Vacation Bible School is generally a week-long event for children at Christian churches in the summer, while school is out and the children are on vacation. Vacation Bible School has been around for at least 80 years, according to Standard Publishing, a disseminator of VBS materials. Crafts are an integral part of a VBS program, and they can be used to re-enforce the Bible lessons.
One of the easiest craft ideas for children is color sheets featuring the story from a Bible lesson. Some online resources provide free color sheets to print. The children will need crayons, markers, paints, or colored pencils.
Many Bible stories are about animals, such as Daniel in the Lion's Den and Noah's Ark, so creating animals with various materials can illustrate the Bible story and serve as good reminders of it once the VBS program is over.
For example, to make a useful pen-and-pencil holder, cover a coffee can or another cylindrical object with construction paper and decorate like an animal's head, using wiggle eyes, pipe cleaners, and markers. Use paper lunch-style bags to create animal puppets. The bottom becomes the face by attaching paper ears and wiggle eyes, and can be decorated with markers. Create birds by adding feathers and paper beaks. Let children's own imaginations create animals they hear about in the Bible lessons.
Fully Rely on God, or FROG, is another animal idea for VBS crafts with a message. Create frogs out of clay and let them dry. Or paint a paper plate green, fold it in half and glue the sides together to create a frog body. Attach legs, eyes and a tongue made of paper. Put some rice or dry beans inside the plate before gluing and the frog can double as a rhythm instrument.
Decorating a hat or T-shirt with the theme of Vacation Bible School can be a nice memento of the summer. Purchase visors, caps, or T-shirts in bulk, and provide fabric paints and fabric markers so the children can make their own unique VBS designs.
Marilyn Walker is a communications professional living in New York City. She is originally from Oklahoma and holds degrees in journalism from Oklahoma State University (bachelor's) and the University of Maryland (master's). Walker has written professionally since 2004.