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An Interactive Bible Museum

Amy Nappa

VBS Kickoff: An Interactive Bible Museum

Use this exciting publicity tool to hook kids into awaiting adventures at your VBS

By Mike and Amy Nappa

Vacation Bible school is just around the corner. Even now, you're probably mapping out your publicity for this year's VBS. You've checked out the publicity kit in the VBS you've chosen. And to be honest, it seems a little dry-the same old tired posters, banners, and door hangers that you've used over and over every year. You don't want to just inform kids, you want to wow them and give them a taste of the adventures that await them at VBS! Well, here's your ticket to Wow-Wow Land. This year, create an Interactive Bible Museum that'll capture kids' interest and make them thirst for more. Just stage your event one week before you actually kick off VBS. Set up the following displays and exhibits for children to explore. Then invite everyone in your community. While kids are there, register them for more fun learning at this year's VBS and give them all the information they'll need to be there on time.

GETTING STARTED

Designate a large room as your registration area. Then arrange the displays and exhibits so kids can wander about the room and explore while their parents do the paperwork. Give each display a sign to explain the exhibit. Send kids out with a museum passport that can be stamped at each exhibit. To make the museum easier for kids to explore, recruit teenagers to act as tour guides dressed in biblical garb. Tour guides can be especially helpful to children who can't read. Assign these guides to various posts, or have them each direct a group of children through the entire room.

EXHIBIT 1 NOAH'S ANIMAL FLOAT

Supplies: A cardboard half-gallon milk carton, scissors, plastic toy animals, a tub or small pool, water, and dry towels. Preparation: Cut the milk carton down the middle from top to bottom. This will create two arks that can float on water. Fill a plastic tub or a small pool with water. Place the arks, toy animals, and towels beside the water. Sign: "Noah was a man who obeyed God and built a boat to save people and animals during a huge flood. Noah's boat never sank, but see how many animals you can fit on a boat before your boat sinks!"

EXHIBIT 2 JOSEPH'S COLORFUL COAT

Supplies: White T-shirts and markers. Preparation: Place a T-shirt and the markers on a table. Put out a new T-shirt when the original one is full of designs. Sign: "Joseph was a teenager when his father gave him a colorful coat. Add your own designs, drawings, or doodles to this T-shirt. It might turn out to be just as bright as Joseph's coat!"

EXHIBIT 3 GIANT MEASUREMENTS

Supplies: Newsprint, a tape measure, masking tape, and a marker. Preparation: Goliath was between 9 feet 4 inches and 9 feet 9 inches tall. To create an outline of Goliath, place the paper on the floor and tape it together so you have 10 feet of newsprint. Then use a helper's body as a rough guide to trace around. You'll need to enlarge the body by lengthening the legs, arms, and torso so the body is at least 9 feet and 4 inches tall. Tape this outline to a wall with the feet close to the floor. Place markers nearby. Sign: "Goliath was a very tall man. He was also an enemy of God's people. God helped a young boy named David kill Goliath with a stone and a slingshot. See how you measure up to Goliath. Stand next to his outline and mark how tall you are. Write your name beside your mark."

EXHIBIT 4 JOYFUL NOISES

Supplies: Musical instruments such as a tambourine, cymbals, bells, horns, whistles, and drums. Preparation: Place the instruments on a table. Sign: "The Bible tells us to praise God with instruments. Psalm 150 suggests we use trumpets, harps, tambourines, flutes, cymbals, and more. See what joyful sounds you can make with these instruments. Get a friend to help you and sing a song to God together."

EXHIBIT 5 MANGER OF HAY

Supplies: A refrigerator box, scissors, and straw or hay. Preparation: Lay the longest side of the box on the floor and cut the sides to a height of about 1 foot. Fill the box with hay. Sign: "When Jesus was born, his parents didn't have a crib. For his bed, they used a box of hay that was used to feed animals. Lie down in this big box of hay to see what it felt like."

EXHIBIT 6 LOAVES AND FISHES

Supplies: Gummy fish, crackers, and bowls. Preparation: Place the fish and crackers in bowls. Sign: "Jesus was talking to a crowd of more than 5,000 people who were hungry. Jesus performed a miracle by feeding all these people with a boy's lunch of two small fish and five little loaves of bread. If you'd like a snack, help yourself to two fish and five crackers."

EXHIBIT 7 LOST SHEEP

Supplies: Several toy sheep or cut-out paper sheep. Preparation: Place all but one sheep on a table. Hide one sheep in the room. Have a helper hide this sheep in different places several times. Sign: "A shepherd always looks for a lost sheep and is happy when the sheep is found. Jesus said he is like a shepherd because he always looks for people who need him and is very happy when he finds them. This display is missing one of its sheep. Can you find it in this room? After you find it, leave it so others can find it too."

EXHIBIT 8 UP A TREE

Supplies: A refrigerator box, paint, paintbrushes, a sharp knife, a full-length mirror, and a stool. Preparation: Cut one side out of a refrigerator box. On both sides of the mid-section, paint a tree. In the tree's leaves and 3 feet from the floor, cut out an oval a little larger than a child's face. On the tree inside the box, paint the body of a small man in the tree so a child's face in the oval will look like it belongs to the body. Attach a full-length mirror to a wall. Then place the refrigerator box in front of the mirror so the unpainted box sides conceal the mirror and the cut-out oval and body can be seen in the mirror. Sign: "Zacchaeus was a small man who wanted to see Jesus. He could not see over the crowds, so he climbed up into a tree to see Jesus walk by. Jesus saw Zacchaeus and invited him to come down. Then Jesus had dinner at Zacchaeus' house. Can you imagine what it might've been like to be Zacchaeus? Put your face in this hole to see what you may've looked like in that tree. Use the stool if you need to."ú


Mike and Amy Nappa are the authors of 52 Fun Family Prayer Adventures (Augsburg/Fortress).

Please keep in mind that phone numbers, addresses, and prices are subject to change.

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