Crafts

Crafts for Monsters VBS

Crafts for Monster’s VBS

Crafts are a hallmark of this model of VBS. This VBS had 18 craft projects associated with it. Below is a picture of each craft assigned to the day and a brief description taken from the daily take home that accompanied the day’s crafts.

Click on a picture to zoom into the Lightbox and read about the craft. Click the X to close.

Monday -- A little monster in All of us!

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Our first craft project we call ‘Monster Bears’ and gives us a 3-D way to con- sider this theological proposition. Our campers today, decorated their monster costume that covers from head to toe on the inside a soft cuddly Teddy bear!
We think that this is a good representation of all of us. The core of our monster bear is how God created us and ALWAYS sees us. Yet on the outside, sometimes we display just the opposite: when we are rude, ignore our friends, and fail to address the injustices before us. In short, we ARE very good, and there is a little monster in all of us as well that sometimes is a faux covering of who we really are!!
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Our second craft for today was to decorate a wooden frame to remind us that we are not alone. Our campers got to decorate their frames any way they liked. I encouraged them to deco- rate them in a way that reminds them how much God loves them. One of the ways that we are reminded that God loves us is by all the friends and family that surround us every day. The writer of the book of Hebrews (12.1) reminds us “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnes- ses.” As a reminder of this great promise, we took a “class picture” with all our friends in our “tent” group. When the campers pick up their boxes on Friday, each of their frames will hold this picture.
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Our final craft for Monday was creating a copy of the monster named Art from the movie Monster’s U. Our monster craft is a simple marionette puppet to remind us that we always need to be mindful of those things that have a tendency to control us and not allow the God given Teddy bear in us to share God’s love and justice with all we meet.
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Tuesday -- Share School

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Our first craft today was a school pennant, a reminder of the theme song we sing every day at VBS: “his banner over me is love!” Jeremiah (50.2) reminds God’s people to set-up a banner and proclaim to the world that the love of God and the power in good and justice can over- come the hate and fear of this world; we simply need to make our stand! Our school pennants remind us of the school spirit of VBS, “his banner over me is love!” and that we are called to pro- claim that love with all we meet.
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Our second craft today was a Monster VBS, old-fashioned megaphone. The Gospels are filled with the exhortation to proclaim the Good News. (Mt 10.7, et. al.) Resurrection or transformation is the heart, the central message of the story of God. Indeed, the proclamation we are called to share is that we turn from injustice and hatred and turn to- ward God and follow the way of the Kingdom. For some, the proclamation is mistakenly made that a vengeful and angry God will smite us unless we turn. Kind of like a divine exterminator. But this idea is directly counter to what we read by the prophet Ezekiel (33.11) that God does not desire the death of sinners (you might remember from Monday, harmatia, one who has taken a wrong turn and lost their way) but rather that we turn to God and live!
Although we decorated megaphones today, I am not suggesting that we need to stand on street corners and shout to the world. Rather, I invited our campers to consider the admonition of Saint Francis to his brother friars “to proclaim the gospel to all four corners of the world...and use words only if you must!” Our megaphone is simply a reminder to speak our truth and seek peace and love with all we meet. That’s living in the kingdom!
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Our third craft was decorating our school hat! Paul in 1Th. 5.8 reminds us to put on our helmet which is the hope of salvation. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” This quotation is from Theodore Parker, a Unitarian Minister (1810), and was later made famous in a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King. It describes the hope of salvation our hats represent. There may be a little monster in all of us, but at our center is a heart of love and justice that bends toward God! Our hats remind us to live out that central calling: when the gossip mills start generating around school, choose not to participate; welcome that new kid at school, looking for connection and friends! Our hats remind us that we are called to live the fruits of the spirit wherever we are!
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Our “Tent Time”1 craft today was decorating our craft boxes! Each afternoon, our faithful staff will collect all of our campers’ craft projects and place them in their boxes. We started this practice of sending home all the crafts at once on Friday, for a couple reasons. 1. If a camper did not have time to finish a project, or the project required staff help to complete, sending crafts home on Friday afforded the staff time to complete and prepare a craft project to go home. 2. Rather than send home wet, gluey, and gloppy craft projects, full of Puffy paint and glitter, just waiting to be smeared all over the new car; giving projects time to cure and dry is a very good thing! We learned our lesson the hard way on this one!! :)
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Wednesday -- Let There Be Light!

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Our first craft today was an idea from an activity we did years ago at The Kids Academy1. We decorated light switches for our bedroom. This way we are reminded every day when we get up that we have been called to be God’s Sharers of love in the world. Our decorated light switch plates are a simple reminder that we are always called to “turn on the light” and let God’s love and justice shine in all our works and deeds.
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Our second craft today was decorating and beading lanyards for our monster flashlights. They are a reminder that we need to shine the light of God’s love into the corners and shadowy places of our world. For example, when our group of friends start that “shark frenzy” process of making fun of someone and we just know that it is not right, yet we are afraid to speak up for fear of what our friends might think. Our flashlights are a reminder to let God’s light of love shine into the dark places so that love and justice might prevail, then, like Mike in Monster’s University, we too will be a hero for leading our friends along the path of light.
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Our final craft of the day we created and decorated lanterns. All three synoptic Gospels (MT 5.15, MK 4.21, LK 8.16) remind us that the proper place for a lamp is on a lamp stand so that it may shine and illuminate the entire household. So too is our ministry of love and light to be fully visible. At Monster’s VBS we learned to be sharers of God’s Love and our lamps remind us not to hide in the dark, but allow our acts of love and justice to illuminate the world and all our relationships with the people around us. This is how we change the world and make it the place God created it to be from the first command of creation—“Let there be light!”
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Our tent time craft was a simple foam monster. The little monster is to remind us that we need to remember that each of us has a little monster in all of us, and we have to pay attention, lest that monster start to act out. For example, sometimes we get frustrated with our family members or friends. Many times, it is not something that they are doing. Rather, it is that we are having a bad day or experiencing a bit of a disappointment, and we take it out on those closest to us! It is not fair to them, and not honest for us. Therefore, we need to be careful about what we say and do. Our foam monsters remind us to be intentional and live in the light of honesty and love, not fear and shadows.
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Thursday -- Persevere!

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Our first craft time craft was a hardhat. Well, “hard” might be a stretch, but it looks like a hardhat! Scarers on the scare floor work in an industrial work environment that can be a hard place to work, full of noise and heavy machines - not always fun like a trip to Disneyland, for example! Our hard hats remind us to persevere through the tough work days and times, holding our tongue when we feel frustrated and annoyed by the world. Meanwhile, we look to the hope of a more peaceful and easy time. This is what Paul reminds the Church in Thessalonica: we wear our helmet as a hope of salvation. Better times are always waiting round the corner, we just need to hang in there during the tough times!
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Our second craft of the day was the creation of a sand monster. In the movies we discovered that the monsters, at their heart, are wonderful creations of God just like we are. When we remember God created us to share love and justice with all we meet, we experience the monster in us as the movies portrays them—gentle and caring creatures. So too, our sand monsters are a creation of our heart and soul to remind us that we too can transform the world and make it a better place for all creatures of creation. Like the layers of sand in our creations, we too have layers of God’s love just waiting to be share with a world in need.
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Our final craft project is an originally designed wood project that we call, ‘Monster Walkers’. They are mini-stilts, literally about 4 1⁄4” off the ground, and they remind us that we need to take a bird’s eye of view of the world. To look beyond the petty arguments and conflict and see each other for how we actually are—a wonderful creation of God’s love, ready to transform the world and promote justice and peace with all we meet.
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Click HERE to learn more about the making of these Walkers.
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Our tent time craft was decorating a pet Rock! A throw-back to the seventies when folks spent real hard earned money to purchase...a rock! These simple stones remind us of the weight of our actions. On them we wrote how we want to be God’s light in the world: by choosing to be patient, kind, thoughtful, and generous; among other qualities of being God’s “sharers of Love” in a world full of need.
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Oops. Missing craft pict! Text is here, however.

Friday — Harryhausen’s

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On Friday, we created two additional crafts during craft time. First we made a mini- Mike. Mike is the ever-smiling Monster who does not give up in school no matter the odds; a faithful friend to the “less desirable” monsters at Monster’s U; and Sully’s constant companion through thick and thin! Our mini-Mikes remind us to emulate these wonderful qualities as we take our places as sharers of God’s love!
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Our second and final craft was to decorate mini-Thanksgiving buckets. In them we can place small notes and reminders about what we are thankful for as we move through the week sharing God’s love with those we meet. At the end of the week, we can then go back through and read our notes and reminders to reflect on how our week went.

I believe prayers of thanksgiving are the most profound prayers that we can say. Indeed, every Sunday we celebrate Holy Communion. In the Episcopal Church, we call that the Eucha- rist, which is a Greek word for “thanksgiving!” Thanksgiving is the meal that reminds us of God’s blessings and empowers us to share what we have received! A special meal, with special people, in a special place—just like Harryhausen's!
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It is “welcome without exception” that we focused on with our tent time craft today. We made foam diversity wreaths to remind us that, like the monster of Monsteropolis, God has created each of us as a unique and wonderful creation. As we discovered on Monday of VBS, not only are we created good, but “very good!” Our wreaths remind us to hold hands with those around us so that together we can change the world and make it the place of love, peace and justice as God originally intended!
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