Meet Mr. Mark

markLet’s kick off this week with some great decorating helps. Our buddy, Mark Jones, over at “Mr. Mark’s Classroom” is the master when it comes to reusing, repurposing, and recreating VBS decorations. But not only that… this year he is also the author of Decorating Made Easy. This year the decorating book has been completely retooled at YOUR request to feature ideas that are not only cost effective but easy to execute. That’s why we called in the expert. Be sure to check out all of Mark’s fabulous ideas on his blog…

 

classroom

 

Coaster Alley (Bible Study)

Main Gate (Worship Rally)

Cotton Candy Café (Snacks)

Global Expo (Missions)

Scissors & Stuff Emporium (Crafts)

Tune Town (Music)

Adrenaline Zone (Recreation)

Preschool Decorating Ideas

 

Also check out video walk-thrus of each of Mark’s decoration sites on the VBS Website…

And be sure to pick up your copy of Decorating Made Easy today!

 

Tabletopper, Photo Prop, or Something Else?

tomlinsonIs it a tabletopper, photo prop, or something else? It’s all these and more.

In case you haven’t heard there is a really cool, new product in the LifeWay VBS lineup. It’s our VBS 2013 Tabletopper! And for $6.99 it’s a lot of bang for your buck.

Just check out how we used these at our Preview events this year.

 

 

 

Of course these are great tabletoppers for any table you need to set up. You can use them on your sign up and enlistment tables, registration tables, snack tables, and the list goes on. Here you can see we used the side with the park scene to conceal our extra supplies in the Cotton Candy Cafe.

photo-13

 

But wait! You can turn them around to use the coaster car side as a photo prop. As we’ve done here:

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Would you like to see how we created the coaster car “seatbelt?” Well, you’re in luck, we just happen to have a few pictures to show you how.

First we cut two slits at the bottom of the safety bar on each side. Then we ran some grograin ribbon through the slits. You may want to but a small piece of tape over the end of the ribbon to help you thread it through the slits. We used black ribbon at our events, however I only had blue available when I made these for the post. You can use whatever color you wish.

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Next we stapled the ribbon on one side of the tabletopper. We only stapled one side so that folks could “adjust” the seatbelt by pulling the opposite side longer for large groups or shorter for small groups.

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See how easy that was to give the tabletoppers another use? We would love to hear your ideas about how you plan to use the tabletoppers or any VBS accessory in an unusual way.

 

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!

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!

Foto Friday…I'm here!

Where’s Keith? Here I am! Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t blogged for a while but it’s been a bit crazy, busy and hairy with the deadlines.

Okay, maybe all the hairiness is from the gorilla suit I’ve been wearing! :D

But honestly, I have been working!

So what have I been working on? I’m glad you asked!

This week, I’ve been working on the VBX 2013 Preteen Leader Pack. I love working on the VBX material! It’s always jammed packed with visuals. Here’s shot of the cover.

One of the other items I have been working on is the VBS 2013 Supersized Coaster Backdrop. This backdrop really excites me! Take a look at it and see if you can see why I love this one SO much.

Bucket rides? Nope, that’s not it! But I do love the bucket rides. Such a fun way to get from one side of the park to the other side and relax while you are doing it.

Roller coasters? Getting closer! It does have something to do with the roller coasters! Take a look at the next photo.

Check it out! You can connect multiple Supersized Coaster Backdrops and make one COLOSSAL Coaster backdrop! :D

It’s back to work now! Have a great weekend and God bless!

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…More Clip Art?

Do be do be do. . .what to do. . .for the blog today? I know. . .CLIP ART! I have fielded a few requests and heard from other people on the VBS team that the below posted clip art has been requested without the location signs on it. Well, I finally had time to “fix” the artwork (remove the logos) and decided to post it on today’s Foto Friday! Yea!

As usual, I’ll post a PNG and a JPG of the artwork. I hope you all have a blessed day!

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