While teaching Biblical concepts and lessons is something that teachers should take seriously, sometimes using a not-so-serious approach will help children remember the point of the lesson. Object lessons use practical, everyday materials that offer children a different way to learn. Often these little stories help children to connect the Bible lesson to their life and see with their own eyes how it applies.
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The Bible Is Life's Cookbook
Wear an apron and chef's hat and let the children know that you are going to show them how to make cookies. Have the assorted ingredients available to throw in the bowl but make it obviously wrong. For instance, throw eggs in with the eggshells, use a cup of salt and a squirt of mustard or ketchup. Maybe some soy or barbecue sauce will make the concoction interesting. Ask the children what was forgotten and they will tell you there should be a cookbook for directions. Then make the connection to the Bible. The Bible is a guideline that helps us know how to live and make decisions; and when we approach life without consulting the Bible, sometimes things end up in a mess.
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Arrive dressed in camouflage and give a little lesson about duck hunting. A duck hunter will put a wooden duck decoy in a lake and splash the water around to make the duck move then he'll use a duck call to make the same sounds as a duck. Other ducks will come and follow this fake duck because they've been fooled into thinking it is real. Explain to children that this is very much like the world, and many things call for our attention, including friends, television shows and movies. The object lesson is to be careful who you listen to and follow.
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Tools in the Tool Belt
Come dressed as a construction worker or pick a volunteer to come up and put on a tool belt. Give scenarios where certain tools are needed, including a hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers and measuring tape. As children figure out which tool is needed for a particular job, add it to the tool belt. Tell children we are like the tools in the tool belt and God has a special purpose for each of us. We are all good at some things and not so good at others, and that is the way God made us. You wouldn't use a hammer to try to loosen a bolt, and in the same way we should feel confident that God has given each of us unique talents that will be used together to form the body of Christ.
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The Holy Spirit Is Our Comforter
Teachers can wrap a cosy blanket around themselves and grab a soft teddy bear as they give this lesson. Explain that many people have a special blanket or stuffed animal that they like to use to comfort them, either when they are sad, away from home or going to sleep. Many children will have stories to tell of their own comfort items. Jesus told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would be coming to comfort them, and He is a comforter that we can never lose or outgrow.
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Three Forms of Water
With a pitcher of water, a bag of ice cubes and an empty glass give a little science lesson. Start with the pitcher of water and explain that the substance H20 can be a liquid then pour some into the glass. Ask if anyone knows about how H20 can be a solid and someone is sure to point out the ice cubes. Then put the ice cubes into the glass, wait for condensation to appear on the outside then explain that H20 was in the air as a gas, but you made it appear on the glass. In the same way, God comes in three forms: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Just like H20, they are all the same but different too.