Vacation Bible School season at First Christian has come and gone. This year the theme was Athens and learning about Paul’s travels and dangerous adventures while spreading the gospel.
In the past we have participated in Jerusalem Marketplace, Hometown Nazareth, Daniel in Babylon, and Rome. Once again Dear Husband and I had a great time singing songs, making crafts, learning about Jesus and being crazy. I love the VBS our church does because it always uses interesting themes, costumes, craft tents and turns bible stories into an exciting adventure.
The key to a successful VBS is an awesome Children’s Education Director and lots of volunteers. Chris and his small army of volunteers turned our fellowship hall into an ancient marketplace. Dear Husband played the part of Paul and taught the kids what it was like to be a Christian in ancient Greece. They would meet him in his house each day and learn how you can trust God in good times and bad…even when and angry mob is chasing you. A successful VBS also needs someone willing to lead the kids in celebration time and practically stand on their head to get the kids excited about the songs and activities. That was my job this year.
Another element to the success of VBS are the volunteers who lead crafts and games. It helps if you have someone who looks like an olympian to lead the games. Patent adults to help over 100 pairs of little hands make crafts are a must.
During Marketplace time the kids rotate through the different craft tents and olympic games. This year for crafts we had a scribe tent, law tent (making guilty/innocent necklaces), music tent, tablet tent, geometry tent, toy tent, pottery tent, and olympic discus tent. VBS wouldn’t be complete with out snacks. Each night was a different snack…fruit, veggies, cheese, olives, dates, nuts, pita bread, olive oil and bread, greek yogurt and much more. Yum.
Olympic games with our Olympians (not really)
In the Law ten the kids learned how the ancient Greeks would cast and guilty or innocent vote when someone was on trial. They made their own guilty/innocent necklaces which turned into beaded necklaces.
In the Scribe tent the kids used hallow bamboo pens and ink pots to practice their Greek alphabet. We only had one ink spill the entire time and it was on the very last night. Pretty good if you ask me.
In the music tent the kids made harps. This was a great music craft because the end result was a quiet instrument. I blogged this advice last year and I’ll say it again…DO NOT make flutes or anything that requires a whistle. Don’t ask, just trust me. NO WHISTLES.
Look how happy these ladies look. Last year’s music helpers…not so happy.
Tablet tent was my favorite craft. The volunteers had a bunch of wooden frames pre-made. The kids could put together a frame if they wanted but it would take time for the rubber cement to dry. Beeswax was pre melted, poured into the frames and were ready when the wax was just beginning to get hard. Using a craft stick the kids could carve their own design into the wax. So creative and so much fun.
In the Geometry tent the kids colored and made geometric shapes out of pre-made card stock shapes that just needed to be folded into it’s shape.
In the Toy tent the kids decorated their own little Trojan horses. I heard the craft leader explaining the battle of Troy and how the soldiers hid in the Trojan horse. Maybe they should have labeled this the Greek mythology/history tent.
In the pottery tent the kiddos made pinch pots out of clay. The first day one of the volunteers brought their portable potters wheel. It was really cool and a big hit.
In the Olympic Shop the kids decorated discs for tossing. They were made of foam so no one was harmed in the making of this craft.
This is my favorite booth…the food stand.
The VBS curriculum we used was 5 days but our Children’s Ed Director made the wise choice to cut it down to 4. In my opinion this works out great because at the end of 4 days everybody is excited and wishing it wasn’t over. As a volunteer I was thinking, sure I could do another day! But if you did actually did do that last day you would be thinking, I’m so over this. It’s always better to end on a high note and leave ’em wanting more.
However, beware, this is what happens to you after 4 days of VBS.