Craft tips for 2010

Thanks to Lynn Jordan (our wonderful craft tester – she tests all of our craft suggestions with kids) for sharing these tips that should help as you plan your crafts rotation for 2010!
Day 1
Branded Magnet
Time: 9-11 minutes
♦ Use aluminum cookie sheets.
♦ Use 3 layers of heavy foil in a frame.
♦ Remind the kids to use large, simple designs for their brands.
♦ Make sure self-adhesive magnetic strip is not placed over any holes.
♦ Canning or juice lids may be used with a hammer and nail.
Kids say: “I liked it a lot”, “Hard, but fun”

Wrangler Door Hanger
Time: 9-12 minutes
♦ You might consider a pre-cut foam or wooden door hanger as an option.  Pictures could be attached to the front with rope glued around to frame.
Kids say:  “Love it”, “Easy”,  “Fun”, “This just wasn’t fun to me” (5th grader)

Leather ID Band – Favorite for Day 1
Time: 12-17 minutes
Kids say:  “Fun” “Too hard” (1st grader), “It was a cool craft.”

Day 2
Bible Saddle Bag
Time:  15-20 minutes
♦ Faux leather appointment book covers or wallpaper samples could be less expensive options.
Kids say:” I’ll put this on my Bible.”

Campfire Memo Pad
Time:  19-22 minutes
♦ Red, orange and yellow tissue paper can be used to make the flame on the fire.  You can cut out multiple shapes at a time or just let kids use a 3- by 3-inch square and shape into a flame before gluing.
♦ We also tried real sticks instead of the paper cut outs. They needed tacky glue. Children can paint over their campfire with the Mod Podge® glue to give it the decoupage look.
Kids say:  “Very easy.” “I liked it a lot.” “Cool.”

Buckaroo Bandanna – Favorite for Day 2
Time:  11-18 minutes
♦ When you glue the bubble wrap around the tube leave a little of the tube at each end to provide handles.
♦ Cut squares from inexpensive cloth.
Kids say:  “I loved it!” “Very, very fun.”

Day 3
Hobby Horse Pencil Topper
Time:  9-11 minutes
♦ Be sure the glue is dry before you put the topper on a pencil.
♦ Remind the kids to hold the end of the twine while they pull the needle through.
♦ Use wooly yarn for younger kids.
Kids say: “I love it!” “My Grandmother is the only one in our family who knows how to knit.”  “Tell the teachers to use soft needles.”

ABC Dangler
Time:  15-20 minutes
♦ Use die-cut circles, adjusting the size if necessary.
♦ Remind kids that the holes are top and bottom, not left and right.
NOTE:  This test identified a problem with our craft instructions (incorrect twine length) that was updated in the curriculum – These comments were made about the craft before the twine length was corrected:
Kids say:  “This was the worst craft in the history of the world!!” “I didn’t like this craft at all.”

Starry Switch Cover – Favorite for Day 3
Time:  13-17 minutes
♦ Colored letters are easier to see to peel them off.
♦ Don’t press letters too firmly.
♦ Black switch plates can be ordered if you want to skip the spray paint step. Local electricians can order them wholesale for about 25 cents each.
Kids say:  “Really fun.” “I enjoyed it a lot.”, “Awesome!” “Very, very, very…fun!”

Day 4
Ranch Hand Reminder – Kid’s favorite for Day 4
Time: 7-10 minutes
♦ It was very difficult for the children to make the coils of wire.
♦ Star-shaped paper clips would be another option.
Kids say:  “Easy.”  “OK.”

Belt Buckle Mouse Pad
Time: 14-23 minutes
♦ Each buckle needs a whole sheet of foam.
♦ Foam markers don’t work on the glittered foam.
♦ Remind the children not to pull the cord too tight.
Kids say:  “I liked this a lot.”

Cowboy Confetti Bible Marker
Time: 7-9 minutes
♦ Use clear packing tape instead of contact plastic.
♦ Let the kids put the confetti on the adhesive, then place the bookmark on top.
♦ Trim edges instead of turning excess to the back.
Kids say:  “Awesome!”

Day 5
Cricket Caller  - Kid’s favorite for Day 5
Time:  6-11 minutes
♦ Wooden beads were pretty irregular, and some skewers are thicker than others.  Some beads wouldn’t fit over the skewer.
♦ Pony beads also worked.
Kids said:  “Very, very easy.” “I liked it.” “Easy and I liked it a lot.”

Saddle Ridge Memory Book
Time:  12-15 minutes
♦ The star-shaped brad didn’t work well.
♦ Bind the memory book using a stick and elastic band.
Kids said: “Not the best, but fun.” “Dumb.” (2nd grade boy) “Easy, but not fun.”

Tin Punch Lanterns
Time:  8-10 minutes
♦ Cut before painting.  The pliers and snips scrape the paint off.
♦ Water bottles were really hard for the children to punch & have a bump in the bottom that won’t allow the tea light to sit flat.
♦ We couldn’t get anyone to confirm if the spray paint was flammable or not.
Kids said:  “I liked it.” “I love it!” “Way too hard.” (1st grader)  “Hard, but fun.”

Comments

  1. Karen says

    It is so disappointing that there are so many theme crafts and none that reinforce the bible stories. The kids have nothing to remind them of what they learned. Although the theme is a lot of fun, we must remember that we are having VBS as an outreach to bring children to God. A tin punch lantern doesn’t do much to reinforce anything that has been taught.

  2. Becky Loyd says

    Hi Karen – I’m sorry you are disappointed. We do our best to provide options that will be fun for kids, but that will also allow the teacher to make a connection to the bible story and life application. Each day, we provide a Bible Story Recap and Connection Points in the craft rotation leader guide to guide the teacher in talking with kids about what they have learned in VBS. For example, the day that the tin punch lantern is suggested is Day 5, which is the day that kids will talk about living in ways that will honor God. The crafts leader guide suggests that kids use their lanterns as a reminder to do all things in a way that others will see them as a light for God.

    Feel free to add your own ideas for crafts to our forum: http://lifewayvbs.ning.com/forum/categories/saddle-ridge-ranch-craft-ideas/listForCategory

  3. Lynn says

    I agree with Karen. A non-churched child who comes to VBS needs something in hand when he goes home to help him remember what he learned at VBS so he can share with his parents. Isn’t that part of the vision of VBS to get the message of Christ into the home THRU the children? The class ‘discussion’ idea is fine when you can get them ALL to LISTEN, but sometimes you have a grouping of talkative, or unchurched kids who don’ understand how to be still and listen while in church. If the craft tied in to the story of Zacchaeus, or the stoy of creation, etc. it would be easier for the child to recall what he learned. Since i work in crafts, I’m not familiar with the music, but mucic should be the same. I know there are great songs for the kids to learn about these Bible stories, but the music that i see at the end of the week doesn’t seem to include those anymore either. There is a great song about Zacchaeus, the ‘wee little man in the sycamore tree’. Those are the songs i remember with fondness from past Sunday school and VBS lessons.

  4. Sandi says

    I am leading a Crafts Clinic for our associational VBS clinic on May 1, and I have made one of all of the craft ideas in the Saddle Ridge Ranch book including the week long crafts. I found that the instructions for the Branded Magnet were not very clear. They don’t tell you to cut a circle in the cardboard square to put your “brand” in after you punch it. On the sidebar it mentions to put the design in a frame after you punch it on a piece of cardboard.

    I used heavy aluminum foil to make the brand and taped it in place over the opening of a square of heavy cardstock after I cut a circle in the cardstock. Then I used another square of heavy cardstock a little larger than the first square and glued it in place, and then added a piece of magnet to the back. I liked it better after it was finished.

    I thought the Tin Punch Lantern was a dangerous craft and would require too much adult prep work ahead of time. If you use plastic bottle bottoms, they could cut the kids, too.

    I thought the crafts this year were much easier to make, but I have to agree with Karen and Lynn that there should be some Bible themed crafts and music. That is what I remember most about VBS when I was growing up. Today we do have more unchurched kids with unchurched parents and it is so important to get the Bible stories into these homes.

  5. Sandi says

    I am leading a Crafts Clinic for our associational VBS clinic on May 1, and I have made one of all of the craft ideas in the Saddle Ridge Ranch book including the week long crafts. I found that the instructions for the Branded Magnet were not very clear. They don’t tell you to cut a circle in the cardboard square to put your “brand” in after you punch it. On the sidebar it mentions to put the design in a frame after you punch it on a piece of cardboard.

    I used heavy aluminum foil to make the brand and taped it in place over the opening of a square of heavy cardstock after I cut a circle in the cardstock. Then I used another square of heavy cardstock a little larger than the first square and glued it in place, and then added a piece of magnet to the back. I liked it better after it was finished.

    I thought the Tin Punch Lantern was a dangerous craft and would require too much adult prep work ahead of time. If you use plastic bottle bottoms, they could cut the kids, too. I won’t recommend it.

    I thought the crafts this year were much easier to make, but I have to agree with Karen and Lynn that there should be some Bible themed crafts and music. That is what I remember most about VBS when I was growing up. Today we do have more unchurched kids with unchurched parents and it is so important to get the Bible stories into these homes.

  6. sharon copeland says

    Just to let you know that Hobby Lobby has the cutest wagon craft with the bible verse James 1:5 check it out

  7. Diane Nelson says

    I thought about doing the Saddle Ridge Memory Book on Monday, so the children could write their Bible verses every day in the book, in their classroom. Also, Sandi, which crafts did you like the best?

  8. Sandra L. Coates says

    For every craft that is made this year in our VBS, we have decided to place the scripture verse for that day onto the craft using labels or by typing the scripture on plain paper and taping it to the craft. There may be some crafts where a label cannot be used. When this is the case, we must find another alternative for adhering the scripture to the craft. It is our goal to reinforce the scripture lesson with ever craft that goes home.

  9. Selinda says

    Help!!! I’m teaching VBX & I’m having the darnest time with the pinecone cross craft. I can’t figure out how to get the scales off the pinecone in tact & in a timely manner. Any suggestions?

  10. says

    We just did a sample of the mouse pad craft. The stickers did not tear off in one piece. The smell of the mouse pad is almost unbearable and we only opened one. I can’t imagine an entire roomful of them opened at once. We would like to return this craft.

  11. Gina Sims says

    Does anyone have a recommendation about where to purchase the leather 1 x 7 strips for the Leather ID Band? I saw that Oriental Trading has a kit with imitation leather. Do you think imitation leather is okay?

  12. Amy Kastello says

    I would like to know more about the wagon craft at Hobby Lobby. What does it look like? Did you buy it online? Can you give us a skew number to look for it?

  13. Susie says

    Can someone tell me the length of the string for the Cowboy bolo tie? Thanks so much…

    Also, we are preparing for about 200 crafts a day. I have used recycled materials for the craft supplies: wallpaper samples for the saddlebag project – free from a local store; the local pharmacy has donated the inserts from their medicine bottles to use on the ABC dangler – just the right weight and die cut very easily; BIG LOTS has been a saver on supplies like the foam sheets #25 for $3.00, and the 12 x 12 paper #24 for $3.00 – we can cut 8 bookmarks per page; local phonebook was delivered with a magnat on the cover – using it for the branded magnet.
    Many congragations have resources that you might not be aware of……many work at places and would normally just throw the sample books away for example. Just a few ideas to share. Budgets are a conscience effort this year for all.

  14. Robin says

    As co-director of our church’s VBS I decided not to use any of Lifeway’s crafts. We want our VBS to be about teaching God’s word and these crafts leave much to be desired. Not only do they have nothing to do with the day’s lesson or verse but the quality is poor and, as your testing shows, they only take a few minutes when the rotations are 30 minutes each. All your other material is excellent – but the crafts , which should be fun and help reinforce the bible story, seem to be nothing more than an afterthought.

  15. Tami S says

    A few years back we combined our crafts portion of vbs with our missions rotation. Our kids make a craft each day, but they are given to missionaries to use on the field. The kids don’t take any of the crafts home. We are fortunate to have many folks who are either members of our own church or friends or family of someone in the church who do missions-volunteer, short term, career. We have them speak about their mission field/ trip/etc and then the kids make the craft projects. We have used teenagers to senior adults. One of our speakers told the kids-”Now it is time for you to be a missionary and make a project that will be used to help someone else learn about Jesus”. Now, we use this thought every day with every craft. The group leaders pray with the kids about who will receive the craft, we encourage the kids to pray over it as they are making it, and before we all leave the kids hold up their project and we pray again that God will use the project to lead people to Him.

    This year we are using a combination of the DVD videos and live guests.

    Finding projects to do is often challenging, but God has been faithful to guide us. We try to have every project to either include a bible verse of to use the “power band” colors so it can be used as a witnessing tool.

    Some of our projects have been- power band bracelets and necklaces, wordless books, foam bracelets with Jesus loves you (in Spanish), scripture bookmarks, hygiene kits(ziplock with soap, washcloth and a handmade encouraging note with scripture), small blankets that the kids decorated blocks with fabric markers and then the blocks were later stitched to homespun fabric, , foam hearts decorated with designs and JOY(based on Romans 15:13), and a simple bible story coloring book that had 8 pages and a cardstock outer cover-the vbs kids decorated the front cover and wrote on the back “For my friend in Sudan”.

  16. Sharon Lambert says

    I was very disappointed in all the crafts this year. Before, we were given choices for (1) Bible related (2) Theme related or (3) Cost efficient. Missed these options. Also missed not hqving a T-shirt option. That was our kids favorite, and they always wore them on Family Night. My biggest complaint is that all (or nearly all) of the crafts were simply craft foam or paper stickers. There is just so much sticking and gluing. Nothing really creative, and nothing that would not go in the garbage in a week or two. I have been doing Crafts for at least 7 years and material has always been excellent. I will not be using Lifeway’s ideas this year.

  17. Sandi says

    This Post is for Diane Nelson: You asked which crafts I liked best this year.

    I liked the Cricket Caller, Campfire Memo Pad, Bible Saddlebag, and Memory Book best.

    A tip on the Bible Saddlebag: It isn’t very clear on how this goes on the Bible. After looking at two different pictures of it, I decided it was supposed to go around the outside of the entire Bible. I think this makes it hard to use the Bible without taking the whole thing off. I think it works better to have the part of the ribbon with the concho on the outside with the actual “saddlebag” on the inside of the front cover. The kids can keep their Bible verses in it and they will be on the inside so they won’t fall out as easily. I had trouble finding conchos in our craft stores. I noticed in the kit in our Sampler they have a foam star. I did go online and found a place that has metal conchos. To find them go online and put in “concho” and you should pull up several companies that sell them.

    I also found that the stickers on the Mouse Pad Kit did not stay on the foam very well. They wanted to pull loose. I only had the sample kit of this craft that was in the Sampler Kit we bought for our church.

  18. Sheree says

    The crafts are just suggestions, if you feel that they don’t meet your expectations, be creative and develope your own. Don’t be tied to the book, pray and let God inspire you to create a craft and then share it with everyone. Don’t let our enemy still the joy of VBS for the adults or the children over crafts.

  19. Angela says

    I also do not care for the crafts this year. I am in charge of crafts for 3rd thru 6th. most of the crafts are too young or in my opinion too dangerous(lantern). So I have decided to do my own, we will be decorating a bible cover, making a keychain that says ASK, to remind them to place anything in God’s hands. we will do a t-shirt as this is a very popular craft for all, and decorating a wooden cross, then on the last day, we are having them make a food craft, that they will eat , so we don’t have to woory about anything drying in time. , I think you can make craft time enjoyable and work into the lesson if you think out of the box.

  20. Joyce Cummings says

    We are disappointed that there are NO crafts/art projects in the 2010 3′s–PreK leader’s guide. Also, there are no refreshment ideas. Until this year, we have always been able to depend on this guide when planning our VBS.

    However, we do like the Bible ideas, teacher devotion, etc.

  21. Becky Loyd says

    Hey Joyce – We’ve moved all of the preschool art, recreation, music, and missions activities for preschoolers to the Preschool Rotation Guide: http://www.lifeway.com/product/005187490/.

    I think the first year we made that change was in Game Day Central. You’ll want to talk to your VBS director and see if she has that product.

  22. Betsy says

    Have a question about the starry switch cover – I am having trouble with the toothbrush issue of flicking paint without it going everywhere -do you have any other suggestions or ideas about this – thanks for your help.

  23. Julie says

    I wish it was easier for teachers to find this discussion line. Last year, I found it easy to stay up-to-date on craft stuff. This year it takes some searching to find this area. Always appreciate the new ideas. Like several others, I find that most curriculums do not have craft suggestions that I find appealing or economical and end up putting a plan together myself. I am currently working on one for this year and am very pleased with it so far. I will post it when finished.

  24. amy c. says

    not sure who asked about the leather bands, but i am doing this crafts for several grades and instead of leather i am using strips of tan/brown craft foam. i am also doing the lantern but instead of using the tin can or water bottle we are using baby food jars. either stage 2 or 3 size jars. i am going to let the younger classes put stickers on the jars to decorate and tie twine around the top and the older class will get to glue tissue paper on if they want for a stained glass effect and tie twine around the neck of the jar. hope this helps some of you.

  25. says

    What craft support and suggestions for Route 254?

    We wanted a more Bible based theme than the ranch, and there seems to be little or nothing Lifeway is doing for this program.

  26. Edie Lewis says

    On the wristbands I am using vinyl that I just got from JoAnn fabrics for $6 a yard. For the switch plate cover I’m going to have them use sponges to do the painting instead of a tooth brush. I also have a bunch of adult shirts that I keep from year to year for them to put over their clothes to protect them when painting. Also I take their suggestions and tweek them to fit our budget and our kids. I do the crafts for all ages so have to make them to fit the age groups. I tend to not buy the kits unless absolutely necessary. Hope that helps. Edie

  27. Jeanette says

    I will have to agree with most of the posts that the crafts don’t relate to or go with the bible stories. Lifeway seems to be more interested in selling their kits rather than helping with craft ideas. They seem to forget that we have budgets that we need to stay within. I have also noticed that their Sunday School leaders guide is trying to sell their crafts rather than share ideas with the teacher. If you don’t purchase the leader pack you are out of luck unless you are creative enough to come up with your own ideas. I too am ready to go to another source for VBS and Sunday School literiature that the almighty dollar isn’t number one priority. Within our own church there have been lots of complaining about the Sunday School literiature.

  28. Becky Loyd says

    Hey Jeanette – I’m so sorry that you are having a negative experience with our curriculum. Our intention in offering craft packs (and leader packs) is to provide convenience for people so that they can focus on ministering to kids and families. And we are a non-profit organization, so our profit is given to mission work or reinvested into making new resources for churches, which is not true of all Christian publishers. If you do have specific complaints about our curriculum, I suggest writing the editor of the curriculum to let them know the problems you are having. We try to continuously improve our products, but we aren’t perfect!

  29. Becky Loyd says

    Courtney – our craft tester got wooden beads at Michael’s, but also said that pony beads would work just as well for the craft. Hope this helps!

  30. Charlene Shaffer says

    I made a sample of the cricket caller and don’t understand what it is??? It sounds like wooden beads banging together. Did I do something wrong. Not sure how to explain to the kids what it has to do with a cricket.

  31. Sandi says

    This comment is for Charlene Shaffer: She asked how the cricket caller works.

    You must make sure the beads you use are close together between the first and last one which is glued to keep them on the skewer. The sticks or skewers aren’t banged together. You rub the beads together on the skewer and they make a sound similar to a cricket rubbing his legs together. It is not a real loud sound, but loud enough if you have lots of kids doing it at the same time.

    The first bead is glued to keep them on the skewer or dowel and then the other beads are put on close together and the last bead is glued. I used hot or cool melt glue on the first and last bead on the sample I made.

    I found wood beads too expensive for 200+ kids, so we are substituting plastic pony beads and they work as well as the wood beads do. I also found that heart shaped pony beads will work.

    I ordered conchos online from Hobby Lobby for the Bible Saddlebag craft. They were $1.47 for 4 and they had four different styles. These were cheaper than another online store and the shipping was cheaper, too.

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