As you may or may not know, Im the Childrens Director at my church – well, I was for the last 6 years, but its starting to feel a bit like Im being led in another direction, but thats another story. Anyway, over the course of the years Ive gathered a rather large collection of some of my favorite object/bible activities and, I thought it might be nice to share some of them with you. So, over the next few weeks, Im going to do my best to post one of my favorites every week. These activities are tried and true and are ones that are usually super simple, and make a lasting impression on the kids. They are also easily altered, and, for the most part Im only going to post the activity and just add some suggestions for how to incorporate it into an overall lesson. Also, several of these activites have a science basis (those tend to be my all time favorites b/c they can appear to be magic/miracles in modern context – of course, its up to you if you reveal the scientific basis to the kids or not) Anyway, I hope you can use some of these in your own ministry – be it homeschooling or church. Therefore, without further adieu, Heres the first one:
Marshmallows Make the Tower of Babel
(I just used this last Wednesday at Awana as a spur of the moment Council Time lesson)
Suggested Bible Verses: Genesis 11:1-9 – this activity fits in perfectly with a lesson on the Tower of Babel and could be modified for almost all ages.
Supplies Needed:toothpicks, mini-marshmallows, straws, plastic sandwich baggie (optional) (these are just suggestions. Ive also seen this done with straws and gumdrops, straws and tape, string and straws, and marshmallows and wooden skewers. Basically youre going to need some sort of stick and some sort of joint/sticky material).
Prep: fill one plastic sandwich bag per group of 4-5 kids with toothpicks, marshmallows, and straws. Do your best to make sure each bag has the same number of parts. I estimated on marshmallows toothpicks when I did this – basically just gave each group the same size hand-full. I did count out 5 straws per group, but you could alter that number to anything really.
Activity: Divide the kids into groups of no more than 5 and no less than 2. Give each group a bag of supplies. Tell the group that they are to build the highest, free-standing structure that they can in an allotted time (I used 8 minutes). For the first 1/2 of the time, they can talk and build without restriction BUT, for the last 1/2 they cannot talk as they construct their structures. They can use any of the supplies given to them, and do not have to use all of the supplies. Do not provide any directions as to HOW to build the structures, or what the structures should look like when finished – this is totally up to the group. The only rule is that it must be free-standing. At the end of 8 minutes, call time and declare a winner.
Discuss: Was it easier when they could talk or easier when they were silent? How did the loss of language affect the construction of the structures? Could you still communicate? Could you communicate effectively?
Notes: I love this activity because it can be whipped together in no time using supplies you probably already have on hand. Its also a favorite among kids – who doesnt like to play with their food?
Id love to hear if you use this activity in your own ministry. Please leave me a comment and tell me about it, or drop a link to your blog. Thanks!