Oh, the Lessons They’ll Learn!


Teamwork Time

From The Book — The story of the Tower of
Babel from Genesis 11:1-9.

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Here’s the Hook — Kids will learn that they
need to work together for the right reasons.

You’ll need a real turtle or a picture of a turtle, a small
plastic turtle, and nine small wooden blocks. Note: Live turtles
carry salmonella. Have kids wash hands thoroughly after handling
the turtle.

Show the real turtle or picture of the turtle to kids and ask,
“Where does a turtle belong? What would happen if a turtle didn’t
want to be in the water and thought he should be more than a

Read the book Yertle the Turtle. As you tell the story,
create a block tower by placing three more blocks under the plastic
turtle every time Yertle’s tower gets higher. Knock down the block
tower when Yertle falls into the water.

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After you’ve read the story, ask, “Why did Yertle build a high
tower? What did Yertle think of himself? How did Yertle feel after
he fell in the water?”

Say, “In Genesis, there’s a story about people who thought they
could build a tower to heaven.”

Read aloud Genesis 11:1-9. Then ask, “Why did the people want to
build a tower? How were the people in the Bible like or unlike

Say, “The good thing in our Bible story is that the people
worked together. But they worked together for the wrong

Ask, “What are right reasons to work together? What are ways we
can work together?”

Tumble Towers — You’ll need various stackable
items found in your classroom or church such as books, erasers, or
plastic tubs.

Form groups of six. Have each group work together to build a
structure that only touches the ground in four places (like the
four legs of a turtle). The structure should be about 5 feet high,
using only supplies found in your classroom. Designate items that
are off limits for safety reasons, and encourage kids to work

After they’re finished, ask, “How are your towers like or unlike
the ones we read about today? Why does God like it when we work

Sticky Towers — You’ll need six round crackers
per child, plastic knives, paper plates, plastic bowls, marshmallow
cream, and one green jelly bean per child.

For each group of four, fill a bowl with marshmallow cream. Give
each child a plate, a plastic knife, and six crackers. Have kids
build towers on their plates using the crackers and marshmallow
cream. When kids are finished constructing their cracker towers,
have them place their green jelly beans on top to remind them of
Yertle; then they can eat their towers.

Toothpick Towers — You’ll need toothpicks,
marshmallows, a bowl, and green food coloring.

Before class, color one marshmallow green per child by dipping
marshmallows into a bowl of green food coloring. Give each child a
green marshmallow. Set out toothpicks and plain marshmallows to

Say, “You’re going to build a tower out of toothpicks and
marshmallows to take home to eat. The green marshmallow represents
Yertle; place it on top of your tower. You’ll have to share
toothpicks and marshmallows to build your tower.”

(“Tumble Towers” adapted from Forget-Me-Not Bible Story
by Christine Yount, Group Publishing.)

God Protects Us

From The Book — “I will lie down and sleep in
peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm

Here’s the Hook — Kids will learn that God
protects them when they’re scared.

You’ll need a television, VCR, and the VeggieTales video
Where’s God When I’m S-scared?

Cue the video at 9:30. Play the video to 11:07. Then say, “Today
we’re going to hear a silly story about being afraid. In the video,
Junior learned that “God is bigger than the boogeyman.” Let’s see
if God is bigger than what scares the character in our story.”

Read the story What Was I Scared Of? After you’ve read
the story, ask, “What would you do if you saw a pair of pale green
pants floating in the air? What are some things you’re afraid of?
What helps you when you’re afraid?”

Say, “In the Bible, a man named David wrote about being afraid
at night.”

Read aloud Psalm 4:8.

Say, “David wrote that he could sleep through the night because
he knew God would keep him safe. God is always with us, even when
we’re afraid.”

Surrounded by a Big God — You’ll need a nylon
parachute, four adults, and a large area to do this activity.

Have kids and adults circle around the parachute and grab edges
of it to hold for the activity. Position the adults at 12, 3, 6,
and 9 o’clock on the parachute. Tell kids to move the parachute up
and down; then have them let go while the adults continue moving
the parachute up and down.

Have kids run under the parachute. Then have the adults bring
the parachute edges to the ground, creating a bubble over the

After the activity ask, “What was it like to be surrounded by
the parachute? Did you feel safe inside the parachute? Explain. How
is God like a parachute when we’re afraid?”

Say, “When we’re afraid, God is like a parachute, surrounding us
with his love and protection. We don’t need to feel afraid because
God is always with us.”

Sleepin’ in Graham Comfort — You’ll need
graham crackers, frosting, food coloring, cake decorating tubes
with various tips (one for every four to five kids), plastic
knives, several small bowls, mixing spoons, and paper plates.

Say, “We’re going to decorate graham crackers with frosting and
make them look like kids in sleeping bags. The only rule in
decorating the crackers is that you have to put a smile on your
cracker kid’s face to show that he or she can ‘Lie down and sleep
in peace,’ for God alone holds you in safety.”

Have kids frost their crackers, making smiling faces with the
decorating tubes. When kids are finished say, “Before we eat our
snacks, let’s thank God that we can have smiles on our faces at
night knowing that God will hold us in safety.”

Glowing Helpers — You’ll need black
construction paper, glow-in-the-dark crayons, and glow-in-the-dark
face paint.

Give each child a sheet of black construction paper. Have kids
write Psalm 4:8 on their sheets of paper with the glow-in-the-dark
crayons. When kids are finished, draw a cross on each child’s cheek
with glow-in-the-dark face paint. Turn off the lights to see how
everyone glows. Tell kids to hang the verse in their bedrooms to
remind them that God helps them when they’re afraid.

(“Sleepin’ in Graham Comfort” adapted from FoodFun:
Devotions for Children’s Ministry
by Dennis and Lana
McLaughlin, Group Publishing.)

The Earth Is The Lord’s

From The Book — “The earth is the Lord’s, and
everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm

Here’s the Hook — Kids will learn to care for
God’s earth.

You’ll need newspapers, tape, and scissors.

Give each child a whole newspaper section. Demonstrate how to
unfold it and open it up wide, with an equal number of pages on
each side. Starting at one side, roll up the newspaper into a long
tube and use a small piece of tape to hold the roll together. Cut
strips approximately 5 inches long and ½ inch wide around one end
of the tube. Gently twist and pull out the middle strips to make
the tube taller and fuller.

Say, “You’ve just made a Truffula Tree. The cool thing is that
you recycled newspaper to create your tree rather than using new
materials. Some of you may not know what a Truffula Tree is, so
listen as I read the story of the Lorax and the Truffula

Read the story The Lorax. After you’ve read the story, ask, “Why
did the Lorax have to speak for the trees? Did people really need
the Thneeds? What happens to animals when trees are chopped down in
a forest? What does pollution do to the environment? What are some
ways we can take care of God’s creation?”

Say, “The Bible says, ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything
in it.’ “

Ask, “If you’d created a cool art project and someone came along
and wanted to ruin it, how would you feel? Do you suppose that’s
the same way God feels about his creation? Why or why not?”

Say, “People will continue to pollute unless we help care for
God’s creation.”

Recycle Races — You’ll need newspaper, scrap
paper, trash bags with handles, and a paper-recycle bin.

Form pairs. Throw newspaper and paper scraps all over the floor.
Place the recycle bin at one end of the room. Have each pair do a
“wheelbarrow” race to the other end of the room with the trash bag.
The person walking on his or her hands picks up as much paper as
possible and puts it in the recycle bin. Let kids know that when we
recycle, everyone wins!

Sweet Earth — You’ll need one tortilla for
each child, cream cheese, plastic knives, blue decorating sugar,
green decorating sugar, tape, and a picture of the earth. Tape the
picture of the earth so it can be seen by everyone. Tell kids to
spread cream cheese over their entire tortillas. Have kids sprinkle
blue and green decorating sugar over their tortillas so they look
like the earth.

Trash Walk — You’ll need trash bags.

Say, “We’ve made a snack for later, so let’s spend some time
caring for God’s creation by picking up trash around the church.
Get into groups of four and take one trash bag for your group.”

If you have enough adults, you can form more groups to cover
more territory. Otherwise, stick together, and make sure groups
take their bags to the trash container when they’re finished. When
you return to your room, have kids wash up. Then eat your snack
together, and thank God for his creation.

Courtney Wilson is a children’s and family pastor in
Vancouver, Washington. Please keep in mind that phone numbers,
addresses, and prices are subject to change.

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