About UsYouth CurriculumSaint ShoppeDownloadsContact Us
Home
Growing with the Saints

Send Us Your Great Ideas
and Join The Saint Circle . . .

Sometimes, planning a VBS can seem like a complicated maze. We don’t think it should be. Even though we offer several suggestions for planning your VBS in our VBS Kit, we like to get feedback from all of you out in the field. Our DREs, VBS Coordinators and Volunteers have fantastic ideas for implementing our Totally Catholic VBS Programs! We want to share their ideas with you to help with planning your own Growing with the Saints VBS. Share a great idea! Please send it to Susan Lawson: ideas@growingwiththesaints.com

Join the Circle! We would love to hear from you! It's FREE, It's EASY, No SIGN-UP, just e-mail us.
Join the Saint Circle

Saint Circle


Organizational Ideas:

Organization
All Programs
Giving Tree
Cut out shapes Shamrock, Heart or Angel Wing depending on your VBS. Write items needed for VBS such as snack, craft, or decorative items on the shape. Ask your priest to announce your Special Tree and ask parishioners to pluck a Shamrock, Heart or Angel Wing from a tree (tree branch) after Mass. Explain that parishioners can bring in the item for VBS. This gets the whole Parish involved and helps with cost of VBS Program. They are all invited to Closing Ceremony.

We received this tip from multiple sources and we love it!

Organization
St. Patrick and the Holy Trinity
Poster-Game Time Saver
We made an extra color copy of the Good Samaritan poster and divided the 3rd/4th grade in two so the kids didn’t have to wait to long for their turn to put the heart on Good Samaritan.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Stretch a Snack
Talk to teens about portion size before they pass food out; too much can get wasted.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
All Together Now
We only separated the children when it was lesson time and all the other times (opening prayer, singing with gestures, reading the story, craft time and snack time) we came together.

Eugenia Martinez, Religious Ed. Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Preparation Before VBS
Ask for volunteers in plenty of time to get Diocese compliance filled out and processed.
Remember to write a deadline date on the back of the “shamrocks” from the giving tree for supplies needed.
Meet with teachers one week after registration to give class list, supplies, etc. Final teacher’s mtg. two weeks before hand.
One week before hand have youth volunteers meet with the teachers and get their job assignments.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Morning Set-Up Time
Have a youth volunteer gather all kids of adult volunteers in a room and play a game while adults set up.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Time-Filler Table
Sometimes children will finish scheduled crafts or activities early. Set up a Trinity Table, Around the World Table or Angel Pit Stop Table for children to go to for additional activities. Items on the table could be VBS theme-relevant coloring books, such as St. Patrick, religious symbols, Angels, etc. Other items: mini-sandboxes (small box lid filled with sand) to finger draw in, (supervised of course) Stuff Baggies Decorating, etc.

Source Unknown – if this is your fabulous tip, please let us know.

If you have other ideas for the Time Filler Tables please share them with us.

Organization
All Programs
Classroom management, transition time and attention getters:
I’d like to write some “teacher tips” to pass out at the volunteer mtgs. next year. I noticed that many of these teachers had great enthusiasm for teaching and picked up on ideas as the week went along. By giving them a sheet of tips, it will help them to think of these things before VBS starts. These tips stem from observations that I made during the week.

Tips:
Being proactive helps prevent discipline problems. Telling students what is going to happen next before making the transition will help them to transition to the next activity better. It gives them something to anticipate.

Try to minimize the amount of idle time. Try to have time fillers, bible verse, song, coloring sheets, baggie decorating, etc.

Remind children that one way we know you are listening is if you
- Stop what you are doing or saying
- Clear away distractions (hands free)
- Look at or toward person speaking

Some ideas for getting kids to do this are:
Teacher says: “Wiggle your fingers, eyes on me.” (You will know who is not ready with a quick glance around the room.)

Teacher claps a rhythm, kids clap back.

Remember to PRAISE the kids for following these instructions.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Moving Between Stations
We made a sign with big bubble letters for each class/grade to carry to each activity. On one side we printed the grade level. A painter’s stick was attached in the middle. On the other side was the daily schedule with each class’ schedule highlighted. We are going to laminate these next year, so they hold up better during the week.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Registration Fee
Include a minimal Registration Fee, to cover cost of a VBS T-shirt and VBS Storybook for all children to take home and share story with entire family.

From all of us at Growing with the Saints, Inc.

Organization
All Programs
Leader Items
Have a place for each teacher to keep their things at church, ready for the next day, especially sign out sheets and name tags.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Super Smooth Registration
Next year we’d like to have the parents take the children (with teen guides) to their classrooms where the teachers will WELCOME them and hand out name tags. Teachers will also have a project for them to do while waiting for Opening Ceremony or class to begin each day. Then the parents can go back to the registration tables and get cds, info letter, and t-shirts. We can bag the T-shirts, CD’s and Info. letter in a bag with the oldest child of the family’s name on them. That way the parents don’t need to sign the kids in. The teacher will know who is absent from the left over nametags.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Service Project Reminder
We wrote reminders on the parent info letter given out the first day, posted a big sign at the entrance, as well as a couple bulletin announcements.

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

Organization
All Programs
Stuff Bags
Use zip lock baggies for children to take their stuff home in each day. When the students arrived each day they had them decorate their baggies. (St. Patrick Example -Teacher made stampers out of potatoes by cutting a shamrock into a potato. Kids used paint and stampers to decorate bags.)

Cathy Roach, DRE & Jennie Lane, VBS Coordinator

    
 

Like us on Facebook!