Monday, November 29, 2010

2011 VBS Invitations for Kids

Outreach Idea: Main Street VBS and SonSurf VBS Invitations for Kids to Color

Here’s an invitation your students can color to invite their friends to come to VBS this summer. Copy or print one page for each child. Print your VBS information (date, time, place, ages, cost, etc.) on the back of each sheet. Print the information twice on each sheet so it backs up on the two invitation images. Then cut the sheets in half. Give one or two to each child. Let the child color the sheet(s) and personally give one to each friend he’d like to invite to VBS.

Print the invitation on the top for your main street VBS and the invitation on the bottom for your surf-themed VBS. Use these invitations before your VBS, but also print some to give to your attendees on the first day. Kids will be excited to tell their friends what's happening at Vacation Bible School as they hand out the invitations after their first day of VBS.

Visit Shop VBS to preview VBS Starter kits, listen to music clips, and see the Bible lesson overview for each VBS program. Use the money-saving coupons to save on your VBS supplies.
Click on the images above for a larger view.

Use these coupon codes to save on your VBS supplies.
Coupons expire 4-30-11. One coupon per church. Not valid with other coupons.

Monday, November 22, 2010

2011 VBS Timeline: 7-9 Months Before Your VBS

Here are some things to begin doing now in preparation for your 2011 VBS. First, start praying. You may want to organize a prayer team to start praying for potential leaders and workers for your VBS. Take a look at all the VBS options available and start deciding which ones look best for your church and community. Start choosing VBS Starter Kits to preview. Visit Shop VBS to select several kits to preview for 30 days, risk free. Kits will start shipping in December and January.

Click on the VBS Planning Timeline below to see the larger and expanded view. Print a copy for each of your VBS team members.

Use coupon code SAVEBIG to save $10 on your 2011 VBS Starter Kit when you order by December 10, 2010. You 'll also receive FREE Classroom Decorations plus a FREE book download, "Learning About God" for Grades 1-2. Visit Shop VBS to listen to music and video clips, see the daily Bible lessons and download a VBS Comparison Chart we've put together to help you decide which program(s) you'd like to review.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

7 Steps to a Successful VBS

1. Pray
This is a big job, so meet with your Christian Education Director, Children’s Pastor, or Sunday School Superintendent. Begin with prayer, asking the Lord to direct you and give you wisdom as you plan for your vacation Bible school. You may want to organize a prayer team who will continue to pray for your program before, during, and after your VBS dates.

2. Plan
Once you have a budget, order several VBS starter kits to determine which one(s) will work best with your church and community. Return the kits you won’t need or keep an extra kit to use as an outreach program over spring break—or any time you need a special program. Your kids will enjoy the fun VBS crafts and gifts anytime. Visit Shop VBS to see a VBS Comparison Chart and print out a VBS Planning Guide and Timeline for organizing your VBS preparation. You'll receive a free set of Classroom Decorations and free shipping on your VBS order over $150.

3. Recruit
Ask the Lord to direct you to the people whom He wants to teach your precious children. Ask Him to prepare the hearts of these people to be receptive to becoming VBS leaders or helpers. Then make a list of qualified people who might be interested, and make an appointment to visit them in their homes. Explain the VBS program and the responsibilities of a VBS leader or helper. Ask him or her to pray about the decision, and if desired, leave a specific job description with him or her. To ensure your children the very best experiences in your VBS program, look for leaders and teachers with the following qualifications:
Are dedicated Christians who seek to live for Christ daily, who study God’s Word, and who know the plan of salvation
Are tuned in to kids, and able to build upon their natural interests
Enjoy sharing in the children’s joy of discovery
Are warm, outgoing, and have a genuine love and sensitivity for children
Appreciate and seek to follow God’s command to teach children
Have a basic understanding of children in terms of their physical, mental, and emotional development, and their spiritual needs
Are reliable and disciplined to prepare for each meeting
Are suitable role models for children

4. Prepare
Before you begin signing up children for VBS, print registration cards onto heavy stock. You can download free VBS Registration Cards. Design your own for VBS or use these. Give the cards to parents when they register their children. Have parents fill out a registration card for each child attending your program. The card should contain emergency information and a place to list allergies and other medical conditions of your students. For any child with allergies, create a special, brightly colored name badge with the allergies listed so all leaders and helpers are aware of the allergies and don’t inadvertently give the child something that might cause an allergic reaction.

5. Be Creative!
Creativity may not be your strong suit, but no doubt your church is full of creative talent just waiting to be put to good use. Someone who can paint backdrops, another person who can concoct inexpensive yet healthy snack options, a seamstress who can design skit costumes or theme decorations, a crafty mom who can modify the suggested VBS crafts into easy-to-prepare keepsakes made from household supplies—all of these people can play a role in kicking your VBS program up a notch. The key is to tap into their talents without giving them overwhelming responsibilities.

6. Pray (Continually!)
Each day during your VBS program, have volunteers arrive 15-20 minutes early for announcements and a time of prayer. You may want to provide coffee and juice each morning, with donuts or bagels and fruit the first day. Or provide dinner in the evening and invite your VBS families to come (have your volunteers arrive 15-20 minutes before dinner). Use your VBS theme for a brief devotion, then make announcements, share prayer requests and praises, and conclude with a time of prayer (for each other, for the children, and for God’s wisdom and discernment). Each day, let volunteers share stories of how God is working during VBS. Then take time to thank Him for the ways He is using each person to spread His Word and change lives.

7. Consider Including Preschoolers in Your VBS
VBS is a great way to introduce young families to your church. Consider including 2- to 5-year-olds in your VBS program. You may want to run a separate preschool program for your little ones. The hours can be the same as for your elementary program, but younger children can have their own learning centers, games, and age-appropriate crafts. The preschoolers can join the other children for your VBS opening and then go their own preschool rooms for the rest of the morning. If your VBS begins with everyone together for an opening song time, be prepared to have one or two helpers take younger children to your preschool classroom for free play if the large group setting becomes overwhelming. Read other blog articles for more ideas on including preschoolers in your VBS (See the article, "How to Have a Preschool-Friendly VBS"). Visit Shop VBS to take a look at Jesus in Nazareth for Preschoolers and the Preschool Summer All-in-One Kit—VBS curriculum written especially for your two- to five-year-olds.

And Finally…Evaluate!
Before your VBS ends, have thank-you notes and evaluation forms ready for your helpers. Gather feedback about what worked and what didn’t so you can make changes for next year. Make notes so if you are not involved, you can pass them on to your successor. Thank God for the ways He worked to change lives during VBS. Be sure to let your volunteers know how much they were appreciated. While they’re still excited about the great things that happened during VBS, ask if they would be willing to consider being a part of the team next year. (Just to get an idea, not for a firm commitment.) Then follow up around March or April (or just as soon as you set the next date) to have them start praying about volunteering for your next VBS program.

Download a PDF version of these "7 Steps to a Successful VBS" so you can share them with your coworkers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

PandaMania Coloring Pages

Here are some coloring pages we’ve created for the PandaMania VBS. There is a coloring page for each day—a total of five. Each coloring page has the daily memory verse and the lesson focus. There is a set of coloring pages for the New International Version and a separate set for the New Living Translation. (The New Living Translation is used on the memory makers and other PandaMania printed materials.) If you use a different Bible version than the ones given, feel free to cut off or white out the verse and replace it with the version you prefer. Each coloring page shows a picture of the Bible story being taught that day or a modern-day application of that Bible point.
The coloring pages come in sets of five pages for just $4.99 per set. The best part is, you can make as many copies as you need!

You may want to make a coloring booklet for each child with coloring pages for each day stapled together. At the end of your VBS week, your students will have a booklet with the entire VBS points and memory verses—a fun keepsake reminder of their week at PandaMania Vacation Bible School.

Check back each week for additional coloring pages—we’re working on a set for the other 2011 VBS programs. (Hometown Nazareth coloring pages were posted October 12.) If you have another VBS program for which you’d like coloring pages, just leave a comment.

If you’d like to take a look at any of these VBS Starter Kits, visit Shop VBS for more information and to order your Starter Kits.

You can make as many copies of these coloring pages as you need for your VBS program. May God bless you as you prepare to teach children (and their families) about Jesus' love for them!

(Click on the images above to download the pages—
NLT is on the left and NIV is on the right)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Go Fish Guys 2011 VBS: Kickin' It Old School

In a world that is always searching for the “next big thing”, some things will never change and can never be improved upon. God, His Promises, His Word, and the Gospel are unchangeable, which is why the Go Fish Guys invite you to KICK IT OLD SCHOOL!

With Kickin’ It Old School, the Go Fish Guys continue with their concert theme, but with an 80s, retro hip-hop influence! Once again, your leaders and kids will be “hands on” with the Bible. This program is not dependent on the theme, the music, or the Go Fish Guys. It’s all about the Bible which means that it WILL be effective!

Using classic hymns from their new CD Kickin’ It Old School, your kids will love the new songs, videos, and karaoke times!

Your kids will travel through the Old Testament as well as the New Testament to learn several attributes of God. From Adam and Eve to the Passover to the building of the tabernacle to Jesus on the cross, your kids will learn how God’s holiness and separation from sin have never changed. Kids churched and unchurched alike will hear and understand the Gospel in a whole new way. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It’s time to kick it old school!

Here's an overview of the Kickin' It Old School VBS program. Click on the image below for a larger view. Visit Shop VBS for previews of more 2011 VBS programs and special offers.

Below is a list of the daily themes that go along with each day of the Kickin’ It Old School VBS (hi-res posters are FREE in digital format with curriculum). You can also download the Day 1 Bible Lesson for FREE by visiting our website,

Day 1 - This Is My Father's World - God Is Our Creator

Day 2 - Before The Throne Of God - God Is Our King

Day 3 - I Love To Tell The Story - Jesus Is Our Savior

Day 4 - I'm A Soldier In The Army Of The Lord - God Is Our Truth

Day 5 - The Solid Rock - God Is Our Rock