Vacation Bible school is full of activity: interesting crafts, fun games, exciting stories, and cheerful songs. Some quiet time for activity sheets in the classroom can be a nice change of pace; but more than that, it is a time for checking on the children’s understanding of the day’s lesson and for driving that lesson home. It is important that we make the best possible use of that time.
Don’t underestimate the children
Long before Vacation Bible School even starts, you will need to choose a program to use; and one of the key things to check into when deciding on a set of Vacation Bible School Materials is the worksheets. Too often, we give the children over-simplified or cartoon-like activities. We want to present the lesson at a level that the children can understand, yes; but be careful not to underestimate the ability of a young mind to soak in new information–especially with the help of the Holy Spirit to lead the child.
Children want to learn. They enjoy a doable challenge. They also want to know the truth.
Keep it realistic
Coloring sheets and illustrations should, by their realism, encourage children to see Bible events and their application to a child’s life as real, believable events and ideas–not as some fun, far-off fairy-tale.
Keep it biblical
Be certain that your Vacation Bible School activity sheets line up with the lesson and, especially, with the Bible. Ask the children questions, and do your best to answer the ones they ask you. Do not be afraid to pull out a Bible and look something up–after all, we call this Vacation Bible School for a reason!
In fact, the best activity sheet sets will turn a child repeatedly to the Bible and constantly to Jesus. It is extremely helpful if the daily memory verse is reviewed in some sort of activity on paper as well as in other places throughout your Vacation Bible School program. Related, relevant issues may be introduced in the worksheets, as well, especially in the case of older children.
Be sure to approach activity sheet time with enthusiasm. Let the children see the real value in the activity. This is not learning for the sake of learning; this is learning in order to become better acquainted with our dear friend and Saviour, Jesus.
Vary the approach
As different children and different age-groups will enjoy and benefit most from different activities, it is important that your Vacation Bible School activity sheet sets take a variety of approaches in reinforcing the lesson.
Stickers, coloring, and circling the best pictures are great for little ones. Primaries (or, early readers) enjoy using simple words, solving puzzles, and coloring more detailed pictures. The older children can handle more challenging puzzles, deeper thought questions, and cross-referencing Bible studies.
Choose one page and ask everyone to work on it at the same time. Be sure to review the memory verse and then select another worksheet as time allows. Consider both the type of activity and the lesson that you believe is most relevant to the greatest portion of your class.
Some days it will be appropriate to do more than a page or two during a class, depending on time. Quicker students might be allowed to go back and work on worksheets from previous days or to help other students.
Send something home
The best Vacation Bible School curricula will come with more worksheets than most of your class will realistically be expected to finish in the allotted time at Vacation Bible School.
Encourage the children to take their workbooks home on the last day of Vacation Bible School and continue their VBS activity sheets. This gives them an extra opportunity to reinforce what they have learned and to dig deeper as the Holy Spirit continues to guide them in their heavenward journey.
Give it a try
Give these tips a try! With careful selection of Vacation Bible School materials and reliance on the Holy Spirit’s power, activity sheets can be an excellent way to reinforce important ideas and help lead the children closer to Jesus.
~Do you have any other tips for making the best use of activity sheets in Vacation Bible School? Feel free to share in the comments below.
***Be sure to check out the Vacation Bible School materials at Hasten Home! Each of our VBS programs comes complete with close to 100 high-quality, Biblically-accurate worksheets to ensure that every lesson is reinforced in a memorable way to every child.***