This past week I had the opportunity to be Craft Leader at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Bible Camp. I prepared four crafts for kids ages 2-11, which was a challenge because they had to be easy enough for a 2-year-old and still engaging to an 11-year-old. They also had to be animal-themed and relate to their Bible stories: God made the animals, Noah’s ark, Jonah and the whale, and the parable of the lost sheep.
The kids were divided into four age groups named after animals: Bears (preschool), Lions (kindergarten), Tigers (1-2 grade), and elephants (3-6 grade), so I had them make masks based on their group. We used paper plates, Popsicle sticks, markers, and felt to create our own animals. The youngest kids got pre-cut bear masks, but still got to paint and glue.
Making masks was fun, but cleaning up all the paint and glue was a lot of work. On Tuesday I opted for a simple coloring craft, although it did require a bit more preparation. I used felt to make an ark, the sun, and a rainbow for Noah’s ark, and some extra paper plates from Monday for clouds.Each kid got to color an animal and use Velcro to stick it to the ark.
On Wednesday the kids read Jonah and the Whale. They got to make their own oceans with markers, crayons, and sea-creature themed stickers. I gave each of them a cutout with Jonah and the whale to color in and glue to their ocean. When I told them we were making Jonah, one kindergartner exclaimed, “We read about that in story time! How do you always know?” I told him I just read the Bible and guessed. He seemed satisfied with my response.
The last day was a wild ride consisting of parables, puppets, and a petting zoo. Along with reading Jesus’s parable of the Lost Sheep, we made sheep puppets using paper bags, cotton balls, markers, and googly eyes. The younger kids struggled with the cotton balls, but the older kids had a blast! We celebrated the last day with a petting zoo, which everyone, myself included, enjoyed. We got to meet llamas, an alpaca, chickens, ducks, a turkey, goats, and a pony.