Upon searching for some interesting things to keep kids quiet and/or occupied during church services, I ran across this great idea called the "Quiet Bag." Click here if you want to read the entire post and comment series.
In the quiet bag are Christian books, workbooks, paper crafts, lacing cards,felts, etc . . . for the 4-6 year-olds and small hand-helds and board books for the wee ones, we especially like to take some Noah's ark animals and a wee felt ark. Our 8 yr old is getting to an age where he prefers to listen to the sermon and draw a little.
I also came across this idea (same website, again in the comment section of this post) for teaching kids corporately how to behave in church. Hey C-Stone family! While not all of this applies to our church, wouldn't this be a fun skit to do one day in Family Sunday School or during church?
At our church, all kids are expected to attend the worship service once they start Kindergarten and I feel very blessed that we have such a great preschool program for our 10 month old and 4 year old boys. Our oldest son, who is 6, attends church with us then goes on to his SS class when we go to ours. When the kids start kindergarten, they go to a crazy, over the top "I'm Big Enough" program. The couple that teaches music in the preschool will get up on stage with their kids, but the dad is dressed like a little boy...suspenders, shorts, knee socks and a cap...it's hilarious, especially since he has gray hair and a mustache!! There are three rows of 5 chairs on stage to represent "church" and he does ALL of the wrong things and the "mom" who is really his wife, struggles to keep him in line. He shouts and waves to his friends, squirms in his chair, lays in the floor, makes vroom noises with a toy car and puts his feet on the chair in front of him. During this time, someone else is narrating what's going on and asking the kids if they think this is what he should be doing? The kids love it and it really gives them a sense of what NOT to do. Once they have watched the program, they receive their own tote bag that says "I'm Big Enough" on it and they use this to keep quiet activities in for church. I make sure to always keep a folder of worksheets to slide in as well as Color Wonder markers/paper, a small etch a sketch, pipe cleaners (which are always a huge hit), dot to dot books, circle a word pages and picture search books We've been very proud of him and also surprised how much he learns from hearing our pastor's message.