Have you ever had the desire to have Vacation Bible School at your home for your own kids?
There’s many reasons why you might want to host your own VBS. For instance, you will get to shape, create and teach your kids biblical truths right from home in a fun, exciting way!
Now, we are not advocating against church VBS, not at all. In fact, Aaron (the other writer on this site and my husband) is the Minister to Families and Children at a local church where we live. We both are working on Vacation Bible School together for the kids of our community and church.
This article is here to give you some ideas for how to have some great Christian education right in your home while having fun with the kids in your life!
A little bit about Vacation Bible School
- Age Demographic is usually PreK-5/6th grade
- Time frame is usually 2 hours for 4/5 evenings or mornings
- It’s an opportunity to take advantage of the open schedule your kids have during summer
- In addition, it’s a unique experience where kids are able to follow a theme/topic of God and grow in their Christian formation.
The reason we created this post is actually because of my sister. She is a mother to 3 boys all 7 and under. She asked me awhile back to create this post because she would love to host her own VBS for her kids in addition to attending their local church’s VBS.
Whether your kids are planning on going to a local VBS or not, this could be a really memorable and cool way to bring the depth, truth, and love of Jesus right into your home in a way your kids will get really excited about!
And as parents, that’s what we really want isn’t?
Well we walk you through the steps have your very own VBS right from home!
So here it is, the steps for having your own Vacation Bible School at home.
1. Find a curriculum.
And of course you can always create your own curriculum. Pick a theme, maybe it’s God’s strength, Jesus the ultimate superhero or the mighty 12: the first followers of Jesus. Be creative and find Bible stories that accompany your theme.
*Now, you may feel a bit intimidated and unsure of your VBS capabilities, well rest assured. Vacation Bible School curriculum is created for average, non-theologian leaders. Simply stated, it’s created for the average Christian adult to lead. You don’t have to be a pastor, a children’s minister or even a super church volunteer to be in charge and lead a successful VBS. The curriculum most companies create is easily digestible and walks your through each step of the VBS. The curriculum Aaron is using for VBS at his job is from Cokesbury and is called Hero Central, you can find it here. This program is great, complete with ideas and is very easy to follow and lead. As a ministry professional, I would recommend it.
*It should be noted, theology will vary in each curriculum depending on where you obtain it. Usually for the big ministry companies, the curriculum will usually fall into the basic orthodox Christian beliefs. However, when looking into free resources that may come from a blog or small company, please check creditably and the theological lens they write from. This will inform you what will best fit your family’s beliefs.
2. Decide your format.
A.) Duration and length
Do you want to have a VBS day or a week long program? How much time do you want to have your VBS? Here’s a couple configurations
- 5 days, 2 hours
- 4 days, 1 hour
- 3 days, 1 hour morning session and 1 hour evening session
- 1 full day
You can create whatever schedule works for you and your kids, think it over and see what would work best for your kids. Would it be too much for them to do a VBS all day? Maybe it would be better for your kids to spread out the program over the week. Adapt to whatever will best reach them, remember this is your VBS.
B.) Schedule of VBS program
Now usually VBS has a multitude of components that encompasses the daily program. Here is a list of normal components
- Mission Project
- Bible Lesson
- Memory Verse (same one all week)
All of these components are typically theme-related and happen each VBS session (if you are having it spread out over several days).
Here’s an example of a 2 hour session
- 9am Start VBS-You can go over expectations, rules, schedule and memory verse.
- 9:10 Worship: Play 3 worship songs through YouTube. Try to find videos with hand motions for example, check here for a video. You can learn the motions ahead of time and be the one who teaches your kids the motions, it would really add to the experience for the kids.
- 9:30 Craft
- 9:50 Snack
- 10:00 Bible Lesson
- 10:20 Game
- 10:40 Mission Project
- 11:00 Finished
*Now, it’s important to realize if you are doing this by yourself with your kids, you need to have all these elements prepped and ready to go because you won’t have time to get it together and stay in the schedule, unless you are breaking it up throughout the day. Plus, it will feel more organic and smooth having everything ready for you and your kids to move right into the next element without having to break and prep which can really kill momentum and attention and we don’t want that!
3. Turn to Pinterest
Now that you have your curriculum, theme and elements of VBS it’s time to turn to the idea generator of Pinterest. Search for VBS games, snacks, crafts etc. Also, search for children’s ministry games, mission projects, etc. You can also try to search for specific theme crafts, snacks and so forth. For example, if your VBS theme is that Jesus the ultimate superhero, search for superhero snacks.
Another awesome element of VBS is the decorating element. Churches can transform their sanctuaries, children’s wing and classrooms to reflect the theme of VBS. It would be super fun and cool if you dedicated a space in your home to the VBS theme. For example, the night before your home VBS, you could transform your kids playroom or living room into the VBS theme. When your kids wake up, they will be surprised and a boost of excitement for their very own VBS! And again don’t forget to use our trusty friend, Pinterest, for decorating ideas on your theme.
5. All Alone?
Do you want to partner with other parents in your neighborhood to host the VBS? You could take turns switching between houses and you could get leaders for the different schedule elements. Perhaps one neighbor will do the snacks, another one will be the game leader, and so forth. This way, you will have more kids and more support. Also, if you want to buy a curriculum you all could go in and purchase it together, curriculums can be pricey, but really worth it because they will provide not only the Bible study, but games, craft ideas, and other elements of VBS.
I want to stress again, because this is really important, in order to be successful in this endeavor you must be organized and prepared. Take a couple weeks before your VBS to plan, prepare and organize.
This will take some serious effort on your part, but it really could be an amazing adventure for your young ones. Having a home that invites God into it in this way is extremely impactful and lasting. You are shaping the spiritual path of your kid(s) and that is beyond valuable.
And if you decide to partner with other parents in your neighborhood, then this could be an amazing testimony to the power of God at work among His people. What a way to make an impact in your neighborhood! And this could end up being an annual thing, what a hope!
We hope you have an amazing VBS with your kids!