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This forum is collecting Sunday School classroom supply and resource suggestions, links, and discussions. It includes the "What's in Your Supply Closet" topic and a discussion about Bibles for kids. Lesson plans and ideas for specific Bible stories are organized by story in our Lesson Forums. You can also post your questions about lessons, supplies and resources in the Teachers Lounge.

Sunday School Supplies

supplyclosetWhat's in your Sunday School Supply Closet?

We asked our members to submit their "must have" and "unusual" supplies, materials, objects, props, tools, and toys they have found indispensable.

Your "must have" suggestions welcome!



Member Neil MacQueen kicks off the topic with a short list....

  1. Canvas tarps
    Great for skits, instant wells/walls/backdrops. Help protect floors, etc.

  2. Glue gun
    For projects that need strong glue and fast drying times.

  3. LCD projector
    I use my small portable LCD projector with a laptop/iphone in many different workshops for maps, pics, video clips, showing photos, etc.

  4. Question/quiz buzzers. buzzers
    Makes discussion and quizzing more fun.

  5. Heavy duty stapler
    With both long and short staples.

  6. Box of costumes, "biblical looking fabrics" and funfur beards
  7. Construction paper (just kidding!)


Post yours....

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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A list from Central United Methodist Church, Meridian MS...


1. Colored plastic tablecloths, ceiling hooks, clothespins and T-pins

We use colored plastic tablecloths for so many things we joke that we could write a book! We drape ceilings, make water and flames..the list goes on.

2. Paint Tarps: We also use painters tarp for backgrounds, covering items we don't want to show, roads, etc.

3. Painted styrofoam coolers (to make bricks/buildings)

A local compounding pharmacy gives us these and we paint them to make stone bricks for building walls and towers.

4.  Wood to build frames with, and cover to make houses, temples, booth.  These screw together so use them in various forms. Cover them as the houses for our Passover unit, secret church for our Sudan workshop, a ticket booth for VBS, turned on its side for a manger scene, as a tunnel for a game etc., stacked for an ark.

5. Coffee cans filled with concrete with a pvc pipe stand in it. We cover the PVC by sliding foam pool noodles over them and attach signs to them throughout the year.

6. Rope light, Christmas lights, and net lights.

7. Laptop, projector and MICCA Media Player device for playing media in other locations outside of our gathering room.

A Micca device is a portable digital media player, providing convenient playback of all popular photo, music, and video formats that you've put on a USB flash stick. Can play full-HD resolution on any TV or HDTV via either newer HDMI digital cable plug, or composite AV ("rca plug") cables that plug into older analog TVs.  

Here are some photos of our creative supplies being used!

IMG_1407IMG_9769IMG_1388

"Jerusalem Tours" Rotation Sunday School at
Central United Methodist Church, Meridian MS

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  • Burning bush: Rocks, tarps, coffee can posts with plagues, Burning bush (Lowe's red/yellow Halloween projection lights make awesome fire)
  • Red Sea: Blue tablecloths with fish behind draping hallway
  • Moses: Great Escape: Pillar of fire and smoke
  • Sudan: Hidden church: Tarps, plastic vines, rocks
  • Christmas: Plastic tablecloths, tarps, lights
  • Abraham: Stars in the heavens
  • Lord's Prayer: Yellow tablecloth background
  • Resurrection to Pentecost: Road signs from coffee can stands
  • Passover: Wood frame boxes covered for Passover
  • Egypt: River of blood, pyramid from coolers, tarps covering wall, projection
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

1. Colored cardstock
2. Beads of all sizes
3. Glue dots
4. Plastic trays
5. Fabrics pieces of all sizes and colors - old bedsheets are best
6. Colored pencils
7. Click It ceiling magnets
8. Pool noodles
9. Paper bag blocks/rocks
10. Blue putty or painters tape

  1. I have a closet of fabrics organized by color to be used as craft supplies or props i.e. water for a river, communion cloths, costumes, and more. Large pieces are useful for drama sets.
  2. Baskets of all kinds collected at our rummage sale used for props when setting a table, displaying wheat and grapes for the last supper, placing baby Moses in a basket, etc. When not in use, they are part of the biblical times room decor.  We find many uses for the baskets throughout the church year.
  3. Scarves in bright colors to wave in the telling of various stories - flame colors for Pentecost, water colors for any water story.
  4. Googly eyes are often a requested, so I keep a variety of those. 
  5. Small seashells, smooth stones 
  6. Washable paints, foam brushes, paint shirts, watercolors, and watercolor paper
  7. Glue of various types - tacky glue, school glue, glue sticks and glue guns are all needed and used.
  8. A supply of bubble wrap  used for painting water backgrounds by painting the bubble wrap and pressing the wet paint side onto paper.
  9. We use glow sticks on Christmas Eve, and I save the hard can they come in to make rain sticks.  Any other hard tubes work well for this.
  10. Large rolls of bulletin board type paper for making murals, tracing the outline of children, creating large trees or other drama props.
  • Various boxes in our drama room filled with various props:  baskets, stuffed or other animals, flowers and greenery, hats, misc. (everything from candlesticks to stethoscopes to a sword)
  • Die-cut machine with letters and lots of shapes--useful when making bulletin boards or headings for murals or assorted art projects
  • Magnet strips--we've used them for craft projects and we've used them even more for attaching things to our dry-erase boards or metal cabinet doors
  • Trays--nice to keep projects organized.

 

jwmcrae posted:

Melissa, Please tell me about the ceiling magnets!

Melissa responded: We use the magnets to hang decorations or large art installations from the drop ceilings in our classrooms or hallways using fishing line.  Visit Clik-Clik.com




Here are some photos of nicely organized supply closets.

Question: How do you keep it like this?
Answer: Not for very long.

closet2closet1StHelenaSupplyCloset

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

We haven't used magnets, but for our classrooms with drop ceiling grids, we use these grid ceiling clips. (several sources -- search for "grid ceiling clips") They are really handy! In fact, I think I need to order some more!

18116

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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Great lists everyone, keep them coming!  Neat thing is you've given me some new ideas and I've been doing Rotation since 2000!

God's Storytable Props

I was thinking what do I have that's unusual in my resources and I guess it's my love for our God's Storytable Workshop and so I'm always on the lookout for objects that will help the children recreate bible story scenes, that they then photograph.  These pictures are used to create slideshows in the computer lab later using Kids Pix Deluxe. 

12 Year Old Jesus heading to Jerusalem for Passover

Toys do not have a long shelf life I've found, so if you see something you need to purchase it then, not wait until the story rolls around again in your rotation.

Some of the props I've collected since 2006 are shown in the photos below.  I've included links for the same props or something similar if it's been discontinued.

Story Table

  • Ground Playmat - I drew this, painted it, and had it laminated.  It's attached to the table top with Velcro pieces.  Because it's laminated the room's ceiling light sometimes causes a glare when taken in pictures, so I have a large piece of cardboard the children who are part of the "Background Set Designers" will hold above the table to block some of the above light.  Helps give everyone jobs and we all switch places for each new scene.
  • Castle - Melissa & Doug's Folding Wooden Castle.   Can be used for so many stories!  It opens up and the outside can be used to create a long city wall or the other side inside a city - features a jail cell inside that has a door that slides open and shut (for prison scenes).
  • Castle Furniture - "Melissa & Doug Castle Furniture".
  • Bible Time House - Playmobil's 4246 Egyptian Tomb Treasure.  Another great buy as the roof lifts off (great for the story of the man let down through the roof).  This is a discontinued item so I don't know how long you'll be able to find it.
  • Toy Sheep
  • Lego Palm Trees (I still have the Lego from when my kids where small - they are adults now.  In that bucket I've found all sorts of useful items - like wine globlets, water pitchers, etc.)

 

Gods Storytable Props 1

 

Gods Storytable Props 2

  • The other drawer holds trees, animals (sheep, lions, horses, camels, donkeys, hippos, alligators, camp fire, Egyptian idols,  and other miscellaneous items.)

  • A good site to find miscellaneous tiny4284291_t Playmobil items that you can buy individually is14563373_t Ron's Rescued Treasures, such as:  globlets, vase, loaves, money sack with hand grip, water pitcher, fish, etc..  You just need to check to see if it's in stock and if not check back later.  The best way to search is type Playmobil and item name (example: loaves) then find the one that suits you and check to see if he has it in stock.  He's Canadian, but does ship to the United States.

 

 Gods Storytable Props 3

 


David & Goliath

David Saul 4

Props you can use to recreate a similar scene: 

 

 


Jesus as a Child traveling to Jerusalem for Passover

Jesus Child 07 Camping on Route to Jerusalem

  • night background - black felt with felt stars and moon.
  • the other blue rounded background piece use to come with the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Sets, but they discontinued that part.
  • Palm Trees come with each of the Fisher Price - Little People Sets.

 

Jesus Child 025 in Jerusalem Overhead Shot

  • Melissa & Doug's Folding Wooden Castle - shown opened to create the city of Jerusalem.
  • Bethlehem Inn - as noted above discontinued and big $$$$ on ebay.
  • Market Stalls - something I picked up at Dollarama years ago.
  • Temple - this was in a book that's no longer available, but another idea would be Solomon's Temple Model by Tim Dowley (Candle Books).
  • The mini-scrolls were from the Heroe's of Faith Series (discontinued).  The characters were too small for the story table, but the scrolls were neat.
  • The small wooden furniture for the tabernacle was from a Mormon website no longer around.

 

Joseph's Story

01 Joseph02 Joseph03 Joseph04 Joseph05 Joseph06 Joseph07 Joseph08 Joseph09 Joseph10 Joseph11 Joseph

 


The Tabernacle

The idea was to have something the kids could take apart and then put back together, like a puzzle. 

DSC01195DSC01196

  • base - sheet of polystyrene (maybe 3/4" thick).
  • assorted wooden blocks - I painted gold.
  • Most of the pillars I simple had pressed into the polystyrene to make a bit of a permanent dent (none where glued down) for when they went to put it back together they simply sat the poles into the dents.
  • I made small folded cards for each part (not pictured). 
  • furniture I purchased on-line (website no longer there).
  • different felt pieces used for roof coverings
  • the Holy of Hollies does have wood pieces glued to the polystyrene on each side of the those blocks, so block could be inserted then removed, I put eye hole screws on some of the side blocks and thread very thin dowel rods through them.
  • Everything was removable except for the thing grey strips of wood seen in bottom picture.

 


Fall of Jericho

Fall of Jericho100_0046

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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Luanne, I LOVE your God's Story Table idea. It has been so much fun for our kids to explore the story this way (and you've been a huge help as we figured things out!). We have one more week and we will complete our Life of David story presentation (We've worked on it for three months and it includes David's Anointing, David and Goliath, David the King, and Solomon's Temple). It's been awesome! We're going to do a special celebration presentation for parents and other adults in two weeks so they can see the completed presentation!

My struggle is figuring out the best way to store all these figures and especially the larger pieces. I've got them in little sandwich bins inside a larger bin...

So maybe the most important thing in my closet is plastic storage bins!

Jaymie 

Quite a few of us mentioned "glue" in our supply closets, and in particular, a glue gun. However, having the "right glue" for your materials is essential to its success and your sanity, and not even the "go-to-glue-gun" is always the right choice.  

I often find myself wondering "what's the RIGHT glue?"  ...as well as, wondering, "will it dry in time."  This is a particular problem for art projects that aren't just traditional "paper" crafts.

Here's a handy chart I found at http://www.u-createcrafts.com/craft-adhesive-guide/ that might also be "indispensable" in a supply closet:

craft-adhesive-guide2

Notes:  "E6000" is Michael's craft store's "glues to everything" brand. 

craftwireI also like to have types of CRAFT WIRE in my supply closet for those projects where glue just won't do.  (I learned the "wire it instead of glue" trick the hard way.)  Various sizes and colors of "beading" wire are sold in spools at craft stores. Great to have handy and also helps tie things together in a pinch (like backdrops. props and costumes), or to display a project.

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If you like to decorate for your units, this is a great time of year to pick up the Gemmy Lightshow Lights. Our local Lowes and Big Lots stores both have them. We use the blue ones to create water effects and the red ones to create flame effects. Attached is a picture of our "furnace" figures that we created with plastic tablecloths and cellophane for our Daniel and his Three Friends Unit. We are also using the blue inside our whale/big fish that we are currently using for Jonah.IMG_2926IMG_3774

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  • IMG_2926: Shadrach, Meshach  and Abednego
  • IMG_3774: In the belly of the big fish

Great stuff, Jenny. 
Those Gemmy Lights are under $30, and I can already think of MANY drama lessons they could be used with. A great "creative closet" addition.

For example....I was watching a funny Youtube the other day which used a blue tarp stretched across a rope to simulate water. From the point of view of the audience, the kids looked like they were standing/diving in the water.  I immediately thought of Jesus, Peter and the Boat.  Put two tables behind that blue tarp, one for the cardboard boat, and the other for Jesus to walk on.   Add one of your gemmy lights and you have quite the memorable scene.

bluetarp

((BTW...if you had two tarps hanging over two long tables, you could pull the tables/tarp apart to reveal "dry land" for the Exodus story.))

  • Blue Tarp
  • Sheer gauzy cloth
  • Some fun lights

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I had to google "Gemmy Lightshow Lights" as I had never heard of them. Looks like they come on a stake sort of thing (for using on your front lawn) or with a tripod base. Have I found the correct sort of light?

Screen Shot 2016-10-05 at 10.40.08 PMScreen Shot 2016-10-05 at 10.36.45 PM

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We use the type shown on the single stake. The stake screws into the handle. When we use them on the floor, we stack 3 bricks with holes and feed the stake through the hole for stability. When we hang them, like we did in our whale, we unscrew the stake and ziptie the hanger where needed. 

Jenny loved that you shared the Gemmy Lightshow Lights and included pictures!  I had not heard of them before and the effects shown in your pictures were awesome.

My immediate thought when I saw your pictures was how great to use in a Shadow Drama of the fiery furnace. 

You all have such great ideas and lists.  For me, required materials, other than what you've  shared are:

1. Fun foam - for everything from headbands, kid-safe spear tips, and more.  We even use fun foam for our "Alleluia Butterflies" which we put out to greet parishioners on Easter morning.

2.  Michael's large plastic work trays.

3. Paper plates and willow laundry baskets to "hem up" projects of all kinds.

4. Mat board cutter and "self healing" mat for heavy duty trimming.

5. Rotary fabric cutter for making banners to be decorated by the children and costume designing!

6. "Frog" tape!

If I could figure out how to add pictures, I would!!

 

More "What's in Your Supply Closet" items gleaned from recent discussions....

"Gaffers" tape  ...extra tough, extra adhesive cloth tape for holding things together and holding them up where duct tape and masking tape simply won't do the job. Gets its name from stage and movie "gaffers" who use it to tape down cords and make quick repairs to scenery and costumes.  Comes in many colors. Good for making game lines on the floor too. 

White sheets painted with "quick" Bible scenes. Great for dramas and hiding stuff in the room.

iphone2hdmiAdapter to plug my iPhone into the HDMI slot on our Smart TV so I can show video, photos, and internet content to my class from my phone.

Extra AA and AAA batteries.

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A TRIPOD to hold my iPhone as we videotape various skits. 

I own one but invariably it's at home in my closet when I need it in my classroom. They are too inexpensive NOT to be always available. $15 on Amazon.

Two reasons why a TRIPOD is a "must have" in a Drama or Video Workshop, or for anyone who understands the value of taking photos and videos in their classroom:

1. A lot of people can't keep their camera still while taking a video of a skit. Shaky ruins video. 

2. The presence of the camera on the tripod gives kids with a sense of "this is being recorded so I want to do it right."

A Selfie Stick

Very handy for "zooming into, over and around" actors and the scene in our skits and dramas. Kids love to see it coming towards them. Very playful.

$8 at Walmart. 

Selfie sticks are also a great way to take "above the scene" photos of kids who are laying on the floor as they act out a scene.  You've seen this "effect" in commercials and its a lot of fun.

You can get pretty creative with a selfie-stick.

I've used them to do "Helicopter Cam" fly-ins of Bible scenes the kids were acting out. I've given the stick to a student to take "selfies" while they interacted with" Jesus and the crowd inside the man's house where they cut the hole in the roof." Each kid had a pre-determined "face to make" and "line to say" when the camera came to them (a fun take and discussion starter on "crowd reactions to Jesus").  [Poses, reactions, and lines to say are all great things to discuss ahead of time, are fun to photograph, and fun to view afterwards as you ask more questions and make teaching points.]

I'm working on an "Angels Appearing in the Sky above the Shepherds" A-V/Video Workshop where the kids pose the scenes, verses, and REACTIONS in the scripture while laying on the floor (as if the floor were a wall) so that those playing the angels can appear to float above them. The camera is on a selfie-stick so that the photo is taken from ABOVE looking down toward the floor. Super fun look. This technique was used in a lot of commercials 2015-17, Example of perspective seen below.

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Sunday School supplies I seem to always need

For our Bible Skills and Games Workshop: A kids' play tunnel
Great for races, obstacle courses, and illustrating metaphors

Paper plate and paper cups.
Good for game pieces, art projects, and food of course.

Aluminum foil and old newspaper -- to cover things like tables and foods, and for messy art projects. Foil is also a good sculpting medium and can make a quick prop too.

A blow dryer and a fan for glues and paints that need a little help.

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