Friday, January 13, 2012

Top Pick for VBS 2012 - Adventures on Promise Island by Standard Publishing

I'm delighted to announce my Top Pick for VBS 2012 is  Adventures on Promise Island by Standard Publishing! This VBS has solid Bible content and a strong focus on living what you learn by serving others! Combine this with a fun island setting and great music from Yancy, well, you have a VBS which will impact and change lives!

Standard Publishing

  1. God's Promise - I Am With You - Daniel 3:1, 4-28 - God is with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
  2. God's Promise - I Care About You - John 11:1-3, 17-44 - Jesus cares for Mary, Martha and Lazarus
  3. God's Promise - I Give You What You Need - Mark 2:1-12 - Jesus helps a man brought by four friends
  4. God's Promise - I Will Save You - John 19:16-18,29,30; 20:24-31 - Jesus dies to save us
  5. God's Promise - I Will Answer You - Acts 16:22-34 - God answers the prayers of Paul and Silas
Setting – In the sunshine on Promise Island
Message – Kids will see God at work in the lives of Old and New Testament Bible people and see God’s powerful, unchanging, lifesaving love as they learn His promises to be with us, care about us, to give us what we need, save us and answer us are for them, too! As Standard says, “God’s promises never change, but your life definitely will!”
Focus - Evangelism, Application, Bible Content and Service

Strengths –
  • As I would expect, Adventures on Promise Island has a strong focus on living what you learn by serving others – I love the way this is worked into the “craft” station! Each day you’ll find three service project options and two craft options which allow kids to “focus outward” and care about others! I love this station! It is the focus on serving others which gave Standard the edge and caused them to be my Top Pick for VBS 2012!
  • I especially love the “guided conversation” in the “Lifeguard Training” and “Rescue Review” for the small group leaders and station leaders each day to help kids focus on God’s Word and how it lives in their everyday lives!
  • I love the “intro activities” for each day’s Bible lessons – gets kids engaged and thinking!
  • I’m very happy to see throughout most of the very engaging Bible lessons, when a question is asked, children are given time to respond and then a child is asked to read a passage from the Bible to see what the Bible says the answer is! LOVE this!
  • I LOVE the “Prayer Option” for each day’s lesson to involve children in praying! This is another feature which gave Standard the “edge” in my review.
  • Music is excellent this year, it is my Runner up for VBS Music for 2012 . . . Yancy wrote most of the songs and kids – and adults – will love them! I’m very happy to see elementary age kids, boys and children of different races on the DVD this year! I hope Yancy sings/writes the music for VBS 2013, too! If you use this VBS, your kids – and volunteers – will absolutely LOVE the music – if you do not use this VBS, be sure to get the music and then use it in your children’s ministry!
Would like to see –
  • a stronger and clearer emphasis on a daily “live-it” activity. After each lesson children are asked what they will do to live what they learned, but I would like a stronger emphasis on this – allow time the following day for children to share what they did and how it impacted their life to live what they learned! My church will be adding this when they use Adventures on Promise Island.
  • The salvation message of Jesus coming to save us and forgive us is strongly included in these lessons – especially on days three and four, but I’d like to see more of a focus on “giving an invitation” in the teacher’s books.
  • Science projects worked into the curriculum – possibly in the opening or close – as these are a great way to capture the attention of kids – particularly the older elementary boys! I will be writing an object lesson with a science project to add to the closing for my church to use each day in our VBS.
Standard says, "Each day on Promise Island, kids will see God at work in the lives of Old and New Testament Bible people and realize that God’s promises are for us too!" I love the focus in each lesson and each station on pointing children to God and His promises and how these promises are for them! I am delighted to see a strong Bible content and an intentional effort to help children not just walk away from VBS with more “head knowledge”, but rather a focus on helping children remember, understand and live God’s Word in their everyday lives!  Adventures on Promise Island is a great option for a VBS with a strong focus on serving, evangelism, solid Bible content and application and it is for these reasons it is my Top Pick for VBS 2012! Be sure to take a serious look at Adventures on Promise Island and consider how you might use it at your church!


  1. Lynda, I'm very interested in this since it is your top pick, two because I love YANCY and three because it seems like it might fit with our way of doing VBS....but, I'm not sure without looking through it myself. So, here's my question: Our church does VBS where 5 teachers teach the same lesson each night and the kids rotate to a different class each night. (KIds are in age graded classes and of course teachers have to bend or stretch the teaching to fit the age). I have gotten in trouble in the past with curriculum that built on the previous day. Does this one do that or is each night independent of the other?

  2. Hello,

    This one would work in a rotation setting - each day focuses on a promise, you'd have to work with the opening/close if kids do not all have the same lesson, but otherwise, you could make five stations with a story, craft/service project, game and then send kids to a different one each time.

    If you have a Christian book store in your area, see if they are having a vbs event where you can go look at an actual kit - or if they are not having an event, see if they will let you look at at kit before you buy one.

  3. thank you, Lynda. Our local Christian bookstore is holding a VBS viewing this week and this particular curriculum is part of the line up. I've looked at several of the curricula you have reviewed and this seems to be my #1 choice, too. Looking forward to seeing it up close and in person. Thanks for your very thorough reviews! SOOOOOO appreciated! tammie jones

  4. Hi there - We're using this particular curriculum as a part of our school year lessons and I agree - the content is excellent! The activity and craft ideas in particular have stood out as 'fresh' to us. One question - I'm preparing to teach Session 5 this Sunday and couldn't find the "Paul and Silas Bible Story Music Activity" on the resource CD. Have you run into this, too, or am I just looking in the wrong place? I know you're not an official Standard rep but would love your help if you have the chance!

  5. Since our Church had a "Beachy" theme laast year, I am looking for another theme. Which would you recommend? I tried to find the actual top ten list in order but could not do so.

  6. Charissa, sorry, but I gave the kit away and can't check - try to contact Standard and see if they can send you a new CD

    And, Anonymous - Sky from Group was 2nd and Amazing Wonders Aviation from Lifeway was 3rd - you can see all my reviews and the order they placed on this link -