We have a wonderful church congregation. It’s small, it’s welcoming- it’s more an extended family than “just” a church home. But, like with many things, with smaller groups comes a smaller budget, and when our church decided to do our Vacation Bible School program again this year, we were faced with limited financial resources to utilize for the program. We’re pretty resourceful as a congregation, and this was no exception.
Ways to Save on Vacation Bible School
Use what you have
The first thing we did was go through our supply closet to see what we had. For example- lanyards were kept from previous VBS weeks. SO we knew we just needed nametags of some fashion. One expense- gone!
Craft and Activity Supplies
This is a big one. While the VBS packages sold from companies are great, perfectly suited to themes and convenient- they are also super expensive. We looked to Oriental Trading again this year to find our craft and activity supplies- far more affordable and just as fun and engaging for the kids! OT has products that go along with many of the VBS themes that are out each year, so you can know that what you are getting fits in with your chosen theme.
Ask for donations
When some members of our congregation have heard that the Board of Christian Education for our church was hoping to have, say, a local museum come to do a program on site for part of the VBS program, they’ve stepped up and done a donation for all or part of the fee from the museum. Knowing what specific needs are and letting the members of the church know may just get you partway to what you need- if not all the way.
Be Creative. Think outside the box.
Look around your church congregation. Look at people’s talents, their businesses. Perhaps you can’t swing that perfectly-matched-to-theme jewelry craft that the kids add to each day. But maybe someone in your congregation knows how to make paper beads…and someone else has the ability to donate a few reams of colored paper to you. Just because it isn’t exactly what the program calls for doesn’t mean you can’t make it fun.
Have FUN! Relax!
VBS isn’t just about learning. Having fun is what it’s really about. I think our kids had the most fun doing water balloon races and hanging out together. It’s the love and community that they’ll remember….not the name brand on the packages or the quantity of crafts they did.
We’ll be looking to get creative with our limited budget again this year- and definitely looking to Oriental Trading for many of our supplies again. Now we just need to choose a theme for this year’s program! Thanks to Oriental Trading for supporting our program with some supplies last year 🙂