God of Wonders

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 Dancing Raisins

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Remind kids how fun it is to praise God.

Bible Connect: Psalm 149:3-4
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: Raisins, clear plastic cups, and
carbonated water.

The Experiment

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Ask: Can raisins dance?

Fill a cup with carbonated water and drop in several raisins.
Ask kids to hypothesize about what’ll happen. Watch for a few
minutes to see what the raisins do. Then enjoy a raisin snack.

Scientific Facts: Carbonated beverages are pressurized by carbon
dioxide gas. Carbon dioxide bubbles attach to the wrinkled raisins
and cause them to float and bounce. They’ll continue to “dance” up
and down until they get soggy or the carbonated water goes
flat.

Talk About It

Ask: Was your guess correct? Why did the
raisins dance? Read the Scripture. Are the bubbles like or unlike
how God wants us to praise him? How can we praise God with
enthusiasm every day?


Wonder Clouds

This experiment reminds kids that Jesus will return to
earth.

Bible Connect: Revelation 1:7-8
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: One wide-mouth glass jar with a
metal lid, water, ice cubes, flashlight.

The Experiment

Ask: Do you think it’s possible to create a
cloud right in this room? Let’s find out.

Pour 3 inches of hot water into the jar and quickly put on the
lid. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes, then place several ice cubes on
top of the lid. Turn off the light and ask kids to hypothesize
about what they’ll see. Shine a flashlight behind the jar to reveal
the cloud.

Scientific Facts: Clouds form when warm air
rises and begins to cool. As air cools, it can’t hold as much
water, so it forms tiny water droplets that become a cloud. Fair
weather clouds (cirrus clouds) move with the jet stream, sometimes
faster than 100 miles per hour!

Talk About It

Ask: Was your guess correct? What surprised you
about this experiment? Read the Scripture. What surprises you about
what the Bible says about Jesus in the clouds? Do you think Jesus
will return in your lifetime? Why or why not? If Jesus came back
today, what would you do?


Impossible Possibility

Help kids remember that God is always with us, even if we
can’t see him.

Bible Connect: 1 Timothy 1:15-17
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: A balloon, yeast, sugar, water, a
glass jar, a funnel, and an empty glass drink bottle.

The Experiment

Say: Can something invisible have visible
results?

Mix 1 tablespoon of yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 cup warm
(not hot) water in the glass jar. Use a funnel to pour the mixture
into the bottle. Ask kids to hypothesize about what’ll happen to
the balloon when you stretch it over the bottleneck. Then watch as
the balloon inflates.

Scientific Facts: Air is made of different
gases, including carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide gas released by the
growing yeast is lighter than other gases in the bottle, so it
rises to the top and inflates the balloon.

Talk About It

Ask: Was your guess correct? Is it easy or
difficult to understand something you can’t see, such as the carbon
dioxide? Explain. How would you explain how carbon dioxide works?
How would you explain our invisible God to someone? Read the
Scripture. Is it easy or difficult to have faith in a God you can’t
see? Why or why not? How can you explain your faith in God so
others understand?


Shine

Kids create a starry sky while discovering that they can be
a light in the world.

Bible Connect: Philippians 2:14-16
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff for Each Child: A cardboard oatmeal
container, a nail, a hammer, scrap wood, and a flashlight.

The Experiment

Say: Let’s see if we can recreate God’s
fantastic nighttime sky right here.

Place oatmeal containers on scrap wood to protect floors. Have
adults help kids use a hammer and nail to gently punch holes in the
bottoms of the oatmeal containers. Turn out the lights. Kids can
put their flashlights inside their containers and enjoy the
planetarium they’ve created on the ceiling or wall.

Scientific Facts: Stars are large balls of gas
that produce color, heat, and light. A star changes over time, but
it takes millions — even billions — of years for it to live out
its life span. The eye can typically see 2,000 stars on a clear
night.

Talk About It

Ask: What would night be like without stars?
Read the Scripture. Why do you think God wants us to be lights on
earth? How would our world be without God’s faithful people? How
can you be a light for God?


What Lies Beneath

Remind kids that God looks at the heart.

Bible Connect: 1 Samuel 16:7
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Child: A large coffee filter, scissors,
a black nonpermanent marker, and water.

The Experiment

Ask: Can you find a rainbow in a black
marker?

Cut out the center bottom of a coffee filter and color a
coin-size black dot in the center. Have kids hypothesize about
what’ll happen when they add water to the dot. Drop 10 drops of
water onto the black dot and watch as a rainbow of colors
spreads.

Scientific Facts: Black marker ink is made of
colored pigments and water. When water’s added, the pigments
dissolve and spread through the filter, revealing the colors that
mix to create black.

Talk About It: Ask: Was your guess correct?
What happened when you added water? Were you surprised by what you
saw? How is this experiment like or unlike you? Read the Scripture.
Do you have qualities others don’t see? Explain. Do you think God
sees those qualities? Explain. How does it feel to know God looks
at your heart rather than outward appearance?


Sticky Friends

This sticky activity helps kids appreciate the gift of
friends.

Bible Connect: Proverbs 18:24
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff for Each Child: A balloon and small scraps
of paper or threads.

The Experiment

Ask: Can an invisible bond make everyday
objects stick together?

Inflate a balloon and tie it. Rub it on your clothing, and stick
it to a wall. Rub the balloon more, and hold it over small pieces
of paper or thread. The objects will stick to the balloon.

Scientific Facts: The balloons stick to objects
because when two objects are rubbed together, one becomes
positively charged and the other becomes negatively charged,
forming static electricity. The balloon is positively charged and
will attract objects that are negatively charged.

Talk About It

Ask: Why did some things stick and others
didn’t? Read the Scripture. How was this experiment like or unlike
our friendships? What qualities do you look for in a friend? Have
you experienced friendships that didn’t stick? Explain. What
qualities form lasting friendships? What makes Jesus our forever
friend? How can you be a friend who, like Jesus, sticks with
someone no matter what?


Stay Afloat

Explore why objects float — and how faith makes the
impossible possible.

Bible Connect: Matthew 17:14-20
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: Two glass pint jars, an egg, a
spoon, 4 ounces of salt, small objects, and water.

The Experiment

Ask: Do you think a single ingredient, such as
salt, can totally change a situation?

Fill one jar with water and carefully place an egg in the water.
What happens? Fill a second jar with water and mix in 4 ounces of
salt to simulate the salt concentration in the Dead Sea. Ask kids
to hypothesize about whether the egg will float in the second jar.
Remove the egg from the first jar and place it in the salt water.
Then experiment with other objects, placing some in tap water and
some in salt water to see what floats in each. Carefully retrieve
the eggs so they’re not wasted.

Scientific Facts: Salt water weighs more than
tap water because it’s more dense. An egg floats in salt water
because the water weighs more than the egg. The Dead Sea is almost
10 times as salty as the world’s oceans, with salt content at 26 to
35 percent.

Talk About It: Ask: Was your guess correct?
What differences did you observe when you placed the objects in the
salt water and tap water? Before this experiment, did you think it
was possible for an egg to float in water? Why or why not? Read the
Scripture. How do you think the disciples felt when Jesus said
faith could move a mountain? When have you had to have faith in
something that seemed impossible?


Oil and Water

Explore the importance of relationships.

Bible Connect: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: A clear jar with a lid, vegetable
oil, food coloring, and water.

The Experiment

Ask: Do you think liquids always mix? Let’s
find out.

Fill the jar halfway with water. Put in two drops of food
coloring. Ask kids to guess what’ll happen when oil is added. Add
oil and screw on the lid tightly. Shake the jar, turn it upside
down, and observe how the oil and water react.

Scientific Facts: Oil and water won’t mix
because their molecules have different charges or polarity. The two
stay separate with a very clear boundary because they’re “polar
opposites.” They’ll never mix. That’s why it’s impossible to put
out a grease fire with water.

Talk About It:

Ask: Was your guess correct? What did you
observe about the oil and the water when you tried to mix them? Do
you think there’s ever a situation when water and oil will mix?
Explain. Read the Scripture. How is this experiment like or unlike
what happens when we hang out with people who don’t believe in
Jesus? Do you think it’s okay to hang out with people who have
different beliefs than you? Why or why not? What do you think God
would tell us about being friends with people who have different
beliefs?


Explosive Power

Help kids understand God’s power. This activity is messy, so
do it outdoors.

Bible Connect: Romans 1:20
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: Red modeling clay (for a recipe,
go to www.childrensministry.com and click on Web Extras), one
15×15-inch piece of cardboard, aluminum foil, one 20-ounce plastic
bottle, baking soda, dishwashing liquid, water, red food coloring,
bowls, a funnel, and white vinegar.

The Experiment

Say: Let’s find out what kind of power is
possible with this experiment! Cover one side of the cardboard with
aluminum foil. Place the plastic bottle in the center of the
cardboard, then form a volcano with clay around the bottle.

In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 cup of water,
5 drops of dishwashing liquid, and 3 drops of red food coloring.
Use a funnel to pour the mixture into the bottle. Have kids develop
a hypothesis about what will happen in this experiment. Then pour 1
cup of white vinegar into the bottle, and stand back!

Scientific Facts: The red “lava” that spews
from your volcano is the chemical reaction between the baking soda
and vinegar. Mixing the two ingredients produces carbon dioxide,
the same gas that bubbles in a real volcano.

Talk About It: Have kids describe what they
know about volcanoes. Read the Scripture, then ask: How are those
powerful forces like or unlike God? How do you think nature’s power
compares with God’s power? In what ways do you experience God’s
power in your life? What surprised you about this experiment? When
has God’s power surprised you?


Sue Kahawaii is children’s executive pastor at the Champions
Centre in Tacoma, Washington.
Please keep in mind that phone numbers, addresses, and prices are
subject to change.

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