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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alternative Science Experiments for Weird Animals VBS - Imagination Station

I'm in charge of Imagination Station at VBS this June.  These are the ideas I came up with to fit with the themes of each day.  The theme and the ideas don't belong to me.  Please check out the links to learn how to do each activity!  I also have a Pinterest board labeled "Weird Animals VBS".

Day 1:
Even when you're left out, Jesus Loves You.
"I am with you always, even to the end of the age"

Activity:  Gak

Get Directions at this link:

The recipe for this Gak is makes  larger quantity than the link above.  We used washable paint instead of food coloring.
- Elmer's School Glue
- Borax
- Clear Plastic Cups (2/child)
- Water
-  Food Coloring (optional)
- Ziplock Bags (to take home the GAK)

Connection:  Gak has a really unusual texture.  No matter how it is manipulated, it stays together (bends, forms, stretches, blows bubbles).  No matter if you feel left out or different from others, God is always with you – no matter your circumstance.

We have completed this project.  This is what I recommend:
- use tablecloths.
- provide the gak for preschoolers - they were too hesitant to touch it so the process of making it wasn't worth the work.  K and older LOVED it!
- We used gallon jugs of Elmers glue.  (Must be Elmers).  The recipe I used was 4 oz of glue, 4 oz of warm water, mixed with a few drops of liquid watercolors.  Then mix 1 tsp Borax with 4 oz of warm water.  Dump together and start mixing - USE YOUR HANDS!  I made a measuring cups (marking only 4 oz) with clear plastic cups.  The cups were pretty gross by the end (5 groups of 30 kids) but it didn't matter.  It worked.  That was way better than using measuring cups.
- We made the Gak in disposable dollar store punch bowls.  We threw them away when finished.
- Gave the Gak to kids on the way out the door.  We didn't want it all over the church building.
Super Fun activity.  Big Hit!

Day 2:
Even though you're different, Jesus Loves You.
"For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus"

Activity:  Self- Portrait

Get Directions at this link:

- Mirrors or picture of themselves
-  Elmers Glue
- black cardstock
- colored drawing chalk
- hairspray to set the chalk

Connection:  (I think we should actually face paint for this one instead of drawing self-portraits).  Everyone looks different but we are all created in His image, beautifully.

wet wipes take off face paint really well!

Day 3:
Even when you don't understand, Jesus Loves You.
"Do to others as you would like them to do to you"

We finished this project.  This is what I recommend:
- We used face paint and tattoos.
- The kids each had their own mirror.  We had a bunch at the church (not sure why).  Each mirror said:  "Rogain Works".  Ha! :)
- Use tablecloths for easy clean up.
- Kids painted their own faces and crew leaders painted kids too.
- Have lots of wet wipes handy!
- wet 1/4 of sponge with water and set in a bowl.  The kids can get the facepaint wet on the sponges.
Super Fun activity.  They painted happily for 30 minutes.  Even (most of) the preschoolers loved it!

Activity:  Color Spray T-shirt

Get Directions at this link:

Fun way to color a shirt {Preschool craft}
These pictures are from Kid Activities Blog.  They are not my own.

- White cotton t-shirt (Can the kids each bring their own?)
-  permanent markers
-  spray bottles
-  rubbing alcohol

Connection:  Permanent markers are supposed to be forever.  The alcohol makes the colors run together.  That doesn’t make a lot of sense.  But, the colors are beautiful.  (Jesus’ love for us).  Also, our actions impact others.  (colors running into other colors)

Here are a couple of links to order t-shirts online:

$1.94/shirt:)   Sizes XS-XL


$1.89/shirt....same sizes


$1.89/shirt.....Hanes 5 pack at Walmart

We have completed this project. This is what I recommend:
- Use the fat, new sharpies.  The color seemed to be much brighter and spread much more.  
-  Do this activity outside, especially if you have a large group.
-  If doing this activity with pre-schoolers use spray bottles that have a trigger.  They are easier to operate.

Day 4:
Even though you do wrong, Jesus loves you.
"  God loves us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."

Activity:  Ice-Cream in a Bag

Get Directions at this link:

Tips for Making Ice Cream in a Bag
This image is a product of Coffee Cups and Crayons.  It is not my own.

- half and half
- sugar
- vanilla
- quart size ziplock bags
- gallon size ziplock bags
- ice
- ice-cream/rock salt

We have completed this project.  This is what I would recommend:
- Give yourself a lot of time for this activity.  I completed it in about 6 minutes at home.  When we did it with groups of 30 it took closer to 25 minutes.  
-  Make sure you do this activity outside.  We had to do it inside because of rain and it was too messy.  I wouldn't do it again.
-  This was an absolute favorite among the kiddos.
- Consider having the kids pair up.  It was a lot of shaking.  We used pairs for one of the groups and it was much better.
-  Make sure you use name brand bags.  You need really high quality otherwise the salt permeates through the plastic making a VERY DISGUSTING SALTY flavored ice-cream.
-  Have gloves available for the kiddos.  The ice-cream gets super cold!

Connection:  The rock/ice-cream salt represents our sins – it doesn’t taste good and it can’t be eaten.  Through Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross (shaking the bag) we are redeemed by Christ.  God always forgives and makes us new through Him.  (product is yummy ice-cream)


  1. Anonymous6/17/2014

    Love these ideas. Gonna do the face painting, t-shirts but I may use bandana something instead of t-shirts because that is my budget. I will let you know how that works.
    Mary S.

  2. Anonymous7/17/2014

    what did you do for day 5?

    1. We had an abbreviated schedule for Day 5 so we didn't do anything for Imagination Station. Sorry. You could probably take one of the ideas we used for Kingdom Rock VBS (different post) and change it to fit the topic for Day 5. We have two posts for Kingdom Rock. I liked the ideas from our post: Better Alternative Ideas. The kids especially liked blowing the snake bubbles.

    2. Anonymous7/18/2014

      Thank you very much! I will look into your previous ideas.