Jan 21, 2014

The More They Wiggle, the More They Learn (why kids shouldn't sit still at church)

Do you find yourself saying any of these at church?

Sssshhhhhhh!

Sit still!

Quiet please!

No moving!

Keep your hands still!

If you grew up in the industrial age model of education, where everyone was placed in rows of chairs and told sit still and listen to the "lecture" up front, then you may be bringing that model to the next generation.

Only problem...that's not how kids are wired and that's not how they learn best.  Just because you and I (if you're over 30) had to sit quietly through hours of torture doesn't mean we should make today's kids do the same.

Studies show that kids learn best when they are active.  Kids who perform better in school are more likely to be physically active on a regular basis.

Adding movement to your class or worship environment at church will increase attention, behavior, and retention.

Here's some tips to get things moving...
  • Use motions with your songs.
  • Honor kids' attention span.  It maxes out at 5 minutes.  Don't make them sit still and listen to your "lecture" for more than 5 minutes at a time.  You can do a 20 minute "lesson" just break up the "talking head" with an activity every 5 minutes or less.
  • Play active games that reinforce the lesson.
  • Do crafts / activities that allow them to get up and move.
  • Get them involved in helping teach the lesson by acting it out.
  • Make motions for Bible verses they are memorizing.
Your turn.  The floor is yours.  What are some ways you get kids moving during their time at church?  What is one of your favorite activities or games you use to teach kids?

4 comments:

Amen! Couldn't have said it better, Dale. We love using the Throw and Tell Prayer Ball in our rooms! The kids love it!

Thanks Rochelle. Gotta love those throw and tell prayer balls.

Great reminders Dale!
Allowing them to get up and help teach a lesson, simply by going up front to hold objects, or help pass things out is also a great way to keep them involved and listening.

We stop every now and then for a JCDP Jesus Christ Dance Party led by Joey to let them bust their best moves and get the wiggles out!

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