Walk like an Egyptian…
and look like one too!
Looking for some Egyptian Accessories for your Vacation Bible School? Check out some of these sites:
Bald head covering - for the Joseph who doesn’t want to shave his head for the role (or has been forbidden by his wife to do so!) $3.47
Arabian Mantle Head covering - great for male shop keepers or family leaders $9.97
Gold Egyptian Crown Headpiece - $29.97
Cleopatra Beaded Headpiece - $22.97
Cleopatra Headpiece (One-Size) $9.99. Hurry! Only 3 in stock!
Egyptian Collar $12.74
Gold Egyptian Headband $3.95 + 5.99 shipping
19391 Cleopatra Beaded Headpiece $12.98 + $4.00 shipping
Egyptian Wristbands $6.99
Snake Earrings $3.99
Cleopatra Wig $8.99
Egyptian Adult Sandals $12.99
Beaded headpiece $13.99 Lots of different colors, very elaborate. In stock, ready to ship!
Also, check Old Navy. I know the one in Erie, PA has white skirts on clearance. Perfect for completing this Egyptian look. Let me know what you’ve done to outfit your VBS!
Check Out the Whole Thrify Egyptian Series!
In May 2010, The New York Times ran an interesting article entitled The Moral Life of Babies, written by Paul Bloom. A team of researchers perform a number of experiments that demonstrate babies do indeed have an intrinsic sense of right and wrong:
- Babies would watch a puppet show where a center puppet would slide the ball to a puppet on the right who would pass it back. Then the center puppet would slide the ball to a puppet on the left who would run away with it. One boy (12 months old), when presented with the puppets at the end of the show leaned over and smacked the ball-snatching puppet on the head.
- Babies would watch a animated movie of geometrical shapes with faces. In one, a red ball is trying to go up a hill. Sometimes, a yellow square would help it up the hill. Other times, a green triangle would push against it. Then, the 9-12 month old babies were shown videos where the red ball character approached either the triangle or the square. If the ball approached the triangle (hinderer), the children would act surprised, indicating they expected the red ball to befriend the helper instead.
What does it all mean?
Evidence is mounting that suggests humans do have basic sense of morality from the very start of life. It appears some sense of good and evil “seems to be bred in the bone” (New York Times). Romans 2:15 states that the law of God is written on the hearts of man even if they have never been exposed to Scripture. Does this apply to babies as well? If so, how can we take advantage of this intrinsic morality in our church nurseries? Here are my ideas, but I’d love to hear yours!
Church Nursery Ideas
- Show wordless stories like the geometric shapes experiment above. Use shapes or simple puppets. Focus on godly characteristics and actions like sharing, serving others, helping, standing up for someone, etc. Put “characters” in front of baby and praise them when they choose the moral character.
- Perform Bible stories using puppets or dolls. Simplify it and over-exaggerate feelings. Allow baby to play with dolls or puppets afterwards.
- Role-play with other adults in the room. Act out sharing toys, getting a book for someone, hugging after a little fight, comforting someone if they are sad. After role-playing a few times, include baby and see if they will respond appropriately.
This is a whole new realm for spirituality. We often think of the Church nursery as “baby-sitting”, but what if it could be more? What if we could lay the foundation of spiritual truths before these children are even speaking? It’s a powerful thought to consider.
Other Articles about Infants:
Teach Your Baby to Love and Respect God
Do Babies Care about Your Feelings?
This week, there were some great summer themed games on NBC’s Minute to Win It. I like the new team approach. Here are some games that would be great for Children’s Ministry.
Hoop De Loop:
Roll Hula Hoops towards soda bottles in an attempt to loop three of them. This would be a great game if you’ve got LOTS of hula hoops laying around. Otherwise, those buggers are expensive. You could also go with the tradition ring toss on this one and use diving rings, which come in packs and are cheaper.
High as a Kite:
Contestant wears a hat with a kite attached. They have to run in a circle in order to keep kite up in the air. Excuse me while I laugh my head off. Talk about a torturous task! I’m sure a minute never seemed so long to the sorority sister on this week’s show! Good one as far as simplicity is concerned, but I can see kids refusing to do it or getting tired after say… 12 seconds. Your call!
(Team Game) Contestants drop marbles into the top of a pool noodle and then try to aim the other end in order to knock down 5 pieces of chalk placed across the playing arena. Simple enough to set up and play, but if your church is anything like mine, the elderly will be cruising through the kids play area about 10 minutes after Kid’s Club is over and I just don’t want to take any chances with all those marbles rolling around. However, if your old people are especially spritely or agile, you might want to try it out!
Catch a ping pong ball in the top cup of a 6-cup stack, after bouncing it off the ground. Take bottom cup from the stack and place it on top of stack (it will be sitting on the ping pong ball). Repeat until all the cups are filled with balls. (Level One game). Simple. Pretty easy. Perfect for kids!
Not all the games are on the NBC website yet, but I’ll try to add links as they become available. I think that’s all for now! Enjoy.
More Minute to Win It Posts:
More Minute to Win It for Church (part one)
More Minute to Win It for Church (part two)
The Do’s and Don’ts of Minute to Win it for Churches
Great Resource for Preteen Girls
Looking for something to use with your preteen girls group? Nicole O’Dell’s Interactive Fiction for Girls may be a great option. This Spring, we ran an Appleseeds program (we recently changed the name to Faithgirls) for our preteen girls. While the content in the Appleseeds book was solid, it wasn’t always the most engaging material for the girls. I was looking for something new when I stumbled upon this series published by Barbour Publishing. The company was kind enough to send me all four books in the series, the first of which I gobbled up in about a day and a half.
What’s the Book All About?
I thought Truth or Dare, the first in the Scenarios series, might be like the Choose Your Own Adventure books I used to read as a kid, but the format is a bit different. The first half the book shares the story of four best friends who are entering the eighth grade. They are both nervous and excited, and sure that they will be able to face whatever comes their way as long as they stick together. However, problems begin to arise when the group starts to play “Truth or Dare” at their weekly Friday night sleep-overs. Lindsay, the only Christian in the group, is faced with a critical choice when she is pressured into choosing a Dare. Does she choose her morals and risk ridicule from her friends? Or is she strong enough to stand alone?
A Choice To Make…
This is where you, as a reader, make a choice. Do you choose the Dare or say no to your friends? Depending on the choice, you turn to a certain page and finish the story. Both endings are thought-provoking, realistic, and compelling.
What’s Great About this Book
- The believability of the characters and scenarios. I can see preteen girls getting hooked on this series right away. The four friends are each unique, like-able, and realistic. They all have strengths and weaknesses which young readers could readily relate to.
- The beautiful way O’Dell integrates Lindsay’s faith into everyday living. This is something preteens struggle with. Where does my faith fit into my decision making? In the beginning of the book, Lindsay attends church with her family. Readers get to read the sermon and then Lindsay’s thoughts as she wrestles with how to really apply it to her life. Again and again, the points in this sermon pop up throughout the book as Lindsay is faced with different choices.
- The honesty about the trials of Christianity. Lindsay struggles with being the only Christian in her group of friends. She sometimes feels left out because she has stricter rules or different morals to guide her life. She also struggles with being like Christ. She shares at a youth group campfire about how it’s easier to focus on herself than to really try to be like Christ. I think this chapter will be a great discussion starter among the girls. Very real life.
- The realistic choices the girls have to face. Throughout Truth or Dare, the girls learn the importance of respecting other people’s things, how easily feelings can be hurt, and the dangers of alcohol (and smoking). Avoiding the appearance of evil is a big theme in this book, and it’s interwoven throughout the story-line wonderfully.
- The transparency of the characters. Even though Lindsay is the main character in this book, the reader is exposed to many of the thoughts and inner feelings of the other girls as well. O’Dell does a great job of balancing the strong friendship of the girls without making it seem too Utopian.
- The great relationship between kids and their parents, especially Lindsay. Lindsay respected what her parents had to say and truly considered their wisdom when she was in a tricky situation. I’m glad to see parents were presented in such a positive light in this book.
- The power of forgiveness. Forgiveness was freely given among this book, based on Christ’s forgiveness of us. It was great to see people willing to forgive instead of holding grudges, another common struggle among preteen girls.
What’s Not so Great
- I would have loved to see some discussion questions at the end of each chapter (or in the back of the book). Since we’ll be using this series for our preteen girls small group, that would have saved me some work! However, the book is so well written, it will be easy to pick up on themes and draft up my own (maybe I’ll post them when I’m done — check back this October!)
- I liked the first scenario (where Lindsay said no to the dare) better. I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t have anything to compare it to (so it had an unfair advantage) or if it seemed more realistic than that second scenario. I can’t see a preteen going to talk to the Pastor and all her friends’ moms on her own volition, although it is something admirable to have the girls aspire to. Certainly, it made for a beautiful ending to a bad choice. Even though Lindsay’s actions seem like a bit of a stretch, I wouldn’t have wanted her to do anything else. She did the right thing by making amends, realistic or not. Perhaps it’s time we stopped focusing on “realistic” and starting focusing on “right”. Lindsay is a great model for young girls.
Wow. I am completely impressed. If the other three books are as good as this first book, I won’t be looking for new small group material for awhile. Great job!
More Books by Nicole O’Dell:
All That Glitters
Raising a Modern Day Joseph
Instant Games for Children’s Ministry
The Hole in our Gospel
I found these pictures while browsing Group Publishing’s Children’s Ministry Forums. It doesn’t look like a “small budget” church by any means, but you may be able to get some inspiration!
Journey to Egypt VBS Pictures
More Experienced Egyptian Advice
Budget Friendly Project for VBS
Trying to keep costs down for your Vacation Bible School? We’re doing the Egypt theme this year and I’d like to make papyrus and cartouches (with hieroglyphs on them). Both call for plaster of paris to hold them together, so I went searching for a recipe to make our own and found the following two methods (if you’d like more information on the papyrus or cartouche, check out the Thrifty Egyptian series, or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!).
- First, you can make a paste that is diluted white glue and warm water. Basically, you use two parts white glue with one part warm water. Put the glue and water into a plastic bowl. Add more water, while stirring the mixture, until you get a soupy mixture. The final product should be watery yet still have a slight white glue consistency.
- Second, you can create a flour paste to use as Plaster of Paris. Use two to three cups of white flour with one cup to two cups of warm water. Mix the flour and water in a plastic bowl until there are no lumps, and the consistency is a smooth paste that’s easy to stir.
What Should I Use This Stuff For?
2. Paper mache
4. Bubble paint
5. Sidewalk chalk
Here are some warnings about the mix:
Prepare the surface of your cast before you begin mixing the Plaster of Paris, this way you can use it as soon as the mixture is smooth enough.
Don’t try to use Plaster of Paris that has cooled in the mixing bowl, nor try to save it for later use, once the Plaster of Paris has cooled it will no longer be malleable enough to use for anything but will form a cast of the bottom of your bowl.