Fathers Day Ideas

21 May

News and Teaching Ideas from Mary Rice Hopkin’s

Nothing Measures How Great
You Are

Materials Needed:
White construction paper, coloured construction paper, rulers, pens, crayons, coloured pencils, and glue.

Activity: Have the children fold the white construction paper in half the long way and decorate the front with crayons or coloured pencils. Then they trace a ruler on a coloured sheet of construction paper, mark the lines, write the numbers and glue to the top of the card. Under the ruler they write “NOTHING . . .”
Inside the card they write:
“measures how great you are!” and sign it.

3D Fathers day Card

Materials Needed: Construction paper, glue, tape, markers, crayons, craft wire, moveable eyes, buttons, and other add-ons which you may have on hand.

Children create an outer space creature which holds two signs: “Happy Father’s Day” and “You are out of this world.”
Inside they may write any message they wish.

Father’s Day Discussion

Materials Needed:
30 cm length of red wool for each child and a Bible.

Open your Bible to Exodus 20:12 and read: “Honour your father.”

Ask, “What does honour mean?” (Respect, appreciate)

Your father may be absent in your life and that’s hard, isn’t it?
You may think that your father does not even deserve honour, respect and appreciation. With help from God our Heavenly Father, those whose fathers are not involved in their lives can become stronger. Let’s bow our heads for prayer.

(Pray generally for children who have absent fathers that they will rely more on God their Heavenly Father.)

What qualities do you admire in your father? (Let children respond.)

We show love by our actions. What are some things you can do to make your father happy?”

Now I want you to think of ONE thing you can do today or this week to make your father happy. So you won’t forget, I’m going to tie a red bow on your finger. When you see that red bow, it will remind you to do what? (Show love to your father by doing your specific action.)

Love from Mary Hopkins Rice


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“All I Ever Really Needed To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum

16 Mar

A while back, a man named Robert Fulghum wrote and essay with the title above. Some may have read it because it has been reprinted in several places. But I thought it would be worth giving here. So here goes.

“Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

“These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm biscuits and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life.
  • Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and work everyday some.
  • “Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out into the world, watch for traffic.
  • Hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder.
  • Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

    “Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even a little seed in the plastic cup – they all die. So do we.

    “Think of what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had biscuits and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together. ”
    For other hints and tips visit us at SANSSA

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  • Sunday School Scavenger Hunt

    4 Nov

    Hi there SANSSA Teachers

    I’ve got a really fun activity that you can work into your Sunday School Lesson this week!

    It’s called a “People Scavenger Hunt”, and it’s a great way to help your students develop a connection
    with several people in your church.

    I feel strongly that there is a high correlation between children knowing a lot of people at church and their attendance.

    The more children feel like they belong to a church community, the more likely they will WANT to participate.

    Let’s get the kids out of their Sunday School classroom and encourage them to build some new friendships!

    Create a “People Scavenger Hunt” handout that is tailored to your church membership.

    Here’s a look at 5 of the items on my church Scavenger Hunt:

    1) Find three people who sing in a choir, and have them sign below:

    2) Have a pastor of our church sign here:

    3) Find a person who helps keep the church clean,and have them sign here:

    4) Find a parent of one of your Sunday School classmates, and have him or her sign here:

    5) Find a person who greets people before church, and have him or her sign here:

    Once you develop your handout, print out enough copies for all the children in your class.

    Encourage your students to approach people in church to help them complete their scavenger hunt.

    You may want to announce this activity during a church service so folks know what all this excitement is about.

    Give the kids a couple weeks to complete their Scavenger Hunt and offer a small prize or round of applause to any child who completes the hunt.

    I’d love to hear how this activity goes if you give it a try!


    Teacher Tips courtesy of Mary-Kate especially for SANSSA

    2506 N. Clark Street #284
    Chicago, IL

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    Sunday School Newsletter

    2 Nov

    Do you have a Sunday School Newsletter at your church? It just might be an idea that will help boost your Sunday School numbers.

    Once a month, send your students home with a short newsletter explaining:

    • The upcoming events in Sunday school
    • The focus of the lessons. 

    By informing parents of activities and goals, they will be more likely to believe in the power of Sunday school and commit to taking their child each week. 

    This also helps you connect with parents and show that you are interested and involved in their children’s lives.  With a connection comes trust, the best mechanism for increasing attendance.

    Give it a try this month- I’d love to know your findings…Talk Soon,

    2506 N. Clark Street, #284Chicago,
    IL60614, USA

    Sent especially to SANSSA by Mary-Kate.

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    Superintendents Guide to Training their Staff #1

    7 Sep

     Make Training Happen!

     (An overview of how to make training your volunteers happen in your Sunday School, and find creative ways to build a close-knit community)

     See the big picture of Training

     Plan an annual calendar of Teacher training strategies and enrichment events that work for your church, and see your ministry grow.


    Let’s stop to consider how many parts there are to the Teacher’s job in your Sunday School:

    • Planning

    • Knowing correct Policies and Procedures

    • Knowing correct Child Safety Policies

    • Understanding the different Age Characteristics

    • Handling Discipline Challenges correctly

    • Appropriate Teaching Methods

    • Story-telling

    • Leading Group Discussions

    • Good use of different Media

    …. And so many more!

     Therefore, no matter what it is called – Teacher training, orientation, enrichment, or networking – the process of building up good skills of your volunteer teachers and helpers plays a very significant part of any Children’s ministry or Sunday School within the local church.

     Follow Jesus’ training style, and, just as He had a three-year plan for His volunteers (He called them), so you, too, need to have a training plan for your staff.

     Start planning today!


    Gods word is a complete mapbook

    6 Sep

    “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You” Psalms 119:11.

    This weekend as our training team from SANSSA on their way to Bethlehem in the Free State, to run a Discover Teaching course, we had an interesting exercise in travelling, when you have no idea where you are going.

    We were given lots of advice and differing opinions about how to get there and ended up going 90kms extra.

    This reminded me that it is so easy to listen to the many voices telling you how to live your life.

    We can have a built in GPS which can have updates added everyday.

    When we have given our hearts to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is present with us to lead and guide us. As we daily read God’s Word we have one complete guidebook.

    When we daily download God’s word into our spirits, we have the only reliable information that will get us through the unfamiliar territory of our lives and help us to arrive safely at our destination of life with Him forever!

    Spiritual, emotionally and intellectually , each of us daily moves through new and uncharted territory, in our lives. We are all going forward to an unknown place and its no wonder we end up lost and confused.

    As we study the map book God has given us, we will find that it is reliable and will keep us from wandering and wondering in our lives.

    As Sunday School teachers, we then need to help our learners to realise this truth, that Gods word is a complete map book for their lives.

    The younger they are to discover this truth, the less chance there is for them to get lost on the way.

    Give them a love of reading their map book and thereby you will help them to be constantly downloading life changing instructions and principles into the GPS in their hearts. Then the Holy Spirit can use this to guide them.
    Help your learner to find the best route possible to their God given destination of a life with Him forever.

    Don’t let your own map book become outdated or unreliable but keep it fresh in your mind and heart!

    Out of the abundance of your heart will flow streams of living water.

    Don’t let them Loose the Art of Reading!

    1 Sep

    “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Ps 119:105.

    As children read, understanding grows. Reading is hard work but do it in your classes anyway.

    This verse speaks of growth. Grow in your learners a desire to read the Word of God.

    As the digital era grows and expands it is easy to relegate books into the annuls of history.

    South Africa today has a high illiteracy rate, but you as a Sunday School teacher can help reverse this and you can be part of preserving the art and love of reading.

    Letting your learners read in class may be slow and painful but persevere in letting them discover for themselves the joy and reward of reading and studying God’s word.

    During lesson time use your Bible and keep your lesson plan and notes in your bible and refer back to it rather than only using your lesson book. This will show the children that you teach from God’s book and not from man’s book.

    Encourage the children to read God’s word at home. If they don’t have their own Bibles encourage the adults in the church to donate some or have a fund raising drive to buy some.

    Most of the children today are exposed to a high-tech world, so picture books can be a great high-touch interest corner for your class.

  • Try to have books about the Holy Land so that children can see what a well is or a water jar.
  • Use a Bible atlas along side a modern atlas to help children realise that the people and places of the Bible really exist.
  • For younger children have books with a few clear pictures and not a lot of words.
  • For older children include more advanced picture books and some children’s Bible story books.
  • Have someone around to talk about the books with the children and who can ask them open ended questions to stimulate their thinking.

    Life is caught not taught and the model of the adult, will shape the child. You will soon have them longing to read on their own.

    Give them a thirst for God’s Word – Jesus Christ!

  • Anonymous, but Indispensable!

    31 Aug

    Just a bit of encouragement!

     …parts… that seem… least important are… most necessary. 1 Corinthians 12:22

    In his book Encourage Me, Charles Swindoll asks the following questions: ‘Who taught Martin Luther his theology and inspired his translation of the New Testament? Who visited Dwight L. Moody at a shoe store and spoke to him about Christ?… Who financed William Carey’s ministry in India? Who refreshed the Apostle Paul in that Roman dungeon as he wrote his last letter to Timothy?… Who followed Hudson Taylor and gave the China Inland Mission its remarkable vision and direction?… What was it Jim Elliot, the martyred messenger of the Gospel to the Aucas in Ecuador, once called the missionaries? Something like “a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody”. But don’t mistake anonymous for unnecessary. Otherwise, the whole body gets crippled… even paralysed… or, at best, terribly dizzy as the majority of the members… become diseased with self-pity and discouragement. Face it, friend, the head of the body calls the shots. It is His prerogative to publicise some and hide others. Don’t ask me why He chooses whom He uses. If it’s His desire to use you as a Melanchthon rather than a Luther… or a Kimball rather than a Moody… or an Onesiphorus rather than a Paul… or a Hoste rather than a Taylor, relax! Better than that, give God praise! You’re among that elite group mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. ‘”God has put the body together in such a way that extra honour and care are given to those parts that might otherwise seem less important”‘ (vv. 22-24 TLB). So be encouraged: you may be anonymous, but you’re indispensable!

    Hello world!

    26 Aug

    Welcome to SANSSA Christian Education Ministries


    The Vision of SANSSA is to lead the Christian Churches of Southern Africa in developing and supporting world class educators to establish foundations of faith and a growing relationship with the living God’.

    The Mission of SANSSA is to focus on Educator Development and Support thereby ensuring Learner Development and Community Building.

    As this Blogg is for you, please network with us, and other educators, by letting us know what topics you would like discussed or need help with.

    Give us your feedback on articles featured. Let us know your Triumphs and trials so we can rejoice with you or help you.

    Share with us things that may have worked for you and that you feel may be helpful to others.

    We will be featuring helpful teaching tips as well as giving valuable information about different topics related to teaching or managing your Sunday School. If we don’t have an answer we will refer you to others who may be able to assist you with your challenges.

    Should you not already be a member of SANSSA and want more information regarding our membership, training courses or other teaching materials, contact us in one of the following ways:

    Tel: +2711 6142329 or
    Email: sanssanat@telkomsa.net
    Website: http://www.sanssa.org

    We look forward to networking with you as you follow the calling God has placed in your heart, to train up a child in the way he should go.

    Yours truly,

    Penny McBride
    National President