Monday, January 13, 2014

VBS . . . What's NEW for 2014???

One week of my reviews have been posted, so as I begin the second week of reviews, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the new things from the kits I've already reviewed . . . some of these new things are truly creative and will add a lot to VBS!

Jungle Safari
Standard Publishing
  • NEW THIS YEAR - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the "Service & Missions" Site! This site does the following . . . "Helps kids KNOW - what is so great about God and how they can count on Him as they are challenged to live differently. They will be able to understand the needs in their communities and around the world and see how serving others is linked to the nature of God." They will, "EXPLORE instead of passively watch a video or listen to a presentation, kids have the opportunity to work with each other and their leaders as they experience a need and discuss together how knowing God as CREATOR, PROVIDER, PROTECTOR, SAVIOR and KING  can help them help others." It will also help kids, "SERVE as they take tools and ideas and are encouraged to S.W.A.M.P - Serve With A Mighty Purpose."
  • NEW THIS YEAR - "Special Needs Tips" throughout to help leaders, teachers and helpers know how to engage and involve children with special needs in every part of the VBS! Excellent! Thorough section in the Director's Guide on helping and involving children with special needs!
  • This year the craft ideas involve children in making musical instruments they can use to express themselves through art, music and movement to use immediately and praise God! They will be able to talk about who God is based on a daily Scripture verse from Psalms to help them discover what is great about God and why He deserves their praise and use their musical crafts to praise God in Toucan Jam during the closing session! You have the option of purchasing craft kits from S&S Worldwide or making the crafts with supplies you gather.
  • Last year I said I would like to see - "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!" and I'm very happy to say this year Standard added science to their Snack & Game time and science object talks for each day which you can use whenever and wherever you like! (Try adding them to the opening or closing!)
Wilderness Escape
Group Publishing
  • NEW THIS YEAR - I'm happy to see the New Bible Memory Buddies on the "dog-tags" - kids will LOVE these and be able to be reminded of the Bible verse they learned and the daily point! Fun to put on their backpacks! I especially LOVE the way each buddy is personally handed out in Tribes by imparting a blessing - powerful!
  • NEW THIS YEAR - Preschool-friendly Options throughout to help teachers better engage the little ones!
Weird Animals
Group Publishing
  • I LOVE KidVid Cinema and am extremely happy to see Chadder is NOT part of Weird Animals! KidVid Cinema is brilliant! I can absolutely see how this station will encourage important conversations between children and their crew leaders and provide opportunities for children to come to know Jesus and to also learn to know Him better! Excellent!
SonTreasure Island
Gospel Light
  • Gospel Light made everything - student papers, music, lessons . . . EVERYTHING reproducible! This will save churches a significant amount of money!
Gangway to Galilee
Concordia Publishing House
  • I especially love the second part of each Bible lesson where children talk in groups about the lesson, what it means and how they live it - excellent!
Arrow Island
Regular Baptist Press
  • Last year I said, "I’d like to see a more intentional and stronger focus on specific things for kids to go and “do” before they return the next day to live what they learned." This year I am very happy to see, "Island Challenge" - I LOVE the ideas for children to go and do to live what they are learning! Excellent!
  • LOVE the Family Fun flyer filled with ideas for ways families can continue the fun and learning at home on their own "island" adventure!
Agency D3
  • I LOVE the new "Takin' It Home CD" - what a terrific idea - sure to build excitement and more importantly, connect what children are doing at VBS with their own families!
  • LOVE LifeWay's VBS Family App! This is something families will want to check out for sure! Excellent!
I'm so happy to see the publishers continue to work at providing creative and engaging new ways to help children come to know Jesus and grow to walk with Him every day as they live what they learn! Take a close look at these new features to VBS 2014 as they are sure to make your VBS even better!

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