Monday, February 28, 2011

Big Wave Discovery

Take a look at this all-purpose beach-themed course for your preschool and elementary kids. Big Wave Discovery is part of Gospel Light's KidsTime program, and is great as summer Sunday school or as follow-up to your  SonSurf Beach Bash VBS. Keep your kids riding the wave of Jesus' love with this 13-week course for preschool and elementary children ages 3 to 12.

This reproducible curriculum includes high-energy games, art, and worship plus creative Bible storytelling ideas and reproducible music. The entire manual comes on a reproducible CD-ROM. Combine the fun and excitement of being at the beach with answers to questions kids have about God, Jesus, the Bible, prayer, the church, and more.

All this makes it easy for you to get the same excitement from the beach theme, decorations, and publicity used for your summer VBS—plus get your VBS visitors back to church for Sunday school and children's church! Here are just a few ways you can use this course:

1. Summer Sunday school or children's church curriculum
2. Once a month as follow-up in Sunday school, children's church or second hour to keep the excitement of VBS going all year long.
3. An after-school program for neighborhood outreach.

You can use the Big Wave Discovery program even if you don't use SonSurf VBS. You can also use it during Spring break to get children coming to your church before VBS. Then invite them back during the summer for SonSurf VBS (or whichever VBS program you decide to use).

Catch a wave for an exciting faith journey this summer! Your students will learn how the truths found in God's Word serve as a guide for any situation in their lives.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Main Street VBS Ideas

The large Main Street Color-It Mural for Inside Out and Upside Down on Main Street is a great way to involve all your kids! Let children color it before VBS to introduce them to the theme (and help decorate your VBS rooms). Or you can hang it during VBS and have students color it as they arrive. Tape one to the wall in your preschool room (at the children’s eye level) and let your little ones add Main Street Stickers and color the mural during their free play times.

Cover your tables with the Super-Fun Activity TableclothKeep kids active and engaged with this 47" x 72" tablecloth that can be used again and again. Provide dry-erase markers for the children to use to do the puzzles while they wait for the next activity or after finishing their snack or craft.

These bus passes (with lanyards) are great name tags! Use them to help kids get to Main Street and use stickers on the backs of name tags when kids report how they're living out the Word on the Street.

Kids will love collecting the Bible Pin Pals to wear on their ball caps or lanyards. There is a pin for each day of your 5-day VBS program. Each pin includes the Scripture reference for the day and a fun logo to help the kids remember the daily Bible story. Pin Pals come in sets of 5 different pins. Order one set for each child. Each day, have a leader show the children the pin for that day and help them review the Bible story (and memory verse portion) that goes with it. 

Before VBS begins, gather additional pins for each of your leaders to wear. Give your leaders a Main Street Hat (blue ball cap), too. (Ask church families to donate old pins; make sure none have sharp edges.) Display the pins on the leaders' ball caps. Watch for kids who are being kind and helpful each day during your VBS. Then let the kind child choose a pin from those his leader is wearing. Some children may want to trade pins with VBS leaders during the week. Build excitement by featuring a pin trading post that children can visit during their snack time or before and after VBS each day. Kids love to collect pins to wear on their ball caps or lanyards during the week. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gold Rush VBS Decorating Ideas

Grab your bandanas and dust off your boots. Use your favorite western props to make your Gold Rush VBS come alive for your students this summer. Use large barrels and wagon wheels along with some wooden benches along the walls of your classrooms or outside your campus areas. 

Paint some small stones gold. Place them near a blue paper or fabric stream lined with ferns or other small plants and wooden logs. Also use rocks to line the river bed. Near the river areas, post some Tree Borders on the wall. Set some pie tins nearby so children can "pan for gold."

Set up some small tents and hang ropes, cowboy hats, and aluminum pie tins on the walls. If you have some saddle bags, place them near the tents. You could also place an old saddle on a bench to give the feel of the old west.

Line the walls of your hallways with Fence Borders. Overlap or layer the fence pieces for a 3-D effect. Hang a small flannel shirt just above one of the fence posts so it appears to hang from the fence. Place some large rocks or stones nearby.  (Spray paint crumpled newspapers to look like rocks.) A toy snake could peer out from behind a large rock.

Set up a corner of one of your rooms to look like a campsite. Place some tin cups nearby. Be sure to include lots of nature items so your students can see who Jesus is—our Creator and Redeemer. 

Gather your gear and join us for unforgettable discoveries!

Monday, February 7, 2011

SonSurf VBS Decorating Ideas

Hang netting from the walls (soccer nets can be used as fishing nets) and place sea stars and shells in the netting and on the floor beneath it. Use parts from the Sea Life Bulletin Board Set to decorate the walls around the nets. Toy sea animals add a fun touch, too. If you have outdoor areas, bring in clean sand or sandboxes with shovels, pails, and more shells. Paint a large box with smaller boxes stacked on top to look like a large sand castle. Have plastic pails, shovels, sea stars, and sea shells around it. You can also place several foam subskates, boogie boards, plastic rafts, beach balls, inflatable dolphins, colorful flip-flops, and inner tubes  around your VBS area.

Mount a Beach Mural or Surf Mural on a wall in each of your VBS rooms. These large 90" x 54" beach scenes come with three panels. Use some of the patterns from the Beach Decor & More CD to create additional backgrounds. Hang some small surfboards or boogie boards (or the Big Question Surfboards), goggles, visors, snorkels, and swim fins on your other walls or around the murals.

Ask church members for old beach chairs, beach balls, blankets, and umbrellas you can use to decorate your rooms. Drape beach towels over some of the chairs or spread beach towels or blankets out on the floor for kids to sit on. Staple ocean wave borders, blue fabric, blue streamers, or waves of blue borders to your walls for an ocean effect. Let children who arrive early add wall clings to the murals and walls.

Fish squirts are fun decorations that can be placed in a tub of water for a wet play area. This also makes a great place for cooling off the children on a hot day. Give your student leaders and adult helpers spray bottles of water to squirt children who get warm during your game time and need a way to cool off.

If you have a sandbox, have buckets and shovels nearby. Place an old inner tube in it for the kids to sit on while they dig. Sand tables also make fun play areas. Shells, sea stars, and colorful stones can be buried in the sand for children to dig up and rebury for the next person to find.

Create a photo area with a surfboard or boogie board, seashells, beach balls, and anything else reminiscent of the beach you can find. Post a Beach Mural in the background. Take a picture of each child standing beside a boogie board or holding a bucket and shovel (and wearing goggles on top of his head) and send it to him the week after VBS. Include an invitation to your next children’s ministry event (Bible club, fall festival, or Sunday school kick-off) and a note reminding the children (and their parents) about the fun time they had at VBS.

Now you’re ready to catch a wave for an exciting SonSurf VBS beach adventure!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 VBS Themes

New for 2011, Gold Rush VBS: Discovering the Rock of Ages from Answers in Genesis helps kids learn the answer to the most important question Jesus asks: “Who do you say that I am?”

Howdy, Partner!

Grab your bandana, dust off your boots, and get ready to mine for true gold. 
Our children must decide among many “gods” every day. In media, in school, and in books, they’re taught that all roads lead to heaven. They’re told to “believe what you want and it will be true for you.” These dangerous lies are drawing our kids away from the truth—that Jesus, the Rock of Ages, is the way, the truth, and the life! Salvation is found in Jesus alone! Gold Rush VBS uses the New King James Version for Bible memory verses. A KJV Supplement has student books and posters in the King James Version for just $19.99 (works with the Super Starter Kit and the Starter Kit).

Mega Sports Camp: Go the Distance from Gospel Publishing House encourages kids to run the race of life God's way, all the way. Five sessions focus on key character traits that help the students become better athletes and followers of Jesus. Welcome kids into the ultimate sports-camp experience. Everyone will learn Bible truths and good sportsmanship as they participate in a sports camp led by Christian mentors. The theme verse for 2011 is "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day." — 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV)

In a world that's 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  their concert theme, but with an 80s, retro hip-hop influence! Once again, your leaders and kids will be “hands on” with the Bible.
Using classic hymns from their new CD Kickin’ It Old School, your kids will love the new songs, videos, and karaoke times! Watch the videos. You can also download the Day 1 Bible Lesson for free by visiting our website, Here are the daily themes:

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

New for 2011, Group's 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.

Take a look at the  Hometown Nazareth VBS course overview. Click on the image to the right for a larger version. Nazareth VBS teaches kids to love God and His Word . . . like you do.

With  Main Street VBS from Standard Publishing, kids will be drawn into stories Jesus told about everyday people in everyday situations. But His stories were anything but ordinary! Jesus turned lives upside down and hearts inside out through parables that challenged people to look at themselves and others in new and unexpected ways.
So come join us on Main Street, for an inside-out, upside-down experience like no other...and let Jesus make a difference in YOU! Here are the Bible points kids will learn each day on Main Street. Click on the image below for a larger view.