Monday, July 26, 2010

Discipline in Love

Discipline means teaching children to be responsible for their own behavior by providing guidance and necessary examples. Discipline tells a child that you care enough about a child and want him to behave in a manner that you know to be right. Be sure your youngsters know what kind of behavior is acceptable during your VBS program, and set limits and boundaries for them while they are with you. It’s unfair to punish them for breaking rules they didn’t know existed. Here are five guidelines for maintaining good discipline during VBS:
   1.    Establish the necessary standards and limits at your very first day of VBS, and make sure everyone knows what they are. Keep the list short!
   2.    Consistently enforce the standards. If they’re not worth enforcing always, for everyone, they’re probably not worth having.
   3.    Be reasonable in your expectations. “No talking” is not reasonable. “No talking during prayer time or when someone else is speaking” is a reasonable rule and should be enforced. Simply stop talking until the offender realizes he’s the cause of the problem. Your silence should be sufficient. The second time it might be necessary to say, “Ricky, you’re interrupting our story. Please stop talking so I can continue.” If it happens a third time you might say, “Ricky, the next time I have to stop this story because you’re talking, you’ll have to leave the group.” Then be sure he’s removed (quietly) if it does happen again.
   4.    State your expectations each day and again before transitioning to a new activity. Let children who attend VBS regularly repeat the expectations for visitors to hear and as a reminder to everyone else. Be sure to restate the expectations each day and before each activity. Don’t expect children to automatically remember to raise their hands before talking if you haven’t reminded them.
   5.    Be logical about punishment that must be administered. Don’t make a federal case out of a minor infraction, or you’ll have to send a major offender to jail! If a child smears glue in another child’s hair during craft time, separate the offender from the glue for that day, or have him work alone at a table. Children do bizarre things at times on impulse — usually to get attention!

Once you’ve established your standards and enforced them firmly and fairly for awhile, the best rule to follow is to assume that each child can be trusted to handle his own behavior until he proves otherwise. Let the youngsters know that this is what you expect now. Then, when a child misbehaves, you can let him know that you’re disappointed that he isn’t ready to be in charge of himself in the group, and that you’ll have to help decide where he should sit, and whether or not he can work with others. Make it clear it’s the behavior you’re disappointed with — not the child. When the child and you determine that he’s ready to try to be in charge of his own behavior again, emphasize how much you want him to be successful this time. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

VBS Volunteer Appreciation Ideas

Here are some easy ways to show your VBS volunteers how much you appreciate them.
Duplicate the green and purple cards below onto poster board or card stock and cut them into fourths. Tape a chocolate crunch bar over the word CRUNCH on each card. Prepare the cards before your VBS week so they are ready to hand out  to your volunteers during the week. Make a few extras in case you have last-minute helpers. Have students hand out the cards to your adult volunteers.

Also print the thank-you cards below. Cut them in half between the Thanks! signs. Then fold each card in half so the Thanks! image is on the outside. Print the cards before your VBS week. You may want to write a personal note or Scripture verse inside. Hand the cards out to your volunteers on the last day of your VBS (or the Sunday after your VBS) along with a personal word of thanks. If you don't mind paying postage, you can also mail the cards using small, note-size envelopes. Feel free to edit the wording as you wish.

May God help you encourage your volunteers this summer.

Click on the images above for a larger view.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Group's 2011 Nazareth VBS

New for 2011, Hometown Nazareth VBS helps kids walk with Jesus. It's the Bible in motion! Welcome kids into the ultimate VBS Bible-times experience. They'll visit with Mary, Jesus' mom, and hear about Jesus' childhood adventures. Everyone will learn Bible truths that they can't wait to apply to their lives and share with others.

Nazareth VBS teaches kids to love God and His Word . . . like you do.
Hometown Nazareth VBS Starter Kit: $119.99

Take a look at the 
Hometown Nazareth VBS course overview. Click on the image below for a larger version. 
Check back for VBS updates each week. Visit Shop VBS to see all of the 2011 VBS programs and special offers.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paint-Your-Own VBS T-Shirts

Here's a great way to let your students make their own personalized VBS T-shirts. Ask each child attending your VBS and each volunteer helper to pre-register so you can collect their shirt sizes. Order inexpensive cotton blend T-shirts, all in the same light color. Pre-washed shirts work best. You may want to charge a small registration fee to help cover the cost of your shirts.

Collect paper grocery bags and lunch-size paper bags so you have one for each child. Lunch-size bags are for your XS shirts. Provide fabric paints and fabric markers. (Tip: Fabric markers work fine with older kids, but younger ones may have difficulty getting them to make dark enough colors.)

Make the shirts on your first day of VBS so the children have time to take them home and wash them (if you wish). They can wear their shirts on the last day of VBS or for your closing program or Sunday service. Cover your work areas with plastic tablecloths. Tape or clip the tablecloths so they won't move as the children work. Place a paper sack between the front and back of each T-shirt so the paint won't bleed through and cause the fabric to stick together.

Copy the designs below and cut the sheets in half so every two children can have a design sheet. These are for inspiration only. Encourage your students to be creative! Let each child create a design (preschoolers can create squiggles, shapes, or line art) and paint or draw it on his shirt. Have older children help younger ones so the paint doesn't puddle or clump. You may want to provide paint brushes so younger children can spread the paint around if it comes out too quickly.

Provide wet wipes and paper towels for clean up. Make sure each child's name is on his T-shirt. Set the shirts aside to dry overnight. Then send them home so the children can wear them at the end of the week. We would love to see photos of your VBS T-shirt creations. Have fun!

Sample T-Shirt Designs & Logos (copy and cut in half):

Click on the image above to download the design page.