Sunday, June 16, 2013

Everywhere Fun Fair wrapup, part 2

"Together, together, we're coming together. Celebrating the love of God in every way. It's the love, it's the joy, it's the faith that we share. Come On! It's an Everywhere Fun Fair!"
-Cokesbury's Everywhere Fun Fair theme song

In the last post I showed how we decorated for this year's VBS, the Everywhere Fun Fair. But decorations alone do not a Bible School make.

In recent years, my church has scheduled VBS from 5:45 to 8:00 pm on Monday through Thursday, with a finale performance and church-wide supper on Friday. However, the Cokesbury program is designed for five days, so we had to leave out one of the days [Day 3 in this case].

We divided the kids up into five groups, based on their grades. We had about 35 kids each night. After the opening group session in the sanctuary, the elementary groups rotated around four stations, each for about twenty minutes: Music, Story, Crafts, and Games/Snack. The preschoolers went to the Music station first, but then went to their own room to spread out and go at their own pace.

The theme, story, and country focus for each day were determined by the Cokesbury curriculum. Our wonderful kitchen leader, Michelle, organized the snack for each day, and I organized the craft project (although luckily found someone else to lead it!). Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to make a note of the games that were played in the recreation station... to be honest, it looked a bit like chaos all week, but I'm sure the kids had fun!

Here was our plan... 

Day 1 – Monday
Theme: Neighbors are Friendly!
Story: Sarah and Abraham
Country: Japan
Craft: Celebration Kites similar to the carp kites flown on Japan's Children's Day [following this tutorial]
Snack: Pretzels and edamame toothpick kebabs (similar to this) with soy sauce for dipping

Day 2 - Tuesday
Theme: Neighbors are Giving
Story: A Widow gives Cheerfully
Country: Zimbabwe
Craft: Decorating flowerpots with buttons and markers, and then planting a succulent to give to a "neighbor" (some groups focused on the flowerpots on Tuesday, and then planted on Thursday)
Snack: Sweet potato chips

Day 3 – Wednesday
Theme: Neighbors are Forgiving!
Story: Zaccheus
Country: Australia
Craft: Decorating totebags in the style of aboriginal dot paintings [using q-tips and fabric paints for the dots, following this tutorial]
Snack: Fairy bread

Day 4 – Mexico
Theme: Neighbors are Welcoming!
Story: God welcomes Everyone
Country: Mexico
Craft: Decorating foam door hangers with Everywhere Fun Fair-themed foam stickers to welcome "neighbors" [similar to this]
Snack: Tortilla chips and salsa with sopapillas

The preschoolers used Bingo markers to decorate their totebags. Here you can also see some of their decorated door hangers.

I printed each country's name/flag on a printable label. Before the closing program each night, the kids received the sticker from the country du jour to stick in their VBS passports. 

At the finale performance on Friday night, as the kids "graduated" from VBS 2013, they received their personalized totebag full of VBS goodies, including the rest of their crafts, their nametag, their passport, their photobooth photo as a magnet, a certificate of completion, a handout describing all of the things they learned this week, copies of some related workbook pages, and a brochure about the children's activities available at church throughout the year.

We ended the fun-filled week with a hot dog supper, homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert, and a slideshow of photos from the week.

I'm so glad that I was able to help plan VBS this year. Everyone agreed it once again was a great success!! But, I have to admit, I'm glad that it comes around only once a year!


  1. Really cute activities! I'm sure everyone had fun!

  2. Is it possible to get a link to print the passport? I was thinking of that idea today and that led me to your awesome post! :)

    1. I used the clipart from the Cokesbury Decorating and Publicity CD... and all of that's copyrighted, so unfortunately I can't distribute my adaptation.

      But you can easily make your own... it's a half of an 8.5x11" sheet of paper folded in half. I used the logo and the border on the front, and then used the Scripture Souvenir clipart on each of the pages.

  3. What do each of the pages look like in the passport? Did you stamp each page or did the kids write something on each page?

    1. I had the pages pre-printed with the each day's Scripture and the day [Monday, Tuesday, etc.]

      Then each night when the kids returned to the sanctuary for the closing program, they stuck a flag sticker on each day to show which country they visited that day. To make the stickers, I printed each country's flag onto small labels.


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