“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind...” Genesis 1:24
When God confounded the language of the people at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 each had to find others who spoke his or her language to be able to work together and build their communities. Various languages are still spoken throughout the world today. The animal world also has different languages. This activity can be used to group partners for games and puzzles. Let each person pick an animal name out of a hat. Without showing others his/her secret identity, each must find the members of his/her animal family only by "talking" as that animal. No words are allowed, only animal sounds. For a list of Animal Names go to Animal Talk. Animal games and puzzles include Behold The Lamb (a drawing game), and Animal Crossword. The children may also enjoy building the Tower Of Babel with their animal voices.
To show the children how foolish it was for Jonah to try to hide from God you could tell them they can play Hide-and-Seek. They can hide and you will find them. Then stand there and watch as they try to hide. You could even make comments such as, "I see Sally hiding behind the chair." Show them that no one can hide if the person looking for them can see them. Explain that God can see everywhere.
David killed a lion and a bear who was trying to take his sheep. Let the children go on a Bear Hunt and complete the Bear Tracks secret codes.
Get a very large box and put a boat-shaped cardboard front to be the ark. Put two long 2x6's a few feet apart on the floor leading to the center 'door' of the ark. If possible, borrow enough stuffed animals for each person to have two turns. Divide into two teams and have a relay to see which team can load all their animals onto the ark first. Put all the animals in two clothes baskets or other "cages" at one end of the room. The first player on each team must carry the animal down the board and put it into the ark and return on the board. The second person can't begin until the first has completely stepped off the board.
Adam Named The Animals
This is a good activity to work in pairs. Give each team a list of the letters of the alphabet. The goal is to name the most unusual creature, (animal, fish, bug, or bird) beginning with each letter. One point is scored for each creature not named by any other team. Adam Named The Animals
“... And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25
God created all the different kinds of animals and "saw that it was good." It is very interesting to see the great variety of animals still living today. Small children enjoy having stuffed animals and I saw some at the mall today for less than 50 cents each. These could be used in some of the activities below and would also make good door prizes. When you are having your activities for young children, such as Vacation Bible School, it may be better to have a little something for each, than to have one door prize. If you know someone who makes the balloon animals, that would also be something fun for the children to watch and take home. There is a creation story in the Right Left Game that could be read and played as children sit in a large circle and pass stuffed animals left and right, keeping the one they are holding at the final left/right command.
The animals went into the ark by twos. But the clean animals and birds went into the ark by sevens. Get seven "ducky" bathtub toys and number the bottoms with permanent marker, 1 through 7. Get 7 small plastic pails or baskets and also number them 1 through 7. Put an assortment of small prizes in each pail. Put the seven ducks in a small tub of water and let each child have a turn picking out a duck and choosing a prize from the corresponding pail.
“... Gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling out hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14:17
Summertime is our fruitful season. A pretty and enjoyable centerpiece is a watermelon fruit bowl. Wash the watermelon, and cut it in half. Scoop out the melon into a large bowl. Refill the empty shell with various bite-size pieces of fruit and melon. There are many types of animal cookies and animal cup-cake toppers to keep with your animal theme.
Jonah Or The Story Of The Five Loaves & Two Fish
Decorate the table with beach toys for this fish story. You could buy a new small sand bucket and wash it and fill with goldfish crackers. A beach cake is also fun to decorate and looks great as a center piece. Frost a sheet cake with fluffy blue icing, using some white to make waves. Add brown sugar in one corner to be a sandy shore. We have used gummy octopus and shark candies in the water part. Teddy grahams can swim in the waves in candy rings, play with a red and white mint beach ball, or lay on the shore in gum stick lounge chairs. If you have a large number and want to keep the cake as your center piece, serve cup-cakes topped with blue icing and candy fish along with the goldfish crackers.
Decorate your sheet cake like a rainbow for the story of Noah. Use different colored candies for the rainbow and complete with animal cookies under the rainbow. Bright rainbow colored balloons would also be an easy way to decorate the room. You could even used helium filled balloons on the tables held by stuffed animals.
“The LORD is my Shepherd...” Psalm 23:1
There are many animal stories throughout the Bible which can be taught to young children. I have tried to include games and activities to correlate with each Bible Animal Story that will be fun and appropriate for young children. It might be fun to set up booths on the last night with a game for each story used during the week. Many of these stories, such as David, the shepherd, Daniel in the den of lions, and Jonah and the whale are well-known and I have often seen jig-saw puzzles and coloring books which could also be used along with the devotional time. You may wish to include the Jonah Crossword. For a Linking Letters' Puzzle go to David And GoliathTwo more puzzles are a Psalm 23 Crossword and an Animal Crossword.
Daniel And The Den Of Lions - Daniel 6
Get two or three stuffed lions or draw a background of lions. Place a bread basket or dog dish on the floor in front of the lions. Using doggie treats or bones, let each child toss three bones to the lions and try to make them land in the dog dish.
For a ball-toss activity paint a large whale with an open mouth and let the children try to toss balls through the hole cut where the mouth is. We also bought a toy golf set and plastic balls, and made a putt-putt hole with the destination being the city of Nineveh. Decorate a large cardboard box (such as copy paper comes in) to look like an ancient city and put a sign, Nineveh, on it. Cut the box where the city gates should be and fold them back to look like they are open. On each side of the box, lay a 2x4 board to keep the golf balls in the right place. Let each child putt the ball until he/she gets it to go through the gates of the city.
Using the same cardboard box ark as in the Getting Acquainted section, place a cardboard ramp leading up into the door of the ark. Let the children roll a toy bowling ball up the ramp and hopefully into the ark. (Do not use the wooden boards since small children may try to climb up them and they won't be held steadily in place.)
Five Loaves Of Bread And Two Fish
We have used two types of fishing games and the children really enjoyed both games. The first year we decorated a large piece of cardboard to look like a pond scene with cat-tails on the sides and turtles, frogs, fish, and ducks painted on. Using a fishing pole cut from a tree with a string tied on top, the children threw the end of the string over the cardboard "into the pond" and someone behind it tied a small bag of goldfish to their string. The following years we used a wooden pole with a safety "pretend" hook and the children fished small floating toys out of a small wading pool. (Work with what you have to make sure the toys are "catchable".)
Adam Named The Animals
Early in the week you could collect pictures of some of the children with their pets. Number the pictures and put on the tables. Give each person a typed sheet of the names of the pets and let them guess which pet goes by that name. Leave a space next to each name so they can put the number of the photo they think goes with that name.
“... I have found my sheep which was lost.” Luke 15:6
Vacation Bible School is a great way to reach the children in the neighborhoods around your church. It is a good time to go door-to-door and invite them to bring their children each night. Be sure to plan a special service at the end so the entire family can be invited to attend. Pray for each one attending that this will create a thirsting in their soul to learn more about God's Word.
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning...” Psalm 5:3
I can still remember some of the projects I did in Bible School about 35 years ago. One of my favorites was of a crowing rooster. Each child was given a large Dixie Paper Plate with a drawing of a crowing rooster and an assortment of dried beans. We glued the various beans on each feather and it made a colorful picture to take home. Add the verse and remind the children that Daniel prayed each morning, noon, and night.
Another activity we often did was decorating things with sea shell shaped macaroni. Decorate a large Dixie Paper Plate with an ocean scene. Let the children paint or color the plates blue and glue on a whale and sea weed or assorted fish shapes. Pre-cut the shapes for the smaller children. The shell shaped macaroni can be glued around the edges of the plate.
The 23rd Psalm is a great chapter to teach along with the story of David, the shepherd. Print the verses and let each child decorate a mini-poster on pieces of green poster board. Let them glue the scripture in the center and decorate the surrounding area with small artificial flowers. Glue on cotton ball sheep and use a dark marker to add legs and heads.
Again we begin this project with a large Dixie Paper Plate. Cut the plates in half and punch matching holes around the edges of two halves. Let the children sew the plates together face to face, with yarn to make an ark. Have pictures of animals to color and cut out to put into the ark.
Five Loaves Of Bread And Two Fish
Give each child a small paper lunch sack. Draw five circles on a piece of construction paper to be the loaves of bread and let the children color and cut them out. Also give them two fish cut out of paper. Let them decorate the fish with crayons, white or silver sequins, and black buttons for eyes. They can then put their loaves and fish in their lunch sacks. Another idea is to draw a large fish shape on a piece of paper and glue a long strand of yarn on the edges. Let them tear small pieces of different colors of tissue paper and glue on the fish. When dry, you can cut off the outer edges of plain paper and glue a magnet on the back to put on the refrigerator.
Adam Named The Animals
Provide paper and art supplies, or modeling clay and let each child make a new creature. Then they can name their creature.