Tuesday, January 8, 2019

VBS 2019 - To Mars & Beyond with Cokesbury

Today I'm happy to share with you To Mars &  Beyond  from Cokesbury. This is a VBS curriculum filled with resources which will help you share with children how they are able to know no matter what, God is always with them. To Mars & Beyond is well worth taking a thorough look at to see if it might be a good "fit" for your ministry -

To Mars & Beyond
Price - $174.99 - $219.99
  1. Daniel Trusts God in the Lion's Den - Daniel 6 - Go Beyond with Faith!
  2. Queen Esther Takes a Stand - Esther 4-9 - Go Beyond with Boldness!
  3. The Good Samaritan Helps a Fellow Traveler - Luke 10 - Go Beyond with Kindness!
  4. Jesus Heals 10 Lepers - Luke 17 - Go Beyond with Thankfulness!
  5. Jesus Comforts Friends on the Way to Emmanus - Luke 24 - Go Beyond with Hope!
    Setting – An outpost on Mars.
    Message/Theme – "To Mars & Beyond will help children discover the wonders of Gods universe."
    Focus – Application, Service and Bible Content
    Strengths –

    • Complete director's book - filled with info you need to know - how to recruit, train volunteers, work with special needs children, count-down plan and follow-up.
    • Excellent info on health and safety.
    • I LOVE the reproducible take-home pages for each day - great way to help children connect what they learned/did with God's Word and be able to tell others. Big plus is the daily Science video so parents are able to see how to do the science experiments at home - this is awesome!
    • Excellent info to dedicate and thank volunteers
    • To Mars & Beyond has strong Bible content with a focus on application.
    • There are two options for each lesson - a Drama option and a Single Storyteller option - so you are able to chose the one which best "fits" your ministry. I would, however, like to see open Bibles and lessons which engage the children more. The Single Storyteller option 2 does a great job of engaging the children and the drama option 1 is written well, but I'd only use this if I had the children do the dramas - I personally like the option 2 the best for each day's Bible account.
    • I LOVE the "Science Station" again this year – excellent science projects and activities to get kids thinking and talking and the STEM options in each lesson are very well done.
    • I LOVE "Active Learning Options" - focus on helping children understand what they have learned and how it lives in their lives!
    • I LOVE the daily Closing Prayer Experience - excellent!
    • 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!
    • I absolutely LOVE "Reflection Time" 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!
    Would like to see –
    • More excitement and engagement of the children in the opening and close - perhaps add some of the science projects from the "Science Station" which you didn’t use, to the closing to finish each day for a "WOW" moment.
    • I would like to see open Bibles in the Bible lesson. It would be very easy to have the teachers read the Bible lesson rather than paraphrase it for the teacher teaching and for the dramas as well.
    Cokesbury says, "With Mars & Beyond children will become Voyagers on a journey through space, exploring where God's power is able to take them. They will lift off to distant planets on special missions to collect power sources. Along the way, they'll learn how God walked with heroes of the Bible, and God is always with them, too.

    I really love how To Mars & Beyond focuses on helping children learn God is with them and they are able to "go beyond" with Him. I would use this in my church - if you do not choose it for your VBS (and it would make a fantastic VBS), then get it to use on Sundays or Wednesdays or for a special family event, or ??? If you have it, you will find a place to use it! 

    If you are looking for a solid 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 To Mars & Beyond!

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