#40 – Play With Them (Tips For Large Group Teaching)
Welcome to a continuing series of tips on working with large groups of children. I hope that you will find these tips useful and be able to implement them in your dealings with large groups of kids. If you do, please leave a comment and let us know. For a complete list of posts in this series, please see the index page. So, without further introduction, here is today’s installment.
There is no denying that kids like to have fun. Watch a group of five-year-olds with nothing to play with or play on, and they will still find some way to have fun. In our roles as teachers and disciple makers in Children’s Ministry, we sometimes lose sight of important things like having fun. One of the best ways I have found of forming lasting bonds with kids is to play with them. On Wednesday nights at Awana, surrounded by hundreds of kids, I always try to find some time to shoot some baskets, or push a kid on a scooter, or play catch. There is something about playing and having fun that forms a bond that conversation can’t match. In addition, it’s a good way to connect with shier kids who don’t like to talk. Whether you’re leading the kids in a game or just observing, get involved – play with them!
So, what does this look like in large group setting? Well, first of all, it means making sure that you take a serious, but still light hearted, approach to teaching. Just because the material we are teaching is on eternal importance doesn’t forbid us from having fun with the kids we have been given stewardship of. Make a joke here and there. Engage the kids in conversation. Laugh when you goof up (you will goof up at some point). Play games. Keep them guessing. Be goofy. Whatever you do, find a way to incorporate fun into your lesson. You won’t regret it.