Zip for Kids Testimonial

Janetta Holmes used Zip For Kids for preschool aged kids on Wednesday nights this summer. Janetta had been using Club VBS for this purpose, but changed to Zip when Club was no longer an option LifeWay offered.

In addition to the Bible content, she used the Discover It and Make It tracks with her kids.

Earlier this summer, I asked her a few questions about her experience:

What was your favorite thing about Zip? I like the fact that we have one Bible Verse throughout the whole 10 sessions. As a teacher, it has been really refreshing to focus on that Bible Verse.

Would you recommend Zip to others? I would definitely recommend it to someone else. There are so many different activities that you can’t run out of things to do.

Did anything interesting happen during your Zip event? Any funny stories? Any moments where you saw kids grow in their faith? I was asked Sunday morning during Preschool Worship if we could sing the Color Song! They really enjoyed that song! The kids have enjoyed making the craft each week. We are going to do the Flying Rockets tomorrow night. I think they will really enjoy that activity. We made the bubbles last week and we enjoyed going outside to blow the bubbles.
To see Zip’s options for Preschoolers click here.

Zip Tip – Add Some ZIP to your Fall Break!

by Klista Storts

klistaAs school starts and the last few days of summer are quickly fading away, kids are already looking forward to Fall Break! And while you may be just now taking a deep breath from VBS, camp, and other summer activities, you know you’re going to need something to take full advantage of those few days you’re going to have with the kids in your ministry. Take a look at a recent post by Jana Magruder to learn about 3 Ways to Make Fall Break “Cool and Colorful”

We’d love to hear from you and see some pics of how you’re using ZIP!

Zip Tip – Recycle! Reuse!

Zip for Kids™ resources are not your average “use once and done” curriculum. This innovative tool is a great bank of ideas to use even after your camp or kids event.

You may have used your Zip for Kids for a week-long or a one-day-a-week-for-10-weeks summer kids’ event. However, this powerful tool is still packed with potential. Consider pulling together a “Best Of” day for that Back-to-School bash. Use kids’ favorite videos, music, or Bible stories. Throw in a few of those great games you didn’t have time to use the first time through. Pick a track you didn’t use and scatter those five hours of track time throughout a single day, or during a week of fall break.

Recycle! Reuse! It’s a ZIP with Zip for Kids!

Zip Tip – Large Group Leader

Zip-TipsOne of the big things to make sure your zip event goes smoothly is to make sure everyone involved knows their role and its responsibilities. A Large Group Leader is a person (or team of people) who leads kids through Large Group worship and/or Bible Study sessions. Their responsibilities are:

  • Prepare teaching plans each day, with the help of the session booklets and the interactive session builder.
  • Lead the Large Group Sessions.
  • Help in obtaining needed supplies.
  • Coordinate technical elements (video, AV, music and such) with the appropriate personnel.

Guest Post: Zip for Kids in Moldova

2014Moldova-97We are happy to have Rachel Trammell share about her recent trip to Moldova with Justice and Mercy International.




Be honest: if someone challenged you to locate the country of Moldova on a map, would you even know what hemisphere to start in? Most of us wouldn’t. Moldova is located in eastern Europe, and is the poorest and smallest country of the former Soviet Union. This past June, I spent a week in Moldova, but 3 months ago, I couldn’t have told you what continent it was on, much less find the tiny nation on a map.

In addition to the widespread poverty that marks the country, Moldova is also considered ground zero for all human trafficking in Eastern Europe. Currently, Moldova finds itself affected by the civil unrest and political turmoil that is taking place in neighboring Ukraine. Needless to say, Moldova is a place that yearns deeply for the life-giving hope of the Gospel.
In late June I, along with a team from Nashville, TN, took off to spend the week in Risipeni Village, a rural community in western Moldova. Risipeni is settled in beautiful rolling countryside — a common sight in Moldova. A lush garden can be found in nearly every backyard, meaning that delicious fresh tomatoes are a part of many Moldovan meals. Moldovans depend on the land for sustenance, and they are a hardworking, determined people.
Our task for the week in Risipeni was to conduct a kids camp to which all children in the village were invited. This meant that we had little to no idea how many kids might show up. Since most of us were simply hoping that someone, anyone would come, it is safe to say we were all a little surprised when our bus pulled up to over 100 kids waiting for us on the first morning of camp. The good news was that we were prepared! Well, as prepared as you can be when you’re facing 100+ kids who speak a vastly different language from your own. With our ZIP curriculum, a suitcase full of craft materials, and some recreation equipment in tow, camp began.
Our team leader had supplied us with the ZIP material ahead of time, meaning we had everything we needed to study and adjust the material to our particular setting, age group, and time frame. Obviously, our environment for camp was different than the typical VBS or day camp setting; we had limited resources, an unknown group size, and major language and cultural barriers to overcome. Yet, ZIP made it easy to adjust. Because of it’s customizable nature, we were able to pick and choose what activities worked for us, without minimizing the Gospel message that is the core of the ZIP curriculum. Guided by ZIP, we spent the week looking at the relationship between Peter and Jesus, challenging kids to see Jesus as a Savior who loves them deeply and who is worthy of our trust.
Though at the surface it seemed that I had nothing in common with a group of Romanian-speaking kids in rural Moldova, I was quickly reminded that our deepest need is the same: a desperation for the love and rescue of a Savior. It was an exciting and full week getting to speak truth into these young lives, many of whom who hadn’t heard the Good News of Jesus before. I am grateful for the ZIP curriculum that assisted us in carrying the message of the one true King to the nations.

What are we reading?


I polled my teammates this week to see what they are reading. I think it’s really important to keep reading and improving, no matter what discipline you’re working in, and it’s also important to keep refreshed and inspired through reading (especially when you love it as much as I do! I especially struggled sitting down to read non-fiction, as I love the relationships and action packed stories of fiction to keep me moving. One way I’ve gotten myself to read more nonfiction is to do it by audio book during my long commute to work! What are your suggestions for audio books I should be looking up?

Currently I’m reading the audio book of Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P.L. Travers, which is a fun step into the whimsical mind of a child. I also love the Money Saving Mom blog. I’m not a mom, but I love her tips for saving money and spending quality time with kids. I’ve found lots of ideas that translate well to kids’ ministry through her. Her writings on homemaking, grocery savings and faith and identity are also really helpful to me personally.


carol_editedCarol Tomlinson: “I just finished reading Teenology by Jim Burns. Great parenting resources for parents of teens and for student leaders.”





brown2Gordon Brown: “I’m currently reading: A Gospel Primer—for Christians by Milton Vincent, a cool little book about the power of gospel; allowing it to color the way we look at the world and The Reason For God—Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller.”





DSC_0009Andrea Spikes: “A book I’m reading right now is Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Its about seeing the work and life of Christ as something to contemplate every day; I’m also reading City of God by St. Augustine.”






VanCleave - new (1)Rhonda VanCleave: “I’m currently reading: 66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God That Invites You Into His Story by Larry Crabb (I’m really enjoying it, but it is a read that will take a while. It is a good book to read a bit, then stop to ponder.) I also follow a quilter’s blog. I have no time to play with with my stash, but I enjoying dreaming as I watch her designs. She does heart strings quilts for charity. I also love Ree Drummond “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” blog (and TV show). I’ve actually made some of her recipes with success!




Wow! Such deep minded team mates I have! I’ve added a few to my reading list and I hope you have too! What are you reading right now? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


Tired of seeing the same themes over and over again when you go to pick out summer curriculum? You know there’s going to be at least one beach theme on the shelf… and probably some kind of wilderness adventure, too. Not a problem. When it comes to themes and decorations, Zip for Kids is a blank slate. That means you can theme it up anyway you want. Always wanted a dinosaur theme? Go for it. How about time traveling back to Bible times? Do it! Zip is intentionally theme-less so that you can make it THE unique event in your community.

Here are some quick ways to add a theme to your Zip event:

  • Decorate the Large Group area and Small Group rooms according to your theme.
  • Incorporate your theme into the Bible story skits… dress the stage and the actors to match your theme. For example, for a beach theme, Zipster and Zoie can be dressed in Hawaiian shirts, shorts, flip flops, and sunglasses and the setting can take place outside a surf shop or ice cream hut.
  • Add your own theme graphics to the media elements provided in the Zip Media pack to make your projected lyrics match the theme.
  • Choose track times (from Zip Tracks or create your own using the provided templates) that complement your theme. For example, for a beach theme you may want to offer Outdoor Games, Messy Games (includes water play)—which are both provided in the Zip Tracks pack—and create your own Sandcastle Sculpting track.
  • Supplement the music provided in the Zip Media pack with a suitable theme song or your own favorite music to match your theme.

Zip Tip—Preschool Terms

carolI am back again to share another important term that everyone should know when leading Zip for Preschool. Do you remember the terms I shared last month?

That’s right I explained what we meant by the terms Large Group and Small Group. You may have remembered seeing a reference to the term Learn It in that tip. You may have wondered, “Learn what?” Well, today I am here to tell you what Learn It refers to.

Learn It—another term for Bible Study. The teaching plans contain an Opening (the core Bible study) for each session and a Closing (a recap of the core Bible study).


Zip Tip—two units, one about David and one about Peter, that teach the attributes of God are provided. Select the unit that best meets your needs or consider teaching both units if your day last longer than three hours.

Zip Tip: Finding Printable Resources

When thumbing through the session booklets you’ll notice that some activities call for specific printable (or projectable) resources. These may be things like scripts for the Bible story skits, review questions, Powerpoint slides, or helps for sharing the gospel. To access any of these resources, simply pop the DVD-ROM included in the Administrative Helps folder into your computer. (Note: Your computer must have a DVD-ROM drive to open the files. A CD-ROM drive alone will not be able to access the disc.)

The disc may launch automatically to play the Bible Story Videos located on the DVD. If so, no problem. Simply close the DVD player and navigate to the ROM portion of the disc by opening the root directory. From there click on the “Admin_Tools” folder.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 9.04.12 AM

You’ll see two options, one for Administrative Helps (forms, schedules, etc.) and one for Teaching Helps. Click on “Teaching Helps” and you’ll see the entire list of printable and projectable resources called for in every session. Simply find the right session and file name to match the item you need.

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Even EASIER… use the Session Builder discs to plan your sessions & let them do all the work for you! When you use a Session Builder disc to create a customized teaching plan, any printable or projectable resources called for in the activities you selected will automatically be saved in the same location as your teaching plan. How easy is that?!

Create a Fall Break Event in a Zip!

What kind of fall break do the kids in your ministry have? Are they out of school two days, a long weekend, a week, or more? This is a great time to minister to families by providing an event that engages kids during their down time. And don’t forgot what a blessing you will be to families who struggle with short-term child care during these longer school breaks.

Zip for Kids™: Essentials allows you to custom design large group (platform driven) times and/or small group times. From high-energy excitement to worship times to focused Bible study, you select exactly what works for you. After you export your custom designed sessions, you can add your own creative elements before delivering the final product to your teachers.

Zip for Kids: Media and Zip for Kids: Tracks can enhance your event or extend it into a full day of fun for kids.

And after fall break, keep your Zip for Kids resources handy. There will be plenty of ideas left to fill other squares when you need to quickly plan “something for the kids.”

With Zip for Kids, you can zip it up in a flash!