Here at Orange, we’ve been having conversations with ministry leaders, teachers, and even parents. Just like you, these leaders have already pioneered several innovative solutions to help the kids in your ministry stay digitally connected. We want to share some of those amazing ideas here so we can learn from each other.
Heads up—there are dozens of ways to pull off each of these ideas. That’s why the list below is simply starting points. After all, what one group thinks is cool is what another group thinks is ridiculous (but you know, not in the cool way). So it’s important to contextualize and figure out how this works best in your context with your specific kids!
However, to ensure we keep kids safe online, we think the best platform for these ideas is a private Facebook group. A small group leader can invite parents to join and communication and activities can be centralized here.
Even better—if you have ideas of something you’ve seen or done that you’d like to submit to help other ministries, let us know and connect with us in our Facebook Community!
To keep your kids stay digitally connected, here are 20 ideas for the kids in your ministry.
1. Talent show
Using a group video chat (eg. Zoom), give each kid an opportunity to show off a talent (eg. sing a song, do stand up comedy, dance, share a drawing, solve a rubix cube, juggle a soccer ball, etc.). You could each contestant 90 seconds to demonstrate their talent then move to the next.
Alternatively, you could record the talent show. Pick the top 10 and invite parents and kids to view and vote! This is a super fun way to help keep kids digitally connected.
2. Netflix watch party
By getting your group together to watch a show or a movie, you create a fun environment for kids to stay connected.
There are a few ways you could do this. For a low tech option, tell everyone to start it at the same time and use the Facebook group feed to share comments. However, a higher tech option would be something like netflixparty.com.
Either way, stick with PG & G ratings and preview what you’re watching. One unexpected scene can cause you to lose trust.
To go even further, theme your movie snacks. Have each parent post a pic of the family eating their snack during the watch party.
3. “Nailed It”
Create your own version of Nailed It to keep kids digitally connected. It doesn’t have to be cooking, though. Post a pic of something with lots of toppings (eg. cake, pizza, or ice cream sundae). Challenge your kids to recreate what they see.
They can use the actual ingredients OR they can use any other household items to recreate your picture. Everyone posts their pictures and votes on whose is closest to the original.
4. Who’s that kid?
Have a kid in your group share a picture of them in costume and allow the rest of the group guess who it is. Send the winner a prize from Amazon!
5. Lunch chat
Another idea is to get your small group to jump on a video chat around lunchtime and just hang out while eating together. No real structure—just chilling while you have a sandwich!
6. Build a story
Pick an order, and each kid adds one sentence to the story. Build on each other’s creativity. See how long you can make the story!
Polls are such a quick and easy way to get kids digitally connected without a lot of commitment from them. They just have to click a button to vote.
You can use polls that ask
- Movies or shows they are watching
- Food they just ate
- Activities they like to do
8. Theme lunch
For a fun idea, take number five and spice it up! Theme the lunch! This could be a PJ party, Christmas party, hat party, costume party—basically any kind of party you can think of. Whatever it is, pick a theme, set a time for lunch, and encourage kids to go all out.
9. Virtual charades or Pictionary
Assign a game host. Divide the kids into teams or play every man for themselves. DM them the word or phrase. Then let the fun begin!
10. Highs and lows
After picking a time of the day/week that you will always be on Zoom, let kids know you want to hear the highs and lows of their day/week.
Another fun ideas is to have kids share about the best thing they did, the best thing they ate, the funniest thing they watched today. Don’t forget to explain to a kid what a superlative is!
12. Show and tell
To stay digitally connected, have each kid find three pictures or items around the house and share about them.
13. Serve together
Traditionally, serving together is a great way to build bonds between kids. For instance, a nursing home or medical facility your group can write notes of encouragement. Share the mailing address with your group and challenge everyone to send one card/letter.
14. Send snail mail
As of right now, the snail mail system is still up and running… While you still can, send your kids something in the mail!
15. Virtually go somewhere together
For a virtual field trip, go online to the aquarium, zoo, or national park livestream together. Then, have a group chat about it while you watch! So many places are offering these opportunities right now.
16. YouVersion digital devotionals
This one is specifically for our preteens. There’s probably no better time than now to help kids develop a daily habit of spending a few minutes reading the Bible and in prayer.
The YouVersion Bible App is a great place to do that. There are even reading plans for tweens and you can invite your group to do the devotionals with you.
17. Have a scavenger hunt
Give kids a scavenger hunt to stay digitally connected!
First, it can include stuff around their house:
- One sock
- Random spice
- Old family picture where someone is wearing a hat
Then, they can also find things outside:
- Leaf that has four different colors on it
Finally, they can find things online:
- Facts about a certain topic
- Article about a certain topic from a specific year
- YouTube tutorial with a certain fact
18. Lego challenge
19. Create your own Fortnite dance
To get kids excited, challenge your them to post a video of their own Fortnite dance and challenge them to dress up as their own version of a Fortnite character for their dance debut.
20. Build a Fort
For our last idea, you could challenge everyone in your group to build a fort using different household items. (With parents permission, of course!) Invite your kids to post pictures or videos of their construction and allow the group the opportunity to vote on the following:
- Most creative use of materials
- Best mansion fort
- Coolest tiny house fort
- Most elaborate fort
Join us to talk about what you’re doing
That’s it—20 ideas. Hopefully, that gives you something to help your kids stay digitally connected during this pandemic. Join our Facebook group to talk about what you’re working on. And we want to hear your brilliant ideas, too. Share them in the comments below or on the Facebook group. Can’t wait to hear from you!
For ideas on how to stay connected with small group leaders, read this blog!