Do you need props to teach children Scripture? No. Absolutely not. But it can make learning fun, especially at home or during VBS when things can settle into a rut. I made several things for VBS this year that proved helpful so I thought I would share them.
- Ribbon shakers. I don’t have a good word for this, but they were very popular during VBS. I only handed them out while we did our Scripture memorization verses and we only used them for 5-8 minutes. I would hand them out and we would march around the room chanting a verse and shaking them. I would also mix a song in too. I didn’t use them every day. I also didn’t use them alone, some kids preferred noise so I used maracas. If you don’t have maracas at your disposal you could easily make some with plastic water bottles and rice. Just make sure you glue the lid on. This is just another way to make memorization fun. Who doesn’t love a parade? *It’s helpful to have a bag that you keep them in. When it’s time to put them up have every child bring them to you and put them in the bag. Then put the bag away so they are not a distraction. What you need:
- Ribbon, different sizes and colors. I raided the Christian Ed closet at church that has an abundance of craft materials.
- Something to hold. You could use anything. Those thick popsicle craft sticks would do fine. I used paint mixer sticks and round wood circles because that’s what I had.
- Sparkly duct tape from the dollar tree. I bought three different colors.
- Foam “paper dolls.” The goal of these were to have the kids make their own little person that they could take home with them. We ended up just playing with them as a sensory activity. This was fine. I got the foam people outlines from Hobby Lobby and scrap fabric from our Pastor’s wife. Super easy and the kids legitimately had fun. It ended up being a nice activity to do as we broke the class in to two groups. We had between 13-15 two-five year olds, so by providing two activities it was easier to manage.
- Puppets. These were made with the foam people, the scrap material, and then glued on popsicle sticks. They were great. Since they were so easy to make the kids could perform the “play” as well. Which of course was the Bible story. The ones pictured were to go with Matthew 18-1-5, Matt 19: 13-15 (Jesus welcomes children), Matthew 14:13-21 (Jesus feeds the hungry), and Matthew 4:18-22 (Jesus calls us to follow). Next time I do this I will make a puppet theater with a cheap table cloth. This time we just held them up. The kids liked it! *I trimmed down the people in order to make the children smaller.
- Fishers of men game. The kiddos REALLY enjoyed this. It was made with a combination of the above materials. Magnets on the people and the ribbon. Securely hot glue the ribbon by wrapping it multiple times around the stick. What you need:
- A hot glue gun.
- Thick ribbon.
- Magnets. I got mine from Hobby Lobby. Thank you 40% off coupon!
- Paint mixers. You could use big craft/popsicle sticks as well.
- Foam people. Again Hobby Lobby, 4.99 for 24pk.
**Tip** Whenever using anything like the ribbon shakers or the fishers of men game, I always remind the kids to be mindful NOT to whack their neighbors. My kids did a good job with this, but it helps to remind them to be careful!
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