Welcome back to PandaMania!
If you’d like to see past daily postings about our Vacation Bible Camp (VBC) experience at FUMC in Ann Arbor, click here.
Take a look at a slideshow with lots of pictures from VBC here.
Important stuff for parents/guardians:
- Grad group: Thursday’s project will involve food prep – please bring along a hat (a baseball cap works).
- We will be singing two songs during worship this Sunday, so please join us at 9:30 and wear your VBC T-shirt!
- Keep those school supplies and backpacks coming! Why? We are trying to deliver backpacks full of school supplies to families in Ann Arbor who are in economic crisis. Look here for more info about where these supplies will be going.
- Be on the look-out for “God Sightings.” (Perhaps wear your God Sightings braclet?) When kids were asked today, what was a God Sighting, one child volunteered: “A God Sighting is when you see God in something.” Exactly! (The beauty of “God Sightings” is, once you start noticing, you see God a lot more!)
So, what happened today? Our morning started at Party Time Sing & Play. Panda Patty made her daily appearance. She had binoculars and was watching all of the pandas at PandaMania. Unfortunately, Panda Patty wasn’t watching where she was going, and she seemed awfully clumsy! Everyone concluded that Panda Patty needed someone to watch over her.
On the subject of being watched over, we were introduced to today’s Bible point:
God Watches Over You!
Our key Bible verse is from Psalm 139:12
Even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
We were introduced to Boomer, today’s Bible Buddy. Boomer is black and white. The colors of Boomer’s fur reminds us of darkness and light – and whether it’s dark or it’s light out – God watches over you!
God watched over Jonah. He’s who our Bible story is about. (Jonah has his own book in the Bible; read about it in Jonah 1-3). Jonah needed watching over. He tried to run away from God! All because he didn’t want to do what God had asked him to do. I’m sure that kids have felt the same way. I wonder how the story will turn out?
Amidst all of this activity we also learned a new song: Watching Over You, and sang some songs that we are quickly coming to learn. We had a great time singing and dancing!
What happened next? First up, the Grad Group report. They traveled to Alpha House, where today’s project was to do a much-needed clean-up of a storage room. They restocked shelves, organized toys, and pulled out items that were no longer useful and packaged them for donation. They also took the donations to Share House. All reports were that the group worked very well together and worked very hard!
The preschoolers went off to their special rooms and did the following:
- Bible Adventures – First, they looked for Jonah. He was a bit difficult to find! But it wasn’t hard for God to watch out for Jonah. God even gave Jonah a second chance! The kids acted out the story, which included getting a little bit wet, climbing into a pretend whale, and noticing the stinky fish smell. They got the full effect!
- Bible Buddies – They discussed times when they were scared but were reminded that even in those scary times, God is watching over them. They used hand motions when reciting the key verse. Finally they wrote/drew their God Sightings… people who take care of them.
- Crafts – They made a “Jonah in the fish” craft, out of paper plates and a plastic spoon (with a face) to represent Jonah.
- Games – They played a “Jonah and the fish” game. The kids sat in a circle and they were the fish. One child was Jonah in the middle of the circle and he/she had to try to get out of the circle (fish).
Meanwhile elementary kids visited the following stations:
- Bamboo Blast Games – Kids played several games to remind them that God watches over you. They started out by playing Panda Tag. The person carrying a panda could untag or save the other players. The panda also meant you were safe from being tagged yourself, just like you are always safe in God’s presence.
Then there was a very tricky game that required lots of watching out and being very careful… the game “Water Fall.” Crews learned to be careful with each other, just as God is careful with us and never lets us down. It wasn’t easy! One brave crew member had to lay on the ground holding a paper cup on his or her forehead. Then, each of their crew members had to pour water into the cup!! Or at least try!
The last game was “Panda Popcorn” where all the crews had to bounce a bunch of pandas in a parachute without letting them fall off. The message here? God is powerful enough to watch over all of us!! Thank you God!
- Chadder’s Theatre – In today’s segment of The Mystery of the Missing Pandas, we learned that Chadder thought that Pops watches out for him. But Pops can’t be everywhere at once, and that’s kind of causing a problem right now for Chadder. That’s why we’re so glad that God watches over us! In their “knee to knee” time in darkness and with flashlights, the kids talked about times when they might have wanted to hide from God. Also, for the God Sightings posters, kids were asked to write an instance of when they felt like God was watching over them.
- Crazy Crafts – Whenever kids have had a bit of left over time in the Crafts station this week, they have working on a mural called “God’s Creation.” Today they started off reflecting on all of the creations they had drawn so far. Then, it was onto the craft of the day – a “Magnificent Magna-Scope” – a perfect reminder that God watches over you.
The children were asked to decorate their scopes with places or ways where God watches over them or over someone else.
- Wild Bible Adventures – Today, in total darkness, kids watched (and participated in) the story of Jonah and his attempt to escape from God. This station was completely hands-on and stimulated the senses. Some examples include: feeling the water from the stormy seas, climbing into the belly of a giant fish that really smelled like fish, and then burping themselves out.
After that experience, whose ready for snack? Today we enjoyed “Fish Food.” Don’t those grapes look just like bubbles? The next time you serve your kids grapes, remind them of the story of Jonah.
Back at Rowdy Wrapup there was the customary singing. Do you find your kids are humming these tunes at home?
Our Rowdy Wrapup Leader Kelly, built yet another strange device. (She’s done this every day!) Today’s creation was a “24/7 Watch-o-Meter.”
It seemed to work pretty well. She could watch us all right. But whose is that hiding behind her? I think her Watch-o-Meter doesn’t work that well. I’d have to say, only God watches over everything!
See you for another day tomorrow!
–The FUMC VBC Team
For More info about Children’s Ministry at FUMC, visit our main web site.
Photo credits: Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
PandaMania logos from here.
Rest of photos courtesy of various volunteers at VBC.