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8 Science Object Lessons for Children’s Ministry

DARK SPARKS


God is closer than you think.

Materials: Package of individually-wrapped Wint-O-Green LifeSavers candies.

Theme: God is everywhere
Scripture: John 8:12
Age Level: 6 to 12
Prep Time: Five minutes, plus time to buy candies
Activity Time: 10 minutes

You’ll need a very dark room. Pass out one LifeSavers candy to each child, and tell children to save the candy.

Say, “God is all around us. He knows our every thought, and he’s always with us.”

Read aloud the Scripture, then ask kids to discuss ways they know God is with them. Ask them for examples — a recent prayer that was answered or a time they turned to God for comfort or help.

Say, “Sometimes, even though we know God is with us, it’s easy to think of him as far away. When things seem bad or lonely, we might forget that God is with us. Here’s one way to help us remember that God is always with us.”

Form pairs. Have partners face each other. Then turn off the lights and make sure the room is as dark as possible. Have each child open the LifeSavers candy. On the count of three, have one partner bite down on the candy with his or her front teeth. Tell the other partner to watch for a large blue spark from his or her partner’s mouth. Then switch roles.

Say, “When you bit down on the candy and broke it, it made a reaction kind of like lightning. The sugar molecules were stressed as you bit down. The pressure of your bite created an electric charge-the spark that you saw. God is like the charge in the candy. He’s always there, but sometimes we forget about his presence. But when the dark, stressful times come, God responds with a big spark of his love.”
ReversibleAction1_702x336

REVERSIBLE REACTION

This experiment is stinky, so it’s best performed outdoors.

Materials: Tea bags, whole fresh cranberries, distilled water, teapot, stovetop, white vinegar, clear household ammonia, four clear containers.

Theme: Redemption
Age Level: 6 to 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Activity Time: 15 minutes

Alert: This experiment must be performed by an adult. Dispose of the liquid by pouring it down the drain immediately after the experiment is over.

Before class, brew strong tea with distilled water. Remove the tea bags and discard them. Boil 1 cup of cranberries in distilled water. Strain the cranberries, saving the leftover water. Pour the tea into a container and the water from the cranberries into a different container, filling each about one-third.

Pour vinegar into a third container and ammonia into the fourth container, filling both. They’ll look just alike, so be sure you know which is which.

To begin the discussion, ask kids to give examples of sin. After several examples have been given, say, “It’s true — humans are sinful, and we do things that aren’t pleasing to God. But Jesus gave his life to wash away our sins.”

Hold up the containers with tea and cranberry solutions in them. Say, “These containers of liquid represent our sin. Now imagine that this liquid (vinegar) is Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. What do you think will happen when I add it to our sin?”

Add vinegar to the tea and then to the cranberry solution. Their colors will lighten considerably. Ask kids to explain what happened.

Then say, “What do you think happens when we keep sinning and never ask for God’s forgiveness? Let’s see.” Add ammonia until the solutions become very dark.

Say, “Still, no matter how bad we think our sins are, we can always ask for God’s forgiveness. So, let’s try to reverse what’s happening.”

Add more vinegar, and the liquid lightens. You can alternate darkening and lightening this solution as long as you have space in the containers.

Say, “What’s happening to the solutions is called a reversible reaction-that means that the color can be changed back and forth. An example of an irreversible reaction is cooking a scrambled egg. After the egg is cooked, you can’t make the egg raw again. How is Jesus’ death for our sins like the reversible reaction we saw today?”

CRYSTAL CREATION

Let kids witness God’s transforming power in our lives.

Materials: Clear container for each child (at least 6 inches deep), sugar, water, a saucepan, food coloring, straws, cotton string, paperclips, fine-tipped markers, tape, access to a stovetop.

Theme: God’s impact on our lives
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:18
Age Level: 6 to 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes the day before the activity
Activity Time: 30 minutes, plus several days for crystals to grow

The day before class, bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil for every four children in your class. Once the solution boils, add sugar until it thickens to a syrup. Remove from heat and allow the solution to cool on its own overnight. The next day, distribute the solution into the clear containers. Fill the bottom of each container with the sugar solution to a depth of 1 inch.

Give each child a container, a straw, a paperclip, and a 10-inch length of string. Let each child add one drop of the food coloring of his or her choice.

Have kids each tie one end of the string around the middle of their straws. Then attach a paperclip to the bottom of their strings. For best results, have them moisten the strings with water and rub sugar along the string. Then have them lower the paperclip end of the strings into their sugar solutions and rest the straws on the mouths of their containers. Have them tape their straws in place, then write their names on their containers.

Read aloud the Scripture. Say, “God’s influence on our lives is very powerful. It changes the way we see ourselves, and the way others see us. This solution is made of two things you use every day — sugar and water. Right now, it looks pretty plain. Take your container home and put it in a safe place in your kitchen. Each morning when you get up, check to see what changes are happening.”

Within a week, kids should see dramatic changes. Sugar crystals will grow. The longer kids let the crystals grow, the larger they’ll get. They can eat the crystals as long as the containers are kept in a clean, dry area.

Jennifer Hooks is the managing editor for Children’s Ministry Magazine.

amazing-science-devotionsFor more great science devotions, check out Amazing Science Devotions for Children’s Ministry.


20 thoughts on “8 Science Object Lessons for Children’s Ministry

  1. Avatar
    Charles Snikers

    This is atrocious. It makes me feel physically sick. GROW UP. Keep religion and science separate and stop teaching our children lies.

    • Avatar
      Christine Yount Jones

      Charles, we’re sorry we’ve offended you!

    • Avatar

      Charles, I find this so amusing. You come on to a Children’s Ministry website and get upset that they are talking about Children’s Ministry? Apparently, you have decided that you are God and have the right to tell everyone what they can and cannot do.

      But the difference between you and the real God is the real God gives every person choice. He even created a Charles who disdains Him. So I guess I will stay with the living God who gives us all choice. And our choice is to love God and teach our children just as you do yours. Sorry…but control is demonic and that may explain your need to try to control the people on this site.

      • Avatar
        grace butler

        God doesn’t cause bad things? Ummm…have you read Job? Have you read HIS plan for Jesus Christ to die as the lamb. I would like to know which “scripture” you are quoting there when you tell the kids that God doesn’t “cause” bad things to happen. Yes, he does use all of the bad in this fallen world and turns it into good….only for those who love him. But, our God is sovereign over ALL things….good and bad. Satan must ask His permission to do anything. So, you may have good intentions with this lesson….but a BIG RED flag went off for me over that comment….it’s very misleading.

        • Avatar
          Leticia Morales

          I don’t think it’s misleading. God didn’t “cause” Job’s pain. You are correct in saying that Satan asked permission, therefore Satan was the cause of the pain. It was not God himself inflicting pain upon Job. He allowed it, but he was not the cause. As for Jesus, He is the son of God. Also, God did not cause this. The sin of the world, man, caused this.

          • Avatar
            Christine Yount Jones

            Thanks for your thoughtful response, Leticia! That’s why we like to ask great questions that get kids and all of us thinking!

        • Avatar

          If you read Job you realize God didn’t cause bad things, but allows bad things and yes uses those bad things in His perfect timing for our good.

    • Avatar

      Praying God take the blinders off your eyes so you can see the marvelous things He has for you. God Bless!

  2. Avatar

    Love it

    • Avatar
      Christine Yount Jones

      Chris, thank you so much for your insightful comments. I know everyone will benefit from your perspective!

  3. Avatar

    I am giving the children’s message at church this week – 9/11. The bag of water and pencils lesson is exactly what I was looking for. As a former teacher, I know that kids these days want/need to see it, hear it, touch it in order to get it. Using science (which is fact based) to help explain religion (which is faith based) is brilliant. Thank you for joining the two. (P.S. I so hope that Charles is being sarcastic.)

  4. Avatar

    Make sure the pencils are sharp…dull pencils don’t make clean breaks in the bag (at least my second pencil didn’t get it done)

    • Avatar
      Christine Yount Jones

      Great tip, Chris! Thanks for sharing that. We’ll change it in the article too!

  5. Avatar

    Why would we separate agod and science? God created science. He uses it all the time!

  6. Avatar
    Vickie L Miller

    Thank you so much for this wonderful visual (object lesson). I work with 1st and 2nd grades on a Wednesday evening. Many of my precious ones are not churched, so I desire to show them what the Bible is saying. I am looking for object lessons to help them understand God’s love, mercy and grace; and Christ’s amazing love in giving of His life so I (and prayerfully they) might have life. Thank you for sharing this lesson!!

  7. Avatar
    Mauren Rivera

    Thank you for this, I personally think today in the world we are in, we need our children to remember and keep his world in their heart and mind and what better way than a science demonstration. We tend to forget that God made science he gave the wisdom to people to come up with the science so if I can use this to teach and bring the bible to life so they can remember it when they are going through something bad and pray and say God I know I’m going through this because you are allowing it for a bigger purpose in my life than let’s use what ever tool God has giving us. Didn’t God use parables to teach it’s sort of the same using science to illustrate what God it’s putting in our hearts to teach the children.

  8. Avatar

    Absolutely love this….

  9. Avatar

    I am always interested in the way people view God I came on here as I am planning a couple of science object lessons and I can say I have learnt so much more. It is always insightful seeing how many and varied are peoples views of God and sin (the bad stuff that happens). The immediate response often is to infer that God is the cause of it. Gods grace is the most astounding thing, He suffers long with man and if it wasn’t for His mercy the bad things would be so much worse than what they are. This is the true message of Job and a perfect representation of Gods grace through the eyes of a man that witnessed trial and triumph in the fullest. Job never once complained but trusted in God through his whole experience, this object lesson and the comments combined create a perfect picture, Thanks.

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8 Science Object Lessons for Children...

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