We created this set for a 5-week series I wrote this year called Life Vs. It will be available for you to purchase next week! This set design would also be great for anyone doing a sports theme in services or VBS. Life Vs. is all about learning incredible verses each week that will help kids share their faith. Each of the weekly life verses is a part of the “Romans Road”. The curriculum will include the complete Romans Road set from JumpStart3 with a verse song to accompany each of the weekly life verses.
The cost for this set design was almost completely free since we used mostly things we already had on hand, borrowed, or made things out of items we already had. My inspiration for this set design and series was popular sports. Kids love sports and many of our kids are a part of a sports team so I knew this theme would be relevant and engaging. For this series, we focused primarily on the main stage area, and continued to utilize the permanent “screens” around the room we installed during during this set design. We also created a smaller set design for our 1st-2nd grade room which is set up and torn down each week because it is a shared space.
Let’s talk about the main stage first (pictured above). As I said before, we used many items that we already had on hand or borrowed from other people in the church. My first suggestion would be to scour your supply closets, storage areas, and house for any sports-related items or balls. Also, ask around to the people who go to your church or live in your area to see if anyone has anything sports-related you can borrow for your set design. We already had the blue and green cones from VBS last year, the giant inflatable football from a Superbowl party, the large badminton net, badminton rackets, and soccer net from our storage, and various sports balls, helmet and boxing gloves were borrowed. We purchased the black and white striped banners as well as several other “Go Team” and “Concessions” banners we used on teaching/info carts from Target in the dollar section. We also purchased the inflatable sports balls you see in the net in the center of the stage from Amazon.
Now for the set items we actually created for this series. We created the rugby-inspired goal post in the center of the stage out of pvc pipes and connectors. We once the pvc was assembled to create the base, we added the net we found in the attic using zip-ties and added orange stripes using orange duct tape. Thanks to two amazing volunteers who put this together in less than an hour!
The sports on the stage (soccer and baseball) were super easy to make as well and really added the wow factor to this set. We used circle-shaped foam board that we found in the attic as the base for the balls, but you can easily trace a large circle onto some spare cardboard or foam board and cut out your own circles. We just got lucky enough to find four of these already cut out! We covered both of the circles in white kraft paper and taped the paper to the back of the foam board. The back doesn’t need to look pretty, the front is all that matters. We actually decided to double wrap the white ones because our paper was pretty thin and see-through. After the circles were wrapped, we added the details of the balls with acrylic paint we already had on hand.
We also created a large basketball and volleyball for our 1st-2nd grade room. We added a few blue and green cones to finish the look. The large sports balls are lightweight and portable, perfect for a shared space or church plant!
We took our environment to the next level by utilizing the permanent “screens” around the room we installed during during this set design. We used a video of a crowd at a sporting event to make it look like there was an audience on each side of the room with the kids. We also used sports stadium sound effects during pre-service and post-service to create a more immersive experience.
If you loved this set design, make sure you check out the Life Vs. Curriculum Series when it becomes available next week!