Creative Inspiration in Kidmin
One of my favorite things about children’s ministry is the creative element. Mind you, it is ONE of my favorite things. Nothing beats the opportunity to lead children into a relationship with God, obviously!
I love creating new, ridiculous games to use in kids church, building props and stage sets, planning evangelism events…it’s all so fun! To think we get to have so much fun while working and bringing people into the kingdom is insane!
I like to take little notes when I see inspiration. I open my phone notes and jot down what inspired me or what I think I could do with it. About half the time I end up with things like “cover the whole place with cardboard” and I’m left trying to figure out what that could mean. They seem incoherent to anyone else (and sometimes to me too) but they usually turn into a great idea for an event or object lesson or just a fun day in children’s ministry.
Sometimes, though, I get into a creative rut. I run out of ideas, my notes app starts thinning…it’s a sad time. Anyone else have this happen?
To combat this, I have to keep myself surrounded by other creatives to keep myself running in that direction. I follow Instagram accounts that inspire me, I read books about creative companies and peruse inspiring websites.
If you have ever been in a creative rut and wondered how to get back into the swing of it, check out my list of creatives that inspire me in Kidmin!
(Not in any specific order)
1. Oh Happy Day
If you have never heard of Oh Happy Day, grab your phone right now and search. The website has a great store and blog but the Instagram account is equally awesome. They specialize in balloons and balloon decor but frequently show crafts, party decorations, holiday ideas etc. It is amazing and if you love balloons as much as I do you will love seeing their creativity on your Insta feed. Hopefully they will give you some inspiration for fun things to do with your students and maybe some object lessons!
2. Theme parks
This should be a given: Disney is queen. Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Paris…there is no doubt that they are the ultimate creative power as far as theme parks go. But I have to say…I personally lean towards Universal Studios. As much as I love Disney, that Harry Potter world is pretty unbeatable. That being said, if you have not been to Universal, (even if you don’t like Harry Potter) please go. Take in the incredible detail of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. They have carefully considered every piece of the park and it is so impressive and fun.
Recall your trips to Disney and remember the creativity that goes into each ride and zone of the park. These parks are incredible inspiration for me in children’s ministry as I plan. Next time you are preparing for an event, think about your theme park experiences and how you can make your event the biggest and best it can be.
Now, separate from the parks, Disney and Pixar use so much creativity in their stories. This one may sound silly but their movies help me get the creative juices flowing! Think about your favorite Disney or Disney Pixar movies and how creative the stories and animation are. My favorites are Wreck It Ralph and Inside Out. How can you watch movies like that and not recognize all the imagination it took to dream them up?
Apart from their movies, check out “Creativity, Inc.” This book about creativity in Pixar is stellar and you will enjoy it.
4. Worlds of Wow
World of Wow is a wonderful company that makes children’s ministry environments awesome with their design skills and vision. I have loved every environment I have seen that they have created. You have probably heard of them. I follow them on Instagram and love to see their bright and colorful designs on my feed. They inspire me to create a fun and inviting space for my kiddos, whether that be a permanent set or event decorations.
5. Children’s museums
Children’s museums are an amazing place to see creative design that fosters an environment for learning. I love children's museums because you can tell that they really got into the mindset of a child to create what they have. We can learn a lot from the way they are designed and the way they engage kids’ minds. Check out your nearest children’s museum (or follow them on social media) to get inspiration for facilitating different learning styles and engage kids!
(Photo from: http://www.seatots.com/home/category/museums)
Outside of these inspirations, sometimes you just need to get into a certain space and mindset to flex that creative muscle. For me that means:
1. Creative space- Make your at home desk a space that fosters imagination and creativity. Put up pictures and quotes that inspire you. Make it colorful and fun. Look up “mood boards” on Pinterest to get an idea. If you don’t have a place at home or an office to work from, find another place that you can get creative in. A coffee shop or a picnic table outside could be just the place!
2. Music- Put on some music that helps your mind get going. Personally, I like to put on an upbeat electronic album that will allow me to focus on my work while getting the creative juices flowing. If you don’t have an album or artist in mind, check out creativity playlists on Spotify (or whatever music platform you prefer). Spotify has some specifically to help you get creative as well as instrumental playlists intended for studying. You can find a playlist for just about anything! I have a whole folder of playlists just for working and writing.
3. Let your mind wander- This one is easy for me because my mind is constantly wandering. If you are working on a project, sermon or planning and your mind starts to wander a bit, that’s okay. My best work and inspiration comes when I let myself get a little sidetracked. Jot down a couple notes when it hits you and come back to it later.
What did I miss? Do you have any strategies for getting creative or methods to get inspired? Let me know in the comments!