Wednesday, June 1, 2016

VBS Program (Science Theme) "Laboratory of Fun" - Day One

Last week I shared with you the weekly "Laboratory of Fun"  Science theme for a one week long VBS program. This week I wanted to look specifically at Day one of that same week to share the schedule and day's activities to give you a better idea of how to fill the time for each day.

First we begin with Registration. The kids come up to the tables which is labeled for their ages. We split our kids up from ages five to eight (younger) and nine to ninety-nine (just for fun). When they approach the tables we ask for their names and confirm correct spelling. We use a simple form that I designed to keep track of their attendance. On the second and following days, we will use that chart to track their points for: attendance, verses memorized, papers completed and brought back the next day, friends invited, and participation. We do not hand out the point cards on the first day because they are not needed until the second day.


We gather all the children together for prayer. At that time I introduce the point system and theme for the week.

Once the points are explained, I announce that the older kids will be walking to the last set of benches to hear the Bible story from my husband while the younger group of children simply move closer together to hear the Bible story from me. We have a set time for the lesson so we try to keep the time the same in order for both groups to be ready to move on to the review game. Sometimes the older group goes longer so I stall the younger ones with songs and crazy stories or questions. :)

Dee teaching the smaller age group.

Don't  you love our flannel graph holder? :)

David teaching the older age group.
***The exception from the norm for this Science themed VBS was that instead of a review game right after the Bible stories, we did the science experiments first to allow the lesson in the experiments to also be used for review.

The children were looking forward to something new and exciting to watch when it was time to gather around for the experiment. 

This experiment can be described in detail here but these photos just have to be shared! Mrs. Pipetkina has a fear of balloons. So, this first experiment was a challenge for her to have to pop THREE balloons on purpose! We even offered to pop them for her since David understands her fear (hmm, his wife has the same "strong dislike" for balloons!) but she promised to be brave. She did great! Best of all were her faces as each balloon popped!

Sin separates us from God.

Can you help me put the balloon back together?

But, John 7:38 says, " He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

Both water and salvation are priceless and free. 
Both are available to everyone!

The balloon filled with water does not pop, but is protected, when it is exposed to open flame.

As is the person who puts his/her faith in Jesus Christ!

The experiment went well! The children understood and were amazed that the water balloon did not pop!

Next on the schedule, review game time!

While one of my helpers is playing the review game with the kids, several other helpers are setting up for snacks and Kool-Aid for our break time.
Once the review game is done, we pray for snack time and the children have about ten to fifteen minutes to eat. During their break, we would gather their point cards (that they wear around their necks) and put them away for the day in preparation for game time. The children are left with a stretchy colored wrist band to distinguish which team they are on so the cards are able to not be a safety hazard and get in the way while they try to play games.

I plan on saying more about point cards and games but I will share for you what games we played for this particular day.

The first game required the kids to hold each other at the elbow and without breaking the chain, get their bodies through the hula hoop and on down the line.

There are usually a few clowns in the group but this little guy just made us laugh with his funny faces while he concentrated on getting through that hula hoop!

The next game was a bit of a risky one on our part but we saw this game played at a good friend's son's birthday party and it was a lot of messy fun!

We did a little simpler version where the kids stand in line, each team having two players (one on each side of the table) blindfolded and ready to dig into a jello and whipped cream pie with their hands! Inside the pie were gummy worms, rice, and beans. The goal was for the children to find as many beans as they could, pull them out of the pie mess and onto the tablecloth in 30 seconds. The team with the most beans found wins!

I gave the instructions and my husband made sure to taste test the whipped cream just in case it was bad! ;)

The beautiful pies!

And their off!

Okay, so the risk was worth taking! They LOVED this game! Girls and boys alike!

We have a set time for games that determines how many we are able to play each day. If two games take up the entire time allotted for games then we stick with our time frame, although we try to have three games each day. 
At the end of the games we gather the kids all back together again to remind them to invite their friends. We also hand out their homework sheets for points as well, reminding them that the points they earn through the week will be like money to spend in the "store" on the last day. We then gather up their wrist bands, close in prayer, and they are free to go home. Some stay after to play soccer with some of the VBS workers. :)
Our program lasts two hours and it is a packed two hours with no time in between activities for them to wander off. This year the first few days felt like the two hours was more like 30 minutes! The time seemed to pass so quickly from start to finish! 

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