We just finished Vacation Bible School and are super-pooped. (That’s beyond tired.) It was crazy! It was awesome! We had the best time!
Years ago, we started doing “stations” at VBS. It put the fun back in Bible school! If you like telling the story, you tell the Bible story over and over to each class. If you like crafts, then you do crafts all night. If you like games, then recreation is your job the whole time. It puts people serving in the way they love best. Each group/grade is led by their “guide”. The guide takes them on a rotation of story, snack, craft, music and games.
I got to work with the little kids in music again this year. My helpers were amazing. We sang, waved our hands, stomped our feet, and by Thursday we were dancing while we were sitting in the floor. (It’s harder than it sounds and I thought I’d messed up my hip.) Our music team was sweating like crazy with every group. It was like Preschool Zumba!
Each night I wished I had pen and paper to make notes about the funny things the kids did. They were a hoot!
In one class, we were learning Deep and Wide-one of the best and oldest Bible school songs ever. I was explaining that Jesus does not love us just a little bit. We held our fingers up to show what a little bit looked like. Then, I told them that Jesus loves us to the moon and back and to stretch their arms up as high as they could. Next, we stretched as far as we could from side to side- “from the mountains to the ocean”. I said that Jesus’ love never stops; it keeps going on and on, like the water fountain in the hall and asked them to make flowing water motions with their fingers. One little boy told us he had seen an alligator. I wasn’t sure what the connection was. Maybe it was in the water fountain. I hoped not! Another little boy heard about the alligator and belted out that he had seen a crocodile.
We are living in a time of constantly encouraging kids. I do it at work and hadn’t realized I was still doing it at Bible school until I heard a three-year old next to me singing, “Deep and Wide. Good job. Deep and Wide. Good job. There’s a fountain flowing, deep and wide.”
Seeing the two year olds during music class is worth the price of admission! One toddler got really excited each time the music started. His eyes got big. His mouth was open wide showing every tooth he had. It was like the music filled his whole body and he ran into the wall-again and again! I am totally serious! It was contagious with the others, except the wall part.
One preschooler pointed and said my hair was going up every time I jumped. I told him it was called “hairspray” and got tickled every time after that. All the kids were watching my hair from then on.
One Kindergarten girl came the last night with a story of an injury. Her nose was blue and she said she couldn’t breathe out of one side of it. “What on earth happened?” I asked. It looked like it hurt really bad!
“Well…” she began slowly. “I was at my house on the bed and I was singing…” She looked away, reliving the incident. “But…I didn’t realize I was jumping.” Aw man! Even if she was singing Bible school songs, this could not end well! “I fell off…” she dragged out the ending, “…and I hit the desk.” Ouch! We pictured the whole thing.
We had a sit-down version of the Hokey Pokey. It’s the same as the standing up version but is used in an emergency if you are super-pooped. “You put something in, take something out, put something in and shake it all about. When you give your heart to Jesus, He will turn your life around. That’s what it’s all about!” We took turns putting in our thumbs, elbows, knees and other body parts, giggling all the while. One boy got poked in the eye somehow and had to have a wet paper towel. After that, I said, “Make sure you don’t poke anybody in the eye!” before every song.
I love all of Bible School, but especially the music. I can picture Jesus listening from heaven! I pray the songs our kiddies learned will be rooted in their hearts and mouths for a long time to come.
I looked up Scriptures about singing and these are my new favorites. Psalm 59:16-17: “I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength; I sing praise to You.” If you give me a minute, I’m pretty sure I can come up with some hand motions to match!
Dawn Reed is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.