MOPS Magic

Don't you just love it when you attend your "regularly scheduled meeting" and irregularly grand things happen?

This past school year I've had the opportunity to speak at over 20 MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meetings in different areas of the country. And in many of those meetings I noticed things that seemed to be real winners, both in my estimation and the opinion of those participating. So today I thought I'd share with you a few of those "home runs," whether they are winning group activities, fun decorating ideas, insightful ways to put your mentor moms to work, or fundraising projects. And if you're not in a MOPS group, you might still find something useful in this list. Many of these great ideas would work for other types of group meetings or women's ministry settings as well.
  • Kids' Activity Swap - Each mom brings a predetermined number of instructions and supplies for a fun kid's craft assembled in large Ziploc bags, brown lunch sacks, or some other container. All the kits supplied are put out on the tables and moms go through a line gathering them all up and putting them in their own large shopping bag or box. The goal of the event is for every mom to go home with, say, 10 or 20 fun, ready-to-do, and easy activities for their kids. They could include crafts, games, travel activities, nature adventures, etc.
  • MOP/Mentor Mom Prayer Journals - Each mom decorates and personalizes a simple composition notebook at the beginning of the year, including basic information about themselves such as birthday, husband's name, children's names and ages, etc. At each meeting the moms record prayer concerns, parenting questions, marriage dilemmas, personal issues, etc. which they would like to share with their mentor mom. The mentor moms then take the journals home from the meeting so they can read over them, pray for the moms accordingly, offer wise counsel if appropriate, share applicable scriptures, etc.
  • Queen of the Day - Our own MOPS group honors a different mom at each meeting for having accomplished something significant (e.g., potty training a toddler, running a marathon, losing weight) or having contributed something meaningful (e.g., hard work on a fundraiser, leadership, organizing a mom's night out). That mom wears a pink boa and tiara during the meeting and her table gets to serve themselves breakfast first!
  • Kids' Clothing and Toy Consignment Shop - A number of groups hosts consignment events so moms can make money selling their kids' outgrown toys and clothing while the MOPS group does, too. But only a few manage to turn this event into a major money maker and talk-of-the-town. I think the key is advance planning and lots of effective publicity.
  • Meal Swap - Moms get together on an other-than-meeting-day day and supply one another with six or more dinner time entrees. Moms prepare a set number (5 or 6 is probably a good limit) of single-recipe entrees in disposable, freezeable containers and bring them wrapped or secured and ready to swap. Provide heating instructions of course. And everyone goes home with the same number of a variety of entrees. 
  • Pinterest Party - Prepare dishes you found on Pinterest and supply the recipe; supply craft directions and materials for an easy craft you found on Pinterest; play a game you found on Pinterest; etc. Hook up a computer to a projector and actually "get on" Pinterest and browse each others' boards!
Do you have a favorite activity, craft, fundraiser or "system" you've enjoyed at your MOPS meeting this year? Curious minds want to know!

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