I’ve heard the question pop up a couple of times since we revealed the new theme back in June: “Is Concrete & Cranes going to appeal to the girls in my church?” Sometimes it wasn’t so much a question, but a statement that “Boys are going to LOVE this!” with a subtle implication that if boys love it, it must be so geared toward them that girls will not like it at all. As a self proclaimed “Power Tool Princess,” I really dig this theme! (See what I did there?) But I can understand why it might cause some to ask, “What can we do to make sure we don’t lose the girls?” So let’s talk about it!
Did you know that every single LifeWay VBS theme has to pass a series of filters before it can be considered? And one of those filters is, “Is it appealing to both boys and girls?” This is a question we ask ourselves every year during theme development and one that must be answered satisfactorily both by us and by the churches who use LifeWay VBS. We do not think “construction” as an industry or as a theme excludes women or girls. People of both genders find satisfaction in working with their hands and pride in seeing their work dramatically result in creating something where there once was nothing. It’s even an integral part of STEM teaching which is currently a big focus in America’s public education system. However, the prevalence of “construction” as a popular birthday party theme marketed almost exclusively to boys tends to skew our perception thusly. Rest assured, there will be PLENTY in this theme that appeals to girls! You’ll find elements of architecture and design (the Bible study location is even called “Blueprint Bible Study”), painting, and finishing throughout Concrete & Cranes. Take a look at the colors in the urban construction scene below … even the color pallet was chosen specifically to make Concrete & Cranes appealing to girls as well as boys.
If you’re concerned that your girls might not find heavy machinery, hard hats, or skyscrapers appealing, simply highlight those elements of the building process that you think will be more appealing to them. Decorate a rotation like an interior design storehouse … with paint and fabric swatches, odds and ends furnishings, rolls of wallpaper, paint supplies, etc. Focus on architecture and blueprints in your Bible study decorations.
Remember, a theme is simply a dressing, nothing more. It’s the “fun” that makes VBS attractional, but it should never be the reason you do VBS (or choose a VBS). VBS is about sharing the gospel and the gospel is for EVERYONE! VBS is about discipling kids to grow in their faith and that growth is a requirement for EVERY believer. Make that your main focus and I promise everything else will fall into place!