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Friday, May 31, 2013

It's a Blue Ribbon Life - VBS 2013 (Open House)

Because we only do a three day VBS, we don't buy the workbooks for each student.  Also, because of copyright laws, I don't copy out of the workbook sample we get.  However, there is plenty of lesson materials you can find online for free.  I really liked these "Garden of Gethsemane" posters. 
I found them and this "A Hero's Sandwich" (for the temptation of Jesus lesson) at this website.  There are some excellent materials there! I'm not sure if you have to register or not, but when I go there, I just have to click on "submit".  Maybe that's because I'm already a member and we purchase the whole curriculum a few years ago? Not sure, but almost all of the lessons are great - so be sure to take a look!
Danielle's Place is also a great place to find crafts, activities, and ideas for the lessons.  We have a group subscription so that all of our teachers can use it.  Another great paid site is Kid's Sunday School Place.
For added fun at our VBS Open House Wednesday night, I had these cute polka dotted balloons inflated with helium and tied to each chair. The children who attended got to take their balloons home with them.
Here's another room at VBS Open House.  These are "Fruit of the Spirit" booklets for the 4, 5 and Kindergarten age.
They had also decorated their own blue ribbons.
Here is a close-up of their fruit buckets I mentioned yesterday.  So cute!!
Decorated frames are always a great idea for an activity for the students.  A great keepsake of VBS each year!
 One teacher found these really cute "Fruit of the Spirit" totes at Oriental Trading.
These activities came from Danielle's Place.
After everyone tours the VBS classrooms, we have an annual Ice Cream Party.  Lots of fun for the kids and the adults!
It's a combination of VBS and celebrating the end of the school year.  What a fun time!
Yesterday was the end of our VBS.  I mention each year that it is also the end of my huge month of decorating.  I enjoy every bit of it and wouldn't change anything about it, but I can say that I'm always excited for today.....the last Friday in May each year! It means that we can sleep a little later, be a little less scheduled, and have extra family time with the absence of activities.
Oh, yes......there is one small thing left to do.  Clean out the Expedition that is full of decorations!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's a Blue Ribbon Life - VBS Part 2

I thought I would share some of the other VBS rooms with you.  This room is the 4's, 5's and Kindergarten class.  
 It's really a cute room!
The fruit stand was a great addition.  Each student has a little can and I think they buy "Fruits of the Spirit" at the stand.  What a fun way to teach!
 This is adorable! Buckets with wooden planks for benches!
 This is the 2 and 3 year old room.  It is festive with the red and white striped banner and carnival type decorations all around. The teacher found a lot of things at Oriental Trading online.

 On the purple wall, there are attendance charts that she made. It's a hot air balloon type of craft she saw on the Oriental Trading site, but just made it herself to save money.
I thought the way she did this blue ribbon was especially cute! Her young daughter told her she needed stripes on the door, so she did it!  Looks great!
It's a Blue Ribbon Life theme all the way through!
My mother-in-law teaches the 3rd and 4th grade class.  She typically doesn't decorate with the theme, but rather just the Bible stories themselves.  As you can see, she does an excellent job of portraying the scenes!
 She made it to where her "Jesus" could be moved from scene to scene each day.
 I'm sure the children enjoy hearing the stories come to life on the walls of the room!
The 5th and 6th grade room has a theme of ribbons, plus each days' lesson.
The teacher concentrates on craft activities that drive home the lesson theme of the day and does a super job each year!
This age group is in the preteen group, so of course, their ideas need to be a little more mature.  And some of this age group may be thinking they're a little young for VBS!  So, to keep their minds learning and their attention turned toward the lesson of the day takes someone who knows what they're doing!  I prefer the younger ones, so it's not me :).

It's so interesting to give people a topic or theme, then see how their ideas come about in all different ways!  This just goes to show that we all have talents.  We're all different, but everything can come together for good - and for a good cause, such as VBS!

Don't be afraid to let your imagination go!  Don't think it "has" to be a certain way! Don't think your ideas have to match someone else's ideas!  You are unique.  It will show through in what you do, but you have to do something for that to happen.  That's the important part.  Just doing it!

Tomorrow I'll show some specific crafts and activities in each of the rooms.  I hope you're enjoying this "It's a Blue Ribbon Life" theme!  We sure are!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's a Blue Ribbon Life - VBS 2013 (Day 1)

Wow!  What an interesting theme our VBS is this year!  It's called "It's a Blue Ribbon Life" with stories about Jesus and also using the Fruits of the Spirit.  We're only doing three days of the VBS, so using the stories about the temptation of Jesus, Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, and then His death on the cross.
It was difficult for me to get my 'mind' wrapped around the county fair theme, but as it always does, it worked out and it's always my 'favorite' ever.  Each year :).  Thanks to my husband and kiddos for helping out each year.
The sign about above the people says, "Life County Fair".  I just decided to call the count 'Life'.  Not sure anyone will know why except me.
 The 'concession stand' on the wall also served for attendance charts.  The popcorn containers get a cardstock 'popcorn' piece added each day.
My daughter and I have laughed about the real cotton candy we had on the walls.
It looks so pretty on there at first, but then......
....within a few hours, it looks like this!!!  Dripping cotton candy!  Not sure why, but it's sure funny looking!  Another option that we've got available, but haven't done is painting the polyfill stuff a pretty pastel color.  Not sure we'll do that, since we have plenty of bags of the real stuff.
The "Fruit of the Spirit' wall turned out really cute.  I got a kick out of my almost-17-year-old son who asked, "Mom, you know fruit doesn't really have faces, don't you?"  His humor is dry sometimes, so I wondered if he was teasing or really asking! (Haha!!)
Trying to think of the perfect look for the room, I remembered some string lights I had found at Target. I wanted to get some for one of  my boys' rooms, but they weren't interested. My husband volunteered to go get a few strands of the lights for me.....about an hour and 15 minutes away.
As he and I were hanging them that night, though, I let one hit the back of a chair and it busted the light, causing the whole strand to blow.  I was so disappointed!  But, guess what?  My husband got back in the car and drove back to Target right then and got me a lot more sets! Isn't that sweet?  He's a keeper!
All I knew I wanted in the room when I started was a barn.  I just thought it would be really cute.  The little animals on the sides and in the barn window opening all have on big 1st place or winner ribbons, completing the 'Blue Ribbon Life' theme.
My husband isn't artistic in some ways and we laugh about the one thing he can draw - this bird that he put on top of the weather vane!  It's always the same variation.  What a great tiny addition to the room!!
Today there were 12 students in my 1st and 2nd grade classroom.  They enjoyed hearing the Bible lesson and doing the activities.
The auditorium was decorated, as well.  It looked really cute!  My brother-in-law had to take it down today, then put it up again because for the first time ever during VBS week, we had a funeral today.
A sweet 99 year old sister in Christ!  We laughed that she would have been fine with leaving up the decor! She was a funny and fun lady, who amazing still lived alone and in great health until the last few weeks of her lie.

I'll share more about VBS this week: Pictures of other rooms, plus activities in my own class.

Teacher of the Year Reception 2013

Last Friday was the Teacher of the Year reception for our school.  
 I used a zebra print theme in black, white and red for the main table.
 Even the cake was made to match, except the decorator misunderstood that it wasn't for a graduation and added a graduation cap! That's okay.  It didn't matter because it still looked great!
On the spur of the moment, I used this teacher quote in little jars on some of the tables.  I really liked what it said.
 These are the same candles I use for church events and for a dollar each at Dollar Tree, I easily get my money's worth.  They sit inside these glass vases and look great!
Since banners are a big thing now, of course it was appropriate to make one.
It's so easy to make things on your own now.  Hobby Lobby has many ready-made things, but also the supplies to do-it-yourself and pay very little for great results!
One of the teachers honored is a fan of fishing, so his table was decorated with a fishing theme.
 Another teacher is an OU fan. She also teaches math so I put some math problems on her board.
 The support person of the year is our school nurse, who also has a lot of other duties. It was fun decorating in the nurse theme!  My husband got these crutches for a special addition.
 I used band-aids to make her name.
 My husband also got this "barf bag" for her decor!!  YUCK!!! :)
And more nursing supplies.

It's always fun decorating for the "Teacher of the Year" reception, but this year I made myself "simplify" and not go overboard.  My age is catching up to me, I think!!  I need to sleep more than I used to (haha!)  So, it wasn't as much 'decorating' as I usually would have done, but it still looked good and probably no one noticed but me.  Then it was on to the church building to decorate for VBS!  So, I'd better go for now. Classes start in an hour!
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