Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to have a preschool-friendly VBS

Setting up VBS for Preschoolers

If your VBS begins with elementary children and preschoolers together for a time of opening music, be prepared to have one or two helpers take younger children to your preschool classroom for free play if the large group setting becomes overwhelming.

Use similar VBS-themed decorations for your preschool rooms as you use for your elementary VBS. Just make sure to use decorations without small parts that your little ones can swallow. A good test is to use only those items that are too large to fit inside a cardboard paper towel tube.

Place an attendance chart in your preschool area(s). Give each child a sticker as he enters and help him place it in the appropriate square on the chart. (Some children may prefer not to do this, which is fine. A helper can add stickers for them instead.) You can purchase themed VBS stickers as well as Bible stickers, cross stickers, glitter stickers, and colorful attendance and memory verse charts from

Free Play for Preschoolers

Provide the following toys and supplies for your preschool free play area(s). Ask church members and preschool leaders for donations. Make sure they label their items if they want them to be returned after VBS. Conclude your free-play time with a bathroom break.

• Blocks: Wooden, plastic, or cardboard blocks in different sizes, shapes, and colors; toy people and animals; toy vehicles; manipulative building toys; but nothing with sharp edges or small parts.

• Art: Crayons, washable markers, and chalk; white paper and construction paper; poster paper taped along a wall and over tables for murals; paper shapes for coloring and decorating; stickers; tape for hanging artwork from walls and ceiling.

• Disguises: Costumes, shoes, masks, scarves, capes, plastic sunglasses, purses and bags, and dress-up clothes for boys and girls.

• Dramatic Play: Dolls, doll clothes, plastic cell phones, toy cameras, stuffed animals, small chairs or large
pillows, doll beds, dishes, toy food, doll strollers, plastic shopping carts.

• Books: Various picture books showing items familiar to young children such as nature, farm animals, pets,
friends, family, church, preschool, etc. Include several VBS theme-related picture books, if available.

• Puzzles: Colorful cardboard and wooden framed puzzles with 25 pieces or less, some with knobs.

Egypt VBS Just for Preschoolers
Use the new Joseph in Egypt Preschool VBS from Christian Ed Warehouse this summer to supplement your elementary VBS program from Group, Egypt: Joseph's Journey. Written especially for 2- to 5-year-olds, this five-day preschool VBS program includes Bible stories, snacks, crafts, and games with reproducible student sheets and colorful visuals on CD-ROM. You can view samples and take a look at the contents and course overview for the Joseph in Egypt Preschool VBS. Order the spiral-bound book with CD or, if you need it tomorrow, order the download version.

Now you're ready to take your preschoolers on the VBS journey of a lifetime!

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