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 3 GAMES
Supplies Needed: Whipped topping (1-2 tubs), goldfish crackers (1 bag/box), bowls (1 per team), towels for cleanup
Directions: Choose some players to put whipped topping on their face like a beard. Place a bowl of goldfish crackers about 15 feet away from them. On “go,” have their teammates race back and forth, grabbing one goldfish cracker at a time and sticking it to their bearded partner. See which team can apply the most goldfish crackers in 1 minute. Work quickly before their beards have time to fall off! If there aren’t enough people for multiple teams, make it a simple challenge to see how many crackers can be applied in the allotted time. (This game is demonstrated in the Day 3 video.)
The Great Grape Race
Supplies Needed: Grapes (about 8 per player)
Directions: Have everyone take off their socks and shoes. Select 2 (or more) players to line up at the starting line and have them place one grape between their toes on each foot. On “go,” the players must carefully race to a turnaround point and back without losing their grapes. If they lose a grape, they can stop and put it back. The first player to return with all of their grapes wins. For each additional round, add another grape to each foot (i.e. 2 grapes per foot, then 3 grapes, etc.)
Supplies Needed: Q-tips (1 box), straws (1 per person), paper or plastic cup (1 per team)
Directions: Give each player a straw. For each team, place a paper or plastic cup near the edge of a table. On “go,” each team must blow Q-tips out of their straw like a blow dart at their team’s cup from the other side of the table. The first team to knock their cup off the table wins the round. If necessary, you can move younger kids closer and older kids further back.
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 3 Supply list
Square pieces of paper for origami (at least 1 per person)
Whipped topping (1-2 tubs)
Goldfish crackers (1 bag/box)
Bowls (1 per team)
Towels for cleanup
Grapes (about 8 per player)
Q-tips (1 box)
Straws (1 per person)
Paper or plastic cup (1 per team)
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.