Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Fun: An Ark and a Flood

Many people have expressed their desire intentionally study the Bible with their children this summer, so, I want to help you plan a time that engages the mind, spirit and body.

Often, it is assumed that studying the Bible must be solemn and boring.  But, time spent with God should actually be thought provoking and fun. For adults, that may mean reading and discussing with a group of peers.  But, for kids, Bible "study" takes on a different appearance.

This 7-day study of Noah's ark includes a short daily reading with questions and some water-play  to solidify the ideas.  Try it and let me know what you learn along the way!

Noah's Ark: 
Genesis 6:9 - 9:17

  1. READ:  Begin by selecting a version of the Bible that is easy for you and your child to understand.  Or, you may "look up" the passages on  We like the (New International Version (NIV) but there are other modern versions which are easy to understand.  Read the designated passages aloud to your children, helping the to understand any words which may be difficult. 
  2. RESPOND: Answer the questions that go with each passage.  It may be helpful to go back and read the passage in small sections as you look for answers.  Take your time and allow everyone to think before answering.
  3. RECREATE:  There is an activity (most of them involving water play) which goes with each days study.  You may like to do your reading and study for the day then follow it up with the activity.  Or, some may prefer to study one day and read the next.  My Bible study group is doing the daily studies at home and following up with a day of water play to solidify the story.  I set up stations around the yard for each day's water play.  I then walked the kids through each station and we re-told the story of Noah's Ark using each station as a reminder.

Day 1 - Genesis 6:9-22
Why was God angry at the people?  
How did He punish them? 
What have you done lately that God would not like?
Why did God choose Noah?
How has God shown His love for you? 

LISTENING:  Noah heard God speaking to him.  Using two cups and a string, can you set up a system to hear your friends talking to you from far away? Place a small hole in the bottom of each cup.  Cut a piece of string about 4 feet long.  Thread one end of the string through the hole in the bottom of one cup.  Pull the string up and tie a knot in the end of the string to prevent it from passing back through the hole.  Using the other cup, do the same at the other end of the string.  Once the strings are securely attached to the cups, you hold one cup and have a friend hold the other.  Pull the string tight between you.  While your friend speaks into one cup, you listen in the other.  Switch; you talk and they listen.  What do you hear?  Notice, if your string isn't tight and you don't pay attention, you can't hear what your friend is saying.  When we listen to God, we must listen carefully and maintain a good relationship if we are to hear as well as Noah.

Day 2 - 
Genesis 7:1-11
Can you remember...  how big was Noah's boat?
Who was on the boat with Noah?
How did God feel about the people's behavior?  
Sometimes, we can give God a sad heart.
Have you ever done anything that made God sad?  What was it?
Have you ever made anyone else feel sad?  How? 
What did you do after you hurt them?

THE ARK:  Using a piece of aluminum foil, make a boat.  You may fold it, bend it, twist it and use it however you would like to "build" your own ark.  Once you have finished, float your boat in a tub of water.  Try placing some small plastic animals in your boat.  How many will it hold before it sinks?  How many animals did Noah's ark hold?  How big do you think Noah's ark was?

Can you remember how long it rained?
How high was the water?
How long before the waters receded?  (For how long did the water flood the earth?)
What happened to the people that weren't in the boat and who were not doing as God taught them?
Do you love God?  Do you know that God loves you?
Name one time that you did as God taught you.

THE RAIN:  Set up a sprinkler for the children to run through.  Let them run and play in the "rain".  After playing for a while, see if they can spot the beginnings of a "flood".  How long would your sprinkler have to "rain" for it to cover your feet?  Your knees?  A table?  A tree?

How did Noah know that the water had gone down and there was land?
The dove is a bird of peace.  How do you think God felt about His people now?
When someone hurts us, how can we feel peace in our heart?
How can we help others feel peace in their heart when we have hurt them or done wrong?

THE FLOOD:  Blow up a small wading pool and lay it on a soft surface such as grass.  Place enough water in the pool to just cover the bottom - about 1/2 inch.  Cut one of the flower shaped swimming noodles into 2.5 inch slices so that they look like flowers.  Put the flowers and some fish-shaped water toys in the pool for a flood of fun.  To make things even more interesting, you may throw in some magnetic toy fish and see how many the children can catch with their toy fishing rod.  Do you think that Noah ate fish while on the ark?

What did God want the animals to do on the earth?
Why do we sin and do hurtful things?
What does God promise us even though He knows that we will make mistakes and break His heart? 
Why do you think God made us a promise saying, “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures"?
Food for thought:  What does it mean "As long as the earth endures..."?

THE LAND:  Prepare a bucket of water, a bag of sand, a bag of dirt and a bag of rock along with plastic saucers from the bottom of planters.  What do you think the land looked like when Noah saw it?  Allow the children to build their island in the saucers.  Supply them with some small, safe succulent plants and plastic animals so that they may make their island more authentic.  They may even want to put an ark on their island.  Let them pretend and imagine what it was like for Noah.

Day 6 - Genesis 9:1-7
What 3 things did God tell us about the animals?
What responsibility has God given us?
How can we use that responsibility today?
What does God mean, "I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too"?

THE ANIMALS:  Set up an area for water coloring.  Provide plain paper, paper printed with animals being cared for, or pictures of various animals in their habitat.  If you can find water color books that already have the colors on the paper, you can provide these pages along with brushes and clean water.  This method of water painting works well with children as young as one.  If you can not find the pre-printed pages with water color dots, provide some some printouts and plain paper along with a packet of water colors, a cup of clean water, and plenty of brushes.  Ask the kids to paint a picture of how we should treat animals.

What is a covenant?
What covenant did God make after the flood?
With whom did God make this covenant?
What was the sign of this covenant?

THE RAINBOW:  Make Cantaloupe Rainbows or Rainbow Jigglers for a cool snack.  If you prefer an easy to serve - easy to eat - version, you may layer the jello in a clear plastic cup instead of inside a cantaloupe.  While everyone is eating, talk about promises that have been made and promises that have been broken.  Talk about the consequences of breaking a promise and the way that we can repair the damage when we fail to keep our word. When you finish your snack, try to make your own rainbow using one of the "Make a Rainbow" methods  from

No comments:

Post a Comment