Archive | July, 2010

Newspapers, Comics and Sunday Mornings

7 Jul


One of my favorite memories of me and my dad are reading the Sunday paper together. We were both the early risers in the family and we would sprawl out on the living room floor with the paper. I would get the comics, he would get the news. I would get the Parade insert, he would get the sports. It was a quiet, peaceful time. A time to share something special together even though our interests were miles apart.

He would check his watch periodically, calculating the last possible moment to get into his Sunday clothes and start hurrying my mom and little sister along so we wouldn’t be late to church. I would stall wanting the moment to last.

Today when my father comes to visit he can’t fathom how I could not get the newspaper, especially the Sunday paper. I just smile and tell him to read the paper online. He shakes his head. And for that moment I miss the Sunday paper.

So in honor of the Sunday morning newspaper. . .

Trusting in the Lord

Supplies: newspaper- one sheet per child

Have 4-5 children come to the front of the room. Give them each a sheet of paper. Have some of the kids hold the paper straight as if reading it. Have the other kids turn the paper sideways.

I want each of you to rip your newspaper in two in a straight line. Do it quickly when I say go.

(The kids with the paper straight should be able to do this. The kids with the paper sideways will have rips going crooked.)

Some of you were able to make a straight rip and others of you made crooked rips. This newspaper reminds me of our lives. When we try to take control of our lives, our paths often look like this (show crooked rip). However, when we acknowledge that God is in control and trust Him with our loves, our paths look like this (show straight rip.)  He makes our paths straight.

Proverbs 3: 4,5 tells us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your strength and in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

Tummy Aches and Alka Seltzer Rockets

7 Jul

I dreaded having tummy aches as a child. But what I dreaded even more than the occasional stomach ache was the remedy. My dad thought Alka Seltzer was the only solution to a tummy ache. I can still see him putting a glass of water on the table, plop, plop went the tablets into the water and a gentle fizzing would then occur.  If you’re my age, you remember the commercial jingle, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.” I would hold my nose and try to get the nasty concoction down my throat.  I soon decided that I’d rather have the tummy ache than have to drink the Alka Seltzer.

Years later I discovered a much better use for Alka Seltzer. When placed in a film canister with a little water, they make a great show stopping object lesson. Kids NEVER get tired of watching this simple yet effective experiment.

The Experiment:  Alka Seltzer Rockets

Supplies: Alka Seltzer, Clear plastic film canister, Warm water

Fill the film canister about ¼ full of water. Break an Alka Seltzer tablet in half and place it inside the canister. Push the cap on the canister quickly and place it upside down on a flat surface. Stand back. A loud popping noise will be followed by the canister hitting the ceiling.

Safety alert: DO NOT STAND LOOKING DOWN AT THE CANISTER. Also, safety glasses should be worn during the experiment.

The Spiritual Connection: Self- Control

Have you ever had someone make fun of you? How did it make you feel? How about someone falsely accuse you of doing something? Did that make you feel angry? Often when we are angry with someone we want to get back at them. We want to repay them for what they have done. What are some of the ways that we repay people? (Allow kids to call out some ways: calling names, hitting, fighting, pouting, talking bad about them behind their backs, yelling at them)

I am going to do an experiment to show what can happen when we get angry and lose control. (Do the experiment.) Anger can build up in us until we just explode with it. When we do that we lose control and do things or say things that we will regret. Is this the way Jesus wants us to react? No, He wants us to forgive others and live in peace with others. We are never to pay back evil with evil. Instead we are to live our lives in an honorable way so that people can see Christ in us.

“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”  Romans 12: 17-18  (NLT)

Science Object Lesson: Body and Soul

7 Jul


It was my turn for Show and Tell the next day. I was so excited. I was going to bring my Barbie. I loved Barbies. He had other ideas. My father, an astrophysicist at NASA and a mathematician at heart, could not reconcile the idea of his second grade daughter taking Barbie to show and tell. So he taught me the fine art of making Moebius strips. We spent the evening making moebius strips for my entire class. And the next day, with a grocery bag full of Moebius strips in hand, I taught my second grade class the ins and outs of this mathematical oddity.

Years later I’ve found they are a great way to introduce the concept of an earthly body and an eternal soul.





Möbius_stripMoebius Strip: Two Sided or One Sided?

Supplies: two big strips of paper large enough for all children to see, tape, marker

Before the demonstration, make a loop with one strip of paper and tape the ends together. (The loop will look like a ring.) With the other strip of paper, make a loop but before taping the ends together, turn one end 180 degrees and tape it. (This will be a half-turn.)

(Pick up the loop without the half-turn and show it to the kids.)  How many sides does this loop have? (Let the kids guess.) I need a volunteer to make sure we are right. I need you (to the volunteer) to take this marker and draw a line around one side of the loop. (Give the child time.)  So, one side has a marker on it and the other side does not. So, the loop has two sides.

(Pick up the other loop.) I need another volunteer. How many sides do you think this loop has? (Again, allow the kids to guess.) I want you to use the marker to draw a line down the middle of the loop. Just continue to draw a line down the middle of the loop until you come back to where you started. (When the child is finished, have him show you the two sides of the loop.) This loop does not have a side unmarked. That is because it only has one side to it.

The first loop is like us. We have two parts to us, our body and our soul. Which part will live forever? Our soul will. The second loop is like God. He is a spirit. He does not have a side to him or part of him that will die. His Spirit has always been and will always be. (For older kids, show that the Moebius strip is actually the symbol for infinity.)

Note: This object lesson can also be done with all the children making their own Moebius strips.