Kids just wanna have fun! They love to laugh and play with their family and friends. Fun is an important ingredient in the recipe for a successful children's ministry. Be careful that you don't leave it out or add too much. A pinch of sugar in the tomato sauce takes the sauce to the next level. A cup of sugar in a cake makes the cake delicious. Understanding when to add a little and when to add more is an often overlooked skill in children's ministry.
I don't know about your kids, but in spite of my best efforts my kids always preferred junk food over nutritious foods. I always searched for great tasting recipes that were nourishing, but if I wasn't careful, they would fill up on cookies or puddings. I wanted them to enjoy desserts, just never make the desserts the main course. That is my caution for children's pastors and classroom teachers or leaders--enjoy the fun, but don't make it the main course. Be sure they always leave with a clear message that touches them where they live. Keep the main thing--the main thing!
Whenever possible use a game to teach a biblical truth. Use a game to evaluate how well they understood the lesson or to re-emphasize it. A game is a fun way to break the ice and crack barriers. Group and Gospel Light Publishing have tons of books filled with fun games. I love the games from the TV program "Minute to Win It". You can see the videos of the games on line and they also have a Holiday Guide that you can download for free. Here's the link. http://www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/M2WI_Holiday_Activity_Guide.pdf
Don't limit these fun games to service time; have a family fun night with games and snacks. Money is tight and families are looking for inexpensive things to do as a family. Seize this season to build relationships that are vital for healthy families, children and churches.
I'd love to hear how you used the games and the response you got from the players.