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).