19 Mar Kindness – Rewind, Kindness Deserves a Replay – February 2018
Life App: Kindness – Showing others they are valuable by how you treat them.
Theme: Rewind – Kindness Deserves a Replay
Date: February, 2018
The Struggle Was Real!
I LOVE 252 Kids. I think the writers are all creative geniuses and I appreciate everything they do! I am so often amazed by how they keep coming up with new, fresh ideas year after year.
I also love everything retro, vintage, old school, etc. So, in looking at February’s theme “Be Kind & Rewind” I was brought back to a time in my own life where I stood in line on a Friday night at Blockbuster to rent VHS movies for the weekend. That seems like a lifetime ago.
Having said that, February’s theme was a bit of a struggle for our set design team. We all loved the idea of the vintage TV’s, VHS tapes, etc but were concerned that it might get lost with our age group. Our environment is K-5th grade. If we had a separate Preteen environment, I think we could have gone retro/vintage no problem. Those older kids have more of an appreciation for the stuff of the “old days” and I think it could have been a lot of fun. But our littles would probably not really follow and none of us could come up with a plan we were excited about.
252 Partner Page – Brings a Reminder
After seeing some of the sets on the 252 Partner Page, I was reminded that sets don’t always have to “make sense” to kids. As long as what they see looks cool, fun, colorful, and engaging – kids will be intrigued. One set I saw on the partner page had old retro TV’s spray painted all different bright colors. They were stacked in a pyramid and VHS tapes were hung everywhere. The actual tape was pulled from several of the cartridges and draped all around the pyramid and backdrop. When I saw it, I thought – who cares if a kid doesn’t know what a tube TV is – the pyramid and color draws them in and says – THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!
What’s It Really All About?
That’s the goal – isn’t it? To draw kids in and help them engage. To create an environment that makes them want to show up each week and communicates fun and interest. I learned a valuable lesson this month. While I love being culturally relevant and engaging with things kids are interested in today – we can grab a kids attention in a variety of ways. It doesn’t have to be something that they experience in our current culture. As long as it is bright, colorful, and intriguing – they’ll give it a chance.
In addition, what you do with your set – how your host and storytellers present themselves on stage, how small group leaders connect kids to what is being taught, and how relationships are formed in your environment is what really carries weight. Kids will walk in the door when something looks cool and fun. Kids will stay in your environment (and come back!) when they feel they have a place to belong and leaders who believe in them.
A stage and backdrop can only do so much with the latter. Of course, I think it’s important. This entire blog is devoted to set design and the creation of irresistible environments. But, I was reminded this month that our sets and environment decor are tools that help kids come in and feel excited about being there. Culturally relevant or not – if they look fun, bright, and intriguing, they’ll get the job done. Our environment and the sets we build are invaluable tools to engage children and get them in our doors. Contemporary, vintage, Disney-esque, or retro – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that our environments invite children in and let them know, “We’ve thought about you. We want you to love it here.” When we can do that, we have a chance at our real goal – to point kids to Jesus and introduce them to their Savior.
I Did Love Our Set Though!
Having said all of that, I did love what our team came up with for February! It was simple and contemporary, but it worked. We chose various images of modern day rewind buttons. We enlarged them and printed them on poster paper. We used spray adhesive to glue them to insulation foam pieces of the same size and hung them around the backdrop. We used various computers, iPads, iPhones and iPods in a display around the stage to create an “Apple Store” feel. We wrote the openers and closers for the month to include the host referring to some of the devices on stage and using a remote to rewind an image of the bottom line each week that was displayed backward.
*Credit to Gabby Molite of Gab With Me for her creation of our “backward” videos.
All in all, I loved our set and was happy with the way the kids interacted with it. How did your kids react to your Be Kind & Rewind sets?
Backwards Bottom Line Videos…
These are the videos we used in the Host closer each week to reveal the Bottom Line…