"He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'""
One of the reasons I haven't been around the blog much lately is that I volunteered to help plan Vacation Bible School at my church. [Yes, I'm the crazy person that volunteers without even having children!] Planning and decorating has occupied much of my brain for the last few weeks, culminating this past Friday after our week-long celebration.
Our theme this year was the Everywhere Fun Fair from Cokesbury. We blended the ideas of a carnival and our neighbors in different countries to create a world's fair. I searched Pinterest and blogs for related crafts and decoration ideas and wanted to make sure that I pay it forward for those planning VBS events later in the summer!
First I want to show you how we decorated for the Everywhere Fun Fair. While everyone praised my creativity, I could not put on this spectacle by myself. I'm so thankful for my two partners-in-crime (and as a result of this adventure, really good friends), Marie and Alison.
Each night of VBS started and ended in the sanctuary. We decorated with pennants, bunting-like fans made from tissue paper, and lots of balloons. We used the PVC puppet stage from our Puppet Ministry [similar to this] as our backdrop. Godwin Merifeather, the puppet emcee for the festivities, was supposed live in a ticket booth, so we used red foam core to build his home.
Each night focused on a different country, so we also switched out the cultural images each day. We printed out clipart from each country [mostly found here] and mounted them on foam core. I painted the country maps/flags on foamcore and mounted them on these weighted coffee cans/pvc stands that we found in the supply closets [by the way, I absolutely love rummaging through the closets of churches... you always find the neatest stuff], and they turned out so neat!
Most of the evening activities took place off of the main hallway in the Family Life Center. We wanted to make sure that this area had a big impact as the kids walked in the first time. We taped the red-and-white-striped tablecloth fabric to the ceiling in waves. And, at each crease we strung a row of balloons (I used a needle and fishing line to "sew" through the ends of the tied-off balloons, as seen here). We added some twisted crepe paper streamers (the wide fringed ones were inspired by Oh Happy Day) to the walls, just for more pizzazz!
We divided the gym into three areas, one each for crafts, snacks, and games. We used two sets of mobile bleachers as a room divider. This was the biggest headache because nothing would stick to the metal bleachers, and there was a gust of wind from the A/C that kept blowing things away. But after lots of finagling, our draped fabric, pennants, and posters lasted almost all week (when we walked in on the last night to find that the tablecloths had slid off, we finally gave up).
Our pride and joy was the choir room where the children went for music each night. With what felt like 500 straight pins, we pinned up plastic tablecloths from the dollar store to create a circus tent. We finished it off with a cluster of balloons and curling ribbon in the center. It stayed up all week with no corners falling down!!
Using the leftover tablecloths, pennants, and streamers, we covered a small puppet stage set-up that was donated to the cause to serve as the backdrop for our photobooth. We took each child's picture and gave it to them at the end of the week.
And, my personal favorite was the Bible story area. We bought the paper mural from Cokesbury; however, we were having quite a time figuring out how to hang it. We had to rethink how we were going to lay out the room but found that the wooden trim around the room had a bit of a lip that we could clip to. We rolled over the portable bulletin board to post the daily Bible verse and story illustration and pulled a couple of trees from the stage to extend the scene into 3-D. The children's director also added some blankets and baskets from her own collection to complete the scene.
Up next, Everywhere Fun Fair crafts and activities... you won't want to miss it!