Crafting in the Rainforest … at VBS!
Last week, I led crafts for our church’s Vacation Bible School (VBS). I was asked to lead crafts because of my obvious love of crafting, and I hesitantly said yes. I haven’t been to a VBS since I was in 5th grade, and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I was given an amazing organizer, Jolena who pulled together all the supplies once I picked the crafts. Then, for the week of VBS. I had an awesome team of 4 women plus 3 teen girls to lead crafts for 160 kids. It was one exhausting week but soooo much fun!
As you see in the title of the post, the theme of VBS this year was the Rainforest. Naomi, our fearless leader (and my cousin) did an amazing job of decorating the church and coordinating all the volunteers within the different stations – crafts, Bible, snack, games, music, and related activities. It was all done so well. Even my girls, who were in the nursery, got to learn the songs and Bible verses, see the skits, and do crafts. Izzie came home with her first serious crush – Jungle Boy! She talks non-stop about him, and now when we go to church she is convinced that she will see him!
Recognize those monkey cut-outs Ethan did and posted on Facebook. Pretty cool, huh? Whoever painted and decorated these did an awesome job! They were even more amazing in person!
We did one craft each of the five days for grades K – 5, but on the second day did a separate craft for the younger kids.
This was so much fun. I made templates for the masks including a frog, jungle cat, monkey, and a generic mask. We cut out the masks before hand for the younger kids (Thank you, Miss Ellen!), and let the older kids trace and cut their own masks.
Here is my sample mask that I made for the kids to see. I wrote “Sample” on the back and reminded the kids to write their names on the back of their masks. I ended up getting called “Miss Sample” the rest of the week – what a great sense of humor kids have! Plus let’s face it, sample is WAY easier to say than Jocie (pronounced Jah-see).
Here are José and Bear (kids of OPC) and their cousin, Mary modeling their masks. Of wait, never mind, those are jungle animals!
Parrot Puppets / Ojos de Dios
The younger kids, grades K – 2, made Parrot Puppets using craft foam, jumbo craft sticks, and wiggly eyes. They were so easy and a fun project since the body of the parrot was made from tracing their foot and the wings and tail feathers were their hands. They loved it!
Okay, so this one’s a little silly…
The older kids, grades 3 – 5, made Ojos de Dios, meaning Eye of God using popsicle sticks and yarn. This was the cheapest craft but the hardest for us adults. It was so funny – the kids caught on very quickly, learning how to wrap the yarn around the popsicle sticks, but some adults never really got it!
Here’s Jolena practicing before the kids come.
And Dawna, one of our craft leaders, all set up!
Another relatively cheap craft but lots of fun! Church folk donated water bottles and the kids added glitter, beads, colored macaroni, and jingle bells to the inside. Then they inserted a wooden dowel with a small piece of craft foam wrapped around it to keep it in place, then wrapped a piece of duct tape around the opening. Finally kids decorated the outside with paper, markers, and craft foam.
This was one of my favorite days because if the kids finished early I led them in songs or a parade! To say the least, it got LOUD! Some people brought in ear plugs the next day. lol!
This was another cheap craft that the kids loved. We used donated paper towel rolls with decorated paper around the outside. We capped one end with paper and duct tape, then filled it with twisted paper and dry rice. After capping the other end, we tied twine and beads to one end. And of course, we ended with a parade of rain sticks. It was the sweetest music I have heard in a while!
Birdhouses were our grand finale, but strangely were the least amount of work for us leaders. We stocked the tables with cups of paint, paint brushes, glue and glitter and let the kids go to town. I found $1 bird houses at Joann’s and bought out the store! The kids loved it (and so did some of our volunteers!)
Here are some other really creative ones that I particularly loved. Check out that splatter painting from two of the 5th grade girls!
In all, it was a wonderful week of VBS, crafting, getting to know some amazing kids, and celebrating God’s love! At the end, Izzie was given the chance to have her picture taken with Jungle Boy, along with Jose and Bear. She got a little freaked and opted to have her picture taken with Jungle Jess instead. Hopefully, when Izzie likes boys at age 16 she will continue to adore at a distance…we can hope!
As Always, thanks for reading!
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