Shipwrecked Imagination Station: Day 5 – Power Paddler Alternatives

During the Imagination Station rotation, students participate in an object lesson using a small toy, or what Group calls a “gizmo”.  These gizmos can be taken home by the kids each day to reinforce the lesson.  In this Imagination Station Alternative series, I’ll track down similar gizmos that can be used in place of Group’s gizmos.  I’ll also design/find craft ideas that could be used instead of the gizmos.  Which Imagination Station activity you choose (gizmo or craft) should be dependent on the interests of your VBS kids and how you prefer to spend your time/money.

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This year’s VBS theme is Shipwrecked {learn more about the theme here}.  The VBS kits are available now.  All of our VBS resources are designed to be used alongside any of the Group starter kits, although I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the ultimate version with digital.

If the Group gizmos work for your kids and you’d like to purchase them without any modification, check out my post about how to purchase the Group gizmos at a discount!

Day 5’s gizmo is the power paddler.  Here are my ideas for gizmo alternatives for day 5 of Shipwrecked VBS!  Check back for more posts on gizmo alternatives for the rest of the week, as well as craft options for the full week!

Daily Bible Point: When you’re powerless, Jesus rescues.

Today’s Group Gizmo: Power Paddlers (Rubber band powered paddle boats) $.89 per kid

Group Gizmo’s purpose: The rubber band gives the boat power, just like Jesus gives us his power. 

Similar items that could easily be substituted for the Group Gizmo:

You can easily use the message that Jesus gives us his power through another paddle boat or a sail boat (blow on the sail with a straw… Jesus gives us his power just like blowing air gives the boat power).

3D Floating Foam Ship Craft Kit

DIY Unfinished Wood Paddle Boat Kits

The wooden paddle boats are more expensive than Group’s foam boats, but they’re also made of wood… so you could paint them day 4 and race them day 5!

What gizmo alternatives have you found for Shipwrecked VBS?  Stay tuned for a day 5 DIY option!

I am a long-time Vacation Bible School lover.  I’ve lead in several capacities throughout the VBS world and am currently our church’s VBS director.  It is a joy for me to be able to share VBS ideas and resources with others!  I will continue to share VBS ideas here as we prepare for Shipwrecked VBS.  Follow the blog to see more of our ideas and planning!  Please let me know if there are any specific VBS items or ideas you need help with!

This article has 6 comments

  1. Tammy Reply

    Do you think it would be cheaper to buy some brown foam and cut the pieces out yourself? Then do you think a plane rubber band would do the same thing as the piece they include? I am trying to figure out if this is a feasible and cheaper way to go about this project.

    • Borrowed Blessings {Kara}

      Tammy, I’m not sure if regular thickness craft foam would be thick enough. I’ve seen people cut cardboard and cover it in duct tape (I think I saw tutorials for that on Pinterest). If you’re looking for an alternative, check out the DIY Sponge Sailboats I posted. They’re much less expensive. 🙂

  2. Patti Reply

    Do you have alternative ideas for Day 4 with the Ready Rescuer Kits? I like the idea, but wondered if you had other thoughts. I couldn’t find it on your website.

    • Borrowed Blessings {Kara}

      Hi Patti! We’re doing the canvas paintings then. A lot of years we do a cross craft on Thursday since the story is Jesus’s death/resurrection.

  3. Tammy Reply

    For the 4th day I decided to do the thing where the marker guy dances off the plate. However, we are printing and laminating crosses for everyone and giving them each a dry erase marker. They then draw Jesus on their own cross, slowly pour water on it and He dances off the cross.

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