I’ve written about the less delicious snacks you are served as a child a few times but when I asked for VBS ideas in the Stuff Christians Like Facebook group, a number of people emailed me snack-related ideas.
I think when it comes to the little treats, or if I could use the word “vittles,” there are primarily four different types:
Churches don’t have huge budgets to provide gourmet snacks for children that attend Vacation Bible School. So what often happens is that a member of the VBS Decorating Cartel will volunteer to go get a truckload of cookies at a discount store. In my head, I imagine the conversation going like this:
“I need about 9 million cookies. If possible, they should have as little flavor as possible, have a name like ‘Vanilla-O’s,’ and make your mouth dry like the desert the minute you eat one. Do you have any of those?”
“We do. They’re called ‘super funtime cookies,’ they come in ‘unflavored’ and ‘cinnamon’ and you can get a box of 4,000 for $2.00.”
If your church is small, then the week before VBS is officially “cooking week.” I think that’s great. There’s something cool about a church pulling together to get the snacks ready. Just stick to the simple stuff. Rice Krispie treats are a great idea for instance. This isn’t a cooking competition, like the television show “Iron Chef.” Don’t try a new recipe or see if you can figure out a way to make an oyster ice cream. Stick to the basics. Please.
I can’t prove this, but I secretly think some VBS teachers try to send the kids home as messy as possible. They do crafts like “make a picture with pine sap” or just give kids tubes of glue and say “go.” And if the craft doesn’t get them sticky enough, they often give them snacks that involve peanut butter and honey. Do you know how long it takes to get a honey and peanut butter mixture out of a kid’s hair? Roughly 19 months or 19 seconds if you use the scissors and just cut the hair right off. I’m just saying, that’s an option too.
This one is less common, but it is probably my favorite VBS snack occurrence. My dad is a minister and during VBS week he is kind of a celebrity. Little kids see him on stage during the morning songs and think he’s some sort of Christian All Star. So it’s a big deal as a four-year old when he stops by your class. He told me that the only day he doesn’t really stop by anymore is “Italian Ice Day.” These hard frozen fruit flavored ice treats are popular in Massachusetts where I am from. One day he walked in to see some four-year olds and they had just been given blue raspberry Italian ices. They had also been given that little wooden spoon which is impossible to eat with. It’s like that scene in Karate Kid where Daniel San must catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks. My dad said not a one of these kids would look at him. They were so focused on trying to excavate a bite of treat with that tiny wooden spoon that they refused to break their concentration for small talk.
I didn’t mention the orange drink because I already told that “orange drink arm” story and still have nightmares from it. Mmmm VBS snacks.