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Top 10 VBS Crafts: Ideas for Vacation Bible School

Aug 11, 2013

"One key part of many Vacation Bible School programs is craft time! Kids love art projects and it’s a great way to bring everyone together."

One key part of many Vacation Bible School programs is craft time! Kids love art projects and it’s a great way to bring everyone together. There are craft kits you can purchase, which are great for smaller groups, but the cost can add up quickly if you are preparing for a few hundred children. Here are some fun ideas that range in price for your Vacation Bible School.

Top 10 VBS Craft Ideas for Vacation Bible School

“The Truth" Luke 8:15 “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”

10. Soup Can Planters

This craft can be expensive depending on the number of kids participating, but you can also ask your church, friends and family to donate the plants. Teach kids about planting the seeds for God to help a person blossom, growing spiritual food, giving a plant what it needs and trusting that God will help it grow.

Supplies

• Empty soup cans

• Plaster of Paris

• Potting soil

• Small plants

Directions

There is preparation needed for this activity, so plan accordingly.

1. Peel the label of the soup cans

2. Cover each can with plaster of Paris so they look like tree stumps

a. Mix up the plaster of Paris so it’s like soft mashed potatoes

b. Scratch up the sides of the can to make it look like tree bark

c. Put the plaster of Paris around each can and let some of it run down the base like roots

d. Let the cans dry for a day

Ready for the kids:

1. Have each child decorate their can with paint, stickers and any other art supplies

2. Fill each can a little over half full of potting soil and have each child put a plant in the can

9. Sponge Boats

Whether you have an ocean theme for your Vacation Bible School, or you create your own lesson plans, this is a simple craft for kids of all ages. Boats are talked about a lot in the Bible, including when Peter walked on water and Jesus chose fisher’s of men.

Supplies

• Sponges

• Sheets of foam

• Foam stickers

• Straws

Directions

Here are a couple of steps to prepare:

• Cut a point on one end so it’s shaped like a house (it will look like a boat once it’s complete!)

• Cut the foam pieces diagonally in half to form a triangle for the sail

• Point the tall part of the sail up and cut a small hole to slide the straw through

• Cut a small hole near the point through the sponge

Ready for the kids:

• Slide the straw through the sponge and also through the hole in the sail

• Now the kids can decorate their boats using foam stickers, markers and paint, puffy paint, etc.

8. Paper Plate Elephant

This is an easy and simple activity that will tie in well with animal lessons. The original project doesn’t include letting the child decorate the elephant, but I think it’s fun to let the kids add their own creativity.

Supplies

• 3 Large grey plastic plates

• 2 large wiggle eyes

• Paper towel cardboard tube

• Craft glue

Directions

It’s recommend to glue the plates to form the elephant for the kids if you are working with a younger group.

1. Flip the plates over and put one plate in the center and one plate on either side in the corner of the center plate (think Mickey Mouse ears)

2. Glue the “corner” plates so they are behind the center plate to form the elephant’s ears

Ready for the kids:

1. Have each child paint and decorate the cardboard tube, which will be the trunk of the elephant

2. Glue the trunk to the center of the middle paper plate and let it hang down

3. Glue the googly eyes above the trunk

Optional: Let the kids add more decorations, such as stickers, to the ears.

7. Pioneer Covered Wagon Craft

If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive craft for your Western-themed Vacation Bible School, consider having kids make this wagon. It will help them imagine being a pilgrim for Christ, especially over 100 years ago!

Supplies

o Cardboard

o Brown pipe cleaners

o Brown and white construction paper

o Empty shoe box

o Craft glue, such as Elmer’s glue

Directions

Cut the brown and white paper the proper sizes for the children.

Ready for the kids:

1. Cut the brown construction paper to fit on the sides of the shoebox

2. Glue the brown construction paper to the shoebox

3. Help the kids glue the white construction paper to the top of the box to form the wagon

4. Have the kids cut 4 identical circles out of the cardboard

5. Use pipe cleaners to create the wagon wheels and glue the circles inside of the wheels

6. Glue the wheels to the wagon

6. Macaroni Paper Plate Lion

I haven’t found a child that doesn’t like animals or masks. Use this craft to go along with your animal-themed Vacation Bible School lessons.

Supplies

o Rotini (spiral pasta)

o Paper plates or yellow construction paper

o Yellow Paint and brush (if you're using a paper plate)

o Glue

o Black marker

o Googly eyes (optional)

Directions

The only preparation needed for this craft is to cut circles of yellow construction paper. If you are using paper plates, then this is not necessary.

Ready for the kids:

1. Have each child paint their paper plate yellow (if you are using yellow construction paper, then skip to the step below)

2. Make the lion’s mane by gluing pieces of spiral macaroni all around the outside of the circle

3. Have the kids select googly eyes, a nose and mouth and help them glue each piece

Optional: Instead of using googly eyes, you could cut eye slits for the kids to see through the mask.

Optional: You can also poke a hole on either side of the mask near the eye slits and add string so the children can wear the masks.

“The Truth" John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

5. Beaded Cross Necklace

This is a simple and fun craft that allows kids to create their own jewelry. Even boys will have fun and you can modify the directions so it becomes a keychain or bookmark. This craft ties in well with teaching what the cross means and taking it with us each day.

Supplies

• Pony beads

• String

• Glue dots

Directions

The only step you will need to do besides laying out the supplies for the children is cutting the piece of string the right length for either necklaces or bracelets.

Ready for the kids:

1. Have each child choose 6 beads

2. Attach three beads together for the cross part

a. Line three beads up and flip the middle bead so two sides of the two outer beads touch the center of the middle bead

b. Put a glue dot in between each side to glue the middle one to the outer two

3. Slide one bead onto the middle of the string

4. Lace both sides of the second bead and push the bead down to the first bead

5. Next, add the cross section by pulling one side of the string through one bead and the other side of the string through the remaining bead

6. Then, pull both ends of the string through the last bead, which will rest on top of the cross and loop the strings around your finger into a knot

Optional: Have the children add more beads to each side of the cross.

4. Bottle Cap Magnets

Decorated bottle caps have become quite popular as you now see them popping up as locker magnets, headbands, necklaces, bracelets and more. Help your students make their own bottle cap magnets they will see everyday. This can help remind them of showing love, compassion, trust and faith every time they see the magnets.

Supplies

• Bottle caps

• Round magnets

• Hot glue

• Medium or large sized glue dots

• Elmer’s glue

• Construction paper

• Small words printed on paper

Directions

Cut small circles of the construction paper so they fit in the bottle caps and then use a hot glue gun to glue a magnet to the back of each bottle cap.

Ready for the kids:

• Have the kids decorate the small circles and then use the Elmer’s glue to glue one small word to the circle

• Use a glue dot to stick the circle to the inside of the bottle cap

3. Glittery Fish

Fish have become a great Christian symbol and is commonly called the Jesus fish because of its Greek meaning. Teach your young students to be “Jesus fish” and shine brightly like the glitter in this activity.

Supplies

• Cardboard tubes (toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes)

• Scissors

• Paint brush

• Glitter

Directions

Flatten the cardboard tubes and cut them into strips before the kids arrive.

Ready for the kids:

• Cut the fold on one end of each strip and cut two slits about an inch or so in and slide the slits together (this will form the fish shape)

• Have the kids paint the fish with glue

• While still wet, have the kids douse them with glitter

• Set them aside to dry

Tip: Use darker or bolder colors of glitter over pastel colors.

2. Craft Sticks Memory Game

This is a simple and easy craft that won’t require too much time to make, but you will find the kids spending a lot of time playing with it! You can use this craft for nearly any lesson and modify it for younger kids by helping them color a picture instead of writing a Bible verse.

Supplies

o Popsicle sticks

o Markers

o String

Directions

Choose a picture or Bible verse for the kids to write / color on the sticks.

Ready for the kids:

1. Have the kids decorate popsicle sticks either with a picture or a Bible verse

2. Put different parts of the Bible verse on each stick

3. Put the sticks in order and then mess up the order

4. Have the kids try to rearrange the sticks in the right order

5. Tie the sticks together with string so it’s easy for the kids to carry home

Tip: It may help to tap the craft sticks together as the kids write and color.

1. String of Prayer Stars

Prayer is essential as a Christian and this activity will help remind kids to pray, while being mindful of those around them. Use this craft as a teachable moment with any lesson!

Supplies

• Stars of multiple sizes (At least 10 for each child)

• Ribbon

• Two-sided tape

• Scissors

Directions

Cut out the stars either from free templates online or your own if you can draw!

Ready for the kids:

• Have the kids write down their prayer requests on stars

• Place tape on the back of one star and before sticking another star to the back, place the ribbon in the middle so it’s taped between the stars

• Tape all the sets of star to the ribbon, leaving a few inches between stars so it is curly when hung

• Once this is complete, the child can take the string of prayer stars home and remember to pray to for the things they wrote down

I still have fond memories of crafts from my Vacation Bible School years and that’s what I tend to remember the most. It’s fun to see what decorations each child is drawn to and for parents to take note of their crafting talents as they grow. If there is not a VBS in your area or you haven’t had the opportunity to participate in one, then try some of these crafts on your own! The most important part about each craft is spending time with each child and teaching them important lessons as they glue, color, bead and cut.

Are you involved in your children or church's VBS program?  Don't miss this F&E companion article covering games for vacation bible school goers.  10 Best VBS Games For Kids

Resources- ESV Holy Bible, youtube.com, photo credit: Christina Helton's Shops via photopin cc

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