Note: Because this is a perennial VBS, the review has not been updated since it was originally written.
Cost: $47.00 (download)
Water All Around the World is a thoughtful VBS program that gets at the heart of the Christian call to love and care for others in need. Through stories, art projects, music and pictures children learn about families in different parts of the world. They are reminded in the Bible stories and reflection times how Jesus cares for all children no matter where they live. The overall theme that links these different activities is a universal connection to water, both physically and spiritually.
The most amazing section of this VBS is the heartfelt case studies of children in different parts of the world. The pictures and stories are beautiful and authentic with a feeling of respect for the families and places that are represented. There is room to grow and expand these stories throughout the entire program.
While the current trend for many VBS programs is to entertain and provide fancy “bling” for the kids, Water All Around the World keeps the focus where it should be – on God’s call to care for others. However, this curriculum fails to reach the fullness of the overall vision due to underdeveloped activities. Churches with creative and devoted facilitators could bring this curriculum to its full potential.
Age Levels: Preschool (separate program), Kindergarten and Elementary
X Clip Art/Reproducible flash drive
X Music CD
- Simple and clear layout with rotations that are easy to follow.
- Thoughtful, important message for both children and adults to care for all people in the world.
- Intentional reflection and prayer time that encourages children to share their ideas.
- Encourages creativity and discussion – not overly structured.
- Very respectful of different cultures and backgrounds.
- Options to expand and modify age groups, activities and group size.
- Some activities lack adequate explanation and details with step-by-step instructions, especially games, crafts and music sections.
- Reflection section could be expanded to include more open-ended questions and guidance on facilitating a group.
- Limited global representation in case studies which focus mainly on Latin America.
- Over simplifies issues around water problems in other parts of the world.
- Very little background support provided for leaders in some areas, such as links for appropriate décor and props and sources to learn about poverty and water issues in the world.
- Opening and closing ceremonies could be more exciting, interactive and prayerful.
Reviewed by Emily Sutterfield.