Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a time for kids to combine fun and games with learning more about Christ and the impact of his love in their lives. The idea that Jesus is always walking beside us, never letting us go through joy or sorrow alone, can be a comforting concept for kids. Provide a variety of activities that help them understand this concept more deeply.
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Take a "Walk" With Jesus
Since Jesus and his disciples literally walked everywhere they went, why not emulate their trekking by taking a daylong hike around your VBS location? Have the children bring a bag lunch and take a day to traverse, by foot, locations they might have only seen from a car window. Talk with them about how Jesus spent his ministry travelling on foot, and how this mode of travel allowed him to interact with many people and places. Discuss with them, upon your return, the places and people they saw that might benefit from a closer walk with Jesus.
Create Stepping stones
A craft project to demonstrate "walking with Jesus" to young kids might be to create some stepping stones. The material (cardboard or poster board) you choose to use can be cut into stone shapes by you and decorated by each child using markers or paints to resemble rocks. Talk with them as they work about the guidance and support that Jesus offers as they walk through their lives. Create a list on a chalkboard or whiteboard of the key words that come up -- for example, forgiveness, joy, peace, love and friendship. Let each child put the word of his choice on his stone, and then lay the stone on the floor, creating a walking path for all to use.
Sing "Walking" Songs
Singing and dancing provide a necessary active component to any group experience for young kids. The KIDiddles website (see Resource section) offers an extensive list of songs for children, many of which feature going from one place to another or walking. Teach your students one or two of the songs, and have them create arm movements and steps that represent how they each walk with Jesus. Kids are sometimes able to show rather than tell abstract ideas, and you might be surprised at the variety and originality of the each child's vision of his own personal walk with Christ.
"A Walk on the Beach" Theme
Why not create a VBS "walking with Jesus" theme that reflects the famous poem "Footprints in the Sand"? For kids, this can translate into a fun beach theme. Bring a sandbox into your fellowship centre or make use of the one on your preschool's playground. Let kids practice putting footprints in the sand and build sand castles as you share this poem's story of Jesus's loving help as we walk through life. For Bible study, focus on the stories of Jesus travelling with his disciples, and spend time showing pictures of and describing the barren, sandy landscape travelled over by Jesus. Tell the stories of Jesus walking on the water and calming the seas.
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