We finished up our Summer Theme Days series with Gen Kids at the Movies. For Gen Kids at the Movies we were going for a red carpet, Hollywood stars feel in our theme and decor. The set came out better than expected and the kids absolutely loved our photo booth we set up.
The coolest thing about this set design is that we had a lot of the decor on hand, or donated to us by another local church. Movie themes will always come around again so re-using your decorations or donating them to another church will always be options for this theme. On both sides of the stage you can see an admit one ticket decoration and an applause decoration. We actually already had these and a few other movie signs from our Gen Kids in TV Land theme. We did trace the signs’ shapes onto cardboard, cut them out with an x-acto knife, and hot glued the cardboard to the back of the signs. I do this because the paper signs from Oriental Trading tend to curl and rip easily. Adding a cardboard backing makes them sturdier, keep them from curling, and gives them a more 3d look. The other metal signs and film reel you can see on both sides of the stage were donated to us by a local church who had used them for several years. Most of them still had the tags on them, so I know they were purchased from Hobby Lobby. The cute little retro popcorn boxes you can see all over the stage were actually left over from the boxes we bought for the prizes for our costume contest. I bought this 100 pack and only needed about 70 for prizes. The stand-up film clapper was seriously thrown together from start to finish in about 45 minutes. I had planned on using something else on the stage that didn’t pan out last minute. I used a big piece of that free cardboard from Sam’s Club that I’m always talking about and drew my shape in pencil. It’s a really easy shape to draw especially if you have a ruler handy. I used my handy dandy x-acto knife to cut the shape out. Once I had my base shape, I spray painted it with some black chalkboard spray paint I had lying around (you can use any black paint you want for this). This took no time at all to dry out in the Texas heat. I drew the stripes on the film clapper in pencil first, then filled it them in with a white gel marker. You can use white paint for this part, but it was just easier to use the marker. You will find that the top part of the film clapper is pretty flimsy at this point. I reinforced the back of it with dowel rods, and ended up adding a dowel rod to the end of it that connected clapper to the base. I just colored the dowel rod black, and you can hardly notice it is there. That did the trick. I added two pieces of cardboard to the back for stands and hot glued them to the film clapper. If this all sounds like too much work, and you have the budget, you can just buy this film clapper stand up on Oriental Trading.
My first thought for decor for this set design was that we had to have a red carpet going down the center aisle of the kid’s ministry room. I thought I would have to go out and buy some red fabric to make one myself, but Amazon surprised me by already having a red carpet on sale. This red carpet worked for what we needed it for. It had an adhesive backing on it, but we decided to outline it with black gaff tape since we knew it was going to get a lot of traffic. Let’s just say that it didn’t look this pretty by the end of the morning! I would say that these hollywood walk of fame stars were probably my favorite thing about our set design. We bought about 12 of these stars, and they were already backed with adhesive for putting on the floor. We staggered them on the ground starting at the entrance to the room all the way up the center of our red carpet. Here’s the fun part: we wrote the names of some of our leaders on the stars, and some of our leaders even signed their star. It was a lot of fun.
The large Movies and Feature art pieces we have used for several different events. They were originally purchased at Garden Ridge which is now call At Home. The movie night, admit one, take 1, and opening night signs are all from that pack of movie signs from Oriental Trading that I mentioned earlier. They were also backed with cardboard for increased durability. You can get the small plastic popcorn containers on the table from the Dollar Tree. We used the popcorn containers to hold pens for our info table. I actually don’t know where we got the cute popcorn box that says “snacks” on the front. We had it at the church before I even was on staff. We used it to hold all of the hand outs that are normally on the table. The yellow tape around the tv in the entrance that says “no paparazzi” was part of a 3-pack of party tape I got on amazon. I also used some of the other tape around our sound booth in the back of the room. The film party tape around the info table and on the tv behind the info table we already had on hand from a previous event. The awesome light-up sign that says “now showing” under the tv in the entrance was bought on clearance from Hobby Lobby for $10.
Creating a game for a movie theme was a piece of cake. No crafting required for this easy and fun guessing game for kids. I simply found short video clips of popular kids’ movies and dropped them into a ProPresenter presentation. Suggestions for video clips: Lion King, Aladdin, Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, Toy Story, Big Hero 6, Lego Movie, Tangled. If it’s Disney, Pixar, or animated it will work for this game. If you don’t have buzzers, make some signs the kids can hold up or just have them raise their hands.
How to play:
1. 1 kid from each team will play in each round.
2. The contestants will stand behind the buzzers at the beginning of each round.
3. The leader will signal to the team in the sound booth to play the movie clip.
4. When the contestant knows which movie it is from they should buzz in. If they get it correct they get 1,000 points for their team, if not the other team can steal!
We encouraged our leaders and kids to come dressed as their favorite movie star or character for this theme day. We had some pretty awesome costumes ranging from superheroes, to disney princesses, to star wars characters. As usual, all the kids who came in costume received a prize, and the kids voted on who should receive the grand prize. For the prizes, we bought these adorable popcorn boxes, and filled them with candy-coated rainbow popcorn. Surprisingly, we didn’t find too much of this popcorn on the floor. Go figure! For the grand prize winner we made an impressive movie-theme gift basket. We bought this plastic popcorn container, filled it with red, yellow, and orange tissue paper, and decoratively placed boxed candy, popcorn, and movies that had been hot glued to dowel rods in the container. It was pretty awesome.
I wanted to do a photo booth for our last theme day, and I had just the thing. I pinned this idea to one of my pinterest boards awhile back, but I didn’t know what I was going to use it for. It’s such an easy and inexpensive idea for a photo booth background. All you have to do is get one of those big rolls of tickets, or several colors if you like, and attach them to your back drop with tape. We used pipe and drape that we have around the church, but I’m sure you could jimmy rig something similar out of some pvc pipes. We used some props we already had on hand like some different colored boas, hats, glasses, and a small film clapper (all of these can be bought at Party City or on Oriental Trading). I also purchased this set of movie-themed photo booth props from Etsy. I printed them out on card stock, cut them out, and hot glued them to dowel rods. The only thing I would suggest is that you cut the Shut up! part off of one of the speech bubbles and not use the smoking pipe.
I wrote an original lesson for Gen Kids at the Movies entitled: God’s Movie Stars. I started my lesson by playing a game called “Name That Movie Star”. I found pictures of popular celebrities (some animated and some human) and the kids had to guess the name of the actor/actress or the name of their character in the movie. The kids definitely did better with the animated options and guessing the character names. The game led into a 3 point sermon with Scripture to back up each point about how we are all God’s movie stars.
2. God knows our names. (John 10:3 and Luke 12:7)
3. God knows our needs. (Matthew 6:31-33)
If you are interested in seeing the full outline of my lesson you can check it out here: God’s Movie Stars Lesson. Here is our full schedule of our service for Gen Kids at the Movies: Gen Kids at the Movies PC Schedule.
That’s it for our Summer Theme Days for 2015. What Theme Days would you love to see happen in your kid’s ministry?