Thinking Through the Details: 21 Things that I print for VBS

My last few details are falling into place.  I am ready to lead volunteers as they help prep the building for VBS.  The kids are coming soon.  The decorations are going up.  The church building is being transformed from its day-to-day quiet into a bustling place of activity and excitement.  My people were beginning to catch the attitude of anticipation.

But only after I push print for that last time, do I feel like I am really ready for VBS. It is more than just restroom signs and classroom lists. Printing the final item on my checklist indicates to me that I have put in the time to think through the details of VBS. It is really my system of checks and balances to be sure that all of my people are equipped to effectively engage the kids and parents who will be stepping through our doors into a wonderful world of VBS.

Printing is my system of checks and balances to be sure that all of my people are equipped to effectively engage the kids and parents who will be stepping through our doors into a wonderful world of VBS.

Let me share what is on my “To Print” list (I really have one of those…in Evernote!)

1. Attendance Record:  This is an excel document that helps my volunteers serving in the VBS office track attendance of kids and volunteers for the week of VBS.  The offering is also recorded on this page.

2. Announcement Card: This is the card that holds my announcements for each day.  The front of the half sheet of cardstock card has a logo from the theme.  The back has a print out of my daily announcements (or handwritten copy taped to it).  I like the kids seeing the logo in one more place as I am giving them instructions!

3. Certificate of Completion:  This certificate is given to each student who has attended VBS.  Each teacher is given enough for his or her class and asked to fill out the names and sign it.

4. Class Lists:  This document is given to the VBS office staff.  It is their responsibility to transfer names from registration forms onto the class list and then pass the lists out to the teachers.

5. Food Sign-Up:  At our VBS, refreshments for kids and for adults is provided by the faithful bakers at our church.  A sign-up sheet allows our people to provide cookies for the kids or coffee cakes and breakfast casseroles for the volunteers (we had a morning VBS).

6. Monday Opening/Closing Order:  I plan out each of the large group gatherings.  The songs, order of service, timing, and what was to be on the screen is listed out on this page.  I do one for each day of the week.  This paper is given to my tech person so that she could begin to get the slides ready.  It is given to the pastors, skit crew leader, and anyone else who is involved in the large group gatherings.

7. Glad You Came Postcard:  We use these postcards to follow-up with each kid who comes to VBS.  Each one gets a personal note written by his or her teacher or helper.  The cards are mailed from the church so that we can be sure that each teacher follows through and completes the postcards.  It is a quarter piece of cardstock with a theme specific picture on the front and a place to write a note, name and address on the back.

8. Kid Name tags:  Depending on our plans for the year, we have used the kids’ name tags as their attendance chart.  If so, using an Avery template and name tag inserts that fit our holders, I create a theme specific name tag template.  The office volunteers write in names and put together the final tags for me.  (We reuse lanyards and plastic holders each year).

9. Adult Name tags: I make a similar template for adult name tags, but I print each name for each volunteer.  I do this for security reasons.  I don’t want anyone walking in with a name tag that is handwritten that resembles ours to just join and act as though they are a volunteer.  I know that if you are a volunteer, you have checked in with me, we have put your through our screening process and you have received your name tag.

10. Lost and Found:  Let’s face it, after VBS you are left with an armload of “treasures” that someone lost or forgot.  I make a sign designating an area with heavy traffic to place my lost and found items.

11. Map:  We have a simple map of our building.  I customize it each year for VBS indicating where classes are located as well as other important areas.

12. Money Bucket Signs:  For our offering, we have a simple scale and 2-gallon buckets.  We always have a contest between the boys and the girls.  So each bucket needs a label – boys or girls.  I try to make these theme specific each year.

13. Money Table Signs:  Before opening each day, the kids walk past the money table.  They can place their offering in their respective bucket (boys or girls).  I have a sign on the table that indicates how the offering is being used.  (This isn’t the only time we talk about it, it is just another reminder).

14. Notebook Cover:  All of the registration forms, class lists, attendance record, and other important items are kept in a large notebook.  I make a cover for this notebook that is theme specific.

15. Pew and Door Signs:  I print two copies of these signs.  I use one to designate areas in the sanctuary where the grade levels or classes are to sit.  I use the other one on the door of the classrooms to designate what class is where.  This is helpful for parents and volunteers alike.

16. Prayer Partner Sign-Up:  I try to pair each volunteer with a person in our congregation who is willing to specifically pray leading up to and throughout the week of VBS.  I send around a sign-up sheet to our congregation to gather individuals to pray for specific volunteers.  To learn more about this, sign up for our free email course on Intentional Prayer for your Best VBS. 

17. Registration Signage:  This is a big one.  I want to walk through our registration process and make signage directing through our process.  I usually ask someone else to think through this with me and then I make the signage.

18. Schedule:  The schedule for each classroom goes onto one piece of paper.  All of the extra activity helpers can see who is to be where, the teachers have a schedule, and anyone should be easily located based on the time.

19. Supplies Provided:  I have collected quite a few supplies over time and want to let my teachers and helpers know what is available to them for use.  I go through my cabinets and create a quick list of the things that they are welcome to use.

20. T-Shirt Sign: We sell t-shirts at VBS at-cost.  I make a sign for this area.

21. Thank You Notes:  I try to write handwritten thank you notes to each of my helpers.  I like to have these printed before VBS.  If I have a volunteer who is available during the week of VBS, he or she can cut and fold my thank you notes.


This is a list of things that I have found necessary in my VBS.  Yours will vary because you serve a different body in a different building.  But, use this list as a springboard to think through your details.

Interested in seeing examples of these print resources?  Comment below what would help you with your Best VBS and I’ll get samples to you!


Photo Credit: Victor Hanacek


5 thoughts on “Thinking Through the Details: 21 Things that I print for VBS

  1. Each of our age group leaders has a clipboard that they carry during Vbs. It includes attendance sheet (acts as evacuation headcount as well), allergy information sheet, rotation schedule, a daily bible focus sheet for the week and the daily newsletter.
    The newsletter is for volunteers I write each day for reminders for our volunteers. It also has the cell number of each director and our EMT/firefighter that provides first aid.

  2. I love the newsletter idea! And the clipboard. This keeps everyone on the same page and informed! How many age group leaders do you have?

  3. I love all of these ideas! I would love for you to share any of your great resources! 🙂

  4. Absolutely Natalie! I would be happy to share. I’m so glad that you found this useful. I’ll email you!

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