Talk about a challenge…how do you explain…God!!??? While God is not ultimately “explainable” object lessons can help to open kids’ minds to what God is like. With that in mind here are 16 Sunday School friendly object lessons that will drive home different aspects of God’s character for kids.
1. Invisible Vase
This clever object lesson demonstrates that something can be there but invisible.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
- Clear vase
- Vegetable oil
- Clear jar or glass pitcher
- Place vase into jar.
- Show your audience the vase is still visible.
- Tell the audience you will make the vase invisible.
- Fill the jar/pitcher with oil until it covers the vase.
- Watch your audience’s jaws drop as the vase disappears!5
Is God visible or invisible? He’s invisible, isn’t He? God’s Word clearly shows that God is spirit. Although we can’t see God, He’s still real. We also know that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three persons in one. There’s only one God, but there are three persons in God.
I know that this may be confusing to you, so let me explain.
I have a jar. When I put this vase into the jar, can you still see it? Yes, it’s still visible! Now, I’m going to make the vase disappear. In order to do that, I’m going to fill the jar with oil. Can you still see the vase now? No because I made it disappear!
God, like the vase, is invisible. But just as the vase is real, so God is real. Not only that, but He sent His Son, Christ. Christ is a visible representation of God. We read in Colossians 1:15: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” In other words, Christ is the exact image of God and has always existed. In fact, Christ was with God the Father when He created the world!
Other people might tell you that there’s no God. Your teachers. Your class. Maybe even your friends. But does that mean God isn’t real? No. The truth is that God is real, even if you can’t see Him. And He does exist. God sent Christ to earth so that we could have a relationship with Him. And at that moment when you do trust in Christ, you are given the Holy Spirit. So just like oil was inside the vase, so God is living inside of you!
Key Thought: God is invisible but Jesus is God in the flesh
2. Unique Crayon
Learn how to teach children that each of them is unique and wonderful.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…
- Small box of crayons
- Pick a helper and give them the box of crayons
- Turn your back.
- Ask your helper to pick a crayon, show the audience, and put it in your hands behind your back.
- Turn around.
- With the crayon behind your back, scrape your right thumbnail with the crayon
- Transfer the crayon to your left hand.
- While talking, casually gesture with your right empty hand.
- Sneak a glimpse of the shade of the crayon.
- Say the color and reveal the correct crayon!
God made you unique! There is only one you! Just like these crayons. They are all different; each color is one of a kind. But I bet that I can figure out your favorite color without you even telling me!
I need a helper. Jessica, why don’t you come up here. Pick a crayon, but don’t show me! We read in Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Jessica, God made you special. And He knows everything about you. He knows the number of hairs on your head. And He thinks about you more than the number of sands on the seashore.
And guess what, He even knows your favorite color! Which reminds me…your favorite color is pink, right? Just as you had one favorite color, God loves you and treasures you! You are so valuable to God. Even if you were the only person in the world, God would’ve sent His son to die. Just for you! That’s how much He loves you!
Key Thought: God made you special and unique
3. Triumphant Toothpick
Demonstrate that even though something goes away, it can come back again.
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
- Scotch tape
- Tape one end of the toothpick to your thumbnail.
- Hold the toothpick so that the audience will think you’re holding it in your hands.
- Quickly swipe your other hand over the toothpick as if you’re taking it away.
- Show them your empty palms.
- Clasp your hands together and hold the toothpick in your hands as if the toothpick just magically appeared.
See this toothpick? Now you see it; now you don’t! It gone—vanished into thin air! It reminds me of Jesus.
After Jesus died on the cross, everyone who loved Him was devastated. No doubt, many of them thought they’d never see Him again. As Christ’s body laid in a tomb, a large stone was laid in front and soldiers stood guard. But on the third day, the earth shook. And an angel came down from heaven and rolled the stone away.
He rose from the dead. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Remember the toothpick that disappeared earlier? Well, it’s back! See!
Key Thought: Jesus will return again
4. Impossible Potato
Use a humble potato to show the kids something they think can’t be done!
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
- 1 stiff straw
- Large potato
- Hold potato.
- Grab straw. And cover top of the straw with your thumb.
- Poke through the narrow part of the potato with the straw.
- Hear your audience yell “awesome” and “cool” as the straw goes through the potato!6
Tip: Use a large, raw potato. And poke the narrow end of the potato, not the middle.
I have a potato and a straw. Do you think that I can poke this straw through the potato? No. Probably not. But I’m going to try anyways because I believe what God’s Word says in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Okay, watch closely as I try to stab a straw through a potato. Excellent! Did you see that? The straw went right through the potato!
Wow! I didn’t think that I could do it. After all, it seemed impossible. But with God, nothing is impossible! You may be facing an impossible situation like you’re doing bad at school or maybe your mom or dad is sick. Well, don’t get discouraged and lose hope! God can turn an impossible situation into the possible!
Key Thought: Nothing is impossible with God
5. Gravity-defying Glass
Use this object lesson to demonstrate that once they are saved, kids can’t be lost again.
When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.
- Drinking glass
- Index card
- Large bowl
- Fill glass with water.
- Place index card on top.
- Keep hand on the card and turn glass upside down.
- Hold the glass above the bowl.
- Remove your hand from the card.
- Observe your audience explode with delight as the glass defies gravity.
- Turn the glass upright.
When you place your faith in Christ, your life changes. God cleans your heart, gives you eternal life, and fills you with His Holy Spirit. We read in Ephesians 1:13, “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”
I have a cup here with water. This cup represents you. Let me put a card over the top. When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit seals you. See what happens to this cup when I turn it over.
Did the water spill? No. Why not? Because it was sealed. Once we trust in Christ, we can’t lose our salvation. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit, a promise that God will never leave us. And that we’ll always have eternal life.
Key Thought: God never leaves us
6. Impossible Strength
This lesson demonstrates that God is far stronger than we think!
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.
Am I not sending you?”
- Kleenex box
- Take 2 pieces of paper and tape them into tubes (see picture 1 above)
- Fold a piece of paper several times like an accordion (see picture 2 above)
- 2 pieces of paper taped into tubes (see picture 1 above)
- Lay a regular piece of paper on top of the tubes
- Take an object like a Kleenex box and attempt to set it on the ‘table’ structure as pictured in picture 4. It will fall right through the paper.
- Replace the piece of paper on top of the ‘table’ structure with the accordion folded one (like picture 5 below). It will now hold the box!
God was going to show his supernatural power through Gideon. Gideon looked at the men in his camp and thought, “THERE IS NO WAY we are ever going to defeat the Midianites!”
But God wanted to show that with His power Gideon could accomplish what seemed
Key Thought: God is stronger than any man
7. Walk Through Paper
How to demonstrate that God can do things that no person can do!
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Today we are going to talk about Jesus doing something…that seemed (even to His disciples) like the impossible.
So let’s have a little fun of our own with something seems (at least at first) like it is impossible.
What if I told you that I can walk through this piece of paper? (hold up a solid piece of paper)
Would any of you like to try first? (let one or two volunteers attempt to create a hole they can step through. They will either fail or have such a hard time doing it, that your audience will assume their is probably an easier way.)
Well, let me show you how it really is possible to step completely through this ordinary piece of paper.
(cut the paper per the directions in the video above, and then easily step through it)
What seemed impossible to us, is now pretty simple, right?
Jesus’ power is a lot greater than a simple trick like this. Jesus can literally do anything He wants…including feeding people lunch without ever having to go to McDonald’s for chicken nuggets!
Key Thought: Jesus has great supernatural abilities
8. Egg Walk
Yes, you can use eggshells to demonstrate that God can be trusted in the midst of impossibility!
He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
- 6-8 cartons of eggs
- Disinfecting wipes
- Trash bag
(Before you begin, make sure none of the eggs are broken and that the pointy ends are all facing the same direction.)
We remember the three Hebrew boys in the book of Daniel – Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego – right? Well their faith was tested greatly while under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. You see, King Nebuchadnezzar set up a golden image and commanded that upon hearing the sound of an instrument being played, everyone should bow down and worship this image. And whoever does not worship the image at the sound of music being played, will be cast into a fiery furnace!
(Arrange the egg cartons in two rows. You may need to lay a trash bag under the cartons if you are indoors.)
Well, the three Hebrew boys were faithful to God and refused to serve any other god and bow down to the image. This got them in BIG trouble! When King Nebuchadnezzar found out, he asked them if it was true that they would not bow down.
Now what would you do in this situation? You’ve refused to bow down and now the King is giving you one more chance before he tosses you into the fiery furnace.
(Let the kids answer)
Guess what they told the King? Not only were they not going to bow down but they told him that God would come save them! And even if He didn’t, they still refused to bow down. Wow! That’s pretty bold, right? You have to have a lot of faith to make a statement like that.
(Choose a volunteer to take off their shoes and socks. Have another volunteer help the person onto the eggs. Ask the children what they think will happen to the eggs as they are stepped on? Have the volunteer begin to walk on the eggs keeping their feet evenly distributed. Watch as none of the eggs crack!)
So of course, King Nebuchadnezzar was not happy with their response, like, really unhappy and he gave the command to throw them into the fiery furnace – but with it heated up 7x hotter than normal! Fast forward, God did deliver the three Hebrew boys out of that fiery furnace completely and totally unharmed. King Nebuchadnezzar was so amazed he made a decree that they did not have to bow down and worship the image and no one should speak against their God. The King also promoted Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego!
In a difficult situation, we can feel the pressure mounting and we may feel like we’re going to “crack” under the pressure. But be assured when you put your trust and faith in God he will make a plan of escape for you and make sure that you are never harmed.
Key Thought: Trust God even under pressure
9. Floating Ping Pong Ball
This object Lesson uses fresh air (yup, that’s right!) to demonstrate God’s strength!
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
- Hair dryer
- Ping pong ball
- Get a hair dryer and a ping pong ball. Describe how, as much as the ping pong ball wants to stay in the air, it can’t, no matter how hard it tries.
- Then put a blow-dryer that’s been turned on underneath it so the blow-dryer is blowing warm air up at the ping pong ball. Immediately the ping pong ball will stay airborne!
The nice part about this trick is you don’t have to ‘balance’ the ping pong ball in the air. The ping pong ball will stay airborne even as you rotate the blow-dryer a bit. In the same way, we can not do anything apart from God or in our own strength. God has the strength to keep us lifted up.
Key Thought: Rely on God’s strength
10. Stick Around
Use static electricity to show the kids that God can do anything.
For nothing will be impossible with God.
- PVC pipe
- Glass jar
- Cut the match in half with scissors. Discard the part with the tip.
- Tie thread around the cut match stick.
- Tape the match stick with the thread to the bottom of the inside of the glass jar.
- Flip the jar over so that the match is suspended in air.
- Rub the PVC pipe with the cloth and hover it over the glass jar.
Isn’t it amazing how static electricity can make the stick move, even though its trapped inside of a glass? It doesn’t matter how bad the odds seem, God has proven time and again that NOTHING is impossible for Him. He has allowed outrageously outnumbered armies to win battles, shut the hungry lions’ mouths when Daniel was trapped in their den, and made a dry path to walk on right in the middle of the ocean. One of the greatest miracles of all is how God can hear our prayers even if we’re trapped inside the darkest, deepest dungeon.
Key Thought: There’s nothing God can’t do
11. Water Bender
This object lesson encourages kids to leave their impossible situations in God’s capable hands.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
- PVC pipe
- Styrofoam cup
- Rub the PVC pipe with the cloth.
- Poke a small hole in the bottom of the styrofoam cup then quickly fill with water.
- As the water pours out of the bottom of the cup, place the PVC pipe near the water stream and observe what happens to the water!
Have you ever played “Rock, Paper, Scissors?” Well, in this experiment of water vs. static electricity, static electricity is the clear winner. God’s power is always bigger than our problems.
Remember the story where Jesus calmed the storm in the sea? Maybe none of us have ever seen God calm a storm firsthand, but this experiment gives us a chance to see how His power is at work in our lives, even when we can’t see Him there. The stream of water bends to the force of the invisible electricity, just as our problems will if we submit them to God.
Key Thought: Give all your problems to God
12. Wingardium Leviosa
This is a fun way of showing that the power of God can carry us through anything.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.
(Demonstration is at 5:12 mark in video)
- PVC pipe
- Various plastic bags
- Rub the PVC pipe with the cloth.
- Throw a plastic bag into the air and watch the PVC pipe keep the bag afloat as you hover it underneath the bag.
This one is destined to be a favorite with your students, and it’s extremely simple. It’s also way more fun than most of those corny magic tricks that the clowns do at birthday parties. Static electricity defies gravity as the bag is “magically” sustained in the air, illustrating how God sustains us (supplies our needs) and keeps us afloat even when times are tough. You might even crack a joke and say, “Look kids, just like the electricity holds up the bag, God will never let you down.”
Key Thought: God sustains us
13. Balloon Fight
How to show kids that sin separates us from God.
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written:
“Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:15-16
(demonstration is at 3:44 mark in video)
- PVC pipe
- Rub the cloth over the PVC pipe.
- Blow up both balloons and tie a piece of thread around them and tape them to the ceiling.
- Bring the charged PVC pipe near the balloons and observe.
Static electricity on the PVC pipe causes the balloons to move in opposite directions, just like how sin separates us from God. Sometimes, as Christians, we think that a little sin in our lives won’t matter, because, after all, we’ve got a “ticket to heaven.” However, sin does have its consequences. It messes up our communication with God. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love us. But just like the balloon MUST move away from the static electricity because of a scientific law, God MUST move away from sin, because it’s His law. God is holy, which means he can’t go anywhere near sin. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” To be close to God, we need steer clear of sin.
Key Thought: Sin separates us from God
14. God Turns All Things for Good
This object lesson demonstrates that God can turn things around.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
- Alkaline battery (C-cell works best because it’s easy to hold)
- Copper wire
- Nickel plated neodymium magnet (this is a fancy name for basically just a shiny metal looking magnet…I’m including the technical name because this involves science and getting things right is the key to making this work 🙂 )
- One screw (drywall screw works best)
**This object lesson is essentially making what is called a “Homopolar Motor”. It may sound complicated, but it’s pretty simple. Give it a try!!**
As you construct the motor following the directions below, talk about how God took pieces of Paul (like all the different pieces used to construct the motor and he “turned” them into something amazing!
God took a violent man, bent on capturing and hurting people who didn’t believe like him and he turned him into one of the most famous missionaries of all time!
God can truly use anyone and turn them into something amazing for His purposes!
Put the screw head onto the magnet so they stick together
Put the screw to one end of the battery.
(Each end of the battery will make this “motor” spin a different direction)
Place the copper wire onto the other end of the battery
and to the magnet and watch the screw start to spin!
Key Thought: God can turn every situation around
15. God of the Unexpected
Show the children something extraordinary to help them understand who God is.
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
- Clean container of water
- Paper towel
- As Paul traveled on his missionary journeys he was telling people about Jesus the risen Savior. Some people immediately believed while others…were quite skeptical, many even getting mad.See Paul was turning their whole world upside down.Many people were expecting a king to come to earth, as had been prophesied. They were expecting the king to arrive like a king, with royalty and power.Like a paper towel getting wet in water, a king coming to reign in royalty and power is what they were expecting. (Take the paper towel and dip it in the water, to get it wet.)
- But Paul had a completely different story to tell.
(Take a fresh, dry piece of paper towel and stuff some of it into the bottom of a clear glass. Then turn the cup over and as you talk put the cup, open side first, into the container and go all the way to the bottom. The paper towel will stay dry!)Paul was telling of a baby, who was born in a place for animals, who grew up in a very ordinary wey, but who lived a very extraordinary life of no sin and then rose from the dead to prove once and for all the He was the Messiah!
(like this…as you push the glass into the water, the paper towel won’t get wet!)
Key Thought: Expect the unexpected with God
My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
16. Bottle Den
This object lesson teaches children about God’s protection.
- Empty 2-liter soda bottles
- 2 small pieces of paper, one with a person drawn on it, and one with a lion drawn on it.
Today in our story we’re going to learn about God’s protection. But before we get started, let’s take a look at something cool we can do with science.
Does everyone see this bottle? I’m going to name the bottle Denny, because it’s going to represent a den.
I drew a picture of Daniel. I’m not sure if this is what he actually looked like or not, but it’s how I imagine him. I’m going to put Daniel inside the den. (lace the paper inside the bottle).
Alright, so Daniel is inside the bottle, safe and sound, right?
Well, now I brought some other players to the game… These are LIONS!
Do you think Daniel will still be safe in there if I put some lions in?
(Crumble the paper with the lions into a ball and turn the bottle horizontally. Place the paper into it’s neck.)
Okay, I’m going to try to get these lions in. I’m going to blow on them with the straw. Ready, set, go!
(The ball won’t go inside)
Can I have any volunteers to try?
(Let the kids try to blow the lions into the bottle with the straw. They won’t be able to do it. The harder they blow, the more the paper will come out of the bottle, due to the air pressure.)
The air is already in your ‘empty’ bottle, just like God was with Daniel in the lion’s den. When someone tried to blow more air into the bottle, the air pressure inside the bottle became higher than the outside—and the paper was forced away from the bottle, instead of inside it. The same is true for Daniel! Daniel was in the lion’s den, protected by God. When Darius tried to put hungry lions in there with him, the force of God was too much for them! They ended up falling asleep! God protected Daniel, in the same way the air pressure inside this bottle protected Daniel.
Key Thought: God always protects us
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