Vacation Bible School themes are often non-religious, such as sports, western, space and sea themes. However, the Bible lessons and activities focus on Christian values, while presenting a fun theme for games, crafts, snacks and other segments of VBS. Toddlers can learn Bible truths while participating in the VBS theme of Olympics. Age-appropriate crafts can enhance a lesson, while giving toddlers the hands-on fun they enjoy.
Prayer Champion Shirts
Place a piece of paper inside a T-shirt for each toddler. Have the kids press their hands into a shallow layer of paint, then press their handprints (fingers closed to look like praying hands), onto the shirt in several places. The paints can be Olympic colors of black, red, blue, green and yellow if desired. Use a permanent marker to write the child's name on the back of her shirt, along with the phrase, "Prayer Champion." Have the toddlers fold their hands and pray with you, so they understand that they can be a champion by praying.
Weights to Lift
Show toddlers small weights or pictures of weight lifters to help them understand this event in the Olympics. Give each toddler a paper towel tube or a longer wrapping paper tube. Also, cut a hole in the center of two paper plates, regular sized or smaller, to fit over the cardboard tubes. On the cardboard tubes or one paper plate for each child, print, "Growing Strong with God." Have each toddler use crayons, markers or stickers to decorate a tube and two plates. Slip a plate over each end of a cardboard tube. Use clear tape to hold the plates on the tube. Have the kids practice lifting their weights. Tell the children how learning Bible stories and praying can make them strong for God.
Winners for God Medals
Tell the toddlers that people become winners by practicing very hard in their sport. Children can become winners in God by learning more about him. Cut strips of crepe paper to fit loosely around each child's neck, with plenty of leftover length. Have the kids color a white cardboard circle, about three inches across. Print the phrase, "Win with God" on the circle. If desired, take a digital picture of the children, and print them on a computer printer. Trim the pictures and have the kids glue their pictures onto their special medals.
Toddlers can learn to tell others about Jesus with a fun cheering horn. On a sheets of sturdy paper from a wallpaper sample book, draw a large half-circle for each child. Have toddlers help cut the half-circle shape out. Print the phrase "Tell others about Jesus" on the printed side of the half-circle. Toddlers can help squeeze glue over the letters, then sprinkle on some glitter or colored sugars. Roll the paper into a cone shape and tape the seam closed with clear tape. Cut away some of the smaller end of the cone shape so the children can talk and shout into it. Have the kids shout or sing into the horns.
- Photo Credit Martial arts winner image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com dumbbell weights in hand image by Kathy Burns from Fotolia.com girl with medal image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com blue and beige megaphone image by Wayne Abraham from Fotolia.com
- Free Kids Crafts: Printable Olympic Medals
- "Teaching Children to Pray," series,Mary J. Davis, 2006,
- "Instant Bible Lessons for Toddlers," series, Mary J. Davis, 2003
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