Over the years I have carried a number things in my pockets prior to Children’s Church services that have helped me to connect with kids and sometimes, just for a laugh. Here are a few in no particular order that you might try – if you come up with a few, e-mail me and let me know… Better yet: send a response to this post with your thoughts!
A Pair of Pliers – every week, a kid will approach me and show me his/her loose tooth. I will say, “here, let me help you with that…” And I reach into my back pocket and display the pliers (The bigger, the better). “Open wide and you can get a visit from the tooth fairy tonite!” Kids will usually laugh and cover their mouths. Parents are amazed at how witty this is.
A small “nerf-like” ball – As the crowd gets bigger, I will just toss it out and have the kids toss it back. They actually go nuts over this. I have also used my juggling bean bags to toss one out during some juggling. Then have a kid toss it back. We see how far away I can toss it and catch it again and keep juggling.
A Small Birthday Candle and Kitchen Lighter – Somebody always tells me that their birthday is either coming up this week, or it was last week, or it’s their dog’s birthday. I pull out the little candle and light it while singing happy birthday in opera-style. They get to blow out the candle and I have all the kids who are nearby cheer for them, their dog or brother – whoever!
Pocket Magic Trick – This is an obvious one. But kids are always asking me to do a trick, so I have one in my pocket most times. Some suggestions – a thumbtip and thumbtip streamer, I produce the streamer from a borrowed dollar bill; Some coins for a few coin slieghts; sponge balls for a simple multiplying trick; Ring and a rope routine; check your local magic shops for these items.
Miniature Wallet – This is actually a magic trick that sells under the name “Mistaken Identity” I don’t actually do the trick part of it, I just use the little wallet. I scanned, shrunk, printed and laminated my driver’s license, credit cards, and family pictures I also bought some miniature play money to keep in it. And I talk about shrinking my wallet in the washing machine.
A Microphone Without A Cord – I will walk thru the crowd and pretend that I am a new reporter and interview kids with the microphone.
A digital camera – I learned this from my good friend, Chris Kliner. Just have the kids do funny faces, fun poses, actions etc. This keeps them occupied for a long time. Then, next week have the photos up on the big-screen, so all can see them.
Tiny Squirt Gun – During the hot months, kids show up at our church in shorts and t-shirts. So have a little squirt gun and just randomly squirt it over the crowd. The water lands on them and they don’t know where it comes from. I also get the back of kids’ legs. I will always give in and let a few kids, squirt me!
Pad of paper and pencil – I will draw pictures of kids in the audience. They are always funny looking “Kid-Art” type of drawings and the kids always laugh. So I sign it and give it to the kid that I drew a picture of. I also draw a “Droodle” and quiz kids to see if they know what it is.
ok, that’s enough for now – questions, e-mail me.