Four Weeks and Counting…

Hopefully it is looking a lot like – and sounding a lot like – Christmas where you are today. It certainly is here in the VBS office! But it is also looking and sounding a lot like four weeks until the first national VBS Preview at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.

We are in perpetual motion putting the finishing touches on a not-to-be-missed event! We have now hit capacity at Ridgecrest and the Nashville Friday/Saturday events, but there is still room at Fort Worth, Nashville Thursday/Friday, and Kissimmee.

A complete list of breakout sessions is now available at lifeway.com/vbs/events. Check it out today!

In addition to the basics for Colossal Coaster World and Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt, you will have the opportunity to explore decorating options with Mark Jones and the VBS Design Team, be introduced to LifeWay’s newest VBS resource Backyard Kids Club, be challenged by the preaching of Dr. Shane Garrison, and participate in worship with the Austin Adamec Band.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon for the Colossal Coaster World Experience!

National Cotton Candy Day

No trip to a theme park is complete without cotton candy. In fact, it’s such an integral part of the experience, we decided to name the snack rotation for Colossal Coaster World after that wonderful mound of spun sugar goodness. Today is National Cotton Candy Day. Why not celebrate by learning how to make cotton candy that will last the entire week of VBS. It’ll even last the whole summer! Click on the video below and I’ll walk you through it step-by-step.

Cotton Candy Cafe

Fake cotton candy looks good enough to eat & is so easy to make that you’ll want to use it everywhere… promotion, registration, decoration… the list goes on and on. How do you see yourself using cotton candy during VBS at Colossal Coaster World? We want to hear your ideas!

VBS & Fall Fest

Could there be a more perfect way to reuse VBS decorations than at your church’s fall festival? LifeWay Kids had our own fall festival last week… complete with food, candy, and games. Candace & I put our own spin on the classic “fish for a prize” game and totally decked out Candace’s office door with decorations from the Great Barrier Reef (Amazing Wonders Aviation).

You can check out more of the great games, booths, and decorations from our fall office party on the Kids Ministry 101 blog all this week!

We want to hear from you… Does your church do any kind of fall festival? How have you reused VBS decorations for other church/community events? Give us all some inspiration!

Jungle Jaunt on Pinterest!

If you’re planning for Jungle Jaunt Vacation Bible School in 2013, make sure you follow our brand new Jungle Jaunt board on Pinterest!  There are lots of fun and easy craft, decoration, and snack ideas available to get your gears turning.  Check out this awesome Lime Jungle Slime!  Would make for a great VBS snack– what kid doesn’t love slime??

Source: spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

Planning for Colossal Coaster World? We’ve got a Pinterest board for that, too!

Foto Friday: Sneak Peek!

In just a few weeks, we’ll be releasing the Colossal Coaster World overview video.  I can’t wait for you guys to see and hear all the details about VBS 2103.  And I’m most excited about showing you how to turn YOUR church into Colossal Coaster World!

I snapped a picture of a few weeks ago while we were shooting, and I’ve been saving it to show you!  But because I don’t want to reveal EVERYTHING juuuust yet, I’ve cut out a couple of pieces to get your wheels turning.  Getting any ideas yet?

VBS 2013 on Pinterest!

It’s never too early to start planning, right? If you’re itching to get a jump on VBS 2013, check out our Colossal Coaster World board on the LifeWay Kids Pinterest site. There are already lots of great ideas. Here are some of my favorites…

What a cute hot dog cart! I wish I’d had this for Big Apple Advenure!Source: goscoutcreative.com via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

This is the same technique we used to create an “Enter” sign for Coaster Alley (Bible study) in our decorations. Fun!

Source: ohhappyday.com via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

A perfect roller coaster experience for younger preschoolers!

Source: ikea.com via LifeWayKids on Pinterest

What ideas have you come up with?  If you’re on Pinterest, leave us a link to your VBS 2013 board in the comment section!

Foto Friday!

Can you believe it’s Friday again already?  I just keep getting so many great pictures from you guys!  I love it!  Here’s this week’s VBS 2012 photo roundup!  Make sure to continue to share them with me so I can share them here on our blog with everyone else!  It’s so much fun to see all the creative ideas you guys come up with for making your church’s VBS unique and special!

An A-M-A-Z-I-N-G worship rally hangar shared with us by Delores Frymire Lund via Facebook. “Once again Bro. Kevin out did himself. Wonder what will come next year with Colossal Coaster World as the theme. Roller coaster in the Sanctuary maybe???” We sure hope so, Delores!!

Ken Webb from Crosspointe Baptist Church in Concord, NC shared this picture of the airplane they built inside their worship area! Way to think outside the box!

Here’s another view from inside the “plane” at Crosspoint Baptist Church in Concord, NC. Photo courtesy Ken Webb.

Laura Garvin shared this photo from First Baptist Church Garden Lakes! They had lots of awesome decorations this year!

Becky Pruitt, VBS Director at Grace Fellowship Baptist Church shared this quick scene with us!

Keep sharing your photos!  Feel free to post them to our Facebook wall or email them to me at katie.decillo@lifeway.com.  Make sure you include the name of your church and a description of the photo!  Image size must be a minimum of 1024×678 in order to be shared on the blog!

Out of This World Decorating

I know there are a lot of you out there who are getting ready to launch Club VBS: SpaceQuest as your summer VBS experience. While SpaceQuest may not have as many ready-made decorations available as Amazing Wonders Aviation, there are some incredible things you can do to transform your space and give your kids an “out of this world” experience! So if you’re looking for some stellar (or should I say “interstellar”) decorating ideas, then you’ve come to the right place. Check out these cute decorating ideas.

Kids will be ready to blast off when they get to have their picture made in this cute rocket ship!

Here’s a cute shuttle made out of cardboard.

Use metallic fabrics and gift bags to add just a hint of the theme to any Bible-learning activity. Check out the cute star-shaped tree topper!

I love the use of hanging stars and the backlit stars along the ceiling.

Darkening the room with black paper or fabric is a good substitute for turning off the lights in the room to get the feel of the black void of space.

Want more ideas? How about these quick & easy tricks…

  • Drape white, blinking Christmas lights around the doorway or hang them from the ceiling.
  • Line the hallway with rope lights leading to the room. Cut out large numbers from construction paper and arrange them down the hall moving from 10 to 1. Tape them to the wall or place them on the floor, covered with clear contact paper. Kids will enjoy counting down to “lift off” as they come and go from their room.
  • Paint various sizes of Styrofoam balls to resemble planets and hang them from the ceiling using fishing line.
  • Create a focal area on one wall using cardboard. Paint it to look like the inside of a shuttle’s cockpit. Punch Christmas lights through from the backside and attach Slinkys or dryer vent hose to the front for a 3-D “space age” look.

Want even more? Check out our awesome Pinterest board dedicated exclusively to SpaceQuest! For an overview of the Bible content, click here. For answers to commonly asked questions about SpaceQuest, click here.

Spring Break VBS 2012!

It’s just March, but I’ve already had the pleasure of visiting one of the first Vacation Bible Schools in our area! First Baptist Church in Gallatin, Tennessee saw a need and provided a great solution! Spring break can be a challenge for working parents who can’t take off from work for a whole week. Vacation Bible School is a great option. The innovative staff came up with a plan. They would provide Amazing Wonders Aviation VBS in the morning and then provide options in the afternoons for kids to experience “regional adventures.” A minimal cost covered admission to area kids museums, zoos, or swimming.

So, for today’s “Foto Friday,” enjoy some scenes from Spring Break VBS!

First Baptist Church Gallatin, Tennessee invites friends to Spring Break VBS!

We were greeted by Executive Pastor, Greg Jackson, and a very special helper... his grandson!

Senior Pastor, Larry Yarborough, and photographer, Mark Fagan, also served as great hosts. (Love Pastor Larry's goggles! These guys really support VBS!)

Some of the youth lead in music as the children were arriving. Then, they also lead the Worship Rally music. They called their group "The Airheads!" Gotta love that! They did great!

Can you believe this is just cardboard, crumpled brown paper, light blue tablecloths, and pillow batting. Awesome!

Learning a memory verse is fun when you add a little waterfall mist as you jump the falls.

Crafts at the Great Barrier Reef were going swimmingly! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

We had SO much fun! Thank you First Baptist Church Gallatin, Tennessee for letting us come visit!

We had to stop and grab something to eat on our way back to work. Look what we noticed by the Chick-Fil-A drive through as we were leaving!

Getting the word out in the community! Great job, First Baptist Church Gallatin!


Sneak Peek Week: Decorating

It’s Sneak Peek Week here on the LifeWay VBS Blog! Every day this week we’ll be dropping a few hints about the 2013 theme (to be released June 4th) and giving you a heads-up about things you might want to hang on to after this summer’s VBS.

Up first, it’s a sneak peek at Amazing Wonders Aviation decorations you’ll want to save and recycle into decorations for VBS 2013. Are you ready? Here it goes…

  • Pillow stuffing (used as spray in Victoria Falls)
  • Leftover tokens
  • PVC pipe
  • Christmas tree lights (white or colored)

Hmmm… any ideas? I didn’t give a whole lot of information. Stay tuned for more!

One final thing… I need to give a shout out to my friend, Becky. Last week she sent me a picture of a perfect example of recycling old VBS decorations. Allow me to introduce you to Ace Dingo. He’s a cute little koala (remind anyone of Boomerang Express?) in a vintage flight suit flying an airplane made out of surfboards from Outrigger Island. Nice work, Becky!