Our week, last week, was consumed with Vacation Bible School. Our church hosted, using LifeWay's "Submerged - Diving Deep Into the Word of God" curriculum. And, instead of teaching this year, I decided to mix things up a little, and signed on as the snack lady, instead.
Which meant my kitchen spent the week looking like this...
...and I spent the week dressed in a gaudy swimsuit cover up and snorkel mask (as pictured at the top of this post), with fun foam flippers on my feet (find instructions for the pattern at Dazzle Design).
Because, it's just not VBS if someone isn't over the top.
Anyway, the triple batch of squidamon rolls (thankfully made with the use of two bread-makers) were a mid-week treat for my fellow laborers...
...while the children received a daily Bible story themed snack as follows:
Rice Krispie and Kit-Kat trees with Sour Patch Kids for the story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19 (snack idea from 52 Ways to Cook). For a dairy and gluten free option, I used Smart Balance dairy free butter, and made a color free batch off Rice Krispie bars to cut up as "trunks" in place of the Kit-Kat bars.
Cups tied with brown yarn, and labeled with a verse of the story from John 4...
...filled part way with blue raspberry Jolly Rancher Jell-O for the story of the Woman at the Well.
We built a "well" out of large cardboard bricks (from the nursery) on the table, and lifted our cups of "special water" out of it, to serve to the children.
For the story of Nicodemus from John 3, I went back to our old, chocolate and vanilla sugar cookie recipe (found here)...
...to make use of the Southern Baptist's ABCs of Salvation (Admit, Believe, Confess - click here for a free printable explanation, with go-along verses).
For our non-gluten and dairy free option, I made homemade gummy candies (using the recipe from Not So Idle Hands, and Jolly Rancher Jell-O in various flavors), cut into ABS with a cookie cutter, after they were set.
For the story of Jesus restoring sight to a blind man from John 9, I went very simple with "mud" pudding cups, topped with crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, and gummy worms. For a non-gluten option, I left the cookies (though you can purchase gluten free sandwich cookies) and gummy worms off. We also made a special batch of Hershey's chocolate pudding, using chocolate almond milk, for a lactose free alternative.
With the exception of milk (chocolate, plain, and chocolate almond) served with the cookies, we served water with the snacks for most of the week, since the snacks were already sugary, and we had very hot weather.
But, to keep it fun, I made dolphin ice cubes to add to the cups (using silicone trays, found in a dollar bin at our local K-mart). Each child got one plain dolphin ice cube, or a Kool-Aid dolphin (if they drank the water quickly, they could eat the dolphin like a little popsicle piece - or they could drink slowly and let it melt into their water as they drank it) in their cup.
On our last day, we had a short program for the parents, followed by a mini-dinner. We made a few hundred dolphin ice cubes to go with Blue Hawaiian Punch, cut four watermelon into clam shapes (I cut two, and ask another family to cut two (ours were not as pretty as the other family's but I did come out of it with some tips, I hope to share in another post).
We made crescent roll sandwich crabs (which I totally missed taking a picture of, but you can find examples of on Pinterest, or here, in Google images) with green olive eyes on pretzel sticks.
And, a platter of hot dog wiener octopi (instructions here).
We cut bell pepper octopi to top store bought dips on vegetable trays...
...and used up left over rice Krispie treats, by cutting them into ABCs or squares decorated with blue frosting, fish crackers and sprinkles (following instructions from The First Year blog), which we placed out on a tray labeled with our Nicodemus story card, and a explanation of the ABCs of salvation)
We also filled a couple of large bowls with Cheetos (for corral), and fish crackers mixed with blue and green M&Ms, using the rest of the colors from the bag in several batches of cookies (which we labeled as "diving for pearl" cookies, to go along with a theme of one of the games the children had played during the week where they sought out colored marbles - which they called pearls).
Add to that a couple of bowls of chocolate pudding (regular and lactose free) with a separate bowl of crushed cookie topping, labeled with our Jesus and the blind man story card, and a bowl with our left over Sour Patch Kids, labeled "Wee Little Men" along with our Zacchaeus story card, and it wasn't too bad a spread.
Set atop blue plastic table cloths on a couple of long tables, it looked in keeping with the Submerged theme, and provided enough memory prompts to encourage children to share stories of the week with their parents - which I was very happy to over-hear a number of children doing enthusiastically.