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Monday, July 18, 2011

Narnia Legos and Further Explorations into the Wardrobe

Guest post from Narnia-Girl who blogs at Lantern Waste. (Need I say more?!) I think she is oh so cool.

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In 2008 I took on the challenge of VBS director in a brand-new church. The newness gave me freedom from precedence: no expectations of doing things the same way as past directors, just convey the Gospel to children. I figured I could do no better than using beloved children's literature from a revered Christian apologist, and that is how I settled on sculpting a VBS from Narnia.

I found that there was Narnia curriculum available, but after purchasing two sets I was disappointed in the quality of the material. I set to work creating our own curriculum, using ideas from each of the purchased sets and adding my own inspiration. The end result was a VBS that told the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe over five nights. Each evening the children left our hot August environment and passed through the wardrobe into snowy Narnia. They heard a bit of the story, participated in object lessons and enjoyed crafts and games related to the theme. The evenings ended with a chat with "The Professor".

One popular part of our VBS was a Narnian Museum. This small room was filled with Narnian "artifacts" collected from all the stories. Each item was displayed and identified with a placard that described it and the book in which it was mentioned. For example, we had Reepicheep's sword (an ornate letter opener), Mr. Pevensie's war uniform (WWII uniform), Caspian's sword (real sword hung up high), Peter's shield (Halloween costume), the tea set from Father Christmas, Bree's saddle, Mrs. Beaver's cookbook, the steering wheel of the Dawn Treader and much more. The setting was additionally enhanced by playing 'Narnian' music and employing curators who were in character each evening.

At the time we were preparing for the museum, our son would spend hours a day playing with Lego bricks. In an effort to spend time with him and work on VBS plans, I began to create scenes from Narnia out of Legos. We had a wonderful time discussing concepts and trying to implement them. We also did some online research and found several ideas. While there were Chronicles of Narnia building sets available for purchase, they depicted the most famous scenes. We were striving for Lego dioramas from each book, plucking one little scene from the story and conveying it in miniature plastic bricks.

Each of our creations were displayed in a glass case and labeled with the scene and book.
We included:

  • Puddleglum assisting Eustace and Jill up the giant, snowy steps and The Lady of the Green Kirtle with the mysterious Black Knight (The Silver Chair);
  • The Pevensies finding the ruins of Cair Paravel and then discovering the old treasure room in Prince Caspian;
  • Uncle Andrew's study, with the mysterious green and yellow rings, from The Magician's Nephew;
  • an exotic (and cruel) stranger visiting a poor (and cruel) fisherman and the luxurious palace room where Shasta is placed when he's mistaken for a prince in The Horse and His Boy;
  • the poor talking horses of Narnia being beaten into submission in The Last Battle; and several other scenes.
The Narnian scenes were a fun addition to our Museum and a big hit with the kids who talked of creating their own masterpieces at home. In our home I found this to be an excellent catalyst to get the kids back into the books, digging for ideas for their next creation.

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Narnia-girl shared pictures of her Lego creations which I'm posting here for you to see. Wasn't she terribly creative?! I LOVE this! Totally LOVE it!

Uncle Andrew in his study with the rings



Polly and Digory on Fledge



Lucy enters The Wardrobe



Lucy meets Mr. Tumnus



Susan & Lucy with Aslan at the Stone Table



Dr. Cornelius helping Caspian to flee



Peter, Edmund, Susan & Lucy entering the Treasure Room



The Lady of the Green Kirtle with the mysterious Black Knight



Shasta in Tashbaan



Pretty creative, huh? I'm duly impressed.

Thank you, Narnia-girl, for sharing both your love for these stories and your creativity with us! I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling very inspired by your work and efforts! I want to attend your VBS and walk through the museum! Sigh.

5 comments:

Annette W. said...

WOW! Narnia-Girl that is awesome!!

Barbara H. said...

Wow! Wonderfully creative!

Stephanie said...

Creative is definitely the word!! My oldest would be in Narnia heaven to attend a Narnia themed VBS!!

Narnia_girl said...

Thank you for your compliments and kind words. It was a lot of fun having VBS in Narnia!

Davene Grace said...

I love that! What a wonderful idea!

For Christmas a year and a half ago, we gave the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre CDs of The Chronicles of Narnia to our boys, and they have listened to them over and over AND OVER again. I love how the truths in that series are soaking into their minds at such young ages.

A VBS about Narnia? That's awesome!

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