Crafts for Muppets VBS

Muppets Crafts

The crafts for Muppets are among my favorite. We purchased only one craft project, the rest came from our imagination. We also created over 100 Muppets, one foreach camper and may of the eighty-something staff members. These crafts will long live in my memory!
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Click on a picture to zoom into the Lightbox and read about the craft. Click the X to close.

Monday -- Life’s a Happy Song!

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Out first craft today was the keystone craft of the entire week—all of our campers brought into their lives a real Muppet! This was no simple sock puppet like we have done in the past. These were true Muppets, complete with movable arms (you can add sticks at home later if want to manipulate the hands) and mouth plate, so the puppet can “speak” like us. Here is a hint to our puppeteers: when giving voice to the Muppets, open and close the mouth on each syllable of a word, just like we do.

We needed a Muppet, of course, if we were doing a Muppet VBS; and we wanted a Muppet craft be- cause a puppet is a great way to say our prayers. Often times, a Muppet can give voice to the unspoken prayers of our hearts.
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Our second craft today was to create wooden spoon puppets. Now we have two characters to use to rehearse how we want to share God’s love in the world.
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We are also are trying something brand new at VBS this summer. We will be working on one large craft over three days--our very own puppet theater. Today we began to decorate the main section of our theater. We are building a theater because we need a place to rehearse our puppets. With our puppets we have a chance to rehearse what we could say to friends who might be excluding another child from playing, or making fun of someone. We can practice and ‘role play’ how that might go.
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Tuesday -- Finding Treasure

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Our first craft today was a glove puppet. Our campers created five distinct personalities, one on each finger of the glove. With this they had available, on one hand, a “cloud of witnesses” (Hew 21.1) to share God’s love! These puppets remind us that we are surrounded at all times and places by the cloud of angels and witnesses who have gone on before us, and who are still with us, as we make our journey in this world.
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Our second craft today was a compass. Jim was given his dad’s compass so he could always navigate his way. Our compasses today remind us that the Church has handed down the Bible, the memories of the faithful (called the magisterium of the Church), to guide us and help us listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit to instruct us in our day. Our compass is a reminder to listen to our family, teachers, and all who care for us so that we can be guided as Jim’s compass guided him. Indeed, when Long John tries to get Jim to abandon his friends and go away with him as he is steal- ing the chests full of treasure; Silver says, “You are honest and brave and true. You didn’t learn that from me.” And Jim replies, “I learned it from my friends.” This is the heart of our compass craft, to remember where we learn the good lessons of love and justice!
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Our final craft today was a pirate vest. There is a little pirate in all of us! God created and confirmed that not only are we good, we are very good! (Gen. 1.31) And yet as human beings we continue to betray the trust of stewardship of this creation God has put in our care. As Paul bemoans, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Rom 7.15) To save us from our “pirate” tendencies, God sent Jesus into the world to empower us to follow in the way of God’s stewardship for all people—a way founded on abundance, love, and justice!
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Campers began this morning in our “tent time” decorating their craft boxes, which will hold all their VBS crafts for the week. Campers will take these boxes home on Friday. If your camper will be leaving us before Friday, please be sure to let a staff member know so we can prepare her/his box for an early departure.
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Wednesday -- Who & Whose I Am

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Gonzo discovers that he is unique on this planet, and the movie is about his quest to find which group he belongs to. The clip we used starts out with Gonzo dreaming about Noah and an Ark where he is NOT welcome to come aboard--not exactly Holy Cross theology! This parish proclaims that all, without exception, are most welcome! And our movie clip today nicely sets up the tension of discovering who and whose we are!

The movie Muppets from Outer Space is about Gonzo’s journey to discover where he belongs, who “his people” are. Noah asks, “what species are you?’ and Gonzo replies, “I am unique.” Meanwhile, he receives a mysterious message that tells him to watch the sky. In the end he discovers he is an alien from another planet and at the conclusion of the movie his relations come to take him home. And yet, at the moment of good-bye to his fellow Muppets, he makes the realization that his family is right here in the midst of his community.

So too, our Christian journey leads us back to the center of our community. It is like walking the Labyrinth. (Holy Cross’ Labyrinth can be found next to the church on the south side of the parish campus.) The labyrinth looks like a maze, but in reality it is a single path that winds back and forth and always ends up directly in the center. So too is our journey with God. We may traverse back and forth, and at times we may feel like we are lost. And yet if we keep our eyes on God’s love and follow the way of peace and justice, we will eventually find ourselves back in the heart of community, right where we are supposed to be.
The Noahic covenant is where we find the first craft project of the day—Space Arks. Our Noah’s Ark comes with a removable wing so we can soar to wherever God will take us next to share the message of love for all people and our responsibility for being stewards of God’s creation. Being a steward means taking care of something that does not belong to us. We talked about making sure the recy- cles and the green waste get in the right can. We need to take care of God’s planet so God’s people can live here for eons to come.
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Our second craft today was to decorate the sides of our puppet theater. This is the second day of a three-day craft, a first multi-day craft for us at VBS. We have one more craft slot to complete the construction of our puppet theaters.
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The last craft of the day is one of my favorites—a jet pack to take us into adventures far and wide. The old 60’s TV show, Lost in Space had jet packs. The jet pack was a favorite mode of transportation for select (read male) members of the Robinson family. As a kid I thought it would be way cool to go to school via jet pack! Today our campers got to live the dream as they built and decorated their very own jet packs to remind us that, with the Holy Spirit, we can be transported into realms of God’s love at any moment to share God’s peace and justice with all we meet!
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The Tent time craft we created today is the sign of the Noahic covenant—the rainbow in the sky. Our rainbows remind us that God will ALWAYS be with us, no matter where life takes us; God is there!
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Thursday -- We are God’s Gift

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One of the poignant scenes in today’s clip is Scrooge encountering two citizens collecting alms for the poor on Christmas Eve. They are played by none other than Professor Honeydew and Beaker. As usual, Scrooge responds with his typical “Bah Humbug” and barely gives them the time of day. But on Christmas morning, after his night of redemption, Scrooge discovers the gift that he is and what he has to share. He receives a Christmas gift from Beaker – a red scarf – and is awakened to the wonders of giving!

To this end, our campers in their first craft decorated two red scarfs: one to keep, reminding them to share their gifts of love with the world; and one to give away, passing on the gift of who we are!! We talked about God’s circle of blessings. When we give of ourselves, our generosity begets grace and grace begets thanks and thanks begets generosity... and off we go into God’s circle of blessings!
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Our second craft today is what we call a Jingle Bell ring. It is a simple plastic ring laced with ribbon and jingle bells. How does that movie line go? “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings”. Our jingle bells are similar. Every time we hear them ring, they remind us that we are called to be God’s gift of love in our world. Like the Pavlov’s dog experiment; when we hear the bell, we remember to share God’s grace!
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Our third craft of the day was to finally put together our theaters. We attached the wings, and deco- rated and attached the curtains. Now we are ready to explore the wonders of relationship with our puppets. We can say prayers through them, share confidences with them, use them to offer a special message of love by putting on a show for our families or friends. All kinds of opportunities to practice bringing wonder and delight to God’s world.
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The tent time craft was actually the only ‘kit’ craft we purchased this year. It is a simple Christmas tree decoration to remind us what we learned at VBS about sharing God’s love all year long.
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Friday — Movin’ Right Along

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I would have NEVER predicted this, but this was one of the campers favorite crafts! Go figure… Each camper received a banjo to remind us that just as Kermit loved and cared for his community of Muppets, so we are to love and care for those in our homes and neighborhoods.
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We also decorated a wooden Studebaker car to remind us that our journey with the Muppets does not end today with VBS. We are called to go forth from this place —“movin’ right along” to share God’s love with all we meet!
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At tent time we beaded neck chains for our rainbow glasses. The rainbow in theology is the sign of the Noahic covenant. It symbolizes the promise that God will be with us and love us for all time. It has a double meaning in our day as it also represents the diversity of all of God’s people. In the Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church and Holy Cross are a part, we strongly believe that God has created us to be both wonderfully diverse and wonderfully united. We are diverse be- cause each one of us is unique; and we are united because God has created us all from the same “human soup.” Rainbows are a wonderful reminder to us to make sure that all God’s people are welcome in our community.
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