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 them same word to go with each name. Do it a third time a little faster.
Then 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.
Starting on the fifth time around have them pass the ball to anyone at random. As they do, they have to say that person’s name and word. Once everyone has gone through keep it going and see how fast they can go doing it this way.
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?”
"In our story today we (will) hear about how God tells Adam to help take care of God's creation and as a part of that job he got to name all the animals. Names can be significant - does anyone have a first or middle name that has an interesting story to go with it? Are you named after someone? Do you have any other interesting stories about names?"
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 more of your favorite things about our world?” Let them answer. 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 were given really smart brains to then create other things like houses and umbrellas and spaghetti. What are some of your favorite things that people make?” (Could be interesting to talk about computers, space exploration, medical tech or anything else where the group can take a moment to fully wonder at how smart God made us)
“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 which we’ll hear about as we go through the Bible.”
Telling the Story
Spark Story Bible
If you are reading from the Spark Story Bible, it’s pages 8-13 and 14-19.
This was possibly used in large group. Only use it if you either don’t have a large group option or if they used a different way to tell the story.
You could have two speakers, one to give the intro and the other to tell the story. You could also add in people to read the voice of the serpent, Eve, Adam, and God. If this is too long, you can skip the intro and go right to the story. The more you can tell this story instead of reading it, the better. One way is to take a highlighter and mark some keywords along the way so they can remind you quickly about what comes next.
(Intro) “Did you all know that the Bible is made up of a bunch of books? Can anyone guess how many books there are in the whole Bible? (66 books). Today we are going to look at one of the first stories of the very first book of the Bible. Does anyone know what the very first book of the Bible is called? (Genesis).
The first two stories of Genesis are both about God creating the world. Did you know there are two different creation stories? One is a poem and one is a story. So, question for you: If there are two different stories about God creating the world, which one is right? (They both are!) The writers of the stories and the people who put the Bible together were not worried about which one actually happened, because no one was there when the world was created. But they are both TRUE in that they both tell stories about the truth about what God is like, the truth about what people are like, and truth about the relationships between God and people and creation. How many of you are weirded out by all this? In today’s creation story with Adam and Eve, we hear the truth about (1) how God made us and everything to be good, (2) that God wants our help in taking care of creation, and also (3) how pain and sadness came into the world.
(Story) Like we said, today’s story is the second creation story. Has anyone heard of Adam and Eve? This is their story:
Before God created all the trees and grass and animals, there was only dry dirt. Then one day God decided to create Adam. So, he took some of the dry dirt from the earth, formed it like clay into a man, and then blew God’s breath into his nostrils and he began to breath and have life. And so Adam was created.
Then God planted a beautiful garden for Adam to live in and to take care of, full of fruits and vegetables and trees and grass and rivers. In that garden was a tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Kind of a big name, right?
God told the man that he could eat any of the fruit in the garden except for the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That the moment he would eat from it…. he would die. (say it dramatically).
Okay, so don’t eat fruit from one tree. Got it. No problem. Should be pretty easy, right? Do you think he stayed away from that fruit? (pause for reaction) We’ll find out.
One day God was watching Adam and thought he seemed kind of lonely. God decided to make a partner for him. So, guess who God created? (pause) A giraffe. And a horse. And some fish and some birds. God created all kinds of creatures and told Adam that since he is God’s helper in taking care of God’s creation, he should be the one who gets to name them. Great. So, Adam gives all the new creatures their names.
But none of them were the kind of partner that Adam needed and God knew it. So, one night as Adam was sleeping God took one of his ribs out of his body and used it to create another human. A woman named Eve. Finally, Adam had a partner. And they all lived happily ever after and lived an easy, wonderful life in the garden forever and ever. Right? No!
All was good until one day… a serpent asked Eve, ‘Did God tell you that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?’
Eve said, ‘No, we just can’t eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil otherwise we’ll die.’
The serpent said, ‘That’s not actually true. God knows that if you eat that fruit you will become like God and know good and evil.’
Eve thought the fruit did look really good to eat and she liked the idea of becoming smarter and more like God. So… she ate some. And then she gave some to Adam who was standing there with her. And then he ate some, too.
And they did become smarter. But also, more afraid. For example, they saw they didn’t have any clothes on and were super embarrassed and made themselves some clothes out of leaves. Suddenly they heard God walking through the garden and they were freaked out and hid from God.
God was looking for them and when God couldn’t find them said, ‘Hello! Where are you guys?’
Adam said, ‘We are hiding because we heard you coming and we were embarrassed because we’re naked!’
God said, ‘How do you know you’re naked? Did you eat the fruit you weren’t supposed to eat?’
Guess what Adam said? Do you think he took the blame for what he did? (pause for response) Nope! He blamed Eve and told God it was her fault. Do you think Eve took the blame for what she did? (pause for response) Nope! She blamed the serpent and said it was his fault and that he tricked her.
God was really sad that they did what God had told them not to do and that they now knew good and evil. Which means they could now choose to do bad things if they wanted. Which means they could do bad things that could hurt God’s creation, including the environment, the animals, other people and even themselves. God had created everything to be good and to live in harmony with each other but now that they had eaten the fruit, they messed up God’s first plan.
But God still loved them and had pity on them so they did not die. Instead God took them out of the beautiful Garden of Eden and life was a lot harder.”
Kids Retelling the Story
“Okay, so now you tell me what happened in the story of Adam and Eve. Who can tell me what happened first?” Get your kids to tell you the story, either letting one person try the whole thing, or have them each add in something they remember.
-God created Adam & Eve
-God created the Garden of Eden and plants
-God wanted to find Adam a partner, so God created animals
-God asked Adam to name everything and to take care of creation
-No partner was found among the animals so God made Eve
-They were happy together
-The serpent got Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
-Eve gave some to Adam to eat
-They now knew good and evil
-When God came looking for them, they hid because they were scared and embarrassed
-God realized what they had done, but instead of dying, God took them out of the Garden. Life would be a lot harder for them and their descendants because they can now make bad choices as well as good choices that can cause a lot of harm.
Breathing God's Breath
“A part of the story of Adam and Eve is that God created Adam out of the dirt and then he became alive when God breathed God’s breath into his nose. In the Hebrew language (in which this story was written) the word for ‘breath’ is ‘ruah.’ ‘Ruah’ also can mean ‘wind’ or ‘spirit.’ It gave the original readers the understanding that God blew God’s own spirit into people to give us life. Think about what that means for how connected we are to God. God is as close to us as our own breath. Whenever you feel alone or scared, take a few deep breaths and think about how God’s spirit is with you.
Everyone, take a deep breath or two right now. (Pause and do it) Always remember how God created us to be that close with God. This is a great reminder to us that we are never truly alone."
Tree in a Heart
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.
Recycled Tin Can Planter with Herb Seeds
“Today we are going to make a planter with herbs in it out of old tin cans. One way we can help take care of the earth is through recycling and using old things as new things. This keeps the old things out of landfills and also keeps us from buying more than we need, which creates more waste. These old recycled tin cans will help our delicious herbs to grow.”
What you’ll need:
Tin Can with three holes in the bottom, one per child
Watering Can with Water
Have kids cut and glue construction paper to fit around their can. Before gluing it around the can, decorate it. They could either use markers to make a picture (possibly something about thanking God for creation), or they can use more construction paper to make ears and tails if they want to turn theirs into an animal.
Glue completed paper around the can.
Fill the can with dirt, leaving about an inch of room at the top.
Plant 3-4 seeds, water it.
Note on the tin cans:
Please only use the kind with the easy peel lids, like Campbell’s Chicken Soup. We don’t want jagged edges for someone to get hurt on.
Also, please be sure that the can is clean with the label and glue off. Soaking the can in warm soapy water for a little while will help get it off easily.
To make the holes in the bottom, use a hammer and nail.
“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.
Serve with 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?
Why do you think Adam and Eve ate the apple? (Weren’t sure if they could trust God, wanted to be like God and know things)
What are some of the ways that people’s bad choices hurt people and 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 would 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, consume less)
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)
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 something they want to pray for, either because they are grateful for it or because a person or situation needs God’s help.
“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!