This past week I worked in the Preschool Craft room for my church's VBS. For the last few years I helped prep the crafts for VBS week, but decided this year to take a week's vacation to actually participate, and it was a blast. In honor of the week of fun and learning, I've compiled the top ten list....straight from the home office of NAOBC at the corner of Breckenridge Lane and Bardstown Road...
10. The memory verse for the week was Hebrews 13:6 - "God helps me. I will not be afraid." Each day we'd review the verse in our Craft time. We'd get all sorts of responses "God loves me. I will not be afraid." "God is with me. I will not be afraid." "God helps me. Do not be afraid!" They all communicate the same message...God is there, no fear. So, I liked calling their versions the "PSV"...the Preschool Standard Version of the Bible.
9. We also reviewed the story each day in Crafts. The week was full of stories about the life of Paul. He encountered a lot - being blinded, being dropped in a basket, surviving an earthquake in jail, being shipwrecked. The first few days every time we'd asked "What did you learn about Paul today?" They would recount all the details. Then sweet little Emery would say "And he died." Poor Paul died everyday. But, in her defense, when someone goes through everything Paul did, common sense says he's probably close to death.
8. Day 3 we talked about how Paul was in jail with his friend and they were singing songs to Jesus when an earthquake happened and they told everyone in jail about Jesus. We'd ask "Who was in jail with Paul?" Jesus was a popular answer, which isn't really far off since God was there. But Paul's encouraging friend Barnabas was the one they thought was in jail....not Silas. Silas just wasn't as memorable as Barnabas, I guess.
7. When the preschoolers knew their memory verse and could say it, a few of them each day would get some sort of prize. Day 1, Miss Stephanie had miniature koosh balls. As soon as the first one was given out, it was amazing how better everyone's memory got in hopes they'd get a koosh ball. Miss Stephanie told them that they'd have a chance each day. Day 2 she gave away stickers. When she gave away the first one, a preschooler said "This is it? A sticker?" Guess we should have worked up to the koosh balls.
6. Day 4 the lesson was about Paul preaching about Jesus. Our craft that day was making a megaphone (which we had to explain what that was to the preschoolers) to proclaim the name of Jesus loud and clear. We had various colored megaphone patterns cut out and ready to assemble with stickers and glue dots. Whenever there are multiple color choices, and pink is an option, it never ends well. At Ms Tessa's table, she had two girls left and only one pink megaphone. In all her wisdom, Ms. Tessa said, "I only have one pink megaphone left, so I'll need one of you to show grace and let your friend have the pink." Emery (the sweet one who is sure Paul is dead by now) said "I'll show grace and let my friend have the pink one." Melt.my.heart. Learning to share may be the hardest lesson to learn sometimes.
5. Our 4A class was probably our favorite. With only 8 little sweeties, they were the youngest group. Most of these dolls were barely 3 (if even 3) and most were VBS worker children. They were so attentive for their young age and just simply precious. One of the littlest ones, Mary, would repeat everything Miss Stephanie said "Paul was dropped in a basket"...."Dropped in a basket!!!" "Paul and Silas was in jail when an earthquake happened." "An EARTHQUAKE happened!!!" When this group would leave, Mary never wanted to line up. I would say to her every day, "Mary, are you going to line up? If you don't line up you'll get left behind and have to go home with me." Mary would respond "Go home with you!" If I thought her Mom and Dad wouldn't miss her, I'd take her home.
4. Rice is the new macaroni. When I was in VBS we always had a craft that involved using macaroni. But, that is old school. Now it's rice. On our last day, our craft was putting colored rice (rice that we dyed with food coloring) in an empty water bottle and dropping in foam ships to re-enact the shipwreck. We dyed the rice and were ready to go but after one class, we knew we were doomed and didn't have enough rice. Tessa left and went to the store for 8 more boxes of rice and we dyed the remainder really fast so we'd have enough to finish out the day. It was truly our only craft faux pas of the week. This wouldn't have happened with macaroni, folks.
3. While making the aforementioned rice in a bottle, I was challenged on where to put the preschooler's name. The tape I was using around the bottle cap was dark blue and my Sharpie wouldn't show up the name on the tape. Stephanie suggested writing it on the bottom but when I did the first one, it didn't work. I was working on Riley's bottle when she said "Why don't you write it on the cap?" I looked at her and said, "Riley, that is brilliant. You are so smart." She replied, "Yeah, I'm pretty smart most of the time." She may not be high on humility but she's high on smarts.
2. Kaylee was in our precious 4A class. She was full of fun this week. One day she said that Paul was dropped in a basket "because they didn't want him around anymore." That same day she helped a very sleepy Zach finish his craft. Kaylee's Mom is one of my best friends, Beth, and is the Preschool Director. One day when she was at my table she said "You know my Mom is boss of this church." I looked at her and said "Maybe we should tell Pastor Jeff that and see what he says." Paster Jeff is Beth's boss, and the real boss of the church.
1. The week's lesson can be summed up in one sentence that a preschooler shared on the last day when asked "What did you learn about Paul this week?" "First his name was Saul, then his heart changed, and his name was Paul." Amen.