Yesterday I was in charge of a science program at the library where I work. The theme of the program was “Sensational Snowy Science”, and the idea was to do several fun experiments with the snow! This program was planned back in the fall, with the thought that there would be plenty of snow on the ground when this program arrived. We do, after all, live in Michigan.
It was 65 degrees yesterday.
What? We NEVER would have anticipated that . . . but the snow . . . I mean show . . . must go on. So, yesterday, my husband (aka Mr. Science) came in to the library and helped me present “Sensational Snowy Science” – minus the snow.
Today I decided to add Biblical applications to our snowy experiments and share them all with you. Hopefully you can use them with your kids for a super cool time – regardless of the temperature!
Have a great day . . . and enjoy!!
1. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart!
The Bible Lesson: Read 1 Samuel 16. What is happening in these verses? When Samuel saw the bigger sons of Jesse, he thought for sure that God would choose one of them to be the next king . . . however God had something different in mind. God has BIG plans, even for the smallest of people!
The Object Lesson: Beforehand, gather a metal pan, paper plate, plastic container and glass bowl. Let the kids examine each container. Then ask them to guess which container will melt the ice that you are about to put into it (or snow if snow is available) the quickest. Have them all make their own guesses and then put the same amount of ice (or snow) on each one. Periodically check back to see how the ice (or snow) is doing. Were you surprised at the result? (Note: When we did this, we put the ice in and then checked it after each of the other experiments. The kids found it fascinating that the ice was melting at different speeds. The metal pan melted first, followed by the paper plate. We still had ice in the plastic container and glass pitcher at the end of the time.)
The Application: It was hard for us to guess which one would melt the ice the fastest. Some of us made the right guess, but some of us were way off. It’s hard to tell exactly what something will do unless we really know a lot about it. In the same way, we can’t tell what God is planning on doing with someone else . . . or with us. In the verses we read, David was a surprise to everyone – he seemed to be a simple shepherd boy, but God had bigger plans for him! God has big plans for you, too! Who knows, maybe you are the one (hold up the metal pan) who will surprise us all and melt the ice first!
2. God can lift us up!
The Bible Lesson: Read Psalm 40:1-3. What did the Lord hear according to these verses? How did he respond? The Psalmist felt like he was in a “pit of destruction”, but God lifted him out of that pit. Do you ever feel like you are in a pit?
The Object Lesson: Place several ice cubes in a plate of water (we used a glass pie pan). Give someone a piece of string and ask them to lift the ice out of the water using only the string. They can’t do it! It is impossible to get that ice out of the water! Next, place the string on top of the ice and pour salt over top. Leave the string there for awhile (you might want to go on to other experiments and then come back to this.) When you come back, carefully lift up on the string. The ice should have refrozen around the string, causing you to be able to lift it out of there. (Note: This is a hard experiment to get right. When we did it “live”, only a little bit of ice actually came up. You might want to have several strings set on ice to increase the chances of one of them working .)
The Application: It seemed impossible to lift that ice out of the water using only string, didn’t it? Yet, when we added salt, it caused a reaction that made the impossible possible. Sometimes it seems like we are in impossible situations. Maybe we feel that we are stuck in a pit like the Psalmist earlier. However, nothing is impossible with God. He can lift us out of that pit . . . whatever it might be!
3. We need to Grow in Jesus!!!
The Bible Lesson: Read 2 Peter 3:18. How are we supposed to grow as Christians? What are some things we can do to help us grow? Why is it important to grow?
The Object Lesson: Beforehand, place several bottles of water in the freezer, lying on their sides. The amount of time to leave the water bottles in the freezer will vary depending on freezers, so make sure to try this ahead of time to find the right time frame. They will need at least 2 hours, maybe longer. Take a glass and fill it with ice. Then remove the bottles from the freezer. Be very careful not to shake up the water bottles . . . move them very carefully to the glass of ice. Remove the lid and start pouring the water over the ice. The water from the bottles should turn to ice automatically, making the ice grow taller and taller and taller. (For even more fun, add food coloring to some of the bottles before freezing them.)
The Application: The ice in this glass was “cool” before we added the water . . . but when we added the water, it became even COOLER!! Look at the way this ice grew. It grew in ways that we never thought it would! In the same way, we need to grow as Christians. We need to seek Jesus every day and He will grow us in ways that we never dreamed possible!
4. God can make you pure – like fresh fallen snow!
The Bible Lesson: Read Isaiah 1:18 and 1 John 1:9. Jesus promises that He will wash our sins away and make us as pure and white like snow.
The Object Lesson: Make your own snow! Use equal amounts of corn starch and shaving cream to make your own snow. You can chill the ingredients ahead of time if cold snow is preferred. Let the kids use their hands to mix it all up and then to play in it. They can even make snow men if they want! Our kids loved this activity!!!
The Application: Look at how white and pure this snow looks! This is how Jesus sees us when we come to Him. He takes away our sins and makes us pure! (Continue talking about this as the kids play with the snow).
5. You may be “stretched”, but God will help you stay strong!
The Bible Lesson: Read James 1:2-4. Have you ever gone through any trials? What are some of the hard situations you have faced? What do you think it means to “consider it pure joy” when you face trials? The hard things we face in life can help us grow closer to Jesus!
The Object Lesson: Make snow slime!!! Combine an equal amount of water and white glue. Mix it up really, really, really well. Then add glitter and food coloring to give your slime some sparkle. Mix it again! When it is thoroughly mixed up, add an equal amount of liquid starch. Use your hands to mix it all together. The more you mix and play with your ingredients, the more they will all come together to form slime . . . stretchy, sticky slime! Super fun!!
The Application: These ingredients looked rather disgusting when first combined. We had to keep mixing it and stretching it to make something we could actually use. In the same way, we are often “stretched” by the situations in our lives. Sometimes our faith is put to the test as we undergo problems we can’t handle on our own. But, just like the ingredients we had turned to something fun (slime) the more we worked with it, we can turn to stronger people the more we persevere through our trials. We may be stretched quite a bit . . . but God will make us stronger in the end!
6. You are the salt of the earth!
The Bible Lesson: Read Matthew 5:13-16. What does it mean to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”? What are some ways that you are salt and light to those around you?
The Object Lesson: Make homemade slushies. Beforehand, mix up a bunch of koolaid or juice. Then give each child a sealable sandwich bag. Help them fill that sandwich bag 1/2 – 3/4 full of the koolaid or juice. Then they should seal the bag. Give them a bigger zipper bag and have them put their smaller bag inside of the bigger bag. Add a bunch of ice to the bigger bag and then pour a bunch of salt over it. Seal the bigger bag and then shake!!! The kids should shake and shake and shake their bags. After a few minutes of shaking, the juice will become a slushie! Help them pour their slushie out into a cup and they have a yummy snack!!!
The Application: Salt had a pretty important job in this experiment. The salt impacted the ice in such a way that it helped to make a slushie. In the same way, we need to be impacting the world around us. Just like the salt helped to turn the juice into a slushie, we need to help turn the people around us to Jesus. Are you living a salty life?
If you enjoyed these lessons, you might also enjoy my first installment of Cool (and easy) Bible Object Lessons & Experiments for Cold Winter Days or some of my Bible curriculum, such as the ones found below.