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.
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. 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 2 GAMES
Supplies Needed: Bins or buckets (2 per team), sponge (1 per team), towels
Directions: Have everyone lie on their backside by side. Place a bin of water by the person on one end and an empty bin by the person on the other end. The object is to transfer all of the water from one bin to the other using a sponge. The person by the bin full of water must dunk the sponge, then pass it down the line to the last person, who will then squeeze the water into the empty bin before passing the sponge back and repeating. The players will get wet and they’ll love it! Thicker sponges work better than small kitchen sponges/scrubbing pads. You can also substitute the sponge with a t-shirt or hand towel. (This game is demonstrated in the Day 2 video.)
Supplies Needed: Old blanket or bed sheet (2 or more)
Directions: Wrap 2 (or more) people separately in a blanket or bed sheet. Tuck the blanket or bed sheet in tight so it doesn’t come loose. Have the “wiggle worms” lay on the ground side-by-side, then establish a finish line. On “go,” the wiggle worms must wiggle their way toward the finish line like an inchworm. The person who crosses the line first wins. If you have enough players, you can play multiple rounds and have the winners compete until there is only one champion.
Supplies Needed: Box of crackers (1-2)
Directions: Have one player from each team lie down on their back. Have the other players carefully stack crackers on their teammate’s forehead. The player on the ground will have to stay very still and try not to laugh. The team that can stack the most crackers without falling is the winner. If you don’t have enough players for multiple teams, simply challenge the kids to see how many crackers they can stack. Play multiple rounds and allow players to take turns lying on the ground.
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 2 Supply list
Square pieces of paper for origami (at least 1 per person)
Plastic bins, buckets, or large bowls (2 per team)
Sponge—bigger is better (1 per team)
Possible substitution: t-shirt or hand towel
Towels for drying off
Old blanket or bed sheet (2 or more)
Box of crackers (1-2)
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.