Ministry: 4+ VBS Themes
VBS. Need I say more? Sometimes I think the adults have such an awesome time, it is questionable if they are having more fun than the kids! Either way, VBS is AWESOME! But, as you already know, even in the small setting, a ton of work and a lot of hours goes into planning, prepping and praying for a great VBS! Each theme would vary greatly if you are planning a full Saturday VBS or a week long VBS. Also, if you are providing food, or if it is going to take place throughout the week in a two hour block, so only requiring a snack. Either way, here are a few ideas to get you rolling!
1. Western Themed
Who doesn’t love a good western? With cowboy and cowgirl hats, bandanas and a few songs on a guitar, this theme is simple to whip up with any size church. With cowboys boots and spurs you can have a real giddy up good ‘ol time! The possibilities are endless for all the directions you can go with the western theme. Grilled food is quick with little prep work too!
VBS could be a general western theme or even include the sheriff or two…
However you arrange your VBS, remember there are some great kits available or you can go about it in your own fashion and purchase the necessary supplies. Amazon has cute backdrops for photos, decor for your food, and even games. While you can purchase them, they may just give you some ideas of your own DIY games with things you already have access too. your local area may even supply a lot of your decor or gifts. But also oriental trading, windcity and etsy for personalized items. If you are also a small church with absolutely no budget or are just extremely thrifty with the little budget your church has, and do not mind a little extra work, you can also pick up used and free old VBS materials or decor left over from other churches.
As odd as this may sound, but even the manual for all the different types of western themes will give you game ideas, the devotions, crafts and so on. And while you can do all those things yourself, I have found many large churches do not realize someone will actually use just a handful or the main decor over again. BUT, if you will pay for shipping, they will gladly send you their scraps/reusable material. To find these, we have had the best luck in FaceBook groups and ebay. Please use caution when giving your personal information out though. Here is a FREE VBS curriculum “Outlaws for God… Wild West Adventure“
2. Down On the Farm
Down on the farm is another great option for a church of any size. I love this option especially for the small church because you can really branch out on this every year and still NOT exhaust the theme completely. Each year, saving your decorations and growing in collection over time. Or a theme within the theme sort of speaking. From Clucking hens, to tractors turning soil, cultivating crops, baling hay (feed my sheep), Giddy up with Jesus, Milk’in His word, God’s Kids (goat themed), Hopping Around the World for Jesus (rabbits & missionaries) and etc.
With so many options of using the farm theme in general, your church is not limited to one topic. Each day could be a different animal on the farm or a different task. With the versatility of this theme and the tons of free stuff online, this theme can creatively be altered or designed to fit almost any setting, including park VBS. Many small churches have gone to using the local park and teaming up with a local farm store to even close out the final day of VBS with a petting zoo type setting. None the less, the meat of the messages ring loud in the heart. Concordia has a FREE download that may be of use to you, as does Children are Important, Close Encouter Ministries, and NextSunday has a great resource list too. Insteading of reinventing the wheel, enjoy the 200+ Farm crafts, skits, decor and VBS resources on my Pinterest Board! Also, material is popping up all over the place with summer quickly approaching. Baptist Press, BogardPress and Ministries have amazing resources if your church would like to just purchase a kit and packaged materials out-right!
Other materials like farm backdrops can inexpensively be purchased on AMAZON or Oriental Trading as well. Don’t forget the decor, napkins, games and prizes too.
3. Not of This World (Space Themed)
Not of this World is a wonderful space themed Vacation Bible School theme as well. Although there are other types of decorations, they can easily be acquired or made if so desired. With focusing on the creation of the world and hope big this world really is, it is easy to point to how perfectly designed the entire world and its creation is. Thus, pointing all children back to a great, big and powerful God. Which, is what so many kids need to see today!
This VBS was from 2012 and you can find it @buggalcrafts
From studying creation to the solar system, this theme can have many avenues of study and points of interest. All while enjoying rockets, space launch or relating the week to preparing to be an astronaut. (Training for the mission.) Space themed VBS will be our of this world, sorry! VBSFreePrograms also has this FREE theme available for your own use and it is easily customizable to adapt to your preferences. With a little creativity, this Space theme can have numerous different titles depending on what your goal points of interest are for your churches VBS!
BE sure to check out these great backdrops and party kits too!
4. Make Waves (Beach/Sea Theme)
Another great hit for VBS themes is water. All kids love the beach theme in summer! With water balloons, bubbles, sand castles, giant slip and slides and water fights; what’s not to love? So many relay games, bubble magic wands and sand art supplies; the possibilities are endless for the beach theme as well! TrueWay has a free printable for their sea VBS as does Foundry Publishing. Whether you focus on building for Jesus, Navigating life’s waves , making your own waves for the Lord, the amazing creation of the water creatures, fun on the beach or even a Shipwrecked type theme, resources are fairly simple to find in the summer.
Be sure to grab your beach party kits for the best deals before summer hits full swing. (The go up significantly AND your dollar stores quickly go to patriotic themed decor/supplies.)
With rides, cotton candy, candied apples and all the carnival games, what’s not to love about the carnival theme? Although there are so many different styles this can be done, there have all been successful among VBS choiced themes.