 

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Epiphany 

Structured services/meetings 

Great for primary aged kids in Sunday school. Here and here. 

Ministry-To-Children – free resources, colouring, kids talks, lesson ideas from an organisation based in the US. A number of contributors to the site, all details in their ‘about’, section. 

https://sundayschool.works/lessons/epiphany-for-kids/ 

https://ministry-to-children.com/have-an-epiphany-celebrating-the-magi-and-events-after-nativity/

Ideas for services, how to include kids, all age. Building Faith, from Virginia Theological Seminary. Here. 

https://buildfaith.org/epiphany-resources-ideas-churches/

Lectionary based short talks, all age worship ideas. All Age Worship Resources: A website run by an Anglican Vicar in the UK with 20 years of ministry. Here.

https://www.allageworshipresources.org/category/short-talks/ 

Ideas for a session about Epiphany, useful for Sunday School ideas or all age worship. Faithward, broadly Reformed Church in America with the hope that it is diverse enough for more. Here.

https://www.faithward.org/epiphany-celebration-ideas-for-families-and-churches/ 

 

Activity/Craft Ideas 

A blog by Sara, an American writer living in the Netherlands who is part of a Methodist church. Includes information on different epiphany traditions, crafts and music. For families/congregations at home or at church. A blog by Sara, an American writer living in the Netherlands who is part of a Methodist church. Here.

https://saralaughed.com/epiphany-activities/ 

Epiphany crafts, activities and themed snacks for younger children on a blog by Diana Kennedy, a devout Catholic and home school mum. Here. 

https://thekennedyadventures.com/books-activities-crafts-celebrate-epiphany/ 

A PDF of LOADS of resources, services ideas, crafts, music, sermons, talks, lots of links to take your thinking/idea gathering further. From Salisbury Diocese. Here.

https://www.salisbury.anglican.org/resources-library/ministry/rural-hope/celebrating-the-seasons/epiphany-worship-resources-2020 

Resources for use by families at home, a short service that can be followed and ideas for activities. A blog that is kept up to date. Find and follow on social media too if you wish. Here.

http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/search/label/Epiphany 

Epiphany Crafts and Recipes on Pinterest. Here. 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/saralaughed/epiphany-activities-recipes/ 

 

Learning/Schools

A lesson plan from a Catholic Catechism teacher for teaching about Epiphany, ideas for activities, videos of explanation, may be useful for thinking about Sunday school or youth group sessions. Here.

https://www.thereligionteacher.com/feast-of-the-epiphany-in-the-modern-day-lesson-plan-activities/

 

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Baptism of Jesus 

 

Structured Services/Meetings 

A lesson plan for a Sunday school about the Baptism of Jesus with an add on for older kids. 

By Sharon Chatwell, an American who has practical experience of many years of running kids and youth work. You can read more about her here. Lesson resource here. 

https://www.sunday-school-center.com/support-files/lg3-lesson-2-baptism-of-jesus.pdf 

Short talk from All Age Worship Resources for Baptism of Christ. Here. 

https://www.allageworshipresources.org/the-best-words-you-could-ever-hear-lectionary-year-c-2021-the-baptism-of-christ-the-1st-sunday-of-epiphany/ 

Ideas on how you can talk to kids about baptism from Building Faith. Here. 

https://buildfaith.org/today-is-a-baptism-day/ 

A reflection on the Baptism of Jesus here. 

https://buildfaith.org/epiphany-baptism-of-our-lord/ 

All their related articles about baptism here. 

https://buildfaith.org/?s=baptism 

Sunday school lesson on the Baptism of Jesus from Ministry to Children. Here. 

https://ministry-to-children.com/jesus-baptism-lesson/

 

Activities/Crafts 

Activities and a short video service for use at home or at church from Flame. Here.

http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/search/label/baptism%20of%20Jesus 

Crafts for Baptism of Jesus from Ministry to Children. Here. 

https://ministry-to-children.com/crafts-on-the-baptism-of-jesus/ 

Baptism of Jesus pop up dove craft for kids. Here. 

https://catechismangel.com/2020/11/11/baptism-of-jesus-craft-pop-up-dove-printable-template/ 

Baptism of Jesus ideas on Pinterest. Here and here. 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=baptism%20of%20Jesus&rs=typed&term_meta[]=baptism%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=of%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=Jesus%7Ctyped 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/caranjoseph/baptism-of-jesus/ 

Baptism of Jesus craft from blogger, writer, storyteller Rachel Ball. Here. Find out more about Rachel and her blog here. 

https://lettheirlightshine.com/tag/baptism-craft/ 

https://lettheirlightshine.com/about/ 

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Lent

A lenten playlist here. https://buildfaith.org/lenten-playlist/ 

Structured Services/Meetings 

Ash Wednesday kids ideas Here. – http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2015/02/ash-wednesday-liturgy-prayers-and-craft.html 

Printable lent booklet for families here. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2016/02/lent-ideas-for-families-printable.html 

A page of ideas here. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/search/label/Lent 

Youth group session plan on lent here and here. https://ministrytoyouth.com/youth-group-lessons-on-lent/  and https://ministrytoyouth.com/youth-group-lesson-on-lent/

Lent all age service idea – into the wilderness here. https://www.allageworshipresources.org/lent-in-the-wilderness/ 

A whole range of ideas including lots of short talks for each Sunday of lent following the lectionary (do check with year (A, B or C) it is for!) here. https://www.allageworshipresources.org/?s=lent+year+c&submit=Search 

Lent ideas for kids sessions here. https://ministry-to-children.com/lenten-bible-lessons-for-kids/ 

Activities/Crafts

Food oriented lent activity (requires an oven) here and here. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2016/03/exploring-lent-quick-and-easy-prayer.html and https://www.faithward.org/lent-pretzels-recipe-and-pretzel-prayer/ 

Puppet script for lent (talks about temptation and stealing) here. https://www.allageworshipresources.org/that-five-pound-note-is-calling-out-to-me/ 

The cost of sin puppet script here. https://www.allageworshipresources.org/the-cost-of-sin/ 

Lent prayer bag ideas for families here. https://www.allageworshipresources.org/lent-family-prayer-bag/ 

“EggLent Calendar” to help families engage with lent here. https://www.allageworshipresources.org/egglent-calendar-say-i/ 

Lent (and Easter) ‘at home’ kits. Might have some good resources and useful explanations that could work with kids at church or at home here. https://buildfaith.org/lent-at-home-kits/ 

7 Godly Play story ideas for Lent here. https://buildfaith.org/luke-children-godly-play/ 

60 Lent crafts and activities here. https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/lenten-arts-and-crafts 

Creative lent ideas for kids from a school chaplain here. https://outuponthewaters.com/creative-lent-ideas-for-kids-3/ 

A huge list of lent ideas for kids here. https://godspacelight.com/2014/02/19/resources-for-celebrating-lent-for-kids-2014/ Read more about Godspace here. https://godspacelight.com/about/ 

Learning/Schools

Some thoughts of what Ash Wednesday is here. https://buildfaith.org/handout-for-ash-wednesday-at-home/ 

What teens say about Lent (article) here. https://buildfaith.org/soup-of-christ-what-do-teens-say-about-lent/ 

Guiding teens through Lent (article) here. https://buildfaith.org/guiding-teenagers-lent-give-giving/ 

Helping to prepare children for Lent (article) here. https://buildfaith.org/4-things-i-tell-children-the-sunday-before-lent/ 

“Lent for Practical Christians” (article) here. https://buildfaith.org/lent-for-practical-christians/ 

What is Lent? Explanation by BBC Bitesize here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/ztkxpv4/articles/z77jf4j 

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Holy Week & Easter Sunday

Structured Services/Meetings

A whole load of Holy Week ideas for kids here. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/p/holy-week-activities.html 

Whole ‘lessons’ plans for youth and children throughout Holy Week here. https://www.sunday-school-center.com/easter-sunday-school-lessons.html 

Youth group session ideas for Easter here and here. https://ministrytoyouth.com/easter-youth-group-lesson/ and https://ministrytoyouth.com/youth-group-lessons-on-easter-2/ 

Thoughts on making an impact at Easter in youth groups here. https://ministrytoyouth.com/easter-ideas-for-youth-group/ 

Multi-sensory Easter Talk & Activity here. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2016/03/multi-sensory-easter-story-talk-and.html

Activities/Crafts

Palm Sunday Game here. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2016/03/printable-palm-sunday-card-matching-game.html 

Easter Day activities and crafts here. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/search/label/Easter%20Day 

Prayer stations for Easter ideas here and here. http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/p/hands-on-easter-story.html and https://www.allageworshipresources.org/walk-holy-week-prayer-stations/ 

Easter skits for children and youth here. Perhaps good for church or in schools. https://www.sunday-school-center.com/easter-skits.html 

Youth group game: Palm Sunday here. https://ministrytoyouth.com/youth-group-games-on-palm-sunday/ 

Youth group game: Easter here. https://ministrytoyouth.com/youth-group-games-on-easter/ 

Holy Week Resurrection Eggs with kids here. https://www.faithward.org/diy-resurrection-eggs-for-holy-week/ 

Easter activity ideas for kids here. https://www.faithward.org/easter-activities-for-teaching-children-about-easter/ 

Resource bag ideas for families to use in Holy Week here. https://www.allageworshipresources.org/holy-week-bag/ 

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Ascension

Structured Services/Meetings

All age service ideas for Ascension here. https://www.allageworshipresources.org/the-big-story-of-god-10-jesus-is-king/ 

Ascension Service ideas from Roots with lots of activities and games here. https://www.rootsontheweb.com/seasons-and-festivals/church-seasons/easter/resources-for-celebrating-easter/ascension-day-resources/ascension-day-cyp 

Ideas about helping children connect Easter and Ascension in a session here. https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/2786/worship-for-kids-ascension-sunday-2017 

Session ideas for children on the Ascension, including a craft activity video here. https://ministry-to-children.com/bible-lesson-on-the-ascension/ 

An article on the Ascension through the eyes of a child here. https://buildfaith.org/ascension-through-the-eyes-of-a-child/ 

Ascension day activities within a session for kids from BRF here. https://www.brf.org.uk/product/ascension/ 

A collection of resources on Ascension from BRF here. https://www.brf.org.uk/topics/ascension/ 

Activities and Crafts

Ascension Bubbles – activity and prayer for younger children here. https://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2018/04/ascension-bubbles-activity-and-prayer.html 

Ascension Spiral Prayers for children here. https://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2014/05/ascension-spiral-prayers.html 

Reflections on Ascension day for teens here. https://fervr.net/bible/what-is-ascension-day/

Ideas for Ascension day at home, can be adapted for groups at church or outdoor activities here. https://buildfaith.org/celebrating-ascension-day-at-home/. 

Learning/Schools

Some facts about Ascension and historical practices from different countries here. https://nationaltoday.com/ascension-day/ 

Ascension Day assembly ideas from BRF here. https://www.brf.org.uk/product/ascension-day-a-presentation-on-the-theme-of-saying-goodbye/ 

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