Small Group Ideas
- Think, pair, share. Give children time to reflect/think without talking, then time to talk with their partner and finally share with whole group. This is a helpful culture to establish in a group. It restricts talkers who contribute at the expense of non-talkers and ensures everyone has stopped to think.
- Use a small egg timer for moments that you would like them to quietly reflect or write down thoughts. Kids love having a turn at turning it over.
- Sit opposite children who are quiet. The increased eye contact means it’s more likely that the quiet child will talk.
- Paired activities. Pair quieter kids with talkers, kids with good Bible knowledge with those who have less, new kids with kids gifted in welcoming…
- Invite children who talk a lot to sit beside you. Less eye contact means it’s more less likely that the talker will over talk.
- Aim to get kids responding to kids and not just to you. When a child answers, rather than affirming or correcting them, ask the group… What do you think about what they said? Do you agree? Does anyone have anything else to add? Does anyone have a question they’d like to ask them about what they said?
- Ask opened ended questions rather than closed questions. Closed question: Did Jesus stay dead? Open-ended question: What does the Bible say happened to Jesus after he died?
- Give children time to think of an answer by asking children to rest their hand on their knee and hold their thumb up to indicate that they’ve thought of an answer. Don’t ask for answers till all children have their thumbs up.
- Every small group time ensure kids have activities that require them to move or do something with their hands – matching activities, sequencing activities, cartooning, gap activities, word puzzles, draw pictures, create mind maps, write lists, retell stories, modelling activities, create PowerPoints, take photographs, group dramas/role plays…
- Ask children to hold one thumb up when they have their answer to the question. Leader then waits till all children have their thumb up before asking each child to share his or her answer.
- Have a group scrapbook where each week a member records the big idea and a group prayer.