Mystery Island is such a fun theme! There are so many different directions you can go with a tropical paradise theme—from the beach, to the open ocean, to the deep-sea, to the jungle, to a volcano, and more! If you did our Ocean Commotion VBS back in 2016, dig out some of the decorations and use them again.
Here are some ideas for how to decorate some of your spaces:
Nothing gives a great tropical feel quite like palm trees. Add palm trees to the corners of rooms, swing a hammock between two palm trees, hang palm trees from the ceiling, or add a beach-themed wall decoration behind the tree to give the illusion of a beach in the distance.
You can make these trees by creating a wooden stand, putting a pool noodle over it, wrapping that in brown paper, and sticking wire hangers, straightened out, or old umbrella wires, out the top and draping paper leaves over them. Or you can purchase blow-up palm trees from online sources.
These ceiling palm trees are made with leaves, brown balloons, and brown streamers.
Use tropical fruits to decorate the snack area and rooms for the younger grades. Cut yellow plastic plates into bananas and use other colored plates, with the addition of black “seeds” (drawn with a permanent marker), to resemble other fruits, such as slices of melon. Hang these from the ceiling.
Add a poster to fill empty walls. You can either find a poster (such as a beach image) to stretch across the entire wall or find posters that give the illusion of looking out the window. We also offer a Surf Shack scene setter and a set of decoration posters for you to use.
Hanging items from the ceiling is a great way of filling up space and adding visual interest. Consider creating a kelp forest. Purchase green trash bags (from Amazon). Cut each trash bag into long strips. Pull each strip little by little from top to bottom, creating a rippled effect. (This is a great project for a ladies’ ministry or teen helpers!). Add fish and cover the lights with blue tablecloths for extra effect. Tack on sea birds or jungle leaves (made from strips of tissue paper draped over twine). Be sure to check on your local fire codes to ensure your safety in decorating your ceilings.
If you have a hallway space available, make it the deep sea, with black lights. Add a variety of deep-sea creatures and create hot vents with crumpled brown paper over boxes. You can make Jellyfish from white trash bags (fill with air, seal with an elastic, then shred the bottom half), and octopus/squid arms can creep out from behind a hot vent by rolling paper and attaching cut slices of pool noodles to look like tentacles. Look for silhouette patterns you can trace on paper in the Digital Resources that come with your leader guides.
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