10 Tips for Using Art in Summer Ministry

by Marian Bach

Here are some practical ways to use art in your ministry during the summer, using everything from crayons and cardboard to clay and music.

For more tips, visit Loyola Press’s Vacation Bible School.

Tip #1
Illustrate the Creation Story with Flowers

Beautiful and colorful flowers are everywhere in the summer. Take colored paper and cut out paper daisies of all colors. Attach the flowers to a cardboard backdrop of green-colored grass and blue sky, and read Genesis.

Tip #2
Find God with Sidewalk Chalk

Use sidewalk chalk and have children draw what they see in the world around them. With sidewalk chalk in hand, artistic expression will abound.

Tip #3
Teach Kids about Service

Artistic expression is a way to open the hearts and minds of children in service to others. Using paint and patterns, have children decorate flower pots. Fill them with soil and plant some flowers to give to others who could use cheering up.

Tip #4
Create Get-Well Cards

Kids love to make cards. Using colored paper, markers, crayons, and stencils, have the children create get-well cards for parishioners who are hospitalized or homebound.

Tip #5
Explore Creation with Clay

Invite kids to find inspiration in God’s beautiful world and to sculpt what they find using modeling clay. In a simple prayer service, include the works of art as a way for kids to talk about their creation and why they chose to create what they did.

Tip #6
March for Music

Music is an art that expresses the joy of God and the gift of faith. Gather the children and all the musical instruments you can find to form a marching band, singing and playing around the block.

Tip #7
Take a Hike

Take a hike and have the children gather things in nature like acorns, leaves, pussy willows, flowers, and so on, to make a “nature bouquet.” Use a large piece of colored construction paper formed into a cone. Tape the cone at the seam and have the children fill the cone with their nature finds.

Tip #8
Each Person is a Beautiful Creation of God

Each person is a beautiful creation of God. Have the students pair up and trace each other off of large rolls of white paper. Then have each one decorate his or her full-length tracing. Cut the tracing out and have their “tracing creations” displayed around the parish hall with a sign nearby saying: “God created me and I am beautiful!”

Tip #9
Introduce Gratitude with Beach Balls

Invite the kids to stand in a large circle, and begin throwing colorful beach balls from one to another at random. When a child catches a ball, have him or her call out a gift of God found in the created world. Remind children to always hold the gifts of God in gratitude and pass along your gifts to others.

Tip #10
Draw Your Own Coat of Arms

Explain to the children the meaning of a coat of arms. Show and explain to them Pope Francis’s coat of arms and its meaning. Have the children design and make their own coat of arms with paints, crayons, cut-outs, and other available art materials.

Marian Bach

Marian Bach

Marian Bach has been involved in school and parish ministry for nearly 25 years.

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