Friday, August 1, 2014

VBS Day 1: Noah

This year for VBS we're focusing on the Hebrews 11 "Hall of Faith." I was given 5 names of Bible personalities and the corresponding life lesson we're trying to teach, then was told to do whatever I wanted with them. I'm going to try to give a recap each day.

Noah - A person of faith is Righteous
I thought "righteous" was kind of a big word for preschoolers, so I re-worded the day's phrase to "I can do what's right."

This is the story I told the kids:
Once there was a man named Noah. He was a good man who loved God. All the other people in the whole world hated God and did what was wrong all the time. So God decided to send a big flood over the whole earth. One day, God told Noah to build an ark. Noah didn’t even know what an ark was! God told him it was a big boat and told him exactly how to make it. So Noah started to build a boat. All his neighbors laughed at him and called him crazy, but Noah kept on building. Finally, the boat was done. Then God told Noah that he was going to send 2 of every kind of animal onto the boat. Can you imagine that? What kind of animals do you think showed up? You’re right. All those animals and every other kind of animal in the world started to show up and get on the boat. Once all the animals and Noah and his family were inside, God shut the door and it started to rain. At first it was just a little rain, but then it got harder and harder and soon the wind started to blow and it started to thunder and lightning and it was raining harder than it had ever rained before. And then the water started to rise until the whole earth was flooded. All the bad people died. But God had saved Noah and his family because Noah did what was right and he loved and obeyed God. After 40 days, the rain finally stopped and the water started to go back down. Finally, Noah opened the ark door and looked out to see that the ark had landed on dry land! As he and his family got off the ark, he looked up in the sky and saw a rainbow! God told Noah that the rainbow was his promise never to flood the whole earth again. Noah thanked God for saving him and his family and he continued to obey God and do what was right.
I made a homemade "flannel" board by printing off pictures from the Internet and sticking a piece of magnetic tape on each. I actually assumed the classroom's whiteboard would be magnetic. It is not. Haha. So we congregate around a metal filing cabinet each morning for the story. Every time you see a word/phrase bolded in the above story, I put a corresponding picture on the board. Here are the pictures I used (via google drive).

I wanted to drive home the point about doing what's right, so I also printed off a bunch of pictures of kids doing right things and wrong things and had the kids shout out whether the kids in the picture were doing right or wrong. Here's a few of the right actions:
All right/wrong pictures here
I kind of felt like I was teaching the kids to be legalistic, but they're a little young for the debate between grace and works, obedience and mercy. Haha.

We finished lesson time with our verse - a portion of Romans 12:17 "Be careful to do what is right."

Last week, I bought a stack of paper plates, then drew a horizontal line in the middle and a rainbow outline on top. I had the kids color the bottom half of the plate blue to represent the flood, then color the rainbow on top to represent God's promise. Then we glued on a picture of the ark and stuck on foam animal shapes. I had also printed out the day's phrase and verse to glue on the back of the plate.

We walked outside the church to the little animal pen set up for the older kids and petted some goats, talking about the goats that were on the ark.

I found a deck of Noah's Ark matching cards at Dollar Tree a couple years ago (but saw the same ones there last week when I was VBS shopping!). I had my helpers take the kids outside for a little while so I could hide one half of each pair around the room. I placed the matching card on the tray of the whiteboard then had the kids come back in. I told them there was a match for each card on the whiteboard hiding in the room and they had to go find it and pair them back up. The kids loved this game. I might have to find a way to recreate something similar with another Bible character later this week.

I made a Spotify playlist on my phone last week (and signed up for a free trial of Spotify premium so I can listen to music without the Internet). The song we focused on for Noah is Rise and Shine (Arky Arky) by Cedarmont Kids. My VBS kids actually didn't really know that song, so they weren't real interested. Haha. We did a bunch of other kids' songs to fill the time.

At the end of the day, I gathered all the kids around me with a big bowl of Tootsie Rolls in my arms. I quizzed them on all we had learned about Noah, then made them each individually repeat the verse back to me before I'd give them a Tootsie Roll. It's amazing how willing kids are to cooperate when candy is involved. :-)

For the rest of our VBS ideas (including Abraham, Moses, Rahab, and Jesus), go here.

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