Vacation Bible School – Esther

Thanks to the many sisters who contributed to this post. 

For the last 10 years the ecclesias in our area have joined together to host a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for our own Sunday Schools, and to invite interested children from the neighbourhood.

(For those that don’t know what a VBS is, here is a general definition:

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a specialized form of religious education which focuses on children. Churches usually hold the week-long events during the summer, though the lengths of such programs may vary, and they are sometimes held during other times of the year.)

What is exceptional about this VBS is that after a few years we decided rather than purchasing a kit online (which are widely available) we would create our own Christadelphian curriculum.

We got the idea for the format from a few VBS kits we purchased (and adapted to fit our interpretation of scripture).  We wanted to theme a VBS off of a female character because up until then, the company we purchased kits from (Group) only created male character themes.  So we took the skeleton of what they had written and created our own.  It worked, but it was all done with the foundational understanding of how we had done VBS for a few years prior and using bits and pieces from those kits (like the schedule we followed, the ideas for games, the idea of how to set up the Marketplace, how to run family time, the daily lesson/focus).

What we ended up with in the end is quite different from most of the VBS programs out there.

We hope you enjoy it and find it helpful for your own ecclesial area!

There are 6 key areas of the VBS:

  1. Celebration time: the kids learn 3-5 songs based on the theme of the VBS.
  2. Family time: kids attending the VBS are divided into age groups where they open and close the day, reading the associated bible reading and then doing an object lesson and discussion at the end of the day to bring the lessons to a close.
  3. Drama: the kids visit the main character every day for about 10-15 minutes and experience their life as the scene plays out.
  4. Marketplace: decorated to look like the time period they “travel back to” where the kids “shop” (using coins that are given to them during family time) for crafts they can make and snacks to eat (all based on the time period of the VBS).
  5. Games: the kids play various yard games, some of them are based around the time period we have traveled to, some of them are just fun (chariot races on sheets, tug of war, some version of tag, water games etc.) Pinterest has lots of fun ideas for more games
  6. Decorations: this is not a station, but someone is in charge of decorating the whole hall, to some degree, to transform it into the time period of the VBS.

The kids rotate around the 5 stations from 9:30am to 11:30 am (each group spends 2 rotations in the marketplace) and then we have lunch (this is a schedule we follow).

Each of those areas are a lot of work and take a lot of attention to detail.  We have a different person assigned to coming up with all of the things for that area.

Esther Vacation Bible School Resources

  1. Celebration time: the kids learn 3-5 songs based on the theme of the VBS

Esther themed songs written by Christadelphians (available at JehosphaphatMusic.com search for Esther)

  1. All things work Together for Good
  2. Before the Time Runs Out
  3. How Lovely is She
  1. Family Time: the kids open and close the day, reading the associated bible reading and then doing an object lesson and discussion at the end of the day to bring the lessons to a close

This PDF document has all the necessary information for organizing Family Time.

  1. Drama: the kids visit the character every day for about 10-15 minutes and experience their life as the scene plays out

This PDF document has all the necessary information for organizing Drama.

  1. Marketplace: decorated to look like the time period they “travel back to” where the kids “shop” (using coins that are given to them during family time) for crafts they can make and snacks to eat (all based on the time period of the VBS).

(Coming soon!)

  1. Games: the kids play various yard games, some of them are based around the time period we have traveled to, some of them are just fun (chariot races on sheets, tug of war, some version of tag, water games etc.)

This PDF document has all the necessary information for organizing Games.

  1. Decorations: this is not a station, but someone is in charge of decorating the whole hall, to some degree, to transform it into the time period of the VBS

For more Esther ideas, visit our posts on Celebrating Purim or Providence in the Book of Esther

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