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3 Tips for Teaching VBS Song Actions

Hey there, future song-action leaders. We hope last week's post about learning how to lead VBS song actions gave you some stellar ideas. Because everything you do is all for those kiddos, here are some tips on how to effectively apply the skills you've learned.

 1) Listen to your kids

Whoa, there are a lot of songs every year in VBS! We talked last week about how helpful chunking information is when learning one of the songs, but how are you supposed to teach all of them? Which order do you go in? Do you have the kids sing all the songs provided? After all, we're talking about limited time here, maybe 5 days and a few hours' worth of practice.

To start, think about how to make the experience, both for your benefit and the kids' benefit, a smooth ride. Here are several ideas:

  • It's fine to select a few songs from the entire pack to learn well.
  • Be flexible. Be on the lookout if kids are gravitating toward one song over another. Focus on the kids' needs rather than your plan.
  • Keep a list of kids' favorite VBS songs and incorporate them into the curriculum year to year. Kids love singing past favorites!

2) Modify VBS songs and actions, or don't!

The next step is to think about what works best for your VBS. Who says you have to go exactly by the book? Say for example there's a specific action you would rather have the kids learn other than the one in the VBS material. Or if most of the kids have already learned an action in Sunday school or at camp, it's not necessary to make them re-learn. Again, whatever you think will work best for your particular VBS is the way to go. If any modifications are made, clear communication is super important. Remind kids that some actions in the videos will be different, and explain when to look at you or the video for guidance.

3) Make the most of song leading

So, either you're responsible for teaching song actions, or you're part of a song-action leading team. Either way, you have an important role to fill. It's up to you to get these kids jazzed about VBS songs and ready to hear and sing about Jesus. But in order to accomplish this you will more than likely encounter some frustration. We've all been there. After five minutes of trying to get someone not to smack their unfortunate neighbor while waving their hands like a windmill or trying to make someone wave their arms at all, it may be difficult to remain calm.

During these moments, however, remember this: Song is a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages to express their joy with words and actions. The most important thing is that kids are engaged and hearing the words they are singing. "A" to the "Amen!"


With these tips in mind a successful song-action teaching experience is within reach. To get a head start learning and teaching next year's songs for Splash Canyon VBS, head over to the music page.

Written by

Karle Embretson

Karle Embretson is a student at Concordia University, Nebraska. She keeps busy at school with an English major as she endeavors to change the world one word at a time. Last summer, she interned at Concordia Publishing House in the Marketing department, where she honed her writing skills as she worked with VBS and Sunday School material. In the past, Karle has been a camp counselor and VBS volunteer who really enjoys spending time with kids and Jesus. You can usually find her outside in the sunshine with a good book, writing a story or two, or trying to be as amazing as her favorite movie character, Napoleon Dynamite.

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