Although Summer is till several months away, now is the time to start thinking about your VBS. Vacation Bible School varies across the country. Some run for a week and some for two weeks. Either one will work good for your congregation as long as it is planned properly.
Many times your theme will be decided by the amount of money that you have available for your VBS. Try not to let this be a problem. You can still have a very successful VBS program if you just apply a little ingenuity.
One of the most important aspects of a VBS is the central theme idea. After all, that is what will attract the children. Small lead up activities, a month or two before the actual VBS week, can go a long way in motivating your children. With that in mind, here are some theme ideas.
The theme has to be good enough to attract both boys and girls. So it should be a unisex idea. Themes like camping, a circus, carnival, or zoo is excellent. However, there are some others that you can use, too. Things related to a trip (travel), under the sea, space exploration, a cowboy roundup, animal safari, off to college, careers, a movie studio, and military service are great unisex themes.
Other ideas you could use as a theme guide would be polar or Arctic, dessert adventure, mountain climbing, treasure hunting, Worlds Fair, Fun ParkOriental, Australia, Fiesta, and Cartoon Capers.
Once you pick a theme, write down some of the items (goals) that the children would try to accomplish while they are there. Have something exciting and different each day. This will encourage the children to return. A successful VBS means that the children are not only learning but, they are having fun.
One way to encourage children to return is by assigning them a task the next day. The task should be fun and important. Everyone values their importance in making things a success. Children or no different. For example, if several children know that they are responsible for putting on a puppet play for smaller children, they are most likely to return.
Many VBS programs are set up with an opening program each day before they rotate to different stations like arts & crafts, music, bible lessons, games, snack time, projects, and a closing program to help sum up what was accomplished that day. Each day is like this until the very last day. On the last day, set aside some time so that parents can join in. If you had a career theme, parents can explain what they do in life and why it is so important.
I mentioned earlier about financing a VBS. You don’t need money for everything. One of the best things that you have going for you is the imagination of little children. The more you can tap into that, the more successful your VBS will be.
Here are a few web sites that can help you with your planning. www.christianarea.com , www.cokesburyvbs.com , www.vacationbibleschool.com