The creation story is one of the first stories from the Bible that children learn. It is full of important lessons for kids about good and evil, generosity and gratitude, trust and honor, and temptation. These lessons can become more meaningful and memorable to kids with games that interact with their imaginations and creative spirits.
The Gratitude Game
So much of the creation story involves God creating Adam and Eve, as well as numerous plants and animals. Ask children to name as many plants and animals as they possibly can and write their answers on the board. Ask them to pick one plant and one animal that they are thankful for. Give them five minutes to think about their answers and to explain why. Then have them go around the room and share their answers with the class. Provide kids with clay so that they can sculpt the animals or plants that they've chosen under a given time limit, such as two minutes. When time is up, let kids go around the room looking at each other's clay animals. Have kids vote on which animal they think is most accurate. Let kids take their animals home with them.
Six Days of Creation
This game helps kids remember what God created on each distinct day of creation. Divide kids into teams. Have kids from each team take turns coming up to the board. Each time a child comes up to the board, say a number to them from one to six. Each number represents a different day of creation from Genesis. Based on that number the child must draw something that God created on that day. For example, if you say, "Three," then the child has to draw something that represents dry land, the seas or vegetation. If you say, "Six," the child must draw some sort of land animal or person. This game also help test their creative side, as if you say "Two," the second day of creation, the child must somehow think of a way to represent the heavens accurately. Set a time limit for drawing, depending on the skill level of your group: for example, to make the game really challenging give kids just 15 seconds to draw. Give more time to groups that lack confidence or have a more tenuous understanding. Whether a child earns a point for their team depends on whether they draw something correct from the designated day of creation and how well they portray it. The team with the most points wins.
Sit children in a circle and ask what they think the serpent represented in the creation story. Eventually tell them that the serpent was a symbol for a lot of things: evil, greed, dishonesty, but, most of all, temptation. Ask kids how temptation affects them in their lives and how they deal with it. Give kids a piece of paper and markers and let them draw depictions of how certain things or people try to tempt them. Ask each child to show their drawing to the class, and ask other students for advice on how they can squash temptation. When the child displaying his drawing hears an idea that he likes, he should crumple up their drawing and throw it in the wastebasket, from a distance of 8 to 10 feet. If his crumpled ball of paper makes it into the basket, he has succeeded in "squashing" temptation.
Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."