Zootopia Crafts | VBS Online

Crafts for Zootopia VBS

Zootopia Crafts

Crafts are a hallmark of this model of VBS. This VBS had 18 craft projects associated with it. Click on a craft for a Lightbox view and the description that accompanied the craft in the daily take home.

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

Monday -- Friends

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The first craft of the day was decorating Kindness Jars. To be a friend in the world we need to participate in acts of kindness. We invited campers to think about acts of kindness they can show the world, and then place tokens of that act in their jar. For example, they can remember to turn a light off when they leave room, being good stewards of our resources, and then draw a small light switch and pop it in their jar. The jar starts out empty, allowing our campers to fill it with acts of kindness and love!
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Our second craft was a Friendship Bracelet. Some of the beads were flat circular beads on which our campers could write words or draw small pictures, reminding themselves about what it takes to be a true friend. Words like: loyalty, trust, and, of course, love.
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Our final craft was a neckerchief to remind us that we are always “a part of the pack.” We are a part of the “great cloud of witnesses.” (Hew 12.1) Nick wanted to be part of a pack too. His mom, got him a uniform, and teeming with excitement he took the pack oath … only to be met with others’ prejudice about foxes. He was ridiculed and thrown out of the pack, which damaged his identity and soul until he found healing in his new friendship with Judy the bunny.

Our neckerchiefs today remind us that God seeks to comfort the outcast. As a witness to this truth, we are called to share God’s love and justice with all we meet. May our neckerchiefs remind us of the responsibility and joy of sharing God’s love; and that we are always members of God’s pack!
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Tuesday -- Forth

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For our first craft, campers decorated and put together a three-car wooden train. Our trains remind us that when we launch into the world, our friends, the great cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12.1, and God go with us. We are never alone (Mt. 28.20).

The book of Acts tells us that God has given us the Spirit of God at Pentecost to go forth to witness of the Love of God to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1.8)

John Fisher wrote a wonderful folk hymn that I love. The chorus is: “No I'm just one old hungry beggar, showing you where I found food.” This is our task. To share the love of God we have received from others … maybe with the kid at school who doesn’t seem to fit in or have friends.

Our trains are about going forth to witness to God’s love and peace.
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For our second craft we decorated vests. Paul tells us that we are to put on the armor of Light. (Rom. 13.12) Our vests remind us that going forth is a step in faith. God is with us. Unlike Kevlar vests that police officers wear as body armor, our vests are a reminder of Paul’s proclamation in Romans 8.38-39:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We can go forth in faith and not be immobilized by fear. Confident that God is with us, we can witness to God’s justice and love with all we meet.
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For our final craft we decorated backpacks. Although in Mark’s gospel we are urged to “take no bag” as we go forth (Mk. 6.8); the Boy Scout in me reminds me to “Be Prepared.”

This is what we have in mind for our backpacks. For example, if we were to visit the park or take a short hike, we could pop a bottle of water in for ourselves, and an extra one for a thirsty someone we might meet. Sharing what we have, with our parents’ permission of course, is a great way to witness to the love of God in the world.

I am really dyslexic and like a fool, I did not have one of the staff proof the copy for our backpacks before they were printed. So you may notice that the first YOU in “I love you and God loves you” is missing. My wife Susan suggested it is another way we can witness. We are sharing in God’s love here, all we are missing is YOU!
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Out tent time craft this morning was another second day tradition at our VBS—decorating our craft box. Each day as our campers finish a craft, it is left here on the campus to dry. This is an important detail as sometime we use puffy paint or acrylic paint that could stain the inside of cars, vans, and trucks. So we carefully label every craft with the camper’s name and color group, and every afternoon the staff ensures that the correct crafts are placed in the correct box when they are dry. At the end of the week, following our Friday lunch and closing, campers take their boxes home filled with all the craft projects they completed during the week.
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Wednesday -- Dreams

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The first craft was a Disney Dream Catcher. Like other dream catchers, ours is a meditation and prayer tool that points to Paul’s reminder to persevere through prayer as we share God’s love in the world. (Rom 12.12) We chose a Disney theme to remember another great 20th century dreamer, Walt Disney. As famous and successful as Disney was, he had personal challenges too. He was dyslexic and a high school drop-out, and he struggled with alcohol abuse. But at the center of it all was the dream of a place where a father could take his two girls to enjoy a day together. From that dream an empire was built with the sole purpose of creating happiness. And wow, did his vision take shape and change the world!

Our Disney dream catchers are reminders that God’s vision for peace, justice, and love will change the world; that we are called to be agents of change; and that prayer and meditation can be primary tools for bringing about that change!
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Our second craft was a carrot pen. Although our pen craft does not have digital recording technology like Judy’s, our pens can jot a note to a friend: a note of thanks, or a note to let someone know we are praying for them in their illness, grief, or distress.

The sending of a hand written note is really falling out of fashion in our technologically driven society. While it’s true the carbon footprint of sending an email or text is minuscule compared with mailing a note card around the country, we believe that a hand written note is just right from time to time. Our carrot pens remind us we can share God’s love through an act as simple as writing a note to a friend or relative.
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Our final craft we call, “The City of Dreams.” Campers were provided with five wooden “buildings” and a piece of baltic birch flat stock similar in shape to the home plate of a baseball diamond. The task was to design and decorate their very own city of dreams and think about how all of creation would be welcome there. Our city of dreams model is a reminder of the vision of Zootopia that we can create in our own communityplaces where dreams of justice and love are shared with all of creation. Our city of dreams might be the last thing we see as we leave our bedroom and head out into the world. It can remind us that God is with us, ever present to support and love us as we work to make the city of dreams a reality here and now in our community!
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This is the focus of our third day—following our dreams! At tent time today we began the dreaming process by creating a badge that describes the kind of dream we wish to make a reality. Some might make a police badgeto protect and serve. Others, might put a heart on theirs to remind themselves to be generous and caring in the world. We invited campers to wear their badge with pride, proclaiming to the world our VBS motto: I love you and God loves you and that’s the way it should be!
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Thursday -- Sharing

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For our first craft during the craft block, our campers created and “frosted” sock doughnuts. They look good enough to eat, and yet they actually are rolled up socks. Might be a bit dry; good roughage though!

Our doughnuts remind us how sweet it is to serve all of God’s creation. Matthew’s Jesus tells the parable of the vineyard worker. (Mt 21.1-16) In the story the folks who work all day resent getting paid the same amount as the folks who work for just one hour. The story shows us the radical inclusion and generosity of God. However, I believe there is a deeper message too. In the journey with God, my experience is that those getting to work in God’s Kingdom all day are the lucky ones! The sheer joy and pleasure we receive in sharing is like the sweetness of a doughnut. And you can never get enough doughnuts! Right?!
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Our second craft was decorating a doughnut ring-toss. Sharing is learned behavior and it takes practice. The first few chapters of Hebrew scriptures tells of the creation of God’s garden and our banishment from the garden because of our greed. Because we wanted to be just like God rather than being satisfied with being God’s stewards, we are expelled from the garden to toil and struggle. Yet we are always longing to return to the garden. Our doughnut ring-toss games are a reminder that we need to practice sharing God’s love and justice. We may miss sometimes, but the more we practice, the easier and more natural sharing becomes.
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Our final craft block craft was a flip on the story line. The campers decorated pots and “planted” silk flowers in them. In Zootopia, the Howler flower is the source of the disruption and the return of the savage predator instinct. The source for our sharing God’s love and justice is Jesus. One of the primary Easter images for Jesus is the flower—with beautiful color and fragrant scent. Jesus showed us how to share and how to overcome our penchant for being greedy. And Jesus empowers us share the gift of love, peace, and justice with all of God’s creation. Easter flowers represent beauty and new life, the very thing we receive when we share the love of God!
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Our tent time craft was a rainbow door hanger. By scratching the black slate, rainbow colors are revealed. This simple and colorful door hanger is a reminder that sometimes the world can be a dark and bleak place. Yet, when we share the love of God, a rainbow of color and joy can flow from our gift. It is just waiting for us to “scratch” it out!
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Friday —Protect and Serve!

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During craft block, we decorated cloth puppets. Puppets can be amazing make-believe friends with whom we can role-play in preparation for difficult conversations. They can also hear our prayers and reminder us that God is always listening and “more ready to hear than we are to pray.“ (The Collect for Proper 22, The Book of Common Prayer)
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Our second craft was making pinecone owls. Owls are symbols of wisdom and understanding. These are qualities greatly needed in our broken world: wisdom to see problems and imagine solutions; and understanding when we listen to those who disagree with us.
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During tent time we created animals from colored tongue-depressors. Our ‘animal sticks’ remind that God has created a wonderful world full of rich diversity, and that God loves ALL of it!
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