PandaMania – Final day Friday!

Bible Buddy for Friday: Lulu
Welcome to Day-5 of our Vacation Bible Camp (VBC) story at FUMC in Ann Arbor. Want to see days 1-4? Click here. Thanks for visiting! Feel free to leave a comment.

Our final day of PandaMania!

You should have seen us at Party Time Sing & Play, singing, and dancing through the aisles with a conga line! Overheard: “I don’t know what you have done with my shy little boy, but he just danced down the aisle to his seat!”

More singing A conga line through the Sanctuary!

Panda Patty was back. News flash! She has decided not to try to become a panda! She had a gift she wanted to give the Pandas for, you know, the trouble she had caused them this week. Ask your kids what the gift was. (I sure wouldn’t have sampled it myself!)

We tried to figure out what our Bible story would be for today. The Bamboo Bible Clue was mysterious:

God gives a good gift.
Oh, what a surprise.
This good gift could really cry.

A good gift that cries? I wonder what that could be? Our Bible Point for the day has to do with gifts:

God gives good gifts.

We sang some more songs and were introduced to today’s Bible Buddy: Lulu. (The introductions to each Bible Buddy can be viewed on-line. See today’s here.) Lulu is a Golden Monkey. God gave Lulu the amazing gift of being able to swing through the trees! She can almost fly! Lulu can be a reminder that God gives good gifts. (Thank you God!) Before we went to our various stations, we did some more singing and dancing.

At Play and Sing Time Even more singing

What happened next? The preschoolers visited the following stations:

  • Bible Adventures – Children were asked about their favorite gifts. They discussed the reason that getting a gift is special: because it means the person giving it to you cares about you!  They heard today’s story: about God giving Hannah a gift, a baby! (1 Samuel 1:1–2:11). Then the kids retold the story using hand gestures.  Mike also got his guitar out and they sang a song about their favorite gifts.  The children loved singing the song.
  • Mike and the kids tell the story of Hannah Mike and kids sing a song about gifts

  • Bible Buddies – Kids discussed gifts that God has given them: their parents, their friends, their toys, even coyotes were mentioned!   They received their last Bible Buddy, Lulu the Golden Monkey.  Skyler, the squirrel puppet, was excited because he finally found a panda puppet friend! Finally they drew/wrote their God Sightings: gifts God has given them. Just look at our God Sightings posters!


    Skyler the Puppet at PreK Bible Buddies The PreK God Sightings posters

  • Crafts – The children made a Hannah’s baby doll out of a stuffed sock. They were very cute!
  • Games – They played a game with balloons, pretending the balloons were Hannah’s baby; don’t want the baby to fall to the ground! They also played musical chairs with music from PandaMania.

Kids in preschool crafts create a baby doll PreK Games: Don't drop the balloon baby PreK Games: Musical Chairs

Meanwhile elementary kids visited the following stations:

  • Wild Bible Adventure – Crews talked first about a time when someone else got something that they really, really wanted. How did they feel? Sometimes it seems like other people get all the good stuff! That happened in the Bible in the story of Hannah from 1 Samuel 1:1–2:11. Our story was told in a unique way that pulled the kids into the emotions that Hannah must have felt. (Ask your kids about the Starburst candy!)
  • Bamboo Blast Games – Games was full of fun today. First off was “Barrel O’ Monkeys” – a form of tag where the kids had to link arms with a partner/monkey and try to avoid “It.” This was a game where all of the children got to hook up with a lot of people – what a wonderful gift it is to pair up with someone new and work together!

    To reinforce the point that the children have all been good gifts to each other this week, they broke up into teams and played a crazy game of volleyball together. What made it crazy? Larger and larger balls kept getting thrown into the game!

    What was one of the best gifts of all for the children this week? Their Crew Leader! And so they ended this week of Bamboo Blast Games by wrapping their crew leader up like a present.

    At Games kids play volleyball A Crew Leader is such a gift; let's wrap him up! Let's wrap up our Crew Leader since she's a gift
  • Crazy Crafts Two boys show off their crosses The children talked about the greatest gift from God. Do you know what it is? Jesus! Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven. To remind us of that great gift and of God’s love for each of us, they decorated cross necklaces.
  • Chadder’s Theatre – Finally we found out what happened to the missing Pandas! Then we reflected on the “God Sightings” posters, how bare it was at the beginning of the week and how Panda-filled it was today! Each Panda represents a “God Sighting,” an instance when we saw or felt God in our lives. God Sightings posters are full!

    God gives good gifts! We have been blessed! Sandy taught us about blessings in Bible times. She showed us an example of how someone was blessed by blessing her grandson (her station helper). A blessing included a touch, usually to the head. In fact the Bible tells us in Psalm 139:5,

    You place your hand of blessing on my head.

    So that is what the crews did, they blessed each other. Finally, the kids were surprised with a confetti shower, which symbolized what it is like when God blesses us!

    Sandy blesses her grandson A Crew Leader blesses one of her crew A crew member passes the blessing on

What was the Grad Group up to today? They finished organizing and assembling school supply kits and then delivered all of the kits and the donated backpacks (20 of them!) to the Bryant Community Center in Ann Arbor. After that it was off to Burns Park to celebrate their week together serving the community.

The Grad group organizes school supplies Grad group preparing for delivery

As we closed out the day at Rowdy Wrapup, we reviewed Bible Points, and Bible Buddies, and sang songs. We talked more about blessings, how they are gifts from God. When people give blessings to another person they are offering a very good gift! (Read more about how you can give this gift to your children here.)

In closing here is a short video of our theme song: Wild About You

VBC: Wild About You.

Thanks for joining us at VBC
— The FUMC VBC Team

For more info about children’s programming at FUMC, visit here.


Photo credits: Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
PandaMania logo from here.
Rest of photos courtesy of Carol, Wendy, Barbara, and Tori.
Video by Beth P.