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.

Sea Creatures and Birds Bring joyful sound on Day 5

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under sea decor

Walk through creation — day 5– Under the Sea

This is the fifth day for the Creation Discovery VBS.  We did these activities on Thursday, the fifth day of the week.

Scripture for the dayGenesis 1:20-23

Theme:  Just like sparrows, we can trust God’s care!

Verse:   “In God I trust;  I will not be afraid.”   Psalms 56:4

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

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.

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.  So far there is light, water, sky, grass, trees, flowers, stars, sun & moon.

Today the children can add the sea creatures and birds, unless you want to have some already up in the scene.

Songs:

  • Under the Sea – if starting early – for early birds
  • Creation Song #2
  • The Underwater Song
  • This is the Day That the Lord Has Made
  • He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands
  • God Created – need 8 volunteers – each one thinks of an animal to say into the microphone at blank; 1st 2 name birds, 2nd 2 name sea life, 3rd pair name birds, 4th pair name sea life
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful

 

Interactive Creation Story

Crew Leader supplies:  birds and fish

Our world looks pretty good.   However, other than the wind and waves, it’s really quiet!  Nothing else is moving around either.  Yesterday we talked about how God filled the light and dark, which he made on day 1, with the sun, moon, and stars, which he made on day 4.  Now it is day 5.  God is going to fill the places He made on day 2.  What did God make on day 2?  (the firmament and air)  So on day 2 there was the ocean and the sky.  What do you think God could make to fill the ocean and sky?  (sea creatures and birds)

Let’s read about it in God’s Holy Word, the Bible.  We are reading from Genesis chapter 1.  (Read Genesis 1:20-23)

Think of all the sea creatures!   Do they all look the same?  (no) Do they do the same things? (no)  God made them all different and many of them help each other.

Think about all the birds!  They are all different, too.  Do birds get hungry?  (yes)  Do they need a place to rest? (yes)  Did God make things for them to eat and a place to rest?  Yes He did.  Just like the sparrow, we can trust God’s care.  God takes care of us, too.

Activity:  I need help bringing up some birds and fish.  Crew Leaders you can pass out the birds and fish (to all or children ages 6-8 or who didn’t get to put up flowers or stars).  While we sing our theme song you can bring up the birds and sea creatures.  Think about where they would be most happy to live and put them there.  God wants us to be happy and takes care of us.

Theme song:

Science Presentation

Have a guest scientist.  Ours loves watching birds as a hobby.  He had lots of fun bird stories and facts to tell.

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.

Bible Crew Time:

Supplies:  Bibles,   Day 5 Bible Crew Time PowerPoint

How many of you like animals?  Raise your hand if you have pets that you help take care of.  We take care of our pets by giving them food and water.  We take care of their other needs, too and spend time with them.   Do any of you have bird feeders?  Do you like to feed the birds?   God cares for the animals and he cares for you.

I need a couple volunteers to read from the Bible.  Have one volunteer look up Matthew 10:29 and one look up Matthew 6:26    “When birds are sold, two small birds cost only a penny. But not even one of those little birds can die without your Father knowing it.” (Matthew 10:29)  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26)  Does God care for the birds?  (Listen to answers.)  Does he care for you?  (yes) How does he care for the birds?  (He cares if they die, feeds them)  How does he care for you? (give us family, food…)

There’s a story in the Bible how God used a lunch of fish and bread to feed 5,000 people.  God knows what we need and He makes sure we are taken care of.

Video 5minutes song & pics – Five Loaves &Two Fish

There’s another Bible story about how God sent birds to bring food to a man.  – show video of Elijah and ravens or read the story.   — 4:10 minutes

God cared for Elijah by making sure he had food and water.  Who brought the food to Elijah? (The ravens) We can trust God.   God is in charge of the birds, the wind, and the rain.   Just like God cares for the birds, God cares for us.   During your crew time today, you have an opportunity to make a mural of ways that God cares for you and provides for your needs.

We all need food and water.  What else do we need?  (Allow children to share various things.  Tell about differences of needs and wants as needed.)

Crew Time

Supplies:  cards with needs; bandages, coats, food boxes, water bottles, shoes, pretend money

Divide the children into 2 groups – group 1 and group 2.  After introducing the activity, give Group 1 each a ‘need card’.  Also have the other items spread out on a table easily accessible for Group 2.

We are going to practice showing God’s love and caring for others by helping them get something that they really need.  I’m going to give half of you a card that has a

Snack

 Leader’s Script:

What did God make on day 5?  Right!  Birds and all the creatures in the sea!

Everyone think of something that lives in the sea.  You can each have a turn to tell us something that lives in the sea.

 

edible seaToday we are going to eat a yummy ocean.

Serve the snacks already prepared and ready to eat.

Directions for preparation the day before:

Click on the above photo for more directions.

NOTE:  Plan ahead for this one!  Make the rocky bottom and jello 2 days before.  We did ours on Monday, day 2, because that was an easy snack.  Cut the jello and insert fish the day before for at least your first 2 groups.  This takes awhile.  If you have enough kitchen help you can do the rest the day you serve them.

  • Now mix up your jello according to the package directions. Pour the jello directly into the container on top of your Lifesaver “pebbles.”
  • Place your jello in the fridge for a few hours to set.
  • Now it’s time to insert the Swedish Fish. using a long, thin knife, pierce a slit into the jello. Make sure the slit goes as far down as you want the fish to sit Poke your Swedish fish into the slit you just created.   Now use your knife to poke the fish as far down as you would like him to go. Repeat with as many fish as you would like

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.  Our teens enjoyed leading these stations.

Booth 1 – Beak Experiment

Supplies :  “beaks” – scissors, tweezers, chopsticks, straw, and pliers.  Printout of different types of bird beaks.  And“bird food” – juice, marshmallows, gummy worms in sand or sugar,  bird seed in rice, bird seed pressed into clay, and pistachios or sunflower seeds.

Preparation:  prepare the bird food and place the following together:

  • small juice boxes with straws, picture of hummingbird and humming bird beak
  • marshmallows, scissors, picture of eagle, and eagle beak
  • gummy worms in sand or sugar, chopsticks, picture of a robin and robin’s beak
  • bird seed in rice, tweezers, picture of chicken and it’s beak
  • bird seed or rice pressed into clay, tweezers, picture of woodpecker and it’s beak

Activity:   Have children “be a bird” and try to “get their food” using the beak tool provided.  They should go around the table trying each bird’s beak and food.  If you wish you can have them try different beak tools on a different bird’s food.

Our Creator Designer designed each bird to live a particular place and eat a particular food.

see more at Blessed Beyond a Doubt

Booth 2 – Feather Lab

Have various feathers to look under a microscope or magnifier.

Explain the difference between contour and down feathers.  Show how the contour feathers have shafts & vanes and are on the bird’s body, wings and tail. Take a close look at the vanes and experiment separating them and petting or preening them together towards the end like a bird does to close the little barbules that hold the barbs together.   Have the kids separate these from the down feathers which are lie close to the bird’s body and are soft and fluffy.  see more from Eva

Drop the feathers and see how they float down.  Do they drop differently?

Use the feathers, pine cones, and wiggly eyes to make birds.

Booth 3 — Wings of Flight

To see how an airfoil works, hold a narrow strip of paper near your mouth and blow across the top. The air moves faster above than below, and the paper will rise. Does this work with a larger piece of paper? Why or why not?  See more at Learner.org

Make various kinds of airplanes and see the different ways they fly.  You might use these at Recreation.  See Tutorial for making paper airplanes.

 

Booth 4 – In Aquarium and Cage

Have a small aquarium of fish for kids to watch the fish and a bird in a cage for kids to watch

Have videos of fish and birds

 

Booth 5 – How fish float,

Demonstrate how control their depth with this science experiment– see how stuff works  — see video

· Fill up bin with water

· tape a balloon onto the end of a straw with the straw inside the balloon.  Use electricians tape

· Put the straw-balloon into an empty plastic water bottle so that the balloon end is inside the balloon and the other end of the straw is sticking out of the water bottle so that you can blow on it or put a water balloon pumper on it (so germs aren’t passed)

· Place the water bottle-straw-balloon in the basin and let them fill with water.  This shows how a fish will sink if they don’t have much air in their  swim bladder.

· Blow air into the balloon.  This shows how a fish floats if it has lots of air in its swim bladder.

To ascend, a fish must reduce its overall density by increasing its volume without significantly increasing its mass. Most fish do this with something called a swim bladder. A swim bladder is just an expandable sac, like a human lung. To reduce its overall density, a fish fills the bladder with oxygen collected from the surrounding water via the gills. When the bladder is filled with this oxygen gas, the fish has a greater volume, but its weight is not greatly increased. When the bladder is expanded, it displaces more water and so experiences a greater force of buoyancy. When the bladder is completely inflated, the fish has maximum volume and is pushed to the surface. When the bladder is completely deflated, the fish has minimum volume and sinks to the ocean floor. To stay at a particular level, a fish fills its bladder to the point at which it displaces a volume of water that weighs what the fish weighs. In this case, the forces of buoyancy and gravity cancel each other out, and the fish stays at that level.  —

 

 Booth 6 – How fish swim,

How fish swim — locomotion in fish

See 3 minute video:     or   See website

THEN Make fish swim by breaking the tension in the water :

Supplies:  What you need:  water in a bin/bowl (long sundae bowls are great), liquid soap, and card stock fish for kids to decorate and cut out

Cut out little fish shapes from the cardboard.

Fill the bowl with water.  Using disposable long sundae bowls works great.  (Reuse bowl for a craft).  Note:  This experiment works only if a new bowl and new water is used.  Once there is soap in the water or on the bowl the tension is already broken and the fish will no longer zoom away from the soap.

Carefully float the cardboard fish on the top of the water.

Add a drop of liquid dish soap behind the fish’s tail.

What happens? The fish swims away!

Notes:  This happens because the dish soap breaks the water’s surface tension, allowing the water to pull the fish away from the soap. How cool is that?

Recreation

Leader Script:

What did God create on day 5?  (birds and animals in the sea)  Today we are going to play some games that have to do with birds and fish.  Remember, Just like sparrows, we can trust God’s care.

Game 1—Wings of Flight

Supplies:  lots of paper or newspaper

Make paper airplanes or flying birds and then fly them.  See who’s goes the farthest.  Who can fly theirs through a hoop which is held up or hung in a tree.

Game 2—Flying Sparrows

from sermon4kids

FLYING SPARROWS: ALL the children can fly around a designated area with arms out until the teacher says… FREEZE? They will stop in exactly the position they were “flying” in until the teacher says to FLY. (This is a good way to get a lot of extra energy out of the children before story time!)

FALLING SPARROWS: (This one can be added to the FLYING SPARROWS as a variation or just done separately)…. All children can fly around the room like sparrows until the teacher shouts out — FALLING SPARROWS! Children will all fall down on floor until teacher shouts out — FLYING SPARROWS and continue as time allows. The final FALL can then be story time as children gather in a circle.

Game 3—Shark & Minnows

One child is the shark and tries to catch the rest of the kids who are the minnows.  Minnows run from one line to the other.  When caught they become a shark, too.   Last minnow becomes the new shark or gets to choose the new shark.

Game 4—Duck, Duck, Goose

Everyone sits in a circle except one child who is the goose.  The goose goes around the outside of the circle touching the head of each child and saying “duck” until they choose to say “goose”.  That chosen child get up and chases the goose trying to catch him before the goose can sit down in the place vacated by the chosen child.  If the chosen child catches him, then the goose is in “the pot” in the middle of the circle until a new person is caught.  The chosen child becomes the new goose.  Variation:  Give the goose a wet sponge and they squeeze it on the chosen child when they say, “goose”

 

Craft

There are so many sea creature and bird crafts available both as kits and as DIY paper crafts using plates, cups, or many easy to get items.  We did a couple of stained glass options.  The children enjoyed painting the bird sun catchers and adding tissue to the fish to create a stained glass effect.

Tropical Bird Suncatchers     Tropical Fish Stained Glass Frames (pack of 24)

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.

Gift for today:  We gave whistle birds

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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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