Ask for the loan of large potted plants from your church members. Paint packing boxes to look like pyramid stones. Hang some sheets to use as dividers in your marketplace. Scatter a few throw pillows and rugs on the floor of some of the marketplace booths. Collect baskets for the Basket Weaver’s Shop. Hang some from the walls or display them on shelves. Low tables make great work areas for some of your shops (or lay an old door on top of a few two-by-fours). Toy desert animals add a fun touch, too. If you have outdoor areas, bring in clean sand or sandboxes with stones and rocks and potted trees and ferns.
To make your own fans, cut large cardboard circles in half. Tape on a long dowel rod handle. Glue feathers and feather boas to the semi-circle of cardboard in a rainbow pattern, alternating colors. Paint hieroglyphs on some boxes painted to look like stones. Don’t use anything with splinters or any sharp or rusty objects, however. Staple or tape the Giant Decorating Posters to your walls to give your hallways and rooms the feel of ancient Egypt.
Use the silver coins as rewards for kind, helpful behavior during each day of your VBS. Explain to the children that those who are caught being helpful each day will receive an extra coin that day. Then encourage family leaders and shopkeepers to reward thoughtful behavior with a coin (one extra coin for each child each day). Coins can be used in the marketplace—children give each shopkeeper a coin as they enter the shop. Have shopkeepers recycle the coins back to family leaders at the end of each day so they have plenty for the next day.
Draw a large pyramid or triangle shape on poster paper so the bottom is about 77 inches wide. Children can add their God Sighting Stones to the pyramid each day during your VBS program. Have them start at the bottom of the pyramid, forming one row of stones at a time. Younger children can draw their God sightings on the stones or have an older child or adult helper write the sightings for them.
Create a photo area with some large potted plants. Old sheets make wonderful backdrops and room dividers. Post some of the Giant Decorating Posters in the background or hang a large sheet on the wall with pillars on each side to resemble a palace. Place a colorful fan, a spear, and a shield nearby. Take a picture of each child wearing his family belt along with his Egyptian wristband, collar, necklace, and/or headband. Send the picture to him or her the week after VBS. (A Egyptian wristband craft will be posted on this blog next week.) Include an invitation to your next children’s ministry event (Bible club, fall festival, or Sunday school kick-off) and a note reminding the child (and his parents) about the fun time they had at VBS.
Need more decorating ideas? Take a look at the Egypt Clip Art and Resources CD for signs, pictures, publicity pieces, and costume patterns. Also watch the exciting decorating options on the Decorating Places DVD.
Use the new Joseph in Egypt Preschool VBS from Christian Ed Warehouse this summer to supplement your elementary VBS program from Group, Egypt: Joseph's Journey. Written especially for 2- to 5-year-olds, this five-day preschool VBS program includes Bible stories, snacks, crafts, and games with reproducible student sheets and colorful visuals on CD-ROM. You can view samples and take a look at the contents and course overview for the Joseph in Egypt Preschool VBS. Order the spiral-bound book with CD or, if you need it tomorrow, order the download version.
Now you’re ready to travel back to ancient Egypt for the VBS journey of a lifetime!