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We love VBS, so our team at Theme Builders came up with ways for you to Enhance your Lifeway 2011 VBS theme: the Big Apple Adventure

We believe that in order to draw students into your Vacation Bible School you must create an experience that goes beyond a typical school setting. Creating an immersive experience that activates their 5 senses helping them engage, ponder, and forever remember. Think of the sermons you remember (kind of hard to remember some of the great sermons) unless they had great illustrations, object lessons or happened during some type of interactive setting.
Note: We are not affiliated with Lifeway in any way and do not sell their material, but are here to pass along free ideas, decorating tips, and themeing to CREATE GREATER KINGDOM IMPACT!



Don't forget:  The church wants to help create a successful VBS, share your vision and cast out your ideas to people who have resources, props, or friends that can help pull this off.

Theme Song: (to get in the mood click here --downloads the .mp3)
Theme Ideas:
There is no way to create a big urban city scene without designing a "Back Alley" or Marketplace:
In the past I have developed a large re-creation of a Philadelphia street scene similar to the Rocky 1 scene where Rocky B. runs through a marketplace on a back street. Here are some of our favorite and best received components to help you create a great Big Apple environment.

Transform hallways or entranceways into a street scene:
use Brick wallpaper(www.brickwallpaper.com), or paint bricks onto white craft paper, or purchase fake brick panelling from your local hardware store.
Spray paint graffiti onto the brick wall to create a look similar to the photo below.
Gather Props such as:
Metal garbage cans
Barrels, Crates
Print your own street signs (click here for sample images from google) -just print and glue/laminate to cardboard for mounting in your hallway
Put an "Indoor Campfire" in a barrel or garbage can to create the realistic fake fire effect in the picture below (from www.IndoorCampfires.com )

- If you can't find anyone in church who has a barrel you can buy a new Fiber drum from Uline.com for <$50 - Click here
Lifeway Big Apple VBS vacation bible school theme ideas decorating tips photo


Create a marketplace

Start by building some "outdoor" shelving by getting several cement blocks and placing some rough looking 2x8 or 2x10 boards across the top and stacking to create two or three tiers.
Get baskets or wooden crates to display items. We have found the going to our local Grocery store and asking them to order us 24 cardboard egg boxes that would (each hold about 30-40 dozen eggs creates a great stackable set up boxes that look like you are selling lots of eggs.
Make price names/signs to place with the products for sale
Get some twine style rope to hang up some fabric awnings drapped above this area.
Click here to see a sample street marketplace scene:

FOOD IDEAS :
-Statue of Liberty shaped cookies: (Cookie cutters are available cheap on EBAY) Search for: "Statue Cookie Cutters" or click here

Sounds of the City:
Couple options to engage the ears: Download sound effects from websites like REVOSTOCK.com by selecting Sound FX and searching for "CITY" or click here

Advertising Ideas:
Beyond your normal printed material, kids love to get tickets to "shows." Create a Broadway style ticket anouncing the details of your VBS and distribute these. A great attention getter for passing out during parades, etc. when promoting your VBS.

OTHER:
I just got the Oriental Trading catalog (cheap stuff) and they have a huge selection of NYC themed props and giveaways (155 total items). Check it out here.

 

 

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Our prayer is that you will have an effective V.B.S. Thank you for giving of your time and energy (lots) to put this together for your church and community.
May the Lord bless you for your efforts.