When it comes to Children’s Ministry props and visuals, the bigger the better. Ginormous props are just plain fun and can really help set the stage for an awesome lesson. They create a sense of expectation and can be useful for capturing kids’ attention (or recapturing it) as you teach or tell a story.
Many of us, though, don’t have the time, money or skill to go as big as we might want. There are several ways around this, but I’m going to tell you about a quick and cheap one today. It’s a free website called Block Posters.
Here’s how it works. At Block Posters you can upload any image to their site, choose how big you want to make it, and the website enlarges it and converts it into a bunch of 8 ½ x 11 pictures. At that point, all you have to do is download the PDF, print it out and put it together like a giant puzzle.
Last week, for instance, I was teaching on renewing the mind from Romans 12. At the last minute, I had an idea to have a giant brain on stage. I planned to do some silly things with it in the beginning of the lesson and then use it for application by showing how when we put worldly thinking into our brains, bad stuff comes out, but when we put God’s truth from the Bible into our heads, it can lead to good things in our lives.
So, I uploaded an image to Block Poster, printed it out, cut off the white borders and used spray adhesive to adhere it to the back of an old sign I had. I would have preferred black foam core, but like I said, it was last minute and the white sign was free.
Here are a few pictures to show you how the brain prop looked on stage:
Below is the brain with some black foam core strips I cut out from leftovers lying around the office with text taped on the front and back. The foam core edges and the paper I taped on aren’t perfect because I was in a hurry, but it didn’t matter because the kids only saw them for a few seconds as I pulled each one out of or put them into the brain. I had a wooden milk crate propping up the sign, and the words I needed were stashed behind it to make it convenient to pull them out of the brain.
The big brain looked awesome on stage and kids were definitely intrigued with it from the moment they walked into the room. Best of all, it worked great in the lesson.
Yes, I could have put that brain picture on a screen, but it wouldn’t have had the same effect. With the sign propped up on the stage, I could get it closer to the kids and have fun putting things in it and pulling other things out. It kept the lesson interesting, and the kids were glued to it.
I’m not a big fan of prepping lessons at the last minute, but by the time I thought of the big brain prop, it was either last minute or nothing. I’m glad I went for it. It made everything better for both me as the storyteller and the kids who were watching.
So, if you want to go big, give Block Posters a shot. It’s cheap and simple to use and can make a real impact when you need it.
If you’d like more ideas about using props to enhance your lesson, check out this earlier post, Having a Ball with Storytelling.
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