Parables of Jesus VBS: Day 2 The Prodigal Son

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
This post is for Day 2 of our Parables of Jesus VBS and The Prodigal Son is found in Luke 15:11-32. We are making everything ourselves. I will try to post as many of the ideas as I can. This post just has my classroom.
I will start with the decorations I did for my classroom. We will have grades 1-4 in our room, and with so many kids, we take out all the tables and sit on the floor. And it also makes room for our review activity. This is most of a wall, and I needed it to the floor so I can add the wood pigs in front of it and add dimension. The brown barn is just a rectangle with Sharpie marker lines, a black door and the window. The small pigs were printed onto cardstock, and everything else was drawn with an overhead projector. The sun was also printed and has the daily lesson theme on it.
We purchased a piece of 2' x 4' x 3/8" wood and I used the overhead projector to draw the pigs. My husband cut them out, sanded them and I painted them. I used several different graphics to paint them, since I wanted pink pigs and couldn't get them to look like I wanted them to. You can see I cut the tail off, and my husband drilled a super small hole and I wound a pink pipe cleaner into a coil and used Gorilla Glue to glue the tail into the drilled hole.
 This shows the wood pigs sitting in front of the Prodigal Son wall. It adds a cute pop!
This is close-ups of the bulletin board. You can see the son sitting on a tree stump. He was drawn out onto poster board with the overhead projector, then painted. I outlined everything with a Sharpie once the paint was dry. The tree stump and the water trough are brown bulletin board paper. The fence is White Picket Fence by Teachers Friend (TF-3300). I already had it, so it was easy to add it!

I printed the pigs onto pink cardstock, cut them out and painted the feet. Then, I let my grandkids paint the mud on them! That was fun! I asked Wendy if I could have some hay (whatever) for this wall. She gave several reasons not to use the real stuff and suggested this: Raffia! So, I found the raffia skirts at Dollar Tree. I pushed all the raffia to the center of the string, stapled the center to the board, and just haphazardly stapled the rest to look like the pigs had been in it.

For the trees, I used the overhead projector to draw the top part onto a piece of poster board. I used brown bulletin board paper for the tree trunks. I painted the top of the tree, and I used a Sharpie for the outlines and borders when the paint dried.

For the Prodigal Son sign, I drew it using the overhead projector, and painted the letters. I outlined the letters with a Sharpie once the paint dried. After I cut it out, I used my scrapbook stamp pads to add the edging.
We have 20 minutes to teach and review our lesson. The kids rotate to 4 different activities for 20 minutes each. They have the Bible lesson, Paul's Theater where they watch the lesson as a play, they have a craft time, and their food time. The Elders say there's no excuse not to come because you can even get a meal! When the kids are done eating, they see a puppet reenactment. The kids practice puppets for Lads To Leaders (L2L), so why not use those skills for our kids? Click on the picture above to print the lesson I used for grades 1 & 2.
Click to print the lesson for grades 3 & 4 that Lindsey used and is letting me share with you here.
This set of visuals have been updated as shown. The 'cloud' effect has been removed and background has been cleaned up. All the visuals are not shown and all available Sweet visuals for this lesson are included.
(These are the same as the visuals but are black & white.)
Paulette began our session with greetings, what is a parable, and things that we do that God doesn't like, but God forgives. She decided to include that God forgives bad choices, and what is bad choices. You can let them answer or talk about several yourself. And we also discussed 'What does forgive mean'? It means to excuse or pardon someone that does something wrong. That is the theme, or main point for tonight.

I teach the lesson, and today Ramona handed out these money bags when I began. I use these for a LOT of lessons, and the kids LOVE them! I buy the bags on eBay from Hong Kong, so I keep them in my stash of goodies for class! The paper money is found at Dollar General, and the coins are from and Party City. At the end of the lesson, Ramona handed out the plastic smiley rings from
Paulette decided on a relay race for the reinforcement game today. So much fun for the kids to be able to get up and run and have fun! And learn about the Bible at the same time! We divided the kids into 2 teams. There was red tape for stop by the table, and green strips on the other side of the room for go. Everyone stood by the green tape, and one person from each team would run to table, do the job, and run back to the rest of their team. The first person had to put 'pig' food into the little cups you see (cereal with a little water added), and the Fisher Price pigs pretended to eat it. The son had to feed the pigs first, then he went home, and his father gave him a robe (next person put on a robe), a ring (next person puts on the ring), sandals, (next person puts on shoes). Then there was a feast. The next person puts the food on the plate. There was a big celebration, so they all blew up balloons and, if there's time, they can bounce them around. Paulette found the general idea on Pinterest (sorry, I don't know where), but made several modifications to suit us.
I purchased the Jesus Standup at Oriental Trading. I am moving Him each night to be by the Parable that we are discussing. I want the kids to remember that Jesus is the One telling the Parables.

(I am not permitted to add them here, so just use the search bar to find them. I didn't use all that they have available (I used 4).)
Click on the above picture to see the main foyer and hall decorations, and the links for all four Parables of Jesus VBS classroom decorations, lessons, games & more.


  1. Thank you for the good ideas!
    I'm always looking for ways to bring the Bible stories to life, and this has helped me.

  2. Where visual cards available



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