Archive for Resources to Teach Kids/Youth

Ways to Expose our Children to Hard Topics – resources

Organizations with Specific Curriculum for Kids:

RedCardKids (8 week DVD interactive curriculum).

Weave (A Blog with ideas on it)

Justice Kids (Activities/teaching to buy)

Harvest Ministries

  • free downloadable curriculum

Compassion International and World Vision resources

YWAM and Kids of Courage (under Voice of the Martyrs)

  • free and purchasable resources


DO: Underground Railroad Re-enactment or visit a historic trail

GO: Go to representatives and senators to advocate for those in slavery with petitions

WATCH: Stolen Childhoods DVD

READ: Iqbal or The Carpet Boy’s Gift


DO: Go barefoot for a week (feel for those without shoes)

DO: Build a community development project with Legos

DO: Wear the same clothes for a week…wash by hand

GO: Visit an AIDS clinic here. Contrast with AIDS in Africa

CRAFT: Make soccer balls out of plastic bags like in developing world countries (GAME—play soccer with it)

CRAFT: Give kids a bunch of recyclables that they have to make toys out of (Recycled magazine bead necklaces are really fun, as are cardboard box cars with bottle top lids as wheels.)

LEARN: Where you are among the wealthiest in the world:

GAME: Tribe by World Vision

WATCH: Journey to Jamaa at or 58


DO: Do a Walk for Water

DO: Don’t use water in your home for a week. Walk to a friends’ house for a week for your water supply for all your needs.

Chart Water Use in Your home & compare it to other countries.

LEARN: Learn about bottled water (The Water Project website has a great deal of resources).

READ: A Long Walk to Water

WATCH: Sabina’s Shoes on YouTube


DO: Host a WAR (Women at Risk) party to purchase these items made by women at risk while learning about them

WATCH: Girl Rising

READ: Beatrice’s Goat

GAME: Play a game (maybe a scavenger hunt of needed items), but give all the girls their instructions in a gibberish language


WATCH or DO: 30-Hour Famine Videos through World Vision

GAME: Split up kids and give some lots of animal crackers, some a few, some one or none to represent the distribution of food. Let them discuss their reactions to their differing food amounts and then reveal the hunger levels of different countries.

DO: Rice/Beans for a Month or Famine meal of Cornmeal/Soy Mush

READ: The Good Garden

DO: Digging out of recyclables for money or food tokens

Refugees of War/Immigrants:

GAME: Pack up a suitcase quickly as if having to flee in war

DO: Visit and serve a refugee family that recently moved here

GAME: Blindfold a child. Put balls on the ground in front of him/her and a prize somewhere around too. The balls represent mines that could kill or injure the child, but the prize is food (that the child’s family desperately needs).

READ: Four Feet, Two Sandals

WATCH: Under the Same Moon


DO: Eat out of can of beans/sleep on cardboard

GAME: Building a home out of different trash-like materials

GO: Sleep in a hostel downtown somewhere, visit urban ministries down there, and prayer walk!

CRAFT: Make homeless packs of food/toiletries with cards for homeless you might meet

WATCH: Pursuit of Happyness

READ: A Shelter in Our Car


GAME: Underground Church Service—Make secret signs to find the church, share small verse during the quiet, Have it get interrupted by the “police”.

CRAFT: Make parachutes for Bibles dropping down in closed countries—Voice of the Martyrs

DO: Write to prisoners from Voice of the Martyrs to see how precious and costly faith is.

READ: Window on the World Book about people of the world or Voice of the Martyrs Magazine

WATCH: Voice of the Martyrs animated movies

Exhibits around the country that allow you to walk through the stories and sights/sounds of poverty and oppression:

World Vision AIDS Experience Exhibit (traveling)

REAL Life Exhibit with Medical Teams International in Oregon

Traveling Compassion Int. Experience

Wayumi in Pennsylvania – a retreat center of New Tribes Missions teaching about indigenous people

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10 Ways to Teach Youth about Diseases that Most Impact the Poor

1.       Research Diseases that Kill People around the World. 

What percentage of kids between the ages of 0-5 die?

How many diseases come from water?  (see water link to teach more )

Have kids stand in line for a doctor…(give them each stories of what diseases they have, how long they walked to get there…then only half actually get to see the doctor for that 1 day he is in the village…the rest will have to wait until next month  he is in town, leaving several to likely die).  I have a handout here Health Line

2.       Malaria Resources

Nickles for Nets (Skeeter Tag is Great)

Free from Group (Comes with a net)

Stand 4 Kids

3.       Books about Maleria

Little Things Make Big Differences by John Nunes

4.      Books about HIV

I Know Someone with HIV/AIDS by Elizabeth Raum

Books by JAWS HIV/AIDS group

The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis

5.       DVDs about HIV

Journey to Jamaa,

Beat the Drum

Angels in the Dust (for a little older audience)

6.       Pack caregiver packages

(or bandaid kids to send to missionaries)

7.       Learn about Missionaries who heal the sick in body and soul

Hudson Taylor and David Livingstone as a starter

Modern Day ones are abundant and you can write to them

8.       Stories of Youth Heroes

Hoops for Hope


9.       Books about Other Diseases

Not Forgotten by Cal Ainley

10.       GO!

Go international (you can’t catch HIV by touching/hugging…and you can take Malaria meds/other vaccinations)

Go local to an HIV hospice/home or to the hospital/nursing home nearby (big hospitals have a pediatric HIV unit…serve there)

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10 Ways to Teach Youth about Water

1.        Do a Walk for Water

We planned ours with many stations:

2.       Chart Water use/ Compare internationally (see if you can limit water use to what a person does in Africa or rural Asia)

3.       Research Diseases from Dirty Water / Deaths caused by them

4.       Stories of People who Walk for Water

5.       Resources Online:

6.       Learn about Bottled Water


7.       Books

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

I Walk for Water by Lindsey Andrews and Jerry Bennett 

8.       DVDs – Flow, Blue Gold, Tapped (all documentaries)

9.       Go where people don’t have clean water

Take a trip!…  at least virtually

10.   Stories of Youth Heroes

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10 Resources to Teach Youth about Hunger

1.       30 Hour Famine experience, resources, videos and games!  Feeling hunger (even if it is just a juice fast) and doing it with others!

2.       Do a Food Packing Event  – Pack food (rice/beans and more) for people internationally that are served by organizations and churches who follow up with them

3.       Rice and Beans Week….or Month  Save money and time, feel hunger,  gain perspective

4.       Play Games

5.       Resources to Teach:

6.       Search through trash for Food

Get clean recyclables and put food (pieces of paper that list what food or lack of food is found) in the pile of “trash”.  Have kids search for their food.  What did they find.  I have the papers already on file.  Get that here: HUNGER GAME

7.       Go where people are hungry – Homeless Shelters, Food Kitchens or on an international trip where one is quickly humbled by our food intake, options, etc

8.       Books  – Tight Times by Barbara Hazen, The Good Garden by Katie Milway, Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan

9.       Stories of Youth Hungry 

The best ones are on the DVDs of the 30 hour famine


10.   Stories of Heroes (if the Justice League is doing it….us Christians ought to be more!)

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In need of HEROES

Heroes – Our kids need heroes!.  Now, I am not opposed to superheroes and I like Star Wars and all that (more than I am willing to admit as I bust out my Yoda talk), but they REALLY need realistic heroes that are doing things that last for eternity…

Missionary Heroes of the past:

LOVE the YWAM books on past missionaries and here are extra materials to support those readings:


Zach Hunter:  – now used at IJM ! fighting slavery

Austin Gutwein   fighting AIDS

Africrans by Amerikids  fighting slavery

Isabel  helping those with no shoes

also…   and

easy way for any kid to get involved:

There are so many AWESOME heroes for our kids – we don’t need superheroes – these heroes are doing amazing, sacrificial, counter-cultural, eternal things!

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Global VBS – 2012

Last year (2011) we found an EXCELLENT curriculum called the 10/40 Expedition for VBS’s.  We tweaked it a little so that the craft time was actually service time (instead of making an African craft, we packed food bags for the homeless, etc), but it was certainly a complete, extraordinary curriculum.  IT was out of the ordinary, but very moldable to our desires.  I am so grateful for those who made it.

This year, God provided another curriculum to meet our needs.  It was Hero Headquarters (Where kids can join forces WITH God).  The camp was intended to be a normal VBS, but it did have an extra push for service and God’s heart for the poor/oppressed.  We added/tweaked a lot, but the curriculum allowed it and had all the structure we needed.  The skits we goofy and fun. We collected food throughout the week for a food pantry and money for a leprosy project of one of our church missionaries (who was here to share).

I can’t remember how the original curriculum went, but this is how we did it (again – we changed a lot):


Day 1

Bible Story – The Boy who offers his fish and loaves

Focus – Serving the Hungry

Craft – decorate hero cape (to be worn the rest of the week) and make a magnet to go on the fridge to remind us to serve the hungry

Game – Dig for food in trash (clean recyclables).  Each child finds food (a piece of paper that tells them if/what they found for food that day).  Very impactful

Missionaries – The teens had just gotten back from Paraguay and talked about serving in many ways there

Evangelism Training – Wordless Bracelets/Book Colors


Day 2

Bible Story – Men who lowered friend through roof before Jesus to have him healed

Focus – Prayer

Missionaries – Friends in serve in the Middle East among Muslims and need lots of prayer

Craft – Made soccer balls out of plastic bags like kids do all around the world when they don’t  have actual soccer balls

Game – Soccer (International Sport)

Evangelism Training – Jesus/Cross as Bridge between Man on one cliff and God on other and other analogies


Day 3

Bible Story – Contrast of Rich Young Ruler and Widow’s Mite

Focus – Giving

Missionaries – Missionary from Sudan who we were giving toward that week

Craft – make bank out of water bottles

Game – Water walking game (learning about water issues globally)

Evangelism Training – wordless skits used in evangelism


Day 4

Bible Story – Esther

Focus – Standing Up

Missionary – Women who worked to fight child labor/slavery

Craft – Making red hands (to remind us to stand up) and putting hands on Red Hand Campaign protest poster

Game –  Stand up for someone

Evangelism Training – Evangecube


Day 5

Bible story – Philip Evangelizes

Focus – Sharing our Faith

Missionary – Women who led families to poor communities in Canada and serves locally and shares faith

Craft – Making a tract to share own faith with colors

Game – Obstacle Course of getting the Bible to someone

Evangelism Training – What is a testimony?  Do you have one?  How do you give one?


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Earth Day – Got Water?….or Got Waterbottle?

Water is the basis for life and thus community development.  We want to bless the world with education and health, but usually water must come first.  If you have education without water, you still spend all day getting water and can’t go to that school.  If you have a doctor and no clean water, you are getting sick over and over from the dirty water.  If you have good food and dirty water, the food doesn’t stay in you because you get so sick.  It is more essential than we can quite understand, since water is so accessible to us, everywhere.

Some humbling stats:

1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe   drinking water, roughly one-sixth of the world’s population.

2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them   children, die every year from diseases associated with lack   of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

• Some 6,000 children die every day from disease associated   with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene   – equivalent to 20 jumbo jets crashing every day.

• 80 percent of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water

Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering  from water related illnesses.

Waterbottles – the purchase of indulgence:

  • $100 Billion dollars a year is spent on the bottled water a year worldwide
  • $15 Billion dollars a year is spent by the U.S. a year on bottled water
  • YET it would take only $10 Billion dollars a year to get clean water to everyone who doesn’t have it

You know Fiji water?  We ship in Fiji water (all the while polluting in order to ship it to us, while we have clean tap water) because a company (a buisness that wants to make money off of us) owns that water sournce in Fiji yet 55% of the people of Fiji don’t have access to clean water.  How sick is that? The company has started some community projects to “give back”….but I’m thinking the water should just be theirs?    

Why can’t I just give to water projects?  Well – that is a great start….and CRAZY important.  Sponsorship also covers those bases.  But here is the deal why I personally am trying to get bottled water totally out of my families’ lives.  Those who have the water, go where the money is.  Since they have seen that people buy bottled water, they are using their resources into where the money is, instead of keeping tap water safe.  There are many places in India and elsewhere that USED to be safe, but since bottled water became such a fad, they aren’t safe anymore.  The actual purchasing of bottled water is like voting.  We vote to say that we want the resources to go for bottled water instead of safe water everywhere to everyone.  The dumps are filling up with bottles (and even if they are recycled, the energy used to recycle the bottles is enormous and unnecessary).  The buzz is starting, but it isn’t loud: (these are INSIGHTFUL sites)   and .

Please share the story.  It is an Earth Day story, but more than that – it is a compassionate living story.  We care about both for the world thirsty for water and for God.  We care about it for the world we hand off to our children.  It is easy for me to say “Oh, I’ll just grab a bottled water somewhere today if I’m running late, instead of running back inside and grabbing a reusable water bottle in a whole 30 seconds more”, but in that action, I’m saying something about how I feel about the world.

Ways to engage our children:

1 – An excellent intro video to Water issues: (World Vision Water Video) – It is child appropriate and engaging ( There are other great solutions for disease control, like water filtration systems, but those doesn’t solve the problem of time used getting the water).

2 – Empower them with the story of another kid who changed the world of water:

3 – Offer our children muddy water for a meal- see how they respond, tell them this is what 1/6 of the world drinks, even though they know it makes them sick

4 – Use a large cooler and have children lift it to see how heavy water is that children their age have to carry long distances

Compare these stats visually for them:  The average American uses 176 gallons of water per day compared to 5 gallons of water the average African family uses each day

U.S is by far the biggest water users in the world:

5 – Do a water walk

6 – Limit the amount of water your household can use to an extremely small amount for a day – for all activities.  See how hard it is.

7 – Challenge your family to not buy waterbottles, unless they are ones you can use over and over.   (have your kids keep you accountable – they will!)

8 – Go off of all other drinks but water and use whatever money you’d use on other drinks and give to a water project.

The hope…that we might offer water for healthy life and true life:

” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”  Rev. 22:17

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