Activity Array

Here you'll find an array of activities for elementary children that can be used in Children's Ministry, after-school programs, in the classroom and by homeschoolers.

Day 3 — Land, Trees and Plants Are Created

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This is the third day, Tuesday, for the Creation Discovery VBS.  I hope you are enjoying the activities.  We sure did!

Scripture for the dayGenesis 1:9-13

Theme:  Just like trees, Jesus grows His fruit in me!

Verse:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,      patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Galatians 5:22, 23

 

Opening Gathering Time:

All the children meet together for singing and an introduction to today’s theme and scripture.  During this time, we also had a guest scientist who had an interactive science demonstration that focused on something that God created on that day.  Day 1 the scientist showed us some cool things about light.

Songs:

  • Creation Song #1 or Creation Song #2
  • God’s Care
  • Fruit of the Spirit – not a coconut… practice motions first
  • Fruit of the Spirit – by band
  • Love, Love, Love

Interactive Creation Story

Setting:  On the stage we had a pop-up canopy with 2 sides up.  It was here that we added the items that God created each day.

Today, prior to VBS, add green material or fake grass and trees.  The children will add flowers to complete the scene.

Crew Leader Supplies:  flowers to add to scene

Leader Script:

What did God make on day 1?  …  Light!  You’re right!

What did God do on day 2?  …   He separated the water to make a huge space.  He filled it with air!

Now what does our earth need?  …  The fish and birds have a place to live, but what about us and the animals?  What do we need? ….   We need land!

Let’s read what God did and what He made.  What book will we look in?  …  The book of Genesis in the Bible.  (Read Genesis 1:9-13)  God moved the water and there was land!  Did He leave it just dirt, rocks, and mud?  No!  He made a beautiful world with lots of trees and flowers and fruits and vegetables.  Now there is a place for animals and people!  Now there’s food for animals and people to eat!

I need your help to make our creation scene beautiful!  Crew leaders please pass out the flowers in your basket to the children can bring them up.  (Choose a crew or an age group to come up at a time and bring their flowers.)

Interactive Activity:  Crew leaders give some (or all) of the children flowers to add to the canopy creation scene.

Theme Song:

Science Presentation:  Our guest scientist talked about trees.  Choose someone who knows a lot about plants or trees or someone who loves geology.  God displayed the land, too.

Dismissal to Stations:  After the Opening Gathering, the children, with their Crew Leaders move to their designated activity station.   Each of the 5 Groups go to one of the 5 Activity Stations.  There are about 15 children in each Crew with an adult Leader and an assistant or junior leader.  How many crews there are in each group depends on how many children there are.  We usually have 2 crews in each group so that we have 2 adults in each group.

The 5 stations are as follows.

Bible Crew Time > Snack > Science Booths > Recreation > Craft

Bible Crew Time:

Supplies:  Bibles, Bible Crew Time PowerPoint Presentation for Day 3

Crew Time Supplies:  Fruit with the Fruit of the Spirit, lollipops

On the third day, God made lots of beautiful plants and trees.  Trees are so nice to have.  Think about what you like to do around a tree.   Stand up if you would rather climb a tree.  Sit down if you’d rather sit in its shade.  … (Repeat directions.  Count how many kids like to climb a tree and how many would rather sit in its shade.)   Stand up if you would rather pick some fruit fresh from a tree.  Sit down if you’d rather play in a tree house.  … (Repeat directions.  Count how many kids like to pick fruit and how many would rather play in a tree house.)   Think about what your favorite fruit is. God made so many different kinds of fruit for us to enjoy!  There are pears, peaches, apples, cherries, plums, apricots, pineapple, bananas, mangoes, and so many more.  Tell your neighbor what your favorite fruit is.

 The Bible tells us about another kind of fruit, too.  It’s not something you eat.  It’s something that God grows in us.  Who would like to look up and read Galatians 5:22 & 23? (Encourage an older child to read the verse and then discuss it.)  When we love and follow God, His spirit lives in us and helps us to be nice people.  He helps us to have peace, joy, and self-control.  We become loving, faithful, gentle, and good.

Fruit of the Spirit Song video:   4 minutes

 Abraham loved God with all of his heart.  He faithfully followed God’s directions even when God asked him to take his wife and move far, far away.  God promised that Abraham would have a son, but he had to patiently wait until he was 100 years old before he had the promised son.  During that time of waiting, God reminded him again and again of his promise.  Our story today happened when Abraham was 99.  You will see how kind Abraham was to 3 strangers and how God filled his and Sarah’s life with joy.

 Video of Abraham being gracious to 3 visitors:

funny animation —

Crew Time

Supplies:  Fruit of the Spirit written on fruit, lollipops

Fruit of the Spirit Charades:

Galatians 5:22 Fruit of the Spirit

Each student will get a turn to come pick a fruit off the tree. On the back of each fruit is one of the Fruits of the Spirit that we discussed a few minutes ago. Don’t tell anyone what it says. Your job will be to act out (without words!) what the “fruit” is. Your friends will guess what you are acting out! Whoever gets the answer right gets a lollipop! However, you cannot eat your lollipop until I tell you that you can. (When the game is over, make sure everyone has a lollipop, then use the lollipops to explain the fruits of the Spirit again): 

You practiced SELF-CONTROL when you did not eat the lollipop during the game.

Explain that they need to wait until the lesson is over before having the lollipop.

This is PATIENCE

Ask; Does everyone like the flavor lollipop they chose?

Tell everyone to raise their right hand so they will know which is left and right.

Have them give their lollipop to the person on their right.

God commands us to LOVE one another. If we love someone we want them to have the best.

It’s also KINDNESS to give someone something that we really want for ourselves.

Ask: Now, if we didn’t like the lollipop we had, and gave it away so that we could get a better one, would that be an act of kindness or love? The answer is No, that would be selfishness.

 Now let’s give our lollipop to the person on our left. (remind the kids which side is left.)

This is GOODNESS. (Everyone should have the lollipop they chose.) We gave back the lollipops so that everyone would have their favorite.

Ask. Is everyone happy? Do we feel good inside knowing that we have our favorite flavor lollipop back?

This is JOY. Let’s see some big smiles.

 We should give thanks to God for everything. Lets be Faithful.

Before we have our lollipops lets give thanks to the Lord. Would anyone like to say a prayer before we eat? This is faithfulness.

 Now let’s pretend our lollipops are eggs. We have to unwrap them very gently or they will break. Be very gentle. This is gentleness

 Now you can taste the lollipop.

While all are eating their pops and the room is quiet, explain that this is what peace feels like. (maybe just for the teacher)

 Now we have an idea of what Love Joy Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control feel like.

The above activity was taken from Rotation.org

 

Snack

 Leader’s Script:

On day 3, God made all the plants.  He made yummy fruits and vegetables for us that make us strong and healthy!  What are your favorite fruits and vegetables?

salad bar

salad bar

 

I have lots of vegetables here.  They come from various parts of the plant.

What roots do you see? What roots do we eat? (carrots, radish…)

What leaves do you see? What leaves do we eat?  (lettuce, spinach…)

What stems do you see? What stems do we eat?  (celery, ….)

What flowers do you see? What flowers do you eat?  (broccoli, cauliflower, …)

What fruits do you see? What flowers do you eat?  (cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, ….)

What seeds do you see? What seeds do we eat?  (kidney beans, garbanzos, sunflower seeds, ….)

 

Today you can make your own salad.

Salad bar –make a salad bar from each portion of the plant

Root – carrot, radish, turnip

Leaves – lettuce, cabbage, & spinach;

Stem – celery

Flower – cauliflower &broccoli

Fruit — cucumbers, peppers, raisins, cranberries, pears, & apples

Seeds — peas, pinto beans

Science Booths

The Science booth is one station area of 5 different station areas in the Creation VBS.  At this station children can visit any or each of the 5 booths for as long as they want so long as everyone gets a turn that wants one.

Booth 1 – Soil, Plant & Flower Observation

Magnify it – Have soil samples and a microscope – Kids put samples under microscope or use magnifier glass and observe the soils

Close look – Have leaves, half blossoms, filaments, etc. and magnify glasses and microscope to observe.  Also have diagrams of flower parts

Identification – match real leaves and flowers to their name cards that have a little picture and name of the item.

Booth 2 – Leaves

Observation – look at and feel leaves

Leaf rubbings – put leaves under paper and rub using unwrapped horizontal crayons

Booth 3 – Seeds

Observation – look at and feel leaves; open soaked big lima bean seeds and find the plant embryo

Exploration – Find the seeds in various fruits and flowers

Booth 4 – Plant a seed

planting sunflowers

Plant a seedling.  One of the craft options is to decorate a flower pot.  If you use the kind of pot that separates, found at Oriental Trading, you can have the kids plant directly in this pot.  Alternatively,  you can get other pots.  The cardboard kind work nice for replanting.  Dixie cups are another inexpensive option. Have several flower seeds for the children to choose from.

 Booth 5 — Lemonade

This booth is great because it teaches about PH, has the fizz factor, and the kids get to drink it!

Supplies:  water, lemon juice, sugar, sugar cube, red cabbage, baking soda

boil red cabbage

Preparation:  Place water in the refrigerator to get cold for the lemonade.  Then prepare your PH indicator:  You will use half the red cabbage.  Cut the half red cabbage into four chunks and place in a kettle of water.  Boil the red cabbage until it is soft.  The water the cabbage is boiling in will turn purple and this is what you are actually going to use.  You can either discard the cabbage or use it in a different recipe.  Pour the water into a container and place it in the refrigerator to get cold.  This is a PH indicator.  When a base or alkaline is placed in it the color remains the same purple, however an acid turns it more pink.

Leader Script:

God made many wonderful fruits and vegetables.  Today we are going to use two of them — the lemon and red cabbage.  We aren’t actually going to eat the red cabbage.  We are going to use red cabbage juice as a PH indicator.  We are going to use lemon juice to make lemonade.  You can also turn it to soda pop!  So let’s see some reactions!

Pour the following into a cup to make a lemonade mixture:

1/2 cup of water

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp. lemon juice  (You can squeeze your own juice or use purchased lemon juice)

redCabbageLemon

Using a clean, dry spoon take a spoonful of the PH indicator (red cabbage juice).  Place a cube of sugar on the spoon so that it is in the PH indicator.  Notice the color of the cube.  What color is it?  This shows that it is a base.  If it turns pink, it is an acid.   Now carefully lower the spoon, indicator, and cube a little bit into your lemonade mixture.  Did the indicator change color?  Is the lemonade an acid?  (It should be pink.  Lemon is an acid.)

Lemon juice

Now you can mix it all together.  You have lemonade!  Do you want to make soda pop?  What do you think we can use to make pop?  We use soda!  What happens when soda hits an acid like lemon or vinegar?  Watch for the fizz!  Put in 1/8 tsp. soda.  Did you see the fizz?   You can put in another 1/8 tsp. for another fizz if you wish.  Now you have lemonade!  Drink and Enjoy!

Booth 6 – Plant Pigment  (optional)

Make paint using ground up spices, water (or glycerin or egg white) , and powdered clay — see:   http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-paint-for-kids/

Leaf Chromatography:  from Education.com

Materials

Soft green leaves (if no leaves are available, fresh spinach works fine, too)

Scissors

Mortar and pestle or food processor

Glass or ceramic cup

Isopropyl alcohol (or acetone in nail polish remover, but be careful—acetone creates more fumes)

Flat coffee filters

Tape

pencil or straw

Procedure

Use the scissors to cut up enough leaves to make a ¼ cup of pieces.

Use the food processor or mortar and pestle to grind the leaves into a fine pulp.

Pour the pulpy leaves into the cup. What color do you see?

Pour enough isopropyl alcohol over the leaves to cover them. Stir. Why can’t you use water as solvent?

Cut out strip of coffee filter paper about 6 inches long and 1 inch wide.

Attach the strip to the pencil with a piece of tape. Make sure the bottom of the strip hangs straight.

Adjust the length of the filter paper strip so that the bottom just touches the green liquid in the cup.

Checking every couple minutes, wait for the band of solvent to migrate to the top of the filter paper. Different colored bands should become evident along the strip.

Study your strip, and try to identify the pigments.

Results

Your results will vary depending on the types of leaves that you chose and how careful your leaf chromatography technique was. You might not see all the pigments. An orange-colored band is likely to be near the top. Below that, you should see a yellowish band, a blue-green band, and a greenish-yellowish band, respectively.

Recreation

Leader Script:

Game 1—Water the Garden

Preparation:  Have 3 buckets of water and 3 cups (and more in case those get crushed).  Also have quick access to water (a hose on with a sprayer).

Just like trees, Jesus grows his fruit in me.  It takes trees a full season to grow fruit.  What do plants need to grow?  (water and sunshine)  Today we are going to pretend to water the garden.

Each team has a bucket of water.  Team members take turns relay racing a cup of water down to the garden and pour the water on the plants

Debrief:  Did you faithfully carry your cup of water to the plants?  Did you show self-control in carrying it carefully?  Were you gentle when you watered the plants?

Game 2 —Fruit Salad

Preparation:  Cut colored 3×5 cards in thirds (or fourths).  Write a fruit on each third of that color.  (ex:  “apple” on each third of the pink 3×5 card)  The different colors will help you quickly sort the fruits so that you can make sure that no matter what size of the group that everyone gets a fruit that someone else has.   There should be 3 players with each fruit.  For small groups, don’t use as many fruits.

Play:   Everyone sits in chairs in a circle and is given a name of a fruit.  There should be 3 kids with each fruit.  One child stands in the center and says the name of a fruit (which some players have).  All the players with that fruit must get up and go to a different chair while the person in the middle tries to sit in one of their chairs.  The person left standing says the next fruit and play continues.

Debrief:  In what ways did you feel love and kindness?  In what ways did you not feel loved or cared for?  How can we show love and kindness to others?

Variation:  Practice love and kindness – when your fruit is called, go to the center person and invite them to take your chair.  If 2 people invite, they have to be extra convincing and nice.

Debrief:  In what ways did you feel love and kindness?  In what ways did you not feel loved or cared for?  How can we show love and kindness to others?

Game 3—Banana Relay

Prep:  Have enough bananas for every team in every group in VBS. (Probably 5×3=15)  If you are worried about banana allergies, you could use another soft fruit like peaches or tomato, but don’t have the kids eat it unless you can remove the skin and thus the germs from so many touches.

Intro:  Your team needs to work together and faithfully do your job.  During this relay you will have to be gentle with this banana, yet be quick.  That shows self-control.

Play:  Have a running relay race.  The baton to be passed from runner to runner in each team is a banana.  Will the banana survive?   Extra fun:  The last runner has to eat the banana after they cross the finish line

Debrief:  Was your team gentle with the banana?  Was it bruised?  Was the skin still in one piece?  Was it mushy?  We need to be gentle with one another.

Game 4—Banana Pass

Prep:  2 Bananas per group; a small pool or buckets for clean-up

Play:  This messy, fast-paced game is ideal for older kids. Kids will need to be barefoot for this game.  Divide your kids into two equal groups. The kids should lie on the grass or floor head to toe in two lines. When the whistle blows, the first person in the line puts the banana between his feet. Next, he passes the banana over his head to the next person’s feet. This continues until the first person in the line has the banana. He stands and says “We won!”  The first team to get their banana to their leader is the winner. If a team member drops a banana, they have to start over. This game can become messy so have paper towels for clean up. This one of our favorite 3 active games for children’s church. — from the ministry to children website

 

Craft

Our day 3 crafts included the following options from Oriental Trading.  The children really enjoyed paining the wood flowers recipe card holders.   At one of the science booths, the children were able to plant seeds in a pot.  These were great additions to the flower pot crafts.

Color Your Own “Growing in God’s Grace” Flowerpots       DIY Wood Flower Recipe Card Holders

You may choose to choose a different craft, as another option.

Closing Session

During this time we reviewed the songs and theme we did at the opening session.  We also handed out the items that the children did that day, a newsletter about what we did that day, and a gift to help them remember the theme.

Today’s gift:  Is a plant.  Or you could do a packet of seeds

 

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Author: Janelle C

I enjoy planning lessons, directing VBS and child care programs. Children's ministry is my passion. God Almighty is my strength and inspiration. For fun I choose hiking, canoeing, camping, cooking, and reading.

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