The world is more environmentally conscious than ever before. Environmental church service projects can generate opportunities to talk about the future of the planet and how God asks us to take care of it. Many children are interested in wild animals and birds, and somehow, it is fun for them to serve what can’t be caught and shouldn’t be caught!
Church Service Projects for Sunday School: Services for Wildlife
Here are some ideas:
1. Make bird baths out of plastic containers and keep them filled and clean.
Students should be reminded that in draughts and summer heat waves, birds still have to drink – and they ought to have clean water available! Simply filling a plastic container with water and putting it in a garden can bring a grateful array of birds for the kids to enjoy.
2. Make bird seed containers and place them in public areas such as the trees in local parks.
Birds will find bird seed faster than you can imagine. There are many easy instructions for creating bird feeders online. If you plan to put any near building structures, find those that are suspended and can’t be reached by squirrels, as the squirrels’ next step might be to get into the attics/roofs of the buildings. Work out a schedule so that a different child goes around and refills the containers every day until your project ends.
3. Offer to help clean up at the local zoo.
Many zoos have programs already in place where kids can come and help clean up. A phone call or email may put you in touch with a grateful or enthusiastic supervisor who can pinpoint dates when services will be needed and opportunities offered. Note that smaller zoos are more likely to offer volunteer programs for children, while larger zoos may offer this opportunity only to high school students.
4. Help keep migratory birds safe.
Many migrating birds die each year unnecessarily – by flying into glass walls and big windows! Your class can help prevent these deaths by bird-proofing their homes’ window walls with these instructions provided by the Philadelphia Zoo:
– Objects such as thin strips of ribbon, used CDs, sun-catchers or silhouettes hung on strings in windows can distort reflections and prevent bird deaths.
– Close blinds and curtains if possible.
– Move house plants away from windows.
– Turn off lights at night.
– Place bird feeders either less than a half meter from a window (birds will slow down on approach) or more than 30 feet away so that the feeders are not in the direct flight path of a window.
5. Adopt an animal program.
Many local zoos offer adopt-an-animal program. Your students contribute funds which will go toward the care and feeding of a particular animal.
Generally, your class will receive a picture of the animal, a certificate, and their names on the adoption list near the animal’s cage. Most of the work would go toward raising the funds (see the dog biscuit fund raiser below for one idea, plus the parade and walk-a-dog-a-thon ideas above). But your students may enjoy paying a special visit to the animal one or two weekends a year and seeing their names there.
6. Make homemade dog biscuits to sell and deliver the funds to the local shelter.
There are many simple recipes for homemade dog biscuits that are fun for kids. They are generally no harder than this one, voted “most delicious” on Bullwinkle.com:
– 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
– 4 eggs, well beaten
– 1/8 cup bacon fat
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk powder
– 2 cup graham flour
– 2 cup wheat germ
– 1/2 cup cornmeal
Mix ingredients with a strong spoon; drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cookies on baking
sheet in the oven overnight to dry out. Yield: about 4 dozen dog cookies.
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