Notes and Tips for VBS Coordinators
All Curriculum is within the Links in the left two columns
Starting and Ending VBS Each Day
When I’ve been involved in Vacation Bible School, they usually started and ended in a central place each time. Some VBS had the kids sitting in the pews with the rest of their age/grade related peers and Group Leaders and I've been to others that had the kids sitting on blankets or towels on the floor with their group. (If it were me, I’d use dollar store shower curtains or plastic table cloths, so you don’t have to worry about lice, etc.) The important thing is that students never feel lost and always feel like a part of the group. It’s nice to have extra help to get kids to their spot for the first couple of mornings.
It’s nice to sing songs together before and after. You can use children’s songs from your church’s hymnals or old time favorites like: Jesus Love Me and This Little Light of Mine, etc. They love it when the teen/preteen helpers join on the stage to sing these songs. Maybe someone in your church can teach them the signs for the songs.
It’s also nice to have a VBS wide mission project, whether it’s collecting food and non-perishable items for the local food bank, money for Heifer International, or some other worthwhile cause. I also think that using the following passage is empowering to kids. “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And He took the children in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:15 NIV® I would say something like, “Jesus loves children this much, it’s nice to do something to show your love for Him by doing something nice for others.” (Then describe your project and tell how they can help and who they are going to help.) They may need reminder slips at the end of the day to remember to bring canned goods, etc.
Additionally, it’s important for your staff’s safety and for the safety of the children, that you have two people with the kids at all times! That could be two adults, an adult and a responsible teen/preteen helper, or two responsible teen preteen volunteers with supervision from an adult. Make sure there’s a plan for bathroom breaks for kids and for staff.
Note: Scripture quotations marked NIV® are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERENATIONAL VERSION NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica® . Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. (I actually contacted them and got permission to use these.)
In order to make this VBS curriculum copyright free, I drew all the pictures for each major Bible passage each day. You are welcome to use my drawings or you may want to copy and paste the major Bible passage on to a blank sheet and use Church/VBS clip art your church may have purchased.
Additionally, I have made up or adapted games, science, and art activities in order to tie them into the major Bible passage each day. I just made up random names for these and had no intentions to infringe on the rights or copyrights of any others who have created similar activities or that have similar names. For that matter, you don’t have to use any of these examples I’ve created and should feel free to substitute others that you feel better meet your needs and/or the needs of the children.
I have listed examples of Arts and Crafts, Science, and Game activities that relate to the Bible Passage studied that day. Some VBS' have the staff in each group do all the VBS curriculum with the kids. Others have stations where some volunteers do all the games for all the groups, a different group mans the arts and crafts for all the groups, and yet another group for the science for all the groups. In this rotation model of VBS, the class travels to all the stations on a rotation basis according to a schedule with their group leaders/helpers. (This method gives the kids a chance to move around periodically and it saves money by not having to have all the resources for each of the VBS groups, but either way can be very successful.)
Additionally, many VBS will group two grades of kids together like: K-1, 2-3, 4-5 with 6th grade and above as helpers. Others have grouped them with 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6 with 7th grade and above as helpers. It’s really up to you which model you follow, whether these or a separate class for each grade level. Most VBS' I’ve assisted with, provide a preschool VBS for the children of the VBS Volunteer parents.
Additional Important Info
I only give permission to use the VBS curriculum I have created and posted, to responsible Christian adults who will only use this material to positively further a love of Christ and will only use these materials in a responsible manner. All others DO NOT have my permission to use this VBS curriculum material. Debra Seiling