There are two options this week. Choose one or have a go at both. ***We can supply some of the materials for these activities. Just drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org before Sunday.
Let’s try to make snow!
In this activity, you’ll give your children a chance to try to make snow, in order to help them understand human inadequacy when compared with God’s sovereignty.
You will need
- bowl of water
- ice cubes
- chopping board
- rolling pin
- knife or plastic scraper (depending on age of child)
- mini and full-size marshmallows*** (we can supply these)
- Start by placing the towel on the table. Initially, give each of your children a small bowl of water and ask them to make snow. They may tell you they could if the water was frozen. In this case, provide ice cubes for them to work with as well. Invite them to crush or shave the ice to make snow using the chopping board, rolling pin and knife/scraping tool.
- No matter what they try to do with their water or ice, there is no way your children will be able to make true snowflakes. You may need to explain that although finely crushed ice has many snow-like qualities, it is not real snow. The ice crystals in crushed ice are not uniformly formed like snow crystals are.
- Now show your children the close-up photograph of a snowflake below. Have your children help you build a model of a similar snowflake using the marshmallows and the toothpicks. Make your snowflake by using a large marshmallow as the centre and poking six toothpicks into it, evenly spaced. Then put a mini-marshmallow on the end of each toothpick (like a six-pointed star). Now make a crushed ice crystal by randomly sticking toothpicks and marshmallows together (in an non-uniform design).
- You could cut your own paper snowflakes. Look for some templates online.
- If you wish, take some photos of your marshmallow or paper snowflakes, and share them on social media #lpcholidayclub2020 or email them to us at email@example.com.
Questions for discussion
- Were you able to make snow?
- Why not?
- How are ice chunks different from snowflakes?
- Who is the only one who can make real snowflakes?
- Have you ever heard of a snow-making machine or skied on man-made snow?
- Do you think skiers prefer man-made or God-made snow?
Only God can make snow and the original design for the snowflake is His! Crushed or shaved ice may look and feel like snow, but it does not feel like real snow does. You cannot make a snowball out of crushed ice. It will make an ice ball, but not a true snowball because the ice doesn’t have the same air spaces between the crystals that snow has. Another great example of this are the snow-making machines on ski hills. Any skier will tell you that man-made snow just isn’t the same as the snow God makes!
As people, we tend to become proud of our accomplishments and abilities. In Jeremiah, wisdom, strength and wealth are listed as things we should not boast about. 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” One of the best ways to stay humble is to remain focused on God’s greatness. He is so much wiser than us and so much stronger, and everything in the whole wide world is His! God is pleased when we fear (or respect) Him greatly (Psalm 147:10-11). When we recognize the magnitude of God’s holiness, power and love, and realize how imperfect, weak and unloving we are in comparison, it helps us to stay humble.
Psalm 147:1, 4-6, 16-18 “Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him! …He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. …He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down His hail like pebbles. Who can withstand His icy blast? He sends His word and melts them; He stirs up His breezes, and the waters flow.”
Psalm 148:4-13 “Praise Him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever. He gave a decree that will never pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do His bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.”
Jeremiah 9:23-24 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.”
Wash away stains – practicing repentance
In this activity, you’ll give your children a chance to try to wash out a stain, in order to discuss with them how God washed away all our sins.
You will need
- a white cotton cloth
- berries (fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries or raspberries)*** (we can supply these)
- lemon juice*** (we can supply a lemon)
- a plate
- a teaspoon
- First create a stain on the cotton cloth by squeezing some juice from the berries.
- Invite your children to try to wash the stain out using water. Point out that the berry stain is like sin; no matter how hard we try, we cannot get rid of it on our own.
- Next, place the stained cloth on a plate. Have your children pour lemon juice on the stained area, one teaspoon at a time. As you do so, explain that the lemon juice represents God’s power.
- Read 1 John 1:9 and rinse the fabric with water. Explain that our job is to confess our sins and that God is the one who purifies us (or washes our sins away). You may need to pour hot water through the fabric if it is a tough stain.
- Use the questions provided below to prompt discussion. Finish by taking time to pray together, asking God if there is any sin in your lives that He wants to remove. Personal confession can be done aloud or quietly.
Questions for discussion
- Could you wash the stain out using your own strength?
- How do we get the dirt off the outside of our bodies?
- Can we wash our insides?
- What did get rid of the stain?
- Who does the lemon juice represent?
- What do we need to do to get rid of our sin?
- What is the difference between a proud person and a humble person?
It can be hard to admit that we have sin in our hearts. It can also be difficult to accept the fact that we cannot get rid of our sin using our own strength. The berry stain is like our sin. We cannot get rid of it on our own. Jesus did not sin, so He was able to be the perfect sacrifice and take the punishment for everyone’s sins.
The great news is that God will forgive the sins of anyone who asks and will purify our unrighteousness. A proud person will not admit they have sin in their lives and they will refuse to ask for God’s help. A humble person will confess their sin and ask God to wash their sin away.
Acts 3:18-20 “But this is how God fulfilled what He had foretold through all the prophets, saying that His Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.”
Hebrews 9:14, 27-28 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! …Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”
James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
1 John 1:6-8 “If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”