Just about every VBS this year has jumped on a new fun and memorable tool to teach kids. For generations, crafts have been the #1 tool used by everyone in VBS. Who hasn’t collected toilet paper rolls, plastic pop bottles and piles of popsicle sticks (preferably unused!) for VBS? Crafts and craft kits are still a big part of most summer ministry programs, but there is a new trend on the block. Take a quick look at any of this year’s VBS programs, and you will find daily scienceactivities and experiments being used in creative ways. Let’s take a quick look at a few of this year’s programs, and you will see what I mean.
Standard – Bible Blast to the Past The Discovery Ruins Station is new this year. Here, kids travel back in time to learn about ancient facts through science activities and crafts. Each day, multiple science activities and crafts are used with a purpose. Be sure to note the Special Needs tips that pop up often to assist kids who may need a little help.
Group – Everest. Central to their Imagination Stations are the Sciency-Fun Gizmos and experiments. Designed to be irresistibly fun, they demonstrate the Bible Truth in unforgettable ways.
Cokesbury – G-Force Adventure Park. Crafts are not left behind at G-Force. Included in their kit is a craft leader’s guide, but complete craft kits are still an option if that works well with your kids. In addition, each day includes science activities. The Science leader’s guide includes multiple activities for each day designed by noted science educator Steve Spangler.
Concordia – Camp Discovery. Each day at Camp Discovery, kids participate in the Big Timber Bible Challenge, where they dig into God’s Word, learn memory verses through song, and solve Bible code. Concordia has added science-based activities at this Bible Challenge station to help kids grasp key truths.
Science activities are being added by almost all VBS publishers somewhere in their day’s program. For some, it’s a stand-alone station or activity, while others are adding them as a new feature, a regular part of their program. One popular publisher this year, Gospel Light, didn’t just add science activities; they went all the way to using science as their theme for 2015 in SonSpark Labs.
Gospel Light – SonSpark Labs. Every part of SonSpark Labs screams with the fun and excitement that come naturally with science activities, experiments and demonstrations. Each day starts off in an engaging opening session that introduces both the day’s Spark Principleand the daily Bible Truth. Throughout the day, kids experience the Spark principle in fun and interactive ways, but always with the ultimate purpose of using it to teach about God’s Plan for each of us. Imagine an awesome chemical reaction demonstration being used to illustrate the power of true Biblical transformation. I will leave you to wonder how toothpaste is used to demonstrate the Biblical lesson found in the story of Adam and Eve. Each day, Dr. Cool is certain to have everyone’s undivided attention, and the excitement will continue throughout all the activities of the day. SonSpark Labs is a unique new theme for VBS and may be my top pick of the season.
Science activities and experiments are hot. Almost every vacation bible school publisher has included them somewhere in their 2015 VBS program because they grab kids’ attention and are great tools to demonstrate principles and truths. Get ready for Vacation Bible School 2015, where science experiments and activities are the hot new tool being used to convey God’s truths in a fun and memorable way.