Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 Top Five VBS Countdown - #5 - Everywhere Fun Fair by Cokesbury!

cokesbury-vbs-2013-logo-transp.gifToday as I begin my Top Five VBS Count-down for 2013 I'm happy to share with you the VBS which is #5 - Everywhere Fun Fair from Cokesbury. This is a VBS curriculum filled with resources which will help you engage the children in your church and community in reaching out to their neighbors - at home and around the world. Everywhere Fun Fair is well worth taking a good look at it to see if it might be a good "fit" for your ministry -

Everywhere Fun Fair
1. Neighbors are friendly - Sarah and Abraham welcome the Visitors - Genesis 18 & 21
2. Neighbors are giving - a Widow gives cheerfully - I Kings 17
3. Neighbors are bold - Good Samaritan: a Bold Neighbor - Luke 10
4. Neighbors are forgiving - Jesus forgives Zacchaeus - Luke 19
5. Neighbors are welcoming - God welcomes everyone - Acts 10

Setting – a fun, international street fair
Message/Theme – Children will be able to experience the love of Jesus and learn how to love their neighbors near and far, in their own commuities and around the world.
Focus – Application, Service and Bible Content

Strengths –
  • Everywhere Fun Fair has strong Bible content with a focus on application
  • The director’s book is pretty complete and provides most of the information you need to plan and present your VBS
  • I especially love the "Innovation Station" – excellent science projects and activities to get kids thinking and talking.
  • Excellent information to help churches involve children with special needs
  • I love the reproducible take home papers with questions for families to think through together!
  • I found the options for crafts to be creative, varied, affordable and fun – options for crafts you can buy as kits and crafts you make from items you collect!
  • LOVE the mission ideas for each day which involve children in projects to help their community and/or world!
  • LOVE the "Step Right Up" activities at the close of each day to help children think and talk about what they can do the following day to live what they learned!
  • It is great fun to "take" the kids around the world to "meet" their "neighbors"!
Would like to see –
  • More enthusiasm in the open/closing – object lessons, science projects, stunts – something to capture the kid’s attention and get them thinking! I’d add some of the science projects from the Innovation Station which I didn’t use in the station to the close.
  • Children engaged in the teaching of the Bible lesson, involve the kids in the dramas, have them participate in the lesson – not just sit and watch a drama or listen to the teacher and get kids to open their Bibles during the lesson to find answers to questions and see what the Bible people said/did.
Last year I said I'd like to see daily "live-it" activities to help kids take what they learned out of the church and live it in their everyday lives, every day. I'm happy to see this has been added! I also said I'd like to see activities which involved children in serving their communities and this year there are great ideas to help children do this!  I didn't get the DVD so I don't know if there were more boys singing this year or not.

Cokesbury says, “Everywhere Fun Fair takes children to a global celebration with the look and feel of a world’s fair. Children will make friends with neighbors around the world and discover God’s love can be found everywhere, including their own neighborhoods. They will be introduced to special places from all over the world and discover we are all neighbors and all children of God.” If you are looking for a VBS with a focus on living what you learn and a theme which is thoroughly woven through each part of the day, take a good look at Everywhere Fun Fair!

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