Here’s a fun lesson for a hot summer day that can help your kids learn the importance of living their lives for Jesus every day! Start by reading James 4:13-17 with your kids and then jump into this lesson to help them understand how they can make a difference in the world by living each day for Jesus!
- Bring the kids outside with sidewalk chalk. Ask them to draw pictures of themselves! They can draw their families, their house, their favorite toys, etc. Talk about the pictures with them, and about how wonderful all these things are. Then say: You drew some wonderful things! Each of these things are wonderful gifts that God has given us. However, these things won’t be here forever! Give each kid a spray bottle or squirt gun and tell them to spray their chalk drawings. Watch as the drawings disappear. Say: We are only here on this earth for a short time – so we need to make sure that we spend each day of our lives living for Jesus!
- Give the kids spray bottles or squirt guns and have them spray targets with them. Have lots of fun spraying things with the water until the water is all gone from the bottles/guns. Say: It didn’t take long to get rid of all that water! The water only lasted a little while . . . but look what it left behind! Find some of the places the kids sprayed and touch the water. Look! It’s all wet over here! The water in your bottle might be gone, but it left behind a big wet spot! Guess what? We are only here on earth for a short while, but we can leave something special behind! We can live our lives for Jesus every day and, by doing that, we will make a mark on the world around us!
- Play a game of “Mother May I” (When we did it, my son led it so we called it “Micah May I”. Have the leader stand at one of the room and all the kids at the other. One by one, they should ask permission to do something that will get them closer to the leader. For example, someone might say “Mother may I take 3 giant steps forward?” The leader than says “Yes, you may” or “No, you may not”. The first person to get close enough to touch the leader wins. Play a second round where the leader sometimes says yes, sometimes says no, and sometimes gives a different instruction. For example: “No you may not, but you may take 3 small steps forward”. When you finish the game say: In this game, you knew exactly what you wanted to do, but you had to have permission from the leader first. This is similar to us. We might know what our plans are, but it is God who determines our steps! Sometimes He has something totally different in mind for our lives. We need to live each day for Jesus — following God’s plan for our lives and not ours!
Start the lesson with a visit from Mr. Science (or Mrs. Science)! Have a volunteer come out dressed as a scientist to perform an experiment that will make a cloud in a bottle. Fill a two liter bottle 3/4 full of water and shake it up. Then light a match, drop the match in the bottle and put the lid back on the bottle. When you squeeze the bottle, you should have a “cloud” that appears for awhile and then vanishes.
Tie this into today’s lesson in the following way: Our lives are like this cloud. We are here on earth for just a short while . . . so we need to make our lives COUNT. We need to tell people about Jesus every day!
The following video shows two of my boys performing this experiment for our Children’s Church kids. Feel free to use it if you’d like!
If it is a nice, warm day, take the kids outside for the lesson. Take out an ice cube at the start of your lesson. Set the ice cube out in the sun and say: How long do you think it will take this ice cube to melt? Do you think the ice cube will stay through the whole lesson today? Let’s see!
Read James 4:14. Say: Our lives are really short. Spray the water bottle in the air. Did you see the water come out of this bottle? It was in the air for a little bit, and then it was gone! That’s like our time on earth. We live on earth for a little while, so we need to make each day count! We need to live for Jesus every day!
One way we can live for Jesus every day is by telling people about Him! Read Matthew 28:19. This verse says that we should make disciples of all nations! We should tell EVERYONE about Jesus. When we tell people about Jesus, we make a difference in the world. So, while our lives may be short, our lives make a mark on those around us.
Kind of like this ice cube.
Go back to the ice cube. By now it should just be a little puddle of water. Point out that, even though the ice cube is gone, you can tell exactly where the ice cube was. The ice cube left its mark on the world around us . . . it made the table all WET! When we tell people about Jesus, we leave a mark on the world around us, too. Let’s live our lives in such a way that the world around us gets WET!!
Fill squirt guns or water bottles with blue paint and water and green paint and water. Draw a large circle on a piece of posterboard and hang it up (if there’s a way to attach it to a tree outside, that might work best. You could also have people hold it up, but they might get wet and covered with paint!)
Say: Jesus wants us to go into the whole world and tell people about Him. We should tell the people right next to us about him, the people in our families, the people in our neighborhood, and our class at school. But we shouldn’t stop there. We should tell people who live all over the world that Jesus loves them and died for them! Let’s pretend this circle is our world. We want to leave our mark all over this world!
Have the kids stand at a certain distance from the posterboard and use the squirt guns to “paint” the world. While they are doing this, have them shout out phrases like, “Jesus loves you!” “Jesus died on the cross for you!, etc. When they are done, gather the squirt guns from them. End this section by praying for each of your kids to live for Jesus every day.
- Play a game of “Who can you tell?” Have the kids sit in a circle. Pass around a ball – if you can find a globe ball that would work best, otherwise just use a regular ball. Tell the kids the ball is the earth. Play some music (“That’s How You Change the World” from Newsboys would be perfect for this). When the music stops, whoever is holding the ball should shout out one person they could tell about Jesus. (Optional: Stop and pray for that person before going to the next round).
- Snack: Use bananas, strawberries, and green grapes to have the kids make flowers. Talk about how flowers are here for a little while and then they fade away . . . just like us. We need to live each day for Jesus! Eat the flower . . . see, now it’s gone! I hope it left its mark on your tummy!
- Use ice to make your own snow cones! Find a recipe here: https://everydaygoodthinking.com/2018/07/01/use-blender-make-homemade-snow-cones-summer/
Looking for a Bible Curriculum for your homeschoolers this year? Check out the one below!