Three of our children were attending, and there was child care for volunteers, so I decided to help out with the craft station, as I have in the past with other groups. My grudge against the typical VBS craft station is that the book's crafts go with the cute theme, such as jungle safari, but they don't incorporate the lesson they will be learning that day. And many of these VBS programs are not Catholic. These are my ideas, some new and some borrowed, which are inspired by faith AND theme. Enjoy this for your home or class prayer safari!
…with explanation of each craft's purpose. Give sheet, or cut out section for each day.
PASSPORT TO PRAYER TIME (3-6)
A Prayer Journal, using animal print foam sheets or cardstock paper for a cover, hole punched and tied with plastic lacing or rope. Print the journal pages I created to tie into the inside.
CLICK FOR PRAYER JOURNAL BOOKLET PRINTOUT HERE [or here for full sheet version]
PASSPORT TO PRAYER COLORING BOOK (K-2)
Print back to back pages 1&2, then 3&4 all on cardstock. Stack together and fold in half. Staple or stitch if you wish.
CLICK FOR COLORBOOK PRINTOUT HERE
EXPEDITION DAY 1: God Listens - PRAY
God is our loving and powerful Father who listens to our prayers. Jesus taught us how to pray, including the Lord’s Prayer. It begins with "Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
GOD LISTENS, CAN YOU HEAR HIM TOO? WINDCHIMES (K-6)
Hang your wind chimes where you can see them or make them move. When you pray, it is like your prayers are being carried on the wind up to God's ears. He listens to your prayers. When you hear the wind chimes, think of it as God speaking back to you.
Wind chimes using pony beads on a ring of pipe cleaners, tied together with yarn and wood dowels. If time, let kids color dowels with markers anything they wish or words "Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." [Similar @ Oriental Trading: Wind Chime $11.50/doz]
EXPEDITION DAY 2: God Provides - TRUST
God Provides: God meets all our needs, just like he fed the 5,000 people with only two fish and five loaves. We need not worry, rather pray about our needs and wants. He will answer with what He thinks is best for us. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
FISH & LOAVES MAGNET PRAYER SET
Set your baskets on your dining table and lay out your loaves and fish. After saying the meal prayer, pray for the intentions of others and your own. As you pray for each intention written on the loaves and fish, put the m into the basket. They also have magnets, so you could stick them on your fridge to remind you to pray whenever you see them!
Bread = Needs of the People.
Fish = Our personal needs, hopes, desires.
Basket = Putting it all in God's Hands.
(Gr3-6) Weave basket using ribbon/yarn and plastic baskets. [Oriental Trading: Baskets] We had a good sample, but let the kids decide how they wanted to weave it. (GrK-2) Could use brown paper plate, cut in half and staple edge into a basket.
(all) Cut felt or foam fish and loaves, write prayer intentions accordingly, glue/stick on magnets. We precut the foam to save time. While we encouraged the children to write vague categories of prayer, some insisted on writing specifics.
EXPEDITION DAY 3: God Forgives - LOVE
God forgives us our sins whenever we are sorry and ask for forgiveness. Jesus taught us how to ask for forgiveness and how to forgive others. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
WIPE AWAY MY SINS BOARD
You are going to make a dry erase board to remember that no matter how dirty our souls get from sin, God is there ready to forgive us when we are sorry. Through confession, He wipes away those sins, leaving a white, spotless soul. “God wipes away our sins.”
Mark and wipe board project (God forgives and wipes our sins away). White paper with Memory Verse printed on it. Let kids decorate with animal stickers, stamps or drawing/coloring. Could glue to thin cardboard for sturdiness. Then you cover that with glossy, clear laminate (found in kitchen drawer liner section). If using a smaller size paper, you can use a laminating machine, like we did. That creates your mark & wipe board. Add string to hang or leave as placemat. Be sure to give each child a dry erase or washable marker so they can use it found at the Dollar Tree 4/$1!
Made my own stamps with zoo foam stickers on foam sheet.
HAND & FOOT PRINT ANIMALS - designed by me!
Thumbprint drawing ideas by me, too!
EXPEDITION DAY 4: God Protects - OBEY
Even the Son of God was tempted by Satan, and Jesus overcame the temptation to sin. God protects us from sin with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and graces from the Holy Sacraments. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil!”
Your folder will be decorated to remind you that God gives us ways to protect ourselves from sin. Bring it with you to school, so you can share this great message with your friends!
Decorate a sheet of clear laminate with tissue paper, leaving a sticky edge border. Flip over onto a folder, white or yellow works best. Decorate with permanent markers and stickers!
Suncatcher version: Cut 9x11 sheet of clear laminate, add to sticky side black paper frame and black paper animal cutouts. Then add squares of colored tissue paper. (No glue mess). Advise to add a final layer of contact paper to seal it in. On front write "God Rules!" with permanent marker. Tape onto window at home!
EXPEDITION DAY 5: God Rules! - PRAISE
“For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory - Now and Forever! Amen.” God is great, and we need to let Him know that we want to know, love and serve Him in all we do. To remember this fun and faith filled week - pray the Our Father prayer as often as possible., which is on your picture frame.
VBS GROUP PHOTO FRAME
The last day we usually get the prints of our group photo. My co-leader found some paper frames online. We had the children put the photos in, glue on the above printout of the Our Father prayer, and then decorate and have friends sign their names on the back. It was like yearbook day!
Thank you so much for checking out my crafts this week. We had fun sharing God’s love for you in a creative way. Everyone who participated in creating these projects did so artistically, and we hope you will enjoy them for a long time!
Here is a full printout of ideas I came up with before deciding on those above.
The Catholic Toolbox: Our Father Prayer Lesson Plan
Liguori posts these FAQs:
How can I find a solid Catholic VBS?Here’s what to look for:
- Bible lessons have an imprimatur.
- Scripture verses come from a Catholic version of the Bible.
- Catechism citations are listed in the course overview so you can quickly see which Catholic teachings the program supports.
- Catholic sacraments and teachings are integrated into the lessons.
How important is the theme?
- The theme—a camp, a treasure hunt, the beach—is important, but not as important as the biblical and Catholic content.