Want to make your worship service or Sunday school class come alive? Use children’s church object lessons from the Bible! It’s awesome when kids are fully engaged and hanging on every word. They’re positioned at the edge of the chair just waiting to see what will happen next.
Kids love to have their minds blown. They’ll keep thinking about children’s church object lessons over and over, desperate to figure out how everything was done. They’ll all be talking about the lesson during Sunday lunch.
Years ago, I was doing a kids’ service in our church’s main auditorium. My big object lesson was a needle through the balloon. Pretty cool, right? I thought so, but to be sure I tested the illusion. I practiced it and nailed it every time in my office. Then I stepped out onto the stage and proceeded to pop five balloons in succession. I wanted to crawl under the stage and escape out the back. (Needless to say, this is no longer on my list of children’s church object lessons.)
Truthfully, I’ve had a number of hits and about 10 times as many misses. Some children’s church object lessons I’ve tried have rocked; others have landed with a thud. That’s why I wanted to share some of our favorites with you. Hopefully, this list will save you some time and help you create a fun, meaningful worship service for kids.
10 Children’s Church Object Lessons Based on the Bible
1. Miracle Berries
This is a fun object lesson because most kids, and adults, have never experienced this. It works great when you’re teaching on Job or how God can turn around bad situations. All you need are lemons and miracle berries. Miracles Berries are an all-natural tablet that dissolves in your mouth, and it basically changes your taste buds. Things that taste sour become sweet. Lemons become as sweet as oranges, while apple cider vinegar tastes like apple juice.
Choose a volunteer a few minutes before the object lesson. Have the child place one tablet on his or her tongue. Let the tablet fully dissolve. Then have them taste the items right there on stage. The child will start devouring the lemon. It’s a great reminder that God can take a sour situation and turn it into something sweet.
2. 8-Foot Appearing Candy Cane
This is one of those children’s church object lessons that requires a purchased illusion. It’s easy to overuse magic tricks, so I try to sparingly bring them into our services. I do believe, though, that they make an impactful statement. A well-performed illusion is a great addition to an outreach event or a special Sunday.
This is called an 8-foot appearing candy cane. It’s made of plastic and rolls up tightly into a cylinder. When fully rolled up, the candy cane can easily fit inside of a small, brown paper bag. Place a regular peppermint stick into the bag, and then pull out an 8-foot tall peppermint stick. The kids have no idea how you got an 8-foot object inside that bag. It’s a reminder that God can take something small and turn it into something big. If you’re looking for a great object lesson for Christmas Eve or family Christmas service, then this is it.
3. 1-Foot x 1-Foot Boxes
We love one-foot by one-foot brown cardboard boxes in our kids ministry, and probably have a couple hundred of them stored away. You can do tons of children’s church object lessons with them, and they work great for building props.
Recently, we taught about David vs. Goliath and built a life-sized Goliath out of 1’x1′ boxes. It stood about 10 feet tall, so we only needed about 20 boxes to make a sturdy tower. As the Bible storyteller stood next to the box it was easy for the kids to get the idea of how tall Goliath stood over David. When the teacher explained how a stone hit Goliath and the giant tumbled to the ground, the teacher knocked the boxes down with force. Boxes flew across the stage. It was a visual that stuck with the kids. You can find these boxes at uline.com for about $0.74 per box.
4. Five-Gallon Buckets
You’ve seen inexpensive five-gallon buckets at Lowe’s and Home Depot. When we taught about Joseph, we focused on forgiveness (Genesis 50:20), so we put the buckets to work as an object lesson. We took three buckets and labeled them “Betrayed,” “Set-Up” and “Forgotten.” Inside of the buckets, we placed weights or dumbells. We chose a volunteer to represent Joseph, and as each problem popped up in Joseph’s life we added a bucket for the volunteer to carry.
Then we had the kid try running and even just walking. Not easy. It was clear that carrying that weight made life difficult. However, when Joseph let go of his hurts and forgave, we took each bucket away. The load lightened as Joseph let go of the pain. Walking, running or jumping was now no problem at all.
It’s a reminder of how offense weighs you down. If you want to spruce up the buckets, get spray paint designed for plastic. To make our labels stand out we painted a strip around the bucket with chalk paint. We then drew the words on the strip with chalk pens.
5. Elephant Toothpaste
- This is a take on the elephant toothpaste experiment by Steve Spangler. This version uses a hydrogen peroxide solution that’s easier to find at a local beauty supply store or Amazon than the original elephant toothpaste ingredients. Also, the larger experiment can shoot foam high into the air which is great if you have 20 feet high ceilings but doesn’t work inside of a regular room. This version allows you to create a great visual in a smaller room.
- 1 Liter Plastic Bottle
- Hydrogen Peroxide (12%)
- Dish Soap
- Food Coloring
- Package of Active Dry Yeast
- Warm Water
- Add 4 ounces of hydrogen peroxide to the 1-liter bottle. Add a squirt of dish soap and some food coloring. Swirl the contents. Mix the package of yeast with four tablespoons of warm water in a plastic cup. (Make sure it’s not too thick.) Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle, the foam will expand and slowly explode out of the bottle. The reaction will be small enough, though, to use with a low ceiling. It may take a few seconds for the reaction to take place.
6. Mason Jars
This object lesson uses two mason jars with rings, water, index cards, and a mesh screen. But, it really gets the kids’ attention. Fill both mason jars with water. Place an index card over the mason jar that doesn’t have the mesh screen over the opening. Press down hard and turn the jar upside down over a pan or bucket. When you take your hand away the index card will stay put and the water will not spill. Take the index card away and the water rushes out. Repeat this process with the mason jar that has the mesh on the opening (placed under the jar’s ring).
Choose a volunteer and tell them you’re going to turn it upside down over them. No big deal, right? The water didn’t spill while the card was there. Oh wait, you’re also going to remove the index card. Now the stakes are raised. It’s going to take faith on the part of the volunteer to trust he or she won’t get wet. Remove the card. This time only a couple of drops will come out. Keep the mason jar straight throughout the lesson, as tilting it can throw off the pressure that keeps the water from spilling. We used this object lesson in conjunction with the story of Abraham trusting God (Genesis 17:16-21).
7. Water Into Wine
The miracles of Jesus are amazing stories of God’s power at work. It’s important that kids understand that Jesus’ power is still at work today. This object lesson is a great addition to teaching about the wedding at Cana. In this story we see Jesus perform the first miracle of turning water into wine. For this object lesson you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Pour some of the sodium carbonate into the bottom of one of the glasses. Then fill the other glass with water and add phenolphthalein. When you pour the water into the empty glass containing the sodium carbonate the water instantly turns from clear to red. Definitely an attention-getter. As with all of these object lessons, it pays to practice them ahead of time and experiment to make sure you get the optimal impact. Read more about this object lesson.
More children’s church object lessons for kids
8. Wonder Pad
I love the Wonder Pad. It’s an easy trick, but a total attention-grabber. We’ve used this object lesson to show how we need God to make miracles happen. It would also be a great way to drive home the story of Samson. It demonstrates the difference between Samson with God and without His power. You can write on any of the sheets of paper in the Wonder Pad.
On the first sheet write “with God,” and on the next sheet write “without God.” When you rip out the first sheet and hand it to the kid, he or she can rip it easily. Hand the volunteer the next page. He or she won’t be able to rip it. Alternating pages have a special coating that makes it nearly impossible to tear with your hands. It’s fun to use two volunteers. Choose a small kid for the rippable sheet, and a big kid for others. It highlights the necessity of relying on God.
9. Lotta Bowl
Of all the children’s church object lessons on this list, this is by far the most expensive. For ones that cost extra like the Lotta Bowl, I like to check first if any of my children’s ministry friends have one I can borrow. At times when we have some extra budget, this is a fun one to splurge on.
The Lotta Bowl looks like a silver vase or urn. What you don’t see is that it’s hollow on the inside. Around the rim is a hole where you fill the inside with water. There’s also a hole in the inside basin. Once you fill the hollow interior with water the basin fills as well. Simply place your finger on the hold around the rim and the basin stops filling with water. Pour it out in front of the kids. It looks empty. Turn it up, take your finger off of the hold, and the basin refills. Pour it out again. The kids’ minds are blown. It’s a fun illusion to us when teaching on the loaves and fish story. Try this “God provides” bible object lessons for kids.
10. Lemon Juice
One Easter, we wanted to demonstrate how Christ took our place on the cross. We wanted to emphasize the fact that His suffering and death was for our benefit. So, we started the Bible story with a game. Games are a great way to disguise an object lesson. The kids don’t even realize they’re learning until they get a truth smackdown.
In this game, we brought up two kids and had them compete. The competition was who could drink a glass of lemon juice…without sugar. That’s right, no lemonade here. The first kid to drink the juice, or the one who drank the most in 30 seconds, won a piece of candy…for a friend. We actually let both contestants take candy to a friend, but we did not give anything to the contestants. They took a hit so a friend could be blessed. It was a powerful object lesson for kids that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was for our benefit.
These are just a few simple children’s church object lessons, but they could easily spur many more ideas and applications. What’s your favorite object lessons for kids that don’t require expensive props?
This article on children’s church object lessons originally appeared on equipkidmin.