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VBS Crafts: Big Expectations vs. Ultimate Reality

VBS Crafts: Big Expectations vs. Ultimate Reality
May 26, 2015 Jan Kershner
VBS Crafts
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Ever watched kids making a craft that you thought was fun, but they secretly thought was lame? I have. Ever find that same craft left on the floor or in the parking lot? Me too. I’ve always thought crafts were awesome! I start each craft with great intentions, but the outcome is usually different. If you’re like me, here’s what you’ve expected:

CRAFTS HELP ENTERTAIN
What you expect: Kids will be entertained for hours!
What happens: They move on to something else, and you spend hours scraping glow-in-the-dark glitter glue off your table.

CRAFTS HELP TEACH
What you expect: Kids will see a strong connection between the craft and a biblical truth.
What happens: When you ask later, they can’t even remember the craft, let alone the connection.

CRAFTS ARE VALUED
What you expect: Kids will go home, frame their masterpiece and hang it on the wall.
What happens: Again, the floor and parking lot thing.

CRAFTS ARE SHARED
What you expect: Kids will be eager to show their crafts to friends and share what they’ve learned.
What happens: The craft may make it to the car—maybe even the kitchen table—but that’s about it. Very short shelf life.

So, after years of disappointment, Group VBS changed direction and came up with Sciency-Fun Gizmos™ (gizmos are kid-approved, reusable and connect to the day’s Bible Point). Kids get to experiment and play with the gizmos at VBS during Imagination Station. Then they get to take the fun home each day! These gizmos are so intriguing to kids that they can’t wait to explain how they work and connect to the Bible. Problem solved.

Can you relate to any of my craft fails? Let me know in the comments below!

With more than 20 years as a children’s ministry editor at Group, Jan Kershner counts VBS and the Hands-On Bible as her favorite projects so far. Born and raised in Philly, she graduated from the University of Colorado and still sometimes longs for a “real” cheese steak.

4 Comments

  1. Florrie 7 years ago

    Oh, so true! Best real-life description of VBS crafts ever!! I have experienced every expectation you mention and also every reality! Looking forward to the Imagination Stations this year!

  2. Author
    Jan Kershner 7 years ago

    I think we’ve all been there, Florrie! That’s why I love the Imagination Station gizmos and experiences. They’re no fail!

  3. Marty King 7 years ago

    You need to watch kids make crafts at our church. If I have one disappointment in Group VBS, it is that there is not a craft book with awesome ideas of cool things kids can make to reinforce Bible points and Bible stories. Every year we have to search for ideas because our kids wants crafts – not kits that you buy but real crafts where their mark of creativity can show. I have even visited children’s homes in the past and have seen their VBS crafts on display. Yes, some are left at church and in the parking lot, but so are the gizmos that you buy for Imagination Station. I would like Group, Inc. to design a craft module so that we could have a choice. Every year, many kids say that crafts was their favorite rotation.

    • Jan 7 years ago

      Hi Marty! We found that kids were trending toward more interest in science, so we developed Imagination Station to use fun gizmos and experiments to help kids learn and remember Bible truths. But if your kids love crafts, that’s great! Group does have some awesome craft books that might help. Have you checked out “The Encyclopedia of Bible Crafts for Children”? There’s even a preschool version! Thanks for your love for kids and their faith!

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