4 Simple Ideas 4 a Healthier Vacation Bible School

posted on Mon, Jun 8 2015 12:00 pm by Daniel W. Hatcher, National Healthy Out-of-School Time Advisor

I just returned from a trip to West Virginia. I find travelling inspiring and this trip gave me several ideas for blog entries. While walking around town, I saw several signs for Vacation Bible School events, commonly called VBS. I was reminded of my days growing up in a rural Kentucky town and going to events like VBS.

The VBS I went to involved a lot of sitting and our reward mid-way through the day’s activities was a cookie break. We’d all file into a small kitchen and pick up several different types of cookies and a lemonade or other soda.

West Virginia has one of the highest rates of obesity in the country. My home state of Kentucky is ranked #5. So, these popular events are wonderful opportunities to encourage children to eat healthy and stay active.

Here are 4 simple ideas.

  1. Let students pick an activity from a Task Card before, during or at the end of each lesson. Print the free task cards, cut them out and glue on index cards. Let students draw a card for a short energizer. It will help students stay more focused and make their experience more fun.

  2. Swap sugary lemonade and other beverages for fruit infused water. Here are 8 recipes from West Virginia University Extension Service. Provide copies of the recipes for families to take home and replicate. Set up water stations so it’s easy for students to stay hydrated on hot summer days.

  3. Set up a simple fitness circuit everywhere students move from one location to another. Print our simple resource, laminate the cards and tape to paint sticks or hang on the wall.

  4. Skip the cookie spread and serve nutrition snacks. Kids Health has snack ideas to please all age groups. Are your VBS snacks donated by others? Request all donations be focused on fruits and vegetables, not sugary treats. You can find even more recipes for healthy snacks and potlucks in Cooking Matters. Why not create your own VBS recipe book as a take-a-way for participants.

Here are even more tips for communities of faith.