Tag Archives: illusion

Trust God When Things Look Bad (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes for the icebreaker (the recommended lessons will take longer.)

Description

This object lesson is a fun visual that reminds kids to trust God even when circumstances are looking bad. Use it as an icebreaker for a larger lesson. There is a little bit of “magic” and a little bit of science in this lesson that gives it some “Wow!” factor.

Materials

· Canning jar (“Mason jar”) with a screw-top lid and a removable insert

· Small piece of screening (like what covers your windows – enough to cover the top of the canning jar)

· Pitcher of water

· Piece of poster board – 3” x 3”

· If you don’t want to make your own jar, you can order one for approximately $10 from Steve Spangler Science (www.stevespanglerscience.com). It’s called the “Mysterious Water Suspension Trick.”

Preparation

· Cut the piece of screening so that it fits over the opening of the jar. You want some overlap so that the lid will hold the screening securely to the jar.

· Screw on the band part of the lid, but leave the removable insert out.

· You might want to laminate your poster board square but only if you plan on using it multiple times.

· Practice the trick. Flipping the jar upside down is the most challenging part.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Hey, everybody! Who’s having a great day?” (Listen for responses, and select the most enthusiastic child to come up to the front.)
  • (To the child…) “Have you had a pretty good day so far?” (While you are asking, pour water from the pitcher into the jar. Don’t let them see the screening over the top.)
  • “Would you say that you’ve been a really good kid today?” (While you are asking, place the poster board square on top of the jar.)
  • “Would you say that you have you been really, really good today?” (While you are asking, flip the jar and the poster board square upside down, and hold them over the child’s head. Keep your hand under the poster board square so that it looks like you are supporting it. In reality, the water droplets inside the screening and the air pressure pushing up on the poster board will hold the card in place.)
  • (Ask the audience…) “What do you think? Has he/she been really, really good? …or should I pull away the card?” (Most will typically encourage you to pull it away, so with as much drama as you can muster, pull the card away. The water will stay in the jar. The water droplets develop surface tension inside the tiny holes in the screen. This and the fact that if you hold the jar perfectly level, no air can get in to replace and water that leaves, will hold the water in.)
  • “I guess you have been really, really good!” (Tilt jar just a little, and some water will pour out until you level out the jar again. The kids usually get a big kick out of their peer getting wet.)
  • “Oops. Maybe you weren’t quite that good.” (You can thank your volunteer and send him/her back to his/her seat. If you want, you can have other kids come up and try. Finish with the following tie-ins to your lesson.)
  • “Sometimes, things look really bad, like when I held the jar of water over his/her head.”
  • “Remember during those times to trust God.”
  • “He has the ability to do the impossible in your life (like stopping gravity), and He can turn the bad stuff into good.”
  • “The Bible says that God will make everything work for you if you know Him as your heavenly father.” (Romans 8:28)
  • “Things might look bad, and you may not be able to see a way for things to turn out okay, but God knows all things. He can make a way out where there seems to be no way.” (After your lesson, you can tell the kids how the trick works. They might even enjoy making their own water suspension jars to try out on their friends at home.)
  • Some recommended lessons on trusting God when things look bad that will work with this icebreaker:
    • Joseph (anything from Genesis 37 to 45)
    • Ruth (you might need to give a summary of the entire story)
    • David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
    • Elisha and the Widow’s Oil (2 Kings 4)
    • Elisha and the Shunammite’s Son (2 Kings 4)
    • Hezekiah and Sennacherib (2 Chronicles 32)
    • Esther (you might need to give a summary of the entire story)
    • Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3)
    • Daniel and the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6)
    • Jesus’ Arrest and Crucifixion (any of the Gospels)
    • Peter in Prison (Acts 12)
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Filed under faith, Fear, Hope, illusion, Magic, test, Witness

That’s Not Fair!


Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps kids to understand that unfair things happen to all of us. We can’t always change that, but we can change how we respond to what happens to us. If we look for the positive aspects, we might find that God has really blessed us through what originally looked unfair.

Materials

· “Magic Coloring Book & Crayons” from www.stevespanglerscience.com (about $15)

Preparation

· Practice the trick. You’ll need to be very smooth with your hand movements in order to fool the kids.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “I have a magic trick to show you today, and I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Select volunteer to join you up front.)

· “I went to the store the other day and bought a new coloring book, but when I got home, I found that all the pages were blank!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the bottom corner of the spine. Make sure that the child stands to the side so that the audience can see the blank pages.)

· “That’s so unfair! I used my whole allowance on this!”

· “But then I realized that I had the coolest coloring book in the world!”

· “I mean, other kids have coloring books with pictures already in them.”

· “All they can do is color them. I had page after page of blank paper, and I could draw anything I wanted.”

· “So I drew pictures on every page.” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the top corner of the spine. Black and white illustrations will appear.)

· “When I got done, I was really tired. So I put my cool coloring book under my pillow and I went to bed.”

· “In the morning, I got up, pulled out my cool coloring book, and flipped through the pictures.”

· “I was very surprised to see that I had colored in all the pages in my dreams!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the middle part of the spine. Colored pages will appear.)

· “At first, I thought this was really, really cool! But then I realized that there was nothing left to do with the book.”

· “I decided that I would try to un-color the book in my dreams.”

· “So I put it back under my pillow that night before I went to bed.”

· “When I got up the next morning, I was surprised to see that I had gone too far.”

· “Not only did I un-color the pages, but I un-drew them, too!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the bottom corner of the spine again.)

· “That may sound bad to you, but I thought it was really cool, because other kids have coloring books with pictures already in them. But I have a coloring book in which I can draw anything I want!” (Thank child and dismiss.)

· “Sometimes unfair things happen to us.”

· “We don’t get what we deserve. Someone gets more than us, or we get something bad that we didn’t deserve.”

· “Those things happen, but if we keep trusting God, He will bring good things out of bad. (Romans 8:28)”

· “We might even be surprised to find out that something that looked unfair at first really turned out to be a blessing in disguise!”

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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, Coping skills, fairness, illusion, Magic, Object Lesson, struggles, test, tool

Where You Focus



Time

15 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps children (and adults) understand that sometimes we don’t give people a fair chance and that it’s important to look at the good things about people, too.

Materials

PowerPoint file, “Where You Focus.ppt,.” a projector and a screen or blank wall.  (This PowerPoint is available on the “Downloads” page.”

Preparation

Set up projector and load file.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “I’m going to show you a magic trick.”

· “On the next slide, there will be 8 cards.” (Show slide 2.)

· “I want you to pick one and memorize it… Have you memorized it?” (Show slide 3).

· “O.K., on the next slide your card is going to be turned face down.”

· “Was I right?” (Show slide 4.)

· “Pretty impressive, huh? Want to do it again?” (Show slide 5.)

· “OK, same thing – pick a card on the next slide and memorize it.” (Show slide 6.)

· “Got it?” (Show slide 7.)

· “On the next slide, it will be turned upside down.” (Show slide 8.)

· “I did it again, didn’t I?” (Show slide 9.)

· “Now a magician’s not supposed to reveal his secrets, but I think I’ll make an exception this time.”

· “How many of you want to know how I did that?”

· “Ok, watch this!” (Show slide 10, and ask one child to pick a card and tell you what it is. Flip to slide 11.)

· “Do you see it? Nope, not there – maybe it’s the upside down one.”

· “Let’s try again.” (Flip back to slide 10.)

· “Pick a different card this time, and tell me what it is.” (Show slide 10.)

· “Not there. Hmmm… We can’t have two cards turned down.”

· “Can anyone figure out how I did it?”

· “Right! None of the cards are the same.”

· “I know, it’s a dirty trick, but I showed it to you to make an important point.”

· “When you focus on just one thing, you usually miss everything around it.”

· “Sometimes, we do this with people. We focus on just one part about them and miss all the other stuff.” (For an example, pick on an adult or yourself.


· “If I focus on ______’s big nose, I might miss that he’s really funny.”

· “Or, if I focus on his ______, I might miss that he’s really smart.”

· “Does this ever happen to you?”

· “Do people notice just one thing and miss the rest?”

· “That hurts sometimes, doesn’t it?”

· “And it doesn’t feel very fair.”

· “You’ve got so many wonderful things about you.”

· “Well, God never sees just one thing about you!”

· “He always sees all the wonderful things.”

· “He sees the best in you and loves you just like you are.”

· “Can we make an agreement?”

· “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I’m not going to focus on the bad stuff.’”

· “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘I’m going to focus on the good stuff.’”

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Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, Focus, illusion, Kindness, Love, Magic, Object Lesson, Relationships

Knot a Problem


Time

10 minutes

Description

This object lesson uses a little “magic” to teach kids to give their worries and their problems to God.

Materials Needed

  • About four foot of rope
  • Scissors

Preparation Needed

Practice, practice, practice

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • (Tie the rope into a knot using steps one and two on the chart below, and as you tie, say:)
  • “Sometimes when something really bad happens, I get a knot in my stomach. Does that ever happen to any of you?”
  • (Tie the rope into a second knot using steps three and four on the chart below, and as you tie, say:)
  • “Sometimes when I’m really afraid, I also get a knot in my stomach. Does that ever happen to any of you?”
  • (Using the scissors, cut the rope near the knot as shown in step five on the chart below, and as you cut, say:)
  • “Sometimes there are people who cut me down and make fun of me, and that doesn’t feel very good. Has that ever happened to any of you?”
  • (Grab the long ends of the rope as shown in step six on the chart below. (Or have a child grab the ends.) Just before you pull the ends, say:)
  • “Well, God knows exactly how you feel during those times. He knows about the knots, and He knows about the cut downs. He doesn’t want you to feel that way, and the great thing is that He can take away the knots. He can make you feel okay again after the cut downs.”
  • (Yank the ends quickly and sharply as shown in step seven on the chart below. This will cause the knot to pop free, leaving the rope seemingly intact.)
  • Isn’t that amazing! The knot’s gone! God took it away, and He can take away your knots, too! All you have to do is pray to him whenever you feel the knot in your stomach, whenever you are worried or afraid or whenever someone cuts you down.”
  • “God wants to help you with your problems!”
  • (You can do the trick again if you want. Sometimes it’s even more impressive the second time around.)

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Filed under Anxiety, Bullying, Christianity, Coping skills, Fear, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Worry