Teaching small children big ideas doesn’t have to be difficult. When teaching kids about Jesus and the Bible or looking for youth ministry ideas, the most important thing is to engage them using words and experiences they can understand. Small children understand tactile experiences, pictures, and imitation. If you can utilize one or more of these when teaching, the story will have a much longer lifespan in their memory.
Teaching the Creation Story
When considering all of the various stories in the Bible, one of the best and most fun for teachers is the Creation story. Truly, there is no other story that can create a bigger sense of wonder with children than this one. It starts with nothing and ends with everything they know. Who among us cannot help but wonder at the beginning of everything?
Before you teach the Creation story, you will need to decide a few things: Do you want to tell the entire story in one session? Or, do you want to plan out each day to envelop multiple ideas? Below are ideas that you may wish to pick and choose from while developing a plan for your students:
Methods to Use While Teaching
- Visual aids
- Glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling
- Different sized spheres
- Music that helps inspire a sense of awe
- Animal sounds
- Water sounds
- Use of water and plants
- Drawing and coloring
- Ask an older class(es) to write a skit about each day and ask them to present it on the day you select.
- Create a dramatic telling of Creation and read it to your students with all of the lights turned out. Or, access Read and Share Bible: The Beginning, a short episode from Minno (3 min, 2 sec) that takes you back to the moment when everything began. You can use this as a starting point for your teaching.
Teaching the Days of Creation
- Day One: Light
- Probably the easiest part of teaching creation. Start with a dark room and light a candle.
- Asking questions will help kids get involved. Ask them why light is important and remind them of how Jesus became our light in a dark world.
- Day Two: The sky was created. If using tactile methods, this can be an opportunity for children to draw or color. If possible, it’s always fun to use a bulletin board and add blue construction paper to it so they can see how the sky provides a backdrop for the rest of God’s creation.
- Day Three: Dry land, seas, plants, and trees were created. Sometimes taking your class on a short walking trip helps them see creation in a very real way. Ask them to point out all of the things they see that would have been created on Day Three. Once you get back to the room, use a globe or map to show the seas and oceans.
- Day Four: The sun, moon and stars were created
- Turn all the lights down or off (ensure the students are all sitting and not moving around) and read “On day four, God created the sun, moon and stars.” Note: If you can put glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling beforehand, ask your students to cover their eyes before you turn the light off. Read the scripture, then ask them to open their eyes. They will love the beautiful visual of the stars.
- Discuss the importance of the sun to help the plants created on Day Three grow and flourish. To inject some science into your lesson, check out this resource from Sciencing.com.
- Day Five: Creatures that live in the sea and creatures that fly were created. Use Play-Doh to have kids fashion creatures. Games are always something fun to interject into a lesson. You could cut out fish and birds for a rendition of a “pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey” game. Prior to class, cut out pictures of fish and birds and give your students some time to color them. Explain to your students that you are going to play a game by placing the birds and fish where they belong – in the sky or in the water. If you feel your students would be okay with it, put a blindfold on them and ask them to place their fish and bird in the right place.
- Day Six: Land animals and humans were created. This is the most significant day for all of us because it is why we are all here, made in the image of God. To make this fun, plan ahead and buy a girl and a boy cookie cutter. Create boys and girls out of cookie dough, toast, or anything edible that you think your students would enjoy.
- Day Seven: The final day of creation when God rested and asked for a day to be set aside for us to enjoy His creation. Ask your students to draw and color pictures of things they do when they rest or enjoy time with their families.
Whether you are teaching a Sunday school curriculum lesson or just teaching Bible stories for kids, it’s important to use a variety of teaching methods to interact with your students. Teaching kids faith can sometimes be challenging, but they are fascinated by the Bible and the Creation story. Remember that it’s an amazing narrative that shows how powerful God is and how much He loves us. Make it a story they’ll remember!