“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.” Ephesians 6:10
Knights of the North Castle invites children to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of God’s power by exploring how we put on the armor of God. The heroes from scripture provide examples of spiritual armor.
$161 (Basic Kit), $197 (Digital Kit) at time of posting.
Check website for current pricing.
Preschool/Kindergarten, Younger Elementary, Older Elementary, Youth and an adult study are available. There is also a free two year old guide available as a download.
Number of Sessions/Scheduling
There are five sessions available. This curriculum can be used in a variety of scheduling patterns – 5 day, 4 day, 3 day, and Weekend. One Day and Day Camp options are provided as well. There are 2, 2.5 and 3 hour schedule suggestions, as well as both rotation and classroom options.
Session 1 – Armor Up with truth! Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego Stand True (Daniel 3)
Session 2 -Armor Up with Justice! David Defeats Goliath (1Samuel 17:1-50a)
Session 3 – Armor Up with Peace! Mary’s Journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-20)
Session 4 – Armor Up with Faith! Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-23)
Session 5 – Armor Up with Salvation! Midnight Praise with Paul & Silas (Acts 16:16-40)
What is included in the basic package
Music CD and DVD
Online help (registration forms, marketing, etc.)
Marketing (posters, flyers, postcards)
Videos – opening and closing skits
Leader Guides including director guides
All guides, including audio files of each song and media files, plus many more. This is probably the most useful part of the kit for sharing resources among a team.
- Cokesbury is an adaptable, well rounded VBS. It can be changed and modified in many ways, and works well for both large and small congregations.
- There are free downloads and supplements available, plus social media pages and Pinterest idea boards
- Crafts and science rotations are both easy to do with clear instructions—many crafts use donated materials.
- All areas, including mission suggestions, can be adapted to fit a budget and church focus.
- Music is easily adaptable; leader book contains both sheet music and lyrics. Music is by the same composer/performer as the very popular To Mars and Beyond.
- You can adapt this VBS to include your whole church, do it for one day or several, three hours or two, and not lose the mission and vision.
- Cokesbury tries hard to include a diverse range of people in their visuals. They also provide information on adapting activities.
- Some crafts will not appeal to older students – and the theme may be seen by them as too young. Perhaps substitute Science for crafts for them.
- Science experiments will need pre-testing and practice.
- Snack suggestions work best with a smaller sized VBS; they can sometimes be cumbersome to create.
- Music is creative and engaging, but dance moves are often overly complicated.
- Online registration can be a bit cumbersome.
What Our Reviewer Thought
There is a decorating guide, with tips for various size churches. There is a facebook page for those who are using the curriculum to share tips and tricks.
For both crafts and science there are two options. The craft activities include a do it yourself option and option for purchasing the activity. The science activities include an easier option with fewer supplies and a “WOW” factor option.
Songs are sharable if you get the digital file, but only to your team, not for general publication. Dance moves, chords, and more are provided. There are a variety of songs, and as always some will suit you and some won’t. You can find samples on the website.
There is an opening and closing session, which provides opportunities for worship. There is also a celebration session that could easily be used on a Sunday morning. Prayer is encouraged and the sessions are easily adaptable so you could add worship elements into the opening and closing assemblies.
Knights of North Castle uses scripture as the main focus of the week. The Bible stories are reinforced through drama, crafts, etc. and related to children’s lives today. As Cokesbury is a United Methodist associated publishing house, Scripture is seen as primary, but any translation could be used.
Leadership is lay driven, it is assumed that the leaders are not pastors. New leaders are given lots of helpful information, and more experienced leaders can see various options for leadership.
There are a variety of races, cultures and genders in the videos. The roles in the skits are based on Bible stories, and the opening and closing skits can be done by anyone, no specific genders needed.
Skits are presented in many different formats – options for lots of participants, or just for a single storyteller, and Preschool/Kindergarten has its own options as well.
Mission project suggestions all relate to UMCOR projects throughout the world, as well as local options and can be easily changed or adapted.
Games are given with three options – high, medium, low energy plus a preschool option. Games usually involve teamwork, and are designed to be low cost and adaptable to a variety of circumstances.
This VBS does seek to have eco friendly crafts, using reusable materials in recreation, and encourages repurposing or using what is already available for decorations. There are craft kits available for purchase, which use one time use materials, but churches can also choose simply to create their own crafts.
About the Publisher
Cokesbury Publishing reflects a mainline, Methodist interpretation of scripture that emphasizes God’s deep love of humanity and the ability of people to be in relationship with God.
Anne Shelton serves children from birth through fifth grade, and their families, at Advent United Methodist Church, Simpsonville, SC as Director of Children’s Ministry. Her own experiences of mothering three boys, as a Navy spouse, and a special education teacher inspire and inform her ministry.