Welcome to the BOLT Backyard VBS! With minimal preparation, easy to follow instructions, and a video that leads you and your kids step-by-step through each of the 3 days, BOLT is designed to bring all of the fun and faith-formation of Vacation Bible School to the cozy confines of your home. It’s so simple!
Step 1: Invite friends and neighbors. If guidelines permit and if you feel comfortable gathering with other people, invite friends, family, and neighbors to participate in BOLT with you. It’s a terrific way to share the good news of Jesus with your community.
Step 2: Gather a few materials. During BOLT, kids will be playing games and doing origami. Everything has been designed to be performed with minimal materials—materials that you will most likely have around the house or can easily and inexpensively purchase at a local store. However, if you pre-registered, supplies will be provided by the church.
Step 3: Press play. When you’re ready, gather the kids around and press play on the video. You can find all 3 videos on this page or on this YouTube playlist. Each video will lead you and the kids through the entire experience. Introduction, games, bible lessons, origami instructions, songs, and more. Occasionally, the video will ask you to pause and do something. When you’re finished doing it, press play again.
Step 4: Play games. When the video prompts you to, press pause and lead the kids in playing the games. Each day has 3 games. One of the games each day is demonstrated in the video, the other two are not. You can read more about all of the games below. There’s no rush to get through the games, so take your time and have fun. When you’re finished, give the kids a snack, open a Bible, and have someone read the verses indicated on the screen, then press play again.
Step 5: It’s origami time. For the craft, kids will be doing origami. It’s so simple, yet fun! The video will show them exactly what to do. Just have some square pieces of paper ready to go. You can buy colored, square origami paper online or just cut a piece of white paper into a square yourself.
Step 6: There is no step 6. That’s it! It’s that easy! Depending on your pace, each day should take about an hour and a half. BOLT takes place over the course of 3 days, so if you’ve invited friends and neighbors, invite them back for the next day.
DAY 1 GAMES
Head, Shoulders, Cup
Supplies Needed: Plastic cups (1 for every 2 players)
Directions: Have people pair up with each other and kneel face to face. Place one plastic cup in-between each pair. When you say “head,” everyone must touch their head. When you say “shoulders,” everyone must touch their shoulders. Quickly alternate between saying “head” and “shoulders” for about 10-15 seconds, then say “cup.” When you say “cup,” the first person to grab the cup wins the round. Play as many rounds as the kids would like. If you have enough players, you can have the winners play each other until there is only one champion. (This game is demonstrated in the Day 1 video.)
Stuck on You
Supplies Needed: Duct, scotch, or painters tape (1 roll)
Directions: Choose some children and wrap the tape around their heads with the sticky side FACING OUT. On “go,” have their teammates race to find items that can be stuck to their heads. If necessary, you might give them access to a junk drawer with numerous small items. At the end of the allotted time, the player with the most objects stuck to their head wins. Don’t forget to take pictures—you’ll want to remember this! If there aren’t enough players to make multiple teams, just give them a fun challenge like “let’s see how many items we can stick on in the allotted time.”
Egg (or Water Balloon) Toss
Supplies Needed: Egg or water balloon (1 per child)
Directions: Have people pair up with one another and stand face to face. Each pair should be standing the same distance from each other. Begin by having one person from each pair toss the egg or balloon to their partner. If the partner makes a successful catch, they both take one step back and continue. Younger children can take very small steps. If the egg or balloon is dropped, but not broken, they may continue. If the egg or balloon breaks, that team is out of the game. Continue playing until only one team remains. Play as many games as interest allows.
BOLT VBS MUSIC
BOLT VBS features music by Ben Calhoun of the chart-topping Christian band--Citizen Way. If you would like to listen to the 3 featured songs (plus many more) with your family, you can stream them through this playlist on Spotify.
If you have a kit, the coloring sheet should be provided for you. If not, you can download and print here.
The video demonstrates the origami folds. If you have a kit, the instructions should be provided for you. If not, you can download and print here.
Day 1 Supply list
• Square pieces of paper for origami (at least 2 per person)
• Plastic cups (1 for every 2 people)
• Duct, scotch, or painters tape (1 roll)
• Eggs or water balloons (1 per person)
ALTERNATE “NO SUPPLY” GAMES
Important Note: It is strongly recommended that you play the first game listed for each day. That game is demonstrated in the video and used as an illustration for the day’s lesson. The following “no supply” games can easily be added or substituted for any of the other games.
Supplies Needed: None
Directions: This is a game of tag where everyone is it. Designate boundaries and tell the players they may not go beyond them. Tell everyone to put one hand on their head and to keep it there throughout the game. With their other hand, they must tag the other player’s arm or elbow that is in the air while not getting tagged themselves. The last person to get tagged is the winner. If you’re playing in a smaller, confined area, you can also have everyone play on their knees.
Supplies Needed: None
Directions: Have everyone sit in a circle facing one another. When it’s your turn, you must try to make everyone laugh without laughing yourself. You can make funny faces, sounds, or gestures. You have 15 seconds to make as many people laugh as possible, but if you laugh yourself, your time is up. Give players 1 point for every person they make laugh. Compare points at the end and declare a winner.
Supplies Needed: None
Directions: Have everyone gather around you, then call out a letter. Players must scramble to find and bring back anything that begins with that letter. (For younger kids, you can use sounds instead of letters.) The first person or team to bring something back wins a point. Tell the players that if they bring back anything that you deem as valuable or breakable, they could lose a point. Play for as long as interest allows, then count up the points and declare a winner.