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God of Wonders

Sue Kahawaii


 Dancing Raisins

Remind kids how fun it is to praise God.

Bible Connect: Psalm 149:3-4
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: Raisins, clear plastic cups, and carbonated water.

The Experiment

Ask: Can raisins dance?

Fill a cup with carbonated water and drop in several raisins. Ask kids to hypothesize about what'll happen. Watch for a few minutes to see what the raisins do. Then enjoy a raisin snack.

Scientific Facts: Carbonated beverages are pressurized by carbon dioxide gas. Carbon dioxide bubbles attach to the wrinkled raisins and cause them to float and bounce. They'll continue to "dance" up and down until they get soggy or the carbonated water goes flat.

Talk About It

Ask: Was your guess correct? Why did the raisins dance? Read the Scripture. Are the bubbles like or unlike how God wants us to praise him? How can we praise God with enthusiasm every day?


Wonder Clouds

This experiment reminds kids that Jesus will return to earth.

Bible Connect: Revelation 1:7-8
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: One wide-mouth glass jar with a metal lid, water, ice cubes, flashlight.

The Experiment

Ask: Do you think it's possible to create a cloud right in this room? Let's find out.

Pour 3 inches of hot water into the jar and quickly put on the lid. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes, then place several ice cubes on top of the lid. Turn off the light and ask kids to hypothesize about what they'll see. Shine a flashlight behind the jar to reveal the cloud.

Scientific Facts: Clouds form when warm air rises and begins to cool. As air cools, it can't hold as much water, so it forms tiny water droplets that become a cloud. Fair weather clouds (cirrus clouds) move with the jet stream, sometimes faster than 100 miles per hour!

Talk About It

Ask: Was your guess correct? What surprised you about this experiment? Read the Scripture. What surprises you about what the Bible says about Jesus in the clouds? Do you think Jesus will return in your lifetime? Why or why not? If Jesus came back today, what would you do?


Impossible Possibility

Help kids remember that God is always with us, even if we can't see him.

Bible Connect: 1 Timothy 1:15-17
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: A balloon, yeast, sugar, water, a glass jar, a funnel, and an empty glass drink bottle.

The Experiment

Say: Can something invisible have visible results?

Mix 1 tablespoon of yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 cup warm (not hot) water in the glass jar. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into the bottle. Ask kids to hypothesize about what'll happen to the balloon when you stretch it over the bottleneck. Then watch as the balloon inflates.

Scientific Facts: Air is made of different gases, including carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide gas released by the growing yeast is lighter than other gases in the bottle, so it rises to the top and inflates the balloon.

Talk About It

Ask: Was your guess correct? Is it easy or difficult to understand something you can't see, such as the carbon dioxide? Explain. How would you explain how carbon dioxide works? How would you explain our invisible God to someone? Read the Scripture. Is it easy or difficult to have faith in a God you can't see? Why or why not? How can you explain your faith in God so others understand?


Shine

Kids create a starry sky while discovering that they can be a light in the world.

Bible Connect: Philippians 2:14-16
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff for Each Child: A cardboard oatmeal container, a nail, a hammer, scrap wood, and a flashlight.

The Experiment

Say: Let's see if we can recreate God's fantastic nighttime sky right here.

Place oatmeal containers on scrap wood to protect floors. Have adults help kids use a hammer and nail to gently punch holes in the bottoms of the oatmeal containers. Turn out the lights. Kids can put their flashlights inside their containers and enjoy the planetarium they've created on the ceiling or wall.

Scientific Facts: Stars are large balls of gas that produce color, heat, and light. A star changes over time, but it takes millions -- even billions -- of years for it to live out its life span. The eye can typically see 2,000 stars on a clear night.

Talk About It

Ask: What would night be like without stars? Read the Scripture. Why do you think God wants us to be lights on earth? How would our world be without God's faithful people? How can you be a light for God?


What Lies Beneath

Remind kids that God looks at the heart.

Bible Connect: 1 Samuel 16:7
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Child: A large coffee filter, scissors, a black nonpermanent marker, and water.

The Experiment

Ask: Can you find a rainbow in a black marker?

Cut out the center bottom of a coffee filter and color a coin-size black dot in the center. Have kids hypothesize about what'll happen when they add water to the dot. Drop 10 drops of water onto the black dot and watch as a rainbow of colors spreads.

Scientific Facts: Black marker ink is made of colored pigments and water. When water's added, the pigments dissolve and spread through the filter, revealing the colors that mix to create black.

Talk About It: Ask: Was your guess correct? What happened when you added water? Were you surprised by what you saw? How is this experiment like or unlike you? Read the Scripture. Do you have qualities others don't see? Explain. Do you think God sees those qualities? Explain. How does it feel to know God looks at your heart rather than outward appearance?


Sticky Friends

This sticky activity helps kids appreciate the gift of friends.

Bible Connect: Proverbs 18:24
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff for Each Child: A balloon and small scraps of paper or threads.

The Experiment

Ask: Can an invisible bond make everyday objects stick together?

Inflate a balloon and tie it. Rub it on your clothing, and stick it to a wall. Rub the balloon more, and hold it over small pieces of paper or thread. The objects will stick to the balloon.

Scientific Facts: The balloons stick to objects because when two objects are rubbed together, one becomes positively charged and the other becomes negatively charged, forming static electricity. The balloon is positively charged and will attract objects that are negatively charged.

Talk About It

Ask: Why did some things stick and others didn't? Read the Scripture. How was this experiment like or unlike our friendships? What qualities do you look for in a friend? Have you experienced friendships that didn't stick? Explain. What qualities form lasting friendships? What makes Jesus our forever friend? How can you be a friend who, like Jesus, sticks with someone no matter what?


Stay Afloat

Explore why objects float -- and how faith makes the impossible possible.

Bible Connect: Matthew 17:14-20
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: Two glass pint jars, an egg, a spoon, 4 ounces of salt, small objects, and water.

The Experiment

Ask: Do you think a single ingredient, such as salt, can totally change a situation?

Fill one jar with water and carefully place an egg in the water. What happens? Fill a second jar with water and mix in 4 ounces of salt to simulate the salt concentration in the Dead Sea. Ask kids to hypothesize about whether the egg will float in the second jar. Remove the egg from the first jar and place it in the salt water. Then experiment with other objects, placing some in tap water and some in salt water to see what floats in each. Carefully retrieve the eggs so they're not wasted.

Scientific Facts: Salt water weighs more than tap water because it's more dense. An egg floats in salt water because the water weighs more than the egg. The Dead Sea is almost 10 times as salty as the world's oceans, with salt content at 26 to 35 percent.

Talk About It: Ask: Was your guess correct? What differences did you observe when you placed the objects in the salt water and tap water? Before this experiment, did you think it was possible for an egg to float in water? Why or why not? Read the Scripture. How do you think the disciples felt when Jesus said faith could move a mountain? When have you had to have faith in something that seemed impossible?


Oil and Water

Explore the importance of relationships.

Bible Connect: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: A clear jar with a lid, vegetable oil, food coloring, and water.

The Experiment

Ask: Do you think liquids always mix? Let's find out.

Fill the jar halfway with water. Put in two drops of food coloring. Ask kids to guess what'll happen when oil is added. Add oil and screw on the lid tightly. Shake the jar, turn it upside down, and observe how the oil and water react.

Scientific Facts: Oil and water won't mix because their molecules have different charges or polarity. The two stay separate with a very clear boundary because they're "polar opposites." They'll never mix. That's why it's impossible to put out a grease fire with water.

Talk About It:

Ask: Was your guess correct? What did you observe about the oil and the water when you tried to mix them? Do you think there's ever a situation when water and oil will mix? Explain. Read the Scripture. How is this experiment like or unlike what happens when we hang out with people who don't believe in Jesus? Do you think it's okay to hang out with people who have different beliefs than you? Why or why not? What do you think God would tell us about being friends with people who have different beliefs?


Explosive Power

Help kids understand God's power. This activity is messy, so do it outdoors.

Bible Connect: Romans 1:20
Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Group: Red modeling clay (for a recipe, go to www.childrensministry.com and click on Web Extras), one 15x15-inch piece of cardboard, aluminum foil, one 20-ounce plastic bottle, baking soda, dishwashing liquid, water, red food coloring, bowls, a funnel, and white vinegar.

The Experiment

Say: Let's find out what kind of power is possible with this experiment! Cover one side of the cardboard with aluminum foil. Place the plastic bottle in the center of the cardboard, then form a volcano with clay around the bottle.

In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 cup of water, 5 drops of dishwashing liquid, and 3 drops of red food coloring. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into the bottle. Have kids develop a hypothesis about what will happen in this experiment. Then pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottle, and stand back!

Scientific Facts: The red "lava" that spews from your volcano is the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar. Mixing the two ingredients produces carbon dioxide, the same gas that bubbles in a real volcano.

Talk About It: Have kids describe what they know about volcanoes. Read the Scripture, then ask: How are those powerful forces like or unlike God? How do you think nature's power compares with God's power? In what ways do you experience God's power in your life? What surprised you about this experiment? When has God's power surprised you?


Sue Kahawaii is children's executive pastor at the Champions Centre in Tacoma, Washington.
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