The Rev it Up VBS craft book offered a race track idea which could be modified to work with a number of different VBS themes. The idea was to have the students make a small race car out of air-drying modeling clay and add a paperclip to the bottom. Then they were to color a race track onto a rectangle of poster board. By holding magnets under the poster board, the students would be able to move the cars around the tracks. Since I found the race car theme to be more masculine in its appeal, I modified this project some to incorporate a turtle which went well with the Rev it Up puppet story and appealed to both sexes. It was also easy to incorporate recycled materials and turn the whole thing into a two-day craft.
To prepare for this craft, you need to cut the rectangles of poster board and trace a track on the front of each one. The tunnel is formed from a section of paper towel/toilet paper tube which I painted with gray paint and had the students draw stones onto. By bending the edges under slightly, it was glued in place using tacky glue. The pond was cut from fused dry cleaner bag and the flowers were punched from scraps of paper using a paper punch. Both of these last items were adhered with stick glue. The finish line is a small section of duct tape which had the checkered pattern already on it and the children only had to choose where to stick it. To make the turtle, I drew a simple pattern on a piece of paper and cut it from fused brown plastic shopping bags. The shell incorporated the remains of some green yarn that had been cut for a project in a previous summer. I made three coils from this yarn, each one smaller than the last. Then I stacked and glued these together with the smallest one on top. Depending on the age of the children who are doing the craft and how much time is available, they might be able to do this themselves. In my case, I made the entire turtle for my younger kids, but I built the shell onto a circle of card stock for the older ones so they could glue the components of the turtle together on their own. Instead of using a paper clip to the bottom, I suggest gluing a small metal washer to the underside of the turtle. The kids have a tendency to put so much crayon on the surface of the paper that it is difficult for the paper clip to slide over it. I could only find round button magnets to use with this craft, so I had the children stick the magnet down onto the top of a bottle cap to make it easier for them to hold and keep up with.
The first day, I had the kids color the race track and the background which took most of them the full twenty-minute period. The next day, I had them add the other components and put the turtle together. If there was time left over, they played with the track until time to go to their next class. This was a great time to go over the things that they were learning in VBS.
To modify this craft for the other themes, just change the items around some. Have a taxi go through a city scene for Lifeway’s New York theme, or a panda going through a jungle for the panda theme, etc. Stickers are a great resource to use for the taxi, panda or other item that is needed to be the traveling object; simply stick onto card stock and cut around the image.