In working with kids of any age, one of my go-to sentences is that downtime is of the devil. In other words, any time you have a lull in a ministry environment, such as a transition or looking for missing supplies or a distraction of some sort, kids will fill in that time with their own creativity. And not the type of creativity that usually benefits the whole class or the teacher!
In our family’s recent trip to Disney, I was super impressed with the parks new attempts to help parents out. I think they also realized that downtime is of the devil. There will always be lines at Disney because there are always 50 bazillion people there on a given day. Apparently Disney has recognized that waiting in lines can be the parents’ nightmare. Several attractions now feature interactive activities for kids to do while waiting.
My favorite was the new and improved Dumbo ride. We waited in line for a few minutes and were then escorted into a play area. We were given a pager, kind of like you get at a restaurant, that would indicate when it was our turn to go out to ride. The area was a huge climbing area with slides, noises, and a whole lot of fun. My girls loved it!
So in our ministries, most of us can’t build an interactive play area with a pager system. But we can identify the trouble downtime areas and look for creative solutions. Some churches set up game areas with either video games or non-plugged in alternatives. What can you do to better our kids’ experience in your ministries by being intentional about downtime?