How I use Incredible Islands

If you haven’t read my post about my Incredible Idea check it out first. My disclaimer is this: I decided to use Incredible Islands in a way that it wasn’t intended.

Ok now that I said that let me tell you about what I did at the beginning of Oct 2014. When I first looked at Incredible Islands I noticed at the end of the Bible Story there was a 10 question multiple choice game show. Immediately I thought of a mid week format we had tried out with success in our 1st – 5th graders service. We would use 10 Junior Bible Quiz questions that kids would receive as soon as they arrived to have a gameshow style quiz match. I thought Incredible Islands could easily fill the need for the content for these questions now and every question would reinforce what we taught the kids on Sunday.

Before with the JBQ questions I would have to search through all of them to match a specific topic and then type them out and hand out printed copies to each child. With Incredible Islands they offer offline resources that are all ready to go that I just have to print off. Time is a short commodity for me so that was an immediate win!

Just printing off a piece of paper wasn’t cool enough for me. What if every kid got to play the game every week at church! Imagine if your kids pastor handed you a tablet and said go play for 15 minutes and enjoy! Well that is exactly what we went for.

I priced iPads first and that was short lived 10k was not very reasonable. I priced Kindle Fires next 5K was better. I came across an Acer Tablet running android os for $80 ea. times 30 tablets = $2,500 after shipping. We put another $200 into a charging station that we assembled. We also purchased 30 guest accounts for the kids to log in with on Wednesdays. I came up with the room in my budget by canceling an event that hadn’t produced the results I wanted anyway and went all in on Incredible Islands for our midweek programming.

So you may wonder what a Wednesday PM service looks like for our kids now. Once a child checks in they spend time talking and playing with friends, in one of two spaces, our cafeteria or gym, before service. We all begin service in a large group setting in our children’s sanctuary. We average about 90 right now give or take and so we divide our group into 3rds. We send the first group of 30 kids, made up of our 4th and 5th graders, to our Cafeteria a.k.a. Tech Lab. When they arrive in the Tech Lab two or three volunteers hand out the tablets for the kids to log into Incredible Island Leaderboard App and instruct them to play the Bible story first. The leaders make their rounds helping with tech issues and doing their best to keep them up and running. [We are currently waiting for a dedicated line of service bc bandwidth is not our friend right now. It should be installed this month.]

While our 4th and 5th graders are playing the leaders in the Tech Lab assign 6 of them to be “Team Captains”. After 15 minutes of playing they are dismissed into our Gym where they get in groups of 4 around one of the “Team Captains”. The Team Captain gets to be the leader of the group reviewing the 10 questions they learned, discussing the memory verse, and challenging their group to accomplish the Quest for that week. Another 15 min passes and it’s time to rotate again.

On the final rotation our last group of kids from the main kids sanctuary go to the Tech Lab, the second rotation heads to the gym to meet with the assigned team captains who have stayed back, and the first group now enter our kids sanctuary to face off in teams of 4 in a game show format using our JBQ quiz buzzers.

Here is a quick snap shot of our Mid Week:

Kids Sanctuary: 4 Volunteers (1 Presenter, 1 Media, 2 Crowd Control)

Gym: 1 Volunteer to walk around from group to group, 6 Jr. Leaders as Team Captains.

Cafeteria: 2/3 Volunteers to pass out tablets and help with Tech issues

One of our Kids Sanctuary Volunteers acts as a time keeper to keep everyone rotating and on schedule.

Service Flow:

6:00 – 6:30 – Game Room and Check In

6:30 – Open service with fun songs and motions, announce upcoming events,and take offering.

6:45 – First rotation leaves for Cafeteria everyone else stays in to review memory verse.

7:00 – Second rotation leaves for Cafeteria, Cafeteria rotates to gym, final group review Bible story.

7:15 – Third rotation leaves for Cafeteria, Cafeteria rotates to gym, First rotation enters Kids Sanctuary for game show.

7:30 – Second rotation enters Kids Sanctuary for game show, First rotation watches and cheers on, Cafeteria rotates to gym, Tech Lab puts tablets away and joins everyone in Kids Sanctuary.

7:45 – Third rotation enter Kids Sanctuary for game show, First and Second watch and cheer on. All volunteers in Kids Sanctuary now.

8:00 – Wrap up service, remind everyone of their Quest, and prepare for parent pick up.

Some of my favorite things about our new programming are that 1. It’s all planned and prepped easily in advance. 2. It’s easy for visitors to jump into 3. It’s relevant to our kids.

BONUS IDEA: With our success in our 1st – 5th we have implemented Incredible Islands in our pre K / K program as well. The Bible Story, verse, and Quest serve as the content for the lesson and we put together a craft to go along with the Bible Story and our Teachers and kids love it!

So what are you waiting for? Go at least try it and see if it is something that would work for your ministry! . And feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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