Glow in the Dark Party
Halloween Alternative Party for Sunday School
Isaiah 60:1 "Arise shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen on you."
The world is in darkness without Jesus. It's their sin that blinds them and keeps them in darkness. Jesus said for us to be the light that shines in their darkness so they can "see" Him, but if "we" as God's children sin, we are adding to their darkness.
1. You will need a lamp. Tell the children to think of the lamp as a Christian and to watch what happens to the Christian (lamp) when he sins. Have the children take turns naming a sin. With each sin named, add a covering of dark material over the lamp until, eventually, the lamp has lost its light and has contributed to the darkness.
2. Use a lamp that has a three-way bulb in it and show how God wants our lives to shine brighter and brighter so the world can see Him.
3. You can also use a glow-in-the-dark object like a star to demonstrate how we need God's light in us in order for us to shine for Jesus. If you don't put the star in the bright light before you want to use it, it won't glow very bright. It is the same with people. We need to take time to be with Jesus through prayer and Bible study. We need to be exposed to God's light daily if we want to keep glowing for Jesus.
This Little Light of Mine
God creates the most amazing bugs! In North America, children have long chased Lightning Bugs (or fireflies), attracted by their blinking, glowing bodies as they fly in the night sky. Kids just seem to be naturally drawn to them.
The bright bodies of bumble bees may look scary, but without them we couldn't eat a plentiful variety of fruits and crops, all of which depend on the hard-working bee. Kids love their bright yellow and black bodies, which make them fun to draw. You can also make a fun game with it, though let the kids know to never actually wack our buzzing friends!
The Flashlight Finder
Young children love to play with flashlights, as well. It gives them power over darkness, and the beam seems magical as it bounces over the ceiling and walls. Use their love of flashlights to help teach the idea Jesus presents in Matthew 5:14-16, and have a great time doing it!
What you will need:
1. One flashlight per child.
2. A room free of clutter, with a wide, open space for playing.
How to play:
1. Children will shine lights in a darkened room for a count of five. Teacher/parent will say 'on' at the beginning of the time and 'off' at the end.
2. When children turn their flashlights off, they can move up to five steps in the dark. Remind them to move carefully (no running) to keep from bumping into each other.
3. With all lights off, teacher/parent tries to find someone. The person who is 'it' is also limited to five steps at a time.
4. Repeat flashing like lightning bugs until someone is caught and becomes the new 'it'.
Discuss with the children how it was hard to find each other with only a blinking light. Remind them that Jesus said we are the light of the world, and that only doing good deeds part of the time is like trying to find someone using a blinking light in a dark room. We should be like a light on a hill, not a lightning bug!
This game was contributed by Chris Molnar, editor of Themeaparty.com. Click here for more fun games, food recipes and ideas for birthday parties. Chris has two daughters, and helped coordinate the Bumblebee Bash as part of an outdoor Ladybug Theme Party, which all the kids loved!
1. Bring in Lite Brites and have the children spell out Jesus on it. Explain to the children that we are to be a Lite Brite that shows "Jesus" to those in darkness.
2. Have all the kids and teachers wear glow in the dark clothes, gloves, jewelry, caps, hats, shoes, etc. Award prizes to the most unique boy, girl & teachers that glows in the dark. If the children don't have glow-in-the-dark clothes, you can tell them to wear old clothes or clothes their parent don't mind them getting paint on and have them paint them with glow-in-the-dark paint. (I found the paint at Wal-mart). You can buy Glow in the Dark Bracelets, body glitter, and Glow Stick Glow Necklaces from Amazon.com or you local party store.
3. Have the children paint wooden or cardboard stars with glow-in-the-dark paint. Punch or drill a hole in them and hang them from the ceiling.
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1. Glow-in-the-dark stars - Kathy wrote that she would glue glow-in-the-dark stars on a cap and hang some with dark string from the cap so when she moves it will look like the stars are moving through space. You can buy Glow in the Dark Stars, Jar of Glow Stars Party Accessory, moon and star curtains, and footprints from S&S Worldwide or Amazon.com.
I will have black lights all around the room and you could also do a skit in the black light and have black light puppets.
Give Your Trick or Treaters Sweet Treats for Their Souls
Memory Crosses are a great way to share the gospel this Halloween. Children enjoy folding and unfolding them while more of God's sweet words are revealed with each fold. They're hard to put down because they are so intriguing.
1. Keys for Kids www.keysforkids.org , "Shine Today for Jesus" - This story talks about how sin in our lives is like having a piece of plastic between the contacts of the battery to the flashlight. Our light can't shine when we have sin in our lives
2. Keys for Kids, "April Birthday" www.keysforkids.org - This story devotion talks about how sin hinders your light.
3. Keys for Kids, "A Trip to Jewel Cave" www.keysforkids.org - Jesus is the light of the world.
1. "Shine Jesus Shine", "This Little Light of Mine", "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam", "Give Me Oil in my Lamp" and "God Is Light".
Just a note to thank you so much for the "Glow in the Dark" party idea from your web site.
After I read it on your site, I proposed, planned and implemented a Halloween alternative/community outreach for October 31st. We had three centers (much like a VBS set up) with games, crafts, and food. We started and ended with a 1/2 hour song/object lesson in the sanctuary. It ran from 6:30 to 9:00, which was a little long on a weeknight, especially for the younger kids, but it gave everyone a 1/2 hour at each station. We had three groups (pre-K/K, 1-2-3rd grades, and 4-5-6 grades).
Games - I had glow in the dark beach balls, which we used for various relay races. We also had a bean bag toss and a "break the balloon" dart game, for which the children (ages pre-K through 6) won prizes Pre-K/K group went last and instead of throwing darts, we let them step on the balloons.
Food - Pizza, hot dogs, cookies, and a cake decorated like a lighthouse with the words: "Let your light shine". Glycol-colored punch (mountain dew with blue punch to make an eerie color, lime sherbet) was also a hit. If we keep it at 1/2 hour next year, we'll have some games in there as well.
Crafts - We decorated in orange and lime green, with orange, yellow, and green balloons, and orange light strands in the games area. We advertised through public service announcement in the paper and on the radio. Also sent flyers home to the afterschool programs at the YMCA/YWCA and Salvation Army. We charged a nominal $3.00 fee in order to get a better number in advance; however, next year (we are repeating it!) it'll most likely be free in order to get more children attending.
Worship - we sang great action songs, and included "Shine, Jesus, Shine" and "This Little Light of Mine". Pastor read a Christian book about the jack o'lantern and we handed out glow sticks to the kids - we told them that just as you have to break the stick on the inside in order for the light to shine, you need to be broken before the holy spirit's and God's light can shine through you. The best part was that the teens ran the worship service and the younger kids (and visiting parents!) were able to feel and see the love and energy from the teens. It was great even for the parent volunteers.
We normally have 15 kids on Wednesday night (our church runs about 100 families), and we had nearly 40 for the party. Next year we'll have more pre-party assistance (I did all of it myself this year) and I think I'll assign different portions of the parties to different adult Sunday School classes so that publicity can be improved.
We gave away goody bags with various glow in the dark stuff and candy, but included a bookmark with a lighthouse pin and the verse in John "I am the Light of the World". We also included a Halloween tract on "Masks".
Everyone was very pleased with the party, and we look forward to doing it again next year. We've had good community response and have had several visitors to our service since.
Thanks again for the idea! I do use your lessons each week (I teach 1st through 6th grades on Wednesday nights) and really like the way they work with the kids.
Elgin (IL) Church of the Nazarene
I had a Glow
In The Dark Party for my preschool Sunday school class this week.
I used some of the ideas from your site, but I added some of my own.
As the children arrived, we gave them all a glow necklace and their goody bag for decorating. Me and my helpers also wore glow necklaces, that way when the lights were turned off we could still see each other. We ate first and then had a lesson, songs and games that we played in the dark.
For my lesson, I used a light stick (the kind that you break and then they glow). The light stick represented a person who does not know Jesus. We then turned off the lights and let the darkness represent the world that this person lived. The reason the world is so dark is because of the sin in the persons life. We are all born into sin and can only overcome the darkness of sin through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. The person is invited to church and prays with the minister during the altar call. (this is where you break the light stick) The person has received the gift of salvation and his sins are forgiven and washed away. When Jesus enters our heart, it is Him that shines through us. The more we learn about Him, the closer we get to Him. (shake the stick until it is bright) The closer we get to Him, the more He shines through us. Next, we turn the lights back on, give the children a light stick to put in their goody bags and end the lesson with "The next time you see a light stick, remember the light of Jesus and think about how brightly it is shining through you!!"
We sang "This Little Light of Mine", "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam", "Give Me Oil in my Lamp" and "God Is Light". The children really enjoyed the up-beat songs with clapping and dancing.
We played games with glow items in the dark. My favorite game I titled "Following In Jesus' Footsteps". Buy Glow in the Dark Footprints and place them in a funny pattern around the room, just far enough apart for the children to step in them. We took off our shoes and took turns following in Jesus' footsteps in the dark. The children did this game two or three times each.
We played glow ring toss, using glow sticks for the target and our glow necklaces for rings.
We played a glow bouncing ball game, using glow balls that have bumps all over them. These balls bounce all over the place and are hard to make a goal with, but the children loved this game too!
In our other game, we used glow moons and stars in an "over-under game". I stood at the front of the line and passed the person behind me a star or moon. The stars were passed over the head and the moons were passed under the legs. We played this game two or three times too!
None of the games were competition games, so everyone received a glow prize after each game. Before we went home, I high-lighted the lesson again and we sang the songs again. This was really enjoyed by children and parents. I have already been asked three times "Can we do this again?" There is nothing more pleasing than to see my children learn about Jesus and have so much fun doing so that they want to do it again. Theresa Bostick
Most of the ideas come from Kathy Foster, River of Praise Church in Tomball, Texas.
We did the Glow party at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Evansville Wi. around Halloween. It was a hit. We prerecorded the Bible verse. When we played it we lit sparklers in the kitchen. The kids really had a good time.