The materials in the Crew Teaching Kit will supply one elementary Crew (5 kids plus a crew leader). The Crew Teaching Kit is not used in preschool. As an example, if you have 50 elementary kids, you would need 10 Crew Teaching Kits plus one for the Imagination Station leader. (You can use the sample kit that comes in your starter kit for their copy.)
The teaching kit includes supplies for a Crew of 5 kids plus a Crew Leader (so 6 people, total). You could exclude the Crew Leader from participating in some of the activities, which would provide a supply for one more child in the Crew. So, if you purchased 10 kits, you’d have supplies for 10 more kids. We do recommend that if you’re using teens as Crew Leaders, remember that they like to participate and have fun with the younger kids, too. Another option is to use supplies from kit the Imagination Station Leader is using. The Imagination Station Leader demonstrates each experiment, but only needs one set of supplies to demonstrate (and maybe one set for practice) so the leftovers would supply 3 or 4 more kids. Or, consider purchasing one or two additional kits to supplement larger Crews.
The Crew Teaching Kit supplies are one-time use. Some items (like the straws and paper tubes) are placed on kid’s mouths so cannot be shared or reused. Other items (like the sand dollar, tidal tablets, and floating messages) are consumed in the activity and cannot be used again.
The great thing about the Crew Teaching Kit experiences is that they work well in any children’s ministry setting, not just VBS. If you have time constraints or other issues that don’t allow you to use all of the experiences, just save those supplies for use elsewhere. The lesson is a powerful teaching tool that can be used in Sunday School, children’s church, midweek, or other children’s ministry events.
VBS directors told us they’d rather limit take-home items to things that serve as literal reminders of Biblical concepts. Items like the Bible Memory Buddies, student books, or music have a more obvious faith connection. The items in the Teaching Kit are used in sciency-fun experiments during Imagination Station. They’re designed to teach the daily Bible Points, allow kids to discover evidence of God in science, and foster friendships and teamwork within VBS Crews at VBS. As mentioned above, the supplies are one-time-use items.
While the Imagination Station gizmos were fun activities, VBS directors told us they were becoming too expensive and often didn’t have a long shelf life as a take-home item. With the Crew Teaching Kit, we’re able to provide more experiences (7 rather than 5) and stronger Bible-teaching discoveries at a lower cost per-kid. Five of the old Imagination Station gizmos (one per day) would cost between $4.50 and $5.00 per-kid. The new Crew Teaching Kits provide supplies for 7 experiences for 5 kids at a cost of $3.40 per-kid. That’s a savings of 32% per-kid and a bonus of two additional experiences with the Crew Teaching Kit.
It depends on the experience. Some experiments require a single item for each person. Other experiments use one item for the entire Crew. Refer to your Imagination Station Leader Manual for specifics on each activity.
No prep required by Crew Leaders! The Crew Leader will experience the activity right along with kids. The station leader demonstrates each experience to everyone, with guidance for Crew Leaders. Then Crew Leaders guide kids in experiencing that activity within their crew. The station leader will always be available to help Crews that need more attention.