This is the first post of a series that are all part of a Creation Vacation Bible School I compiled from the wealth of information on the internet and my creativity. I hope you find the array of activities posted here beneficial as you work with children.
Scripture for the day: Genesis 1:1-5
Theme: Just like light, Jesus shows the way
Verse: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” John 8:12
Opening Gathering Time:
All the children meet together for singing and an introduction to today’s theme and scripture. During this time, we also had a guest scientist who had an interactive science demonstration that focused on something that God created on that day. Day 1 the scientist showed us some cool things about light.
On the stage we had a pop-up canopy with 2 sides up. It was here that we added the items that God created each day. For day 1 the sides were black plastic because in the beginning it was dark. We had lights strung up and a spotlight.
On stage: lights and a spotlight
For Crew Leaders to give to the kids: Small flashlights, which will also be their gift for the day.
- Creation Song
- He is the Light
- This Little Light of Mine
- Praise Him
Interactive Creation Story
(Have lights off) (Show power point presentation)
Our story begins a very, very long time ago. Before there was Xbox, i-phones, computers… Before I was born or you were born. Before there were airplanes or cars. Before there were people or animals. Before there were trees or air or even light. There was nothing! It was dark! Very dark! Close your eyes. It was really dark and there was nothing except our watery earth. But God was there!
When it is dark, really dark, can you see anything? Maybe you will run into something and get hurt. Is it kind of scary, especially if you can’t see what’s out there? What would you like when it is really dark? Would you like some light?
Our story is found in the first chapter of the Bible. It starts “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Read Genesis 1:1-3.)
What did God make on the first day of creation? What did God say? He said, “Let there be light!” (Then we turned the lights on.)
Activity: I need your help. Crew Leaders go ahead and pass out the flashlights. Don’t worry about the color, they can choose the color later at our closing gathering. When I say “Let there be light!” You can turn your flashlights on.
Remember, It was all dark. (Turn off all the lights.) God’s Spirit hovered over the waters of our world. God was ready to create a wonderful world for us to live in. On the first day, He said, … help me say it.. He said, “Let there be light!” (Turn on lights and kids shine flashlights.) And there was light! It was good. The evening and the morning were the first day.
Today you will get to do a lot of activities with light. Light is amazing!
God provides light. In fact the Bible tells us that Jesus is the light of the world. He shows us the path and where the dangers are and where it is safe. Just like light, Jesus shows the way!
Sing: Jesus is the light and then theme song
Dismissal to Station Activities:
After the Opening Gathering, the children, with their Crew Leaders move to their designated activity station. Each of the 5 Groups go to one of the 5 Activity Stations. There are about 15 children in each Crew with an adult Leader and an assistant or junior leader. How many crews there are in each group depends on how many children there are. We usually have 2 crews in each group so that we have 2 adults in each group.
Bible Crew Time > Snack > Science Booths > Recreation > Craft
Bible Crew Time:
Supplies: Bibles, flashlight, picture of pillar of cloud leading the Israelite, treasure hunt clues, 1Sun Bible Crew Time
Preparation: Put out signs for the treasure hunt. Children will answer the question on the sign by either going right or left. Put out wrong way and dead end signs in the appropriate places. Have a treasure in the snack room. The snack & treasure is a special cupcake.
On the first day of creation, God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light!
When do you like some light? ____________ (listen to & respond to various answers)
What kind of lights do you like? ___________ (listen to & respond to various answers)
The Israelites were running away from the Egyptians who had held them as slaves and mistreated them. They had a special kind of light so that they could travel at night. Who would like to read Exodus 13:21? (Have child or children read the verse while you show a picture then discuss it a bit to make sure they understood it.) By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. What was the light?
How many of you like a light when you are walking around in the dark? (shine a flashlight as you walk from one side of the room to the other.)
Sometimes when we don’t know what to do in a situation, it’s like walking in the dark, we need another kind of light. Who would like to read Psalms 119:105? (Have child or children read the verse then discuss it a bit to make sure they understood it.) Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. What kind of light does God give us when we don’t know what to do? (His Word, the Bible helps us know good choices)
God wanted the Israelite people to know what He expected and how they should behave. We’re going to watch it on video. It’s found in the book of Exodus chapter 19 and 20.
Or Beginners Bible God leads the Israelite people go to 21:56 play until 25:03
Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” We follow Jesus by loving God and loving others.
Today during your crew time you will be going on a treasure hunt. You will come to a crossroads and will have to choose which way to go by answering the question correctly. You can find the correct answers in Exodus 20. Break up into your crews. You must stay with the adult (older than 17) VBS leader who is in charge of your crew. If you come to a WRONG WAY GO BACK, go back to the previous question and answer it correctly. The first question is on our classroom door. You may take a copy of Exodus 20 with you. Commandment Treasure Hunt
The treasure hunt can end up at the snack room. The treasure is the black light experience and special cupcakes.
What did God make on our earth’s first day? Light!
With the light on, our snack looks pretty ordinary, but take a look when we turn out all the lights except for this special (black) light. On day 1 God made light!
Have these special Glow in the dark cupcakes from Glow in the Dark Party Ideas made ahead of time. This process takes some time.
Glow in the dark (under blacklight) frosted cupcakes – To make a tantalizing treat for the taste buds that will glow, begin with a box brand of cupcakes or a favorite family recipe. The main difference is going to be in the frosting. Your frosting should begin with a white base. You can buy one or use a recipe that is based on confectioner’s sugar. The trick is in using neon food coloring and gelatin. Get orange or green gelatin for the right effect. Put your frosting in a bowl and add neon food coloring that complements your gelatin. Frost your cupcakes and freeze them. You’ll prepare your gelatin by adding a cup of boiling water, topped off by three tablespoons of chilled tonic water. After your cupcakes have been in the freezer for an hour, dip the tops in the gelatin and freeze them for several minutes. You won’t believe how they’ll glow under a black light!
Another option from Glow In The Dark Party Ideas is Glow in the dark Jello
Glowing Jello made with tonic water — Kids love to have jello that has been cut out with cookie cutters and you can find all kinds of creative shapes to go with your party theme. Make this treat glow and everyone will be over the top. Follow the recipe on the box for the boiling water. When you add the cold water, make half of it tonic water and you’ll have a glowing concoction!
Finally a third healthier option is to serve yellow fruit.
Light is bright. When I think of light I think of the color yellow. So we also have some yellow fruit to eat.
The Science booth is one station area of 5 different station areas in the Creation VBS. At this station children can visit any or each of the 5 booths for as long as they want so long as everyone gets a turn that wants one.
Booth 1 – Colored Lights
Have 3 desk lamps, each with a different colored light (red, green, blue), shine on a white paper/screen not too far away. Explore the mixing of lights and the colors it makes and the making shadows while have various lights on or off.
See print out or the following website:
Booth 2 – Colored paddles
Have 2 flashlights and colored paddles (colors of rainbow). Have a box turned on its side to provide a shaded dark area; with a white paper on the inside bottom to be a screen. Place some small animals or other objects just in the box to cast shadows on the back screen of the box. Explore putting various paddles in front of one or two of the flashlights and making shadows on the white sheet at the end of the box.
How many shadows do you see if you have more than 1 light?
Kaleidoscope – Have various kaleidoscopes for the kids to look through
Booth 3 – Rainbows
Prism Rainbows – Have a prism near a window where the sun shines in so that the light will make rainbows. Also have a light to shine thru the prism to make rainbows in case of no sun.
Booth 4 – Spinning Colors
Spinning Colors– make a color wheel disc
- make 2 holes in the center and thread a string through the holes and attach the ends so that the disc can be spun
- make it like a top by putting a stick thru the middle – when it spins, what color do you see? An easy way is to buy the plastic tops you can get at the dollar store and then just make 2.5″ discs that kids can color and put on the top. Encourage the kids to try different colors and patterns and discover the effects. Even black and white patterns show color.
Booth 5 – Light in Water
Water Sphere Lens – Have a fishbowl (water spherical lens), candle or other light, and a white card. Place the light source (the lightbulb or the candle) more than 1 foot (30 cm) from the water sphere lens. Hold the white card against the side of the lens opposite the light source. Move the card away from the sphere until you see an image of the filament (or flame) on the card. Notice that the image is inverted.
Move the light source up and notice that its image moves down.
- 6 small hula hoops to leap from one to another set 3 in a set on the ground
- jump rope to walk on like a tight wire
- card board box or tube to go through as a tunnel
- cones to go around
- hoses to outline a winding path
- 4 buckets (2 one color and 2 another color)
- cups to carry water from one end of the course to the other
Preparation: make an obstacle course with 2 paths. Kids can choose either path to go on. Level 2 version, have 2 buckets (1 of each color) at the beginning of the course for kids to dip water out of and 2 buckets (1 of each color) at the end of the course for kids to dump water into.
Game 1: Obstacle Course
We have decisions to make every day. God’s Word helps us know what good choices look like. In our obstacle course you can choose which way to go. We can be thankful for the light God gives us to help us know which way to go.
Level 1: kids go through course, choosing which way to go
Before the first day, our world was covered in water. On the first day God made light. For an extra challenge you can carry a cup of water while you go through the course again.
Level 2: kids carry water through the course
Remember before God created light, it was very dark. Can you go through this obstacle course blindfolded, so you can’t see? Who was to take this challenge? You may choose a guide who is not blindfolded.
Level 3: blind fold kids before they go through course (optional: they can choose a guide who is not blindfolded
Game 2— Shadow Tag
In the next 2 games, we are going to be looking at shadows. On day 1, God made light. Because we have light, we have shadows.
When the ‘it’ person steps on a person’s shadow, they are ‘frozen’ or “it”
Game 3—Shadow Charades
Strike a pose to make an object with your shadow – others guess what it is.
Variation: Do this on a sidewalk and draw around the kids shadow with sidewalk chalk
This year we offered at least 2 craft choices for the kids to choose from. The Creation theme covers many other themes for which we had left-over crafts, so this gave us a chance to use some left-over crafts. Many of the other crafts come from Oriental Trading or S&S Worldwide.
Option 1 — a stained glass tea light holder
Supplies: battery operated tea-lights, either glass jars or clear plastic cups, and squares of tissue paper (about 1″ square)
Directions: Children will paint on modge podge glue or liquid starch on the outside of their jar or cup, then place tissue paper squares all over the jar so that they overlap a bit then paint on another layer of modge podge or starch. Add a tea light
Option 2 — Jesus Lights the Way
This craft box comes as a kit from Oriental Trading.
You may choose to choose a different craft, as another option.
During this time we reviewed the songs and theme we did at the opening session. We also handed out the items that the children did that day, a newsletter about what we did that day, and a gift to help them remember the theme.
Gift for today: A small flashlight that says, Jesus Lights the Way