Nemo Crafts

Crafts for Nemo VBS

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.

Monday -- Exploration

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Our first craft was a small shadowbox. A box with a window in the top reminds us of the wonder within. Our boxes remind us the world is a treasure that needs to be opened up and explored. When we do that in community, we lessen our fears and see the word as God created it—in God’s image of love!
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Our second craft today, was a yarn octopus. Did you know the octopus is one of the most intelligent animals on the planet? They can even use problem solving thinking like we do! They are not the most attractive creatures though!

This is a good reminder for us to not to judge a book by its cover. We are all God’s children and God love us and we are created to love (1Jn 4.7). Our little eight legged friends can remind us that there is wonder and beauty to be found even where we don’t expect it!
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Out final craft for today is what I call “chopters,” short for helicopter, but whirly gig may be closer to the mark. I used to love to scuba dive, but for heath reasons I had to give it up. The free-floating exploration of our underwater world was like flying to me— but without a plane! So how do we simulate that wonder and delight of free-floating without the water? Chopters. As we launch them into the air, we have no idea where the current will carry them. Gravity will eventually take is toll, but until it does, the possibilities are endless.

This is a reminder that living in the Spirit with God’s people can be a life of adventure. The world is filled with wonder and delight. Possibilities abound. Taking the hands of our sisters and brothers, we can venture forth with God to explore and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.
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Click HERE to learn more about the making of these “copters”.

Tuesday -- Searching

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Our second craft this morning was making a lighthouse. This is a wonderful icon. Not only does a lighthouse point the way, it protects us from the rocks and shoals along the beach. That is another part of our Christian journey—to protect those around us too! We are called to put our light on a stand so that the whole house will benefit from its shinning rays. (Lk 15.8)
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Our first craft was what we call, the “big fish”! If we are to change the world, and change ourselves, we need a big target to shoot for. The big fish is the one that’s hard to miss, the one our eyes are attracted to. The “big fish” in the gospel is to share God’s love with all we meet. This is what we were created to do: love one another. Aim for the “big fish” in the gospels—love each other!
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Our final craft today was a compass on a string. Without a compass to point the way, we are bound to get lost. Scripture is the compass for adults for sure, and our children usually find their sense of direction from the lessons family and friends teach them. Our compass today is a reminder to listen to those we trust and love. They have out best interests in mind because they love us and want to protect us. We can count on our families to help be our compass so we can avoid getting lost along the way.
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During Tent Time this morning, our campers decorated their craft box. Counselors and staff will fill these boxes with each camper’s crafts daily so on Friday, each camper will take home a treasure box filled with their crafts. This is helpful in a couple ways: 1. It gives time for gloppy and paint filled crafts time to dry before they get loaded into our cars. 2. In the event that a camper misses a particular day at VBS, which is always a sad event, that camper’s craft materials for the day are placed in her/his box so they can be completed at home.
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Wednesday -- EAC

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Our first craft was a Turtle on a stick. We can put our these in our rooms to remind us that there is great wisdom to be learned from the long-lived turtles. They have lots they can teach us from their experience, just like our grandparents do, if we will take the time to listen and learn.
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Our second craft was a Cross box. Marlin risked all to save Dory from the Jellies. This is a central tenant in Christianity. Jesus risks all on the cross for the sake of the whole world. The Apostle Paul proclaims that because of the cross, “nothing can separate us for the love of God in Jesus Christ.” (Rom 8) The cross shows the passion God has for creation, the desire to draw all things to God. Love is the central thread of Christian theology, binding us together and propelling us into ministry!
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Our final craft of the day was a pinwheel. This simple toy is a living model of the Holy Spirit (in Hebrew Ruach, meaning breath or wind) blowing and breathing in our lives. Like the turtles of the EAC, we can trust God to guide us on a journey of love and companionship with other bearers of Christ’s love. Together, we can heal and change the world.
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Today we made fun objects to help us remember the adventures in the EAC. During tent time we made a small sea animal popsicle puppet to remind us that we will meet all kinds of wonderful people along the way on our journey in God’s love, just like Dory and Marlin did.
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Thursday -- Fish are friends not food!

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All of our crafts today stay with our ocean and water theme. The first craft was a fish on a stick – a reminder that we, as Christians, are called by Jesus to “fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19 and Matthew 28). The most important way we do this is by the way we live our lives, with real concern for others and service to them.
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The second craft, our fish bowls, makes us mindful of the beautiful ocean world of creation that we’ve been exploring ever since the first day of VBS. It also helps us to appreciate the beauty of water and the creatures in it. It also reminds us of how God’s love surrounds us wherever we are – we’re always swimming in God’s love whether we remember that or not (Psalm 139).

Instead of water in our bowls we used clear gel wax!
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The third craft, the fish puzzle, tells us that sometimes things are hard to piece together and it can be difficult to understand other people, too. We learn that it can take time to understand the whole picture of any situation, but if we stay at it, we can eventually "put the pieces together." We rely on God to help us assemble the puzzling parts of our lives and help them make sense to us.
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During tent time we decorated water bottles – and of course, whenever we remember water we remember the creation (Genesis 1), the flood (Gen. 6-9) – and most importantly to Christians, baptism (Matthew 28). We keep in mind that water is essential to our health, whether we’re staying hydrated for lots of healthy activity or keeping ourselves clean. (Some scientists have even found that washing our hands lowers our stress naturally – something faithful people, like the Jews worshiping at the temple in Jerusalem, have known since long before Jesus.)
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Friday — Community

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Today we made a few final crafts to remind ourselves of the importance of community. During our tent time we decorated placemats. They remind us of the significance of sharing a meal. This is why the Church views the sacrament of communion as a central Christian experience. We come together, take some bread and wine, ask God’s blessing, and share it. This is the command Jesus gave all his followers when he shared a final meal with his disciples: “Do this in remembrance of me.”
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Our final two crafts of the week were “friends” (small stuffed sea creatures our kids colored) and bird notes. Both of these crafts are designed to remind us of the importance of the love and support of our friends. Together we can overcome adversity, share the hard things life brings, and celebrate times of great joy! The friends that shared the tank in the dentist office were able to purchase Nemo’s freedom through their teamwork and trust. We too can accomplish more when we work together. We begin by recognizing that God loves us and will never leave us. In that surety we can reach out to others: sharing a smile, offering a hand of love to our neighbors, and working together to make the world a better place ... with our friends in community!
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Bird Note, best picture I have is one of our preschoolers working on one.
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Our final VBS gift to the kids today was a little colored fish, to help them remember our week together and its central message: God will never tire of looking for us and seeking us out. So that, together, with God, we can change the world!
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