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!

Sneak Peek: Coming Attractions

You will not want to miss out on VBS Preview events this year! The team has been hard at work planning new “rides” and “attractions” for Colossal Coaster World that are sure to delight the young and the young at heart. And let me tell you, from what I’ve seen so far, these coming attractions will definitely be worth the price of admission! Today I’m going to give you an exclusive behind the scenes look at two of our newest attractions… the Design Lab and the Creative Zone.

 

The Design Lab will take you inside the heart of Colossal Coaster World for hands-on training and personal consultation with our VBS design team. Mini workshops are available to allow you to hone your skills and learn techniques to take back to your church. Don’t forget your camera as part of your Design Lab experience includes an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at ALL of the VBS sets created for Colossal Coaster World. Be sure to grab your tickets early, as they will go quickly!

 

Learn how to bring the magic of Colossal Coaster World to life in The Creative Zone! This interactive area showcases the best Colossal Coaster World has to offer such as games, crafts, and snacks. Here you’ll find exclusive bonus ideas that can only be found at LifeWay Preview events. The Creative Zone is also the home to the world’s largest (and only) VBS snack contest. Create the best delectable, edible treat and you could be a big WINNER! Be sure to drop by early and often to catch all the excitement! Who knows, you might even catch a balloon animal demonstration or two.

 

So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets today for this once in a lifetime experience. We’ll see you at Ridgecrest, Ft Worth, Nashville, or Kissimmee!

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!

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!

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.

Foto Friday…Idea Bank

Howdy! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, sorry about that! I took the family to Walt Disney World for our daughter’s 5th birthday! It was a LOT of fun! Seeing the excitement in her eyes was incredible!

Now back to the blog subject. I wanted to remind you about our Idea Bank on the VBS website.

This is a section of our website where you get to share your ideas! And let me tell you. . .I’ve seen some GREAT ideas!

Here are a few ideas that caught my eye!

Peggy H had an idea for a relaxation room!

Several years ago God blessed our church with a family that has brought some really great ideas.  One of them was a relaxation room for VBS workers.  We have a couple of lady’s or a couple that are in charge of this.  The general idea is it a room that all of the workers are able to visit at a scheduled time or on a rotation depending on their job.  There are snacks and beverages for everyone.  It is a time to share some amazing stories that have happened in your group, munch out, say hi to friends, make new friends, or just relax and take a break.

Backyard Kids created a cool recruitment tower!

Found a old display booth from a car engine display, after looking at i thought it would be a great air control tower for VBS. once I got into the church I realized I couldnt store it until VBS but didn’t want to get rid of it. SO i decided to use it an advertisement for VBS recruitment.

Keep those ideas coming! And don’t forget to check out the Youth VBS blog and leave a comment (one commenter will receive a special prize)!

Also, don’t forget the Clip Art Central blog post!

Difficulty With VBS Decorations? Problem Solved!

Decorating for Vacation Bible School can be the most challenging part of teaching VBS. Many years I watched my mom direct a class for VBS at our church. She would agonize over the decorations. She told me on many occasions, that teaching the Bible and explaining God’s plan of salvation to children was her favorite part and consequently the easiest part for her. She was always searching for helpers that liked the decorating because that was the most challenging.

The last VBS she taught (Game Day Central) I was not asked but rather instructed to bring whatever decorations I had and meet at her classroom where she and her teachers would help me set up her room. She said it sweetly but also directly. Of course, I was there at the appointed time and the decorations were hung and smiles light up their faces. That year I remember three children were saved in her class. Later she graduated to serving snacks and now has graduated to Heaven where I am sure she heard Jesus say, “Good and Faithful Servant.”

Maybe you have a mentor like I did. Mom tackled difficult jobs, recruited help and shared the gospel. Yes, she was frustrated at times but never a quitter. She never whined or complained but rather found the help needed and cheered others on to accomplish great things. Today, I want to cheer you on to accomplish great things too. Decorations might be a mountain that doesn’t seem possible to overcome but there are adults and teens in your church that would never consider this a challenge. Maybe they can’t be present at VBS due to work schedules but they can help you create props and decorations if you asked. Don’t be shy. The Lord fits the Body together perfectly and gives us gifts that will assist in the mission. Look around and see who can help make your classroom a success with decorations so you can welcome kids to hear the gospel.

I have created a simple instruction guide for creating the VBS decorations. Please visit my website www.mrmarksclassroom.com for printed instructions, photos and short instructional video clips. Maybe this will give your leaders ideas that are easy and affordable. Remember the task is not only making these decorations but also storing them. Seems like we can often use props and backdrops from previous years if we can store them. Think ahead where the items will be stored so you make it fit the space. Painting on bed sheets and using items like collapsible hampers, foam core board, and PVC pipe will allow you more options for storage. You can forward these ideas to your friends and enlisted helpers making decorations. You can also subscribe to this free site to get regular helps for teaching boys and girls.

Thanks to Mark Jones, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, for today’s post and for being a VBS Decorator Extraordinaire!

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!

Foto Friday … Digital Clip Art Download!!!

Hi everyone from sunny Orlando (actually Kissimmee)! I am really excited to finally let you know about our new digital download. . .VBS 2012: Digital Clip Art. I’ve talked to you about  the other digital downloads we have.

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Technique Time #1

Are you ready to start thinking about decorating for VBS 2012 yet? The Decorating Made Easy book with CD-ROM has lots of great ideas to kick-start your creativity. But sometimes it helps to have someone show you how easy decorating can be before you think, “Yeah, I really can do that!”

Well that’s just what we’re going to do today! Here’s a video demonstration on how to create rocks out of Styrofoam chunks (that first appeared on our Kids Ministry 101 webcast). You’ll see how to use a heat gun and even get tips on where to find Styrofoam for FREE!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/36296290]

 

These easy rocks can be used year after year. Paint them blue-green and use them this summer in the Great Barrier Reef or paint them orange/purple for use with the Grand Canyon. Brown rocks will be perfect for Victoria Falls! How else could you use rocks in your VBS?

Go ahead… try out this technique for yourself! Then share your new-found skills with other VBS fans by posting pictures of your creations on the LifeWay VBS community. We want to see!