This STEM-based VBS alternative activity is a simple, cheap, and meaningful activity for all VBS participants from age 5 to teen. This VBS activity especially integrates well with the VBS Group Rocky Railway theme. It can be used as an inexpensive alternative to an Imagination Station activity.
Cool water droplets are raced on a special wax paper raceway, Sign posts of how Jesus keeps us on track are filled in along path of the track for a great object tie-in. For a fun challenge, the raceways can be turned into a speed game by timing how long it takes to get from start to finish.
Opening Discussion: Jesus Keeps Us On Track
On the whiteboard, draw a train track leading to a mountain with a cross on top on the whiteboard. Explain that life is a journey and our goal is to stay on the path that leads us toward God in heaven. Solicit responses on what teaching points Jesus gave in the Bible that help us live better. Lead students to provide answers such as:
- 10 Commandments
- The Golden Rule
- Jesus Keeps Me “On Track” raceway template printed on regular paper
- wax paper sheet, at least 8.5″ x 11″ (1)
- piece of cardboard (cereal boxes work well), cut to match wax paper size, at least 8.5″ x 11″ (1)
- small cups filled with a small amount of water (1)
- droppers (pipettes) (1) ($2.99 for package of 25 at Hobby Lobby)
Part 1: Fill in sign posts of how Jesus keeps us on track on template
Pass out the raceway template. Give the students time to fill in the 3 empty sign posts on the template.
When finished, ask them to share their answers with the entire group or with a partner.
Another option: Hand-drawn raceways
For upper elementary students, an alternative to using the printed template is to have the students create their own hand-drawn raceway by writing on the wax paper with a Sharpie marker.
Make sure they draw a clear start and finish point and that they add at least 2 sign posts of how Jesus keeps them on track
Part 2: Assemble the raceways
- Tape the paper raceway to the top of the cardboard.
- Tape the wax paper on top of the paper raceway.
Part 3: Try out the raceways
- Fill the cup with a tiny amount of water.
- Add 4 drops of water at the Start position using the dropper.
- Tilt and wiggle the board to move the water droplet along the track to the Finish position. Watch the video below to see the raceway in action.
Part 4: Time how long it takes you
Ask a partner to help you. Have them time how long it takes you to do the entire path. See who can do it the fastest.
Convenient Kit Activity for Virtual VBS:
It is super easy to package this as a take home kit to be done for virtual VBS. In a bag include:
- printed template
- wax paper
Families can provide their own cup and water.
Additional Alternative VBS activities
Free Printable Coloring Sheets:
A great tie in the Rocky Railway theme is this “Power of Jesus-Jesus Keeps Us on Track” coloring sheet
Power of Jesus Game Board:
The Power of Jesus Make and Take game board gives students an opportunity to make a unique game for all to play. The game is based on a puck being pushed by the power of an elastic string.