Catholic Vacation Bible School Ideas

Today I want to talk about some Catholic VBS ideas for Catholic churches looking to have an awesome and wholly Catholic vacation bible school program available for their parishioners. Many parishes end up creating their own programs, as one of my past churches did. Today we are going to look at some vbs theme ideas and resources that would be specific for Catholic churches planning their own VBS. So let’s take a look at these Catholic VBS program ideas.

Very Basic Way VBS Usually Works

The way a basic VBS program runs is in stations. There are lots of groups of kids, organized by age. All over your church there are different “stations” set up and ran by volunteers. The kids rotate through each station daily. One “station” is learning time, and the teacher that takes them from station to station heads that one up herself.

Daily VBS Stations To Consider:

  • craft
  • music
  • snack
  • learning time
  • outdoor games/play
  • movie 

Why not also include some prayer or adoration time in the sanctuary? I was part of a parish that included this in their rotation and it was absolutely beautiful! You can read about how our parish ran that program here. Here are some more things I think would be awesome to include into Catholic VBS:

  • mission project
  • scripture memory (Yep, you read that right! Why not?)
  • prayer time / adoration

You need to find different places to set up your stations around your parish. Our church used to rent a huge tent because we lacked classrooms, and it worked for us. 

Once you choose a theme (ideas below) you provide each volunteer the focus for the day. Then the snack team can come up with cute ideas for that theme, the crafting volunteers find a good craft for the daily theme, etc. 

Planning Home VBS For Catholic Kids

You can also pull together a VBS theme for your kids at home! There are so many resources on the internet waiting to help you these days, and every one of these theme ideas would be just as good for an at home vacation bible school program! This could be a great option for families during quarantine! 

Choose A Catholic VBS Theme!

Rather than being surfer themed, or arctic themed, or circus themed… what if it was like… Jesus themed? Lol. Here are what I think are some great VBS theme ideas for Catholic kids. 

Sacred Heart Of Jesus VBS Theme

The theme idea here is simple but beautiful… I love Jesus and Jesus loves me! Also, the summer is the perfect time to celebrate the Sacred and Immacualte hearts because their feast days both fall in the summer, and the beauty of these images lend themselves to all kinds of fun for kids! I liked the idea of this theme so much that I actually rolled out the first Catholic Icing VBS curriculum… Summer With The Sacred Heart! This is a special program is made for moms to easily execute vacation bible school at home and is so. much. fun. for. kids! Get yours now.

 

Trinity VBS Theme: The Father, The Son, And The Holy Spirit

What a perfect theme for kids to learn about in the summer! This is such a basis to our faith that sometimes it gets overlooked when teaching children. You could use Monday to introduce the Trinity as a whole, and then one day each going through the persons of the holy Trinity. Then on Friday, recap and put it all together! This would give you a chance to focus on each person, take a good look at the sign of the cross, and really contemplate the Trinity with your kids this summer. You can find all of my summertime Trinity resources for kids here, because in my experience… no one is in the mood for shamrocks during the summer.

If you do use this as a theme, you will not want to miss my Trinity picture book for kids! There are a lot of activity ideas in there as well. 

Summer With The Saints VBS Theme

With this theme, you can choose one Saint to focus on for each day of the VBS program. So you could have the kids learn about the Saint your parish is named after, special Saints of the year, Saints that are meaningful to your area or community, or anyone you think would inspire your kids! This is a great way to grow the kid’s relationships with their holy heores in heaven! You can find my Saint resources for kids here to help you get some ideas.

If you end up doing a Saint themed VBS for Catholic kids, you have got to check out this printable Saint banner from Sara J Creations. So cute!!!

Rosary VBS Theme

Why not spend a week with kids learning more about the rosary? There are 5 mysteries of the rosary, so the kids could learn about a different one each day. Perfect! Kids could also participate in a living rosary, craft their own rosaries, make edible rosaries… the possibilities are absolutely endless! You can find a lot of fun kid resources for the learning about the rosary here.

Eucharist Themed VBS Program

The true presence in the Eucharist is such a cornerstone of the Catholic faith that it seems like an absolutely perfect theme for a Catholic VBS program! I have a lot of really fun Eucharist resources for kids here. They were originally designed for first communion prep, but I know a lot of these ideas would be perfect for Catholic vacation bible school as well!

Mary Apparitions From Around The World VBS Theme

What if every day during vacation bible school the kids learned all about a different Mary apparition from around the world? The days could even have food and fun themed around that country for the day. Off the top of my head I’m going to suggest Our Lady Of Fatima (Portugal), Our Lady Of Guadalupe (Mexico), Our Lady Of Lourdes (France), Our Lady Of Mount Carmel (England), and Our Lady Of China (China). What a cool week for kids this could be!  You can find all my Mary crafts and activities for kids here.

Fruit Of The Spirit VBS Theme For Catholics

Did you know that most protestant faiths have a list of just 9 fruits of the spirit, but Catholics have a full list of 12? It’s true! Fruits are such a really fun theme for the summer time and would lend themselves to all kinds of fun with decorations, crafts, and food! I have a really great round up here of fruits of the spirit resources for Catholic kids including a song, and a printable that has endless possibilities. 

Let’s Don’t Overlook Being… BIBLE Themed VBS! 

I mean it is vacation bible school after all. 😉 haha. You could focus on Old Testament stories, or you could focus on the Gospel stories. A fun way to do the Old Testament is to focus on one profit per day, especially stories that include animals such as Daniel, Jonah, and Noah. If you’re planning a bible story themed VBS, you will definitely want to check out my page of Bible crafts for kids! Tons of great ideas and free printables there.

More Summer Fun For Catholic Kids

Check out these feast days that fall in June and also some more fun Catholic kid activities for summertime. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Wow! Thanks for the terrific ideas!

  2. Any chance you got that permission to post? I’m looking for a solid Catholic, Biblical VBS without a lot of distracting bells and whistles. It’s a big parish, and our main age group is 4-7 year olds. There are some good ones out there, but nothing has hit the spot yet.

  3. Ana Maria Gimenez says

    Bravo Lacy,
    Hopefully next year we will create our own catholic VBS at Blessed Sacrament Church. Your ideas are very helpful for the catechesis all year around. Blessings!!!!

  4. I am thinking of starting a VBS at my church. I teach at the school there so it will be easy to use classrooms etc. Now that it is 2014, do you have the program that you created available?

  5. JULIE T PRINGLE says

    Hi Lacy. We have been “doing/writing/making” our own VBS program each year too. We make it REALLY easy by choosing what week we want VBS to be in the summer. Then, use the actual Gospels and SAINTS of the day. It’s amazing how GOD chooses a theme for us each year through His Holy Scripture! 2018 was “Go-and Make Disciples”, 2017 was Jesus Lives! (in our hearts, in the Church, in the community, in the Sacraments, and in our priests.
    One person leads each: Snacks, Music, Crafts, and Storytelling. It’s amazing how GOD puts it all together each year!
    A friend on mine, Leslie Clay, writes a script for each day so the kids have a “play” to watch. She has now posted them on TPT.

  6. Janine Babbitt says

    Thanks for the inspiration! Could you list the 5 prophets you used for your VBS? I see you had Jonah and Daniel…what are the other 3?

    • Hi Janine –

      I’m not sure about the other three (maybe Lacy will come by and chime in), however, I do see that in addition to the two you could see in the post, there is also Elijah, which I could see in one of the pictures.

      Angie, Catholic Icing Project Manager

  7. sonia tigse says

    MOre then a comment I have a question, pastor is concern about city permissions and requirements, do we have to request permits to the city? or there any guidelines that we can follow an avoid the city paper work?

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