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You’ve asked for it, and here it is—a great curriculum that can be adapted for VBS!
The Pilgrim’s Progress curriculum is designed for a 13-week study, but you can use it in VBS or a neighborhood Bible club with a little planning.
Here are some helpful hints on putting together an awesome adventure that will teach kids the truth of the gospel.
Below you’ll see suggested schedules, games, crafts, and more. Don’t forget that the Deluxe Classroom Kit has everything you need—teacher manual (like a director’s guide), student activities, music, dramatic reading, storybooks, closing program options, and more! You can learn more here and download free samples here.
And we have FREE CLIP ART here!
Ready to plan? Here are our tips. They are below and also available as an editable Word document you can give to your volunteers. Click below to go directly to the three sections:
We’d love to hear from you! Please post your ideas below to share with others in ministry!
Two-week VBS or neighborhood Bible club
- 10 days, Monday through Friday
- Mornings or evenings, 3–4 hours each day
- Do Lessons 1 and 2 on first day; Lessons 3 and 4 on second day; Lessons 5 and 6 on third day; and on days 4–10, do one lesson per day to complete all 13 lessons and chapters.
- See suggested session schedule below.
- Begin practicing closing program in second week.
- Plan closing program event for the Saturday or Sunday evening following the two weeks, either the same week or the following week.
One-week, all-day VBS or neighborhood Bible club
NOTE: A one-week VBS requires an all-day schedule; a standard VBS format of mornings only is not enough time to cover all 13 lessons.
- 5 days, Monday through Friday
- Mornings AND afternoons for 3–4 hours each session / 6–8 hours a day
- Lesson schedule:
- Day 1: Lessons 1–2 in morning, and Lesson 3 in afternoon
- Day 2: Lessons 4–5 in morning, and Lesson 6 in afternoon
- Day 3: Lessons 7–8 in morning, and Lesson 9 in afternoon
- Day 4: Lessons 10–11 in morning, and Lesson 12 in afternoon
- Day 5: Lesson 13 in morning, and review or practice closing program in afternoon
- See suggested session schedule below.
- Begin practicing closing program on day 2.
- Plan closing program event for the Saturday or Sunday evening following the weeklong VBS, either the same week or the following week.
All summer, 13 weeks, 1 day per week
- 13 Saturday mornings or Sunday evenings
- Do Lesson 1 on first Saturday, Lesson 2 on second Saturday, and so on, for 13 weeks.
- Follow the 45- to 90-minute lessons in the Teacher Manual or set up like a VBS with a large group assembly for storytime, then breaking into age groups to work on activity sheets and discuss Journeying On section of Teacher Manual and rotate through game, craft, and snack stations.
- Begin practicing closing program in the last couple of weeks.
- Plan closing program event for the Saturday or Sunday evening following the 13 weeks.
Suggested Session Schedule
1. Beginning Assembly
- Begin with a large assembly of all children. Have singing time using the Songs for the Journey CD.
- Read the storybook chapter aloud using the Dramatic Reading CD. Use the children’s copies of storybooks here or in small groups.
- Option: To kick off the reading time, have someone dress as Christian and welcome the children. Each day or session, Christian’s clothing can change. For example, on the first day he can be wearing rags and carrying a burden. On the next day or session, he will come in without his backpack and talk about how much better he feels. Continue on each day, changing into wearing his armor and shield, in chains, and finally carrying his document to arrive at the Celestial City.
2. Teaching and Discussing
- Break into small groups to discuss main truths in Journeying On (Teacher Manual), reviewing and discussing the storybook chapter while teaching lesson truths. Then complete pencil-and-paper activities in On the Go and On the Go Plus papers to promote deeper understanding and application of lesson truths.
3. Activity Stations
- Have groups rotate through stations: crafts, games, snacks, songs.
For the one-week, all-day club, you will lead children through steps 1–3 in the first (morning) session, and then repeat the steps during the second (afternoon) session.
Make sure you give your Craft Coordinator a Teacher Manual and Deluxe Student Pack so he or she can find the instructions for each craft below. Give her or him enough time to decide on which crafts to do for which days and to gather the supplies needed ahead of time for the number of children you expect. Each craft is designed to go with a particular lesson/chapter, but could be adapted to suit the schedule you decide upon.
Set up a craft station for children to rotate to after storytime. The crafts reinforce the truths being studied.
· Teacher Manual, Taking Action, p. 18: Make a prayer scroll that will be used each lesson to record prayer requests.
· Teacher Manual, Taking Action, p. 24: Make a person, place, or thing from the storybook chapter with clay or play dough.
· Teacher Manual, Taking Action, p. 35: Make a Life in the Church paper chain.
· On the Go 4, Go, Christian, Go! Make a banner.
· On the Go Plus 4, Moving On: Use a spinner to play a board game.
· Teacher Manual, Starting Off, p. 38: Draw a picture of an evil monster.
· On the Go 5 Make It, Take It, and Use It! Make an accordion book.
· On the Go Plus 5, Walk With Me, Jesus: Design a shield.
· On the Go 6, Crafty Calendar: Make a God Is Faithful to Me calendar.
· Teacher Manual, Taking Action, p. 60: Make a door hanger.
· On the Go 9, God’s Promises: Make a God’s Promises collage.
· Teacher Manual, Starting Off, p. 75: Use modeling clay to make sculptures.
· On the Go 11, Story Flip-Flaps: Make a flip-flap project to recall the story.
· Teacher Manual, Taking Action, p. 90: Make an Entering the Celestial City collage.
· On the Go 13, Design a Pilgrim Flag: Draw and design your own flag.
· On the Go Plus 13, My Pilgrim Journey: Design an attractive book cover.
· Make posters for the Fair in class or schedule an extra time slot. (Closing Program instructions available with Deluxe Classroom Kit purchase; you will receive a download code by email.)
The instructions for the following active games are found in the Pilgrim’s Progress Teacher Manual and/or On the Go and On the Go Plus student papers.
Make sure you give your Activities Coordinator a Teacher Manual and Deluxe Student Pack so he or she can find the instructions for each game below. Give her or him enough time to decide on which games to do for which days and to gather the supplies needed ahead of time for the number of children you expect. Each game is designed to go with a particular lesson/chapter, but could be adapted to suit the schedule you decide upon.
Set up a game station inside or outside for children to rotate to after storytime. The games reinforce the truths being studied.
· Starting Off, p. 15: Complete an obstacle course.
· Taking Action, p. 18: Play Burden Basket.
· Starting Off, p. 21: Play The Way to the Gate game.
· Journeying On, p. 21: Play Memory game to review.
· Taking Action, p. 24: Make person, place, or thing with clay or play dough.
· Taking Action, p. 24: Play Action Review to remember different characters.
· Starting Off, p. 33: Play Rolled Document Hunt.
· Taking Action, p. 36: Play Body Armor Relay Race.
· Taking Action, p. 41: Play Enemy Attack Tag.
· Taking Action, p. 41: Play ABC Pilgrim’s Progress memory game.
· Starting Off, p. 45: Play Pilgrim’s Progress Bingo.
· Taking Action, p. 48: Play Which Person? game.
· Taking Action, p. 48: Act out ways to encourage and help each other.
· Starting Off, p. 51: Play At the Fair game.
· Taking Action, p. 54: Play Beautiful Robes relay.
· Starting Off, p. 57: Play Hidden Treasure.
· Taking Action, p. 60: Play Story Web.
· Starting Off, p. 63: Take part in How Do I Measure Up?
· Taking Action, p. 66: Play Whisper a Promise and discuss.
· Starting Off, p. 69: Play Pilgrims to the Mountains!
· Taking Action, p. 72: Play Listen to the Shepherd.
· Taking Action, p. 78: Play Musical Chairs for Pilgrims.
· Starting Off, p. 81: Play Pilgrim March.
· Taking Action, p. 84: Play Keep Moving.
Starting Off, p. 87: Play What do you remember?
How did you use Pilgrim’s Progress in VBS? Share your experience here and help others in ministry!