Welcome & settle in.
A time to get kids warmed up to each other and to the story. Also a good opportunity to help kids feel like they belong here by asking questions about their lives. By helping them know that they belong, they experience what we are teaching them.
As you get started, make sure you know everyone’s name. Play a name game if don’t know them all well yet.
With a ball (or any object), tell them that only the person holding the ball gets to talk. When they have the ball, they are going to say their first name and another word that starts with the same letter as their name. You start first to show as an example, then hand the ball to the person next to you. Once everyone has gone around, try going around faster, using the same word to go with each name. Do it a third time a little faster.
Then on the fourth time, the person holding the ball doesn’t say their own name and word, they let the other kids try to remember their name and word.
If someone is a bit scared, consider not forcing them into it. You could just find out their name and let them watch.
What I'm Grateful For
“Today we are going to learn about how God created the whole world. As we begin, let’s go around and say something you are grateful for. Something that you really like about the world. Maybe you really like your pet or your family or a friend or going to the lake or taking a walk in the woods. Who’s ready to say what they are grateful for?”
What Do You Know?
This will help get you started talking about the story but it is also a chance for kids to talk and feel like they are a part of the group. The more they can feel heard and that what they say is valued, the more we are showing them God’s love and inclusion. Take your time with this section even if it starts to get off track.
“Does anyone know something about the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden?” Give them time to shout out anything they know about it, if they do.
“In the Bible there is a story about how God created the whole world and everything it. What are some of your favorite things about our world?” Let them answer – could be things like family and friends. You can give them prompts like, “What is your favorite animal?” “What is your favorite thing to do outside?” or “Do you have any pets?”
“God created everything! Including people, who he gave really smart brains to then create other things like houses and umbrellas and spaghetti. What are some of your favorite things that people make?”
“We don’t know how God made everything, but we do know that God made the world and us because God loves us. And we also know that God created us to love God and love each other.”
Telling the Story
If you are reading from the Spark Story Bible, it’s pages 8-13 and 14-19.
Get to the Point
“What did God create in this story?” (Adam & Eve, animals, plants. Everything!)
“What job did God give to Adam and Eve to do?” (Take care of God’s creation and name the animals.)
"What did Adam and Eve do that they weren't supposed to do?" (Eat the forbidden fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.)
"How did God feel about that?" (Sad)
"How did God help them at the end?" (Made them clothes and promised to be with them in the big hard world)
DIY Story Bible
What you’ll need:
Coloring page for the week
Three-prong folder for the year, one for each child
Markers and/or Crayons
Let kids make their own story Bible this year! Each week have kids color a page that matches the story. At the end of the year, they will have their own story Bible that they created.
When you print copies of the coloring page, make sure they are three-hole punched along the side. When they are finished coloring their page, put it into their three-prong folder (tip: Just have them put the pages in order into the pocket until the end of the year when you can help them put the pages into the prongs. That way the prongs don’t get worn out before the end).
When you have extra time over the next few weeks, you can have kids work on coloring the covers of their story Bible folders.
Play Duck, Duck, Goose
“God asked Adam and Eve to name all the creatures of the earth. Let’s play Duck, Duck, Goose, naming each person an animal name as you go around.”
To play, have kids sit in a circle with one person standing who is ‘it.’ Have them go around and tap each kid on the head as they give them an animal name (cat, elephant, rabbit). At some point they’ll name a kid ‘goose’ and that person will jump up and chase them around the circle. The one who was ‘it’ tries to make it around the circle and sit where the other was sitting before they tag them. The other person is now ‘it.’ If the person gets caught before sitting, they sit in the middle for a turn.
A Tree in a Heart - God Loves God's Creation!
What you’ll need:
A copy of the tree picture for each child
Green and red tissue paper, cut into small pieces
Brown and red crayons
“God not only created everything, God loves everything and everyone that God created. Our craft today will remind us of this.”
Have each child glue pieces of green tissue paper onto the tree like leaves and red tissue paper along the line of the heart. They can color the trunk brown with crayons. If this is too time intensive for little ones, they can color the heart red with their crayon and focus on the green tissue paper leaves.
Tip: It's easiest to put the glue on the paper, small amounts at a time, then add the tissue paper pieces.
“God created you and me and our families and God also created all the different creatures of the earth. Let’s thank God for each of these animals by playing a game where we pretend to be them.”
Red Rover Version: If you have enough space, have everyone line up along one side of the room with a couple of ‘octopi’ in the middle. They’ll have their feet planted but can stretch out their arms as wide as they can to try to tag the other ‘creatures’ that go past them. If someone is tagged, they become an octopus in the spot they were tagged. Call out a color and say if anyone is wearing that color, they need to get to the other side without being tagged but to go across the room walking like a (different animal each time here). Examples of interesting animals would be: Penguins, turtles, tigers, orangutans, frogs, birds, crab, fish, elephants. You could do unique ones that are hard to mimic just to see what they come up with like a jellyfish. As soon as everyone is on the other side, start again. Go until everyone is an octopus.
Fast, Slow, Fast, Slow Version: If you have enough space, have all the kids line up on one side of the room. Explain that you’ll shout out either a ‘Cheetah!’ or a ‘Sloth!’ and they have to either run fast like a cheetah or slow like a sloth. Watch carefully because they have to change at the exact moment you call it. If anyone takes a few fast steps after you call out ‘sloth,’ they have to sit down. Make sure you only give them very short ‘cheetah’ bursts so they don’t run too far at once. Consider telling them they have to go the length of the room twice or three times or whatever makes sense for your space. Whoever is still in the game and makes it to the finish line first wins.
The Hippo Song
This song was possibly done in large group if you have one. If it wasn't (or you don't do large group), you can teach it to your group. If you did it already, you can do it again if you'd like.
Serve in Love
“Let’s follow God’s command to take care of creation. We’ll each make a biodegradable bird and squirrel feeder.”
Newspaper (or something to spread on the table for easier cleanup)
Oranges, cut in half (one half for each child), as well as a bit cut off on the bottom so it won’t roll around.
Peanut butter, smooth
Spread peanut butter over the top of the orange. Sprinkle birdseed over the peanut butter and gently press down to make sure it sticks.
Tip: If you cut the orange in half the day before it won’t be so juicy and it’ll be easier to spread peanut butter on.
Faith Story Prompt
As kids are working on a project, you can tell a story about your faith as it relates to the Adam and Eve creation story. Here are some questions to help you think about what you could talk about:
Your favorite thing about creation that makes you wonder about how big and awesome God is (stars billions of miles away, how all animals are so different and give examples)
How amazing God’s creativity is: deserts & rainforests, bugs & whales, fish that glow, etc
Its amazing how many different animals and plants there are, plus all the stars and planets and galaxies out there. Sometimes I think, “I am so little compared to how big the universe is that God created." But then I also think, “Even though the universe is so big, God who created it all and knows everything also created me and knows me personally, loves me and made me special.” That’s pretty amazing and makes me feel really special. And the same is true for all of you.
Going out into nature to be reminded of how big God is and how beautiful God’s works are.
What do you think of God’s creation? (you may get some wondering about the suffering in the world. Don’t shy away from it. You can say that God knows about the pain in the world and feels whatever pain we feel with us. God doesn’t stop bad things from happening but God not only promises to be with us in it, but also that God works to bring new life and hope and good relationships out of times in our lives that are hard. Through our creation story for today we know that God didn’t make the world so that we would suffer in it. God originally created it to be good so that we all live together happily with God, each other, and the environment. Part of God asking us to take care of the earth and each other is to live in a way that is more like how God made us to be in the first place.)
What are some ways we can take care of God’s environmental creation? (Walk or bike instead of drive when you can, recycle, turn off lights when you’re not in a room, buy less stuff)
What are some ways we can take care of God’s human creation? (Listen to a sad friend, feed the homeless, bring toys and clothes you don’t use anymore to a thrift store)
Discipleship Take Away
“Repeat after me:
God created trees
God created rocks
God created turtles
God created wind
God created the moon
God created me
God loves us! (repeat this last one a few things to see how loud they can go)
Good job, and remember, God created everything and loves everything so what does God want us to do with the trees and the rocks and the turtles and other people that God created? (pause for possible answers) Take care of everything and everyone! Repeat after me: Take care of everything and everyone!”
Tell kids that you’re going to pray together for God’s creation. When you get to the point where you say, ‘Today we all pray especially for….’ They’ll go around and each say a part of God’s creation they love (favorite animal, pet, trees, ocean, etc).
“Let’s pray together. Everyone, close your hands and close your eyes so you’re not distracted as you talk to God. Ready?
Dear God, thank you for making everything. Life is so beautiful. Help us to take care of it well. Today we all pray especially for…. (kids say their answers here). Please keep everything safe and healthy. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Take it Home to Parents
Helping families talk about faith is a big part of what we do in our ministry. Click the button to get to an adaptable note for kids to bring home for their parents. Help families keep the conversations going!