Use the wonders of science to teach children important lessons about Jesus. When you perform your experiments, make sure to involve as many child volunteers as you can. Try dressing up like a mad scientist with a crazy wig, goggles and lab coat. If kids ask, explain the science behind the experiment, but make sure they understand the moral lesson you're trying to teach by using the experiment.
Soap and Sin
This experiment works well with a small group of kids. Fill a bowl with water. Tell children that the water is pure like God. Next, sprinkle pepper into the bowl. Tell children to pretend that the pepper is dirty like sin. At first sprinkle only a little pepper, but keep adding more until most of the water’s surface is covered. Put a dab of soap on your finger and talk about how God can clean sin out of people’s lives. Insert your soapy finger in the bowl, and watch how the pepper instantly moves away, leaving a clear ring of water around your finger.
You’ll need a lot of room for this crowd-pleasing experiment. Make sure the audience is at least 10 feet away. The experiment consists of putting a tube of Mentos brand candies into a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke. A chemical reaction takes place, causing a geyser of soda to shoot between 10 and 20 feet in the air. You can use this experiment to discuss a variety of topics. Talk about how praising God should shoot out of us, just like the soda from the bottle. Or you can talk about anger, explaining that when we don’t take our problems to Jesus, they explode.
Illustrate the joy that comes from serving God by making joy bubbles. In a tall glass vase, mix 1 cup hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of dishwashing liquid. If you like, add a few drops of food coloring. In a separate cup or bowl, mix 1 cup warm water with two packages of dried yeast, and stir until pellets dissolve and the liquid looks cloudy. When you pour the yeast mixture into the hydrogen peroxide mixture, a chemical reaction takes place that makes harmless soapy bubbles. Tell kids that yeast makes things rise and bubble. We should be like "yeast" to other people, helping them find joy in life.
Changed by the Son
Give each student a regular piece of dark-colored construction paper. Say, “There’s nothing special about your paper, but that’s going to change.” Give children assorted die-cut shapes and letters. Let them make a picture on their paper using the shapes. Show kids how to temporarily attach the die-cuts to the paper using a small loop of tape. Have children put their papers outside in the sun or in a sunny window. Wait at least two hours, depending on how sunny it is. You can also do this craft over a series of days. The sun will fade the exposed paper, but the paper protected by the die-cuts stays the same. When children remove the die cuts, tell them how the sun changed the paper from ordinary to extraordinary, and God’s son can do the same for us.
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Michelle Watson has been an editor and freelance writer since 2010. She has edited hospital magazines around the United States and written on a variety of health-care topics. Watson is also a licensed high school English teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a teaching credential.
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