Amazing Beach Days
God Made our World
When we stop to look at the things in the world around us it is pretty amazing. God made all of these things, he created the earth. He made all of the animals from the tiny bug to the gigantic elephant. God looked after all of the details that make for the splendid variety of creatures, plants and terrain that cover the earth. It is exciting to realize that the God who did all of that, made us. He knows each of us intimately because he is our creator. He cares about us and He loves us.
God can seem big and distant to us. In this series God's unconditional love for us will be set against the backdrop of creation. Powerful yet personal.
The beach is a good place to recognize God's creation. This series will be set there. The beach like the "swamp" is the home of many interesting personalities who will teach and entertain the children. Our puppet cast was transformed into seaside residents. This was done by simple costume changes and some more complicated adjustments. Our vastly talented costume designer Sandra Pattison takes care of this.
The backdrop picture contained a boat. It was covered in fish netting and tropical fish. A lawn chair was set up. Beach balls, towels, shells and sand toys help create the scene. Use your imagination. The more you bring to it the better it will look.
Lesson One - God Made Our World
God is very powerful and is capable of amazing things. One of the astounding things that He did was the act of creation. Genesis 1: 1-19 the account of the creation of the world is told. In order to know who God is we need to have a basic understanding of His relationship with nature.
This lesson will deal with who God is. God made the whole earth. He is very powerful. God made us and he loves us very much. We are part of His creation.
This series was designed for the Zoo Van which is used for the outdoor program. It can be adapted for indoors by changing the games so that they require less space.
In the opening for this theme a puppet song was selected. The song had an "under the sea" type flavour and puppets were dressed appropriately.
Welcome to the Beach. During the next three weeks we will be having a beach party. So be ready to get wet and have loads of fun!
The rules are essential for smooth operation of the Zoo program. Often times children come from homes or communities that do not display consistent discipline. This is true in children from all economic brackets. At the Zoo the rules provide structure that in turn provides consistency. The children know what is expected of them and what the consequences for misbehaving are. This gives a child stability.
In any program that was developed to be used outdoors we try to include some prayer. The sound system that we use allows us to be heard by the kids and projected into the community. Use this as a teaching moment for the listening parents as well as the children.
At this point in the program, the children are all given an opportunity to participate. On occasion this can be used as a game. Prizes can be offered for the loudest teams, the best actions and the best singing. Introducing new songs can add some variety to the program.
Since this is an outdoor program geared for warmer weather, some games in the series will involve water.
Game #1 - Water Balloon Toss
This game is an old favourite at the Zoo. It has been adapted to suit a variety of themes. In this theme it will simply be water balloons. Select four players: two from each team. Each pair has a beach towel, one person holds each end. A water balloon is placed on the towel and the pair must toss the balloon into the air and the other pair must catch the balloon in their towel.
Game #2 - Water Container Game
Select four players from each team. The players will line up behind the start line. The first contestant gets a sponge and a bucket of water. The contestant gets the sponge wet and runs to the empty bucket and squeezes the water laden sponge into it. The first team to fill the bucket to the line wins. Each player will get numerous chances to run with the sponge.
The memory verse in this lesson has two parts. The first is an interaction between a leader and a puppet.
A puppet was designed specifically for this segment. It was done by creating an appropriate costume to fit one of our already existing puppets. The puppet was a beautiful pink and purple glimmering octopus named OCTAVIA. (She has a high sweet voice and as she enters she is surrounded by bubbles)
My dear, I have had quite a swim. Excuse me...Hello there!
Leader: Hi, who are you?
Octavia: I am called Octavia and I am a very old octopus. I was swimming along when I happened to hear a crowd of children so I stopped to see what was going on.
Leader: Well we are glad that you could drop in Octavia. My name is (leader). You are at the Zoo. We are here to learn about God and today we are going to learn about what God made.
Octavia: What did God make?
Leader: Did you know that he created the whole earth and everything in it?
Octavia: Does that include things that live in the ocean?
Leader: Yes, God made the ocean and all of the creatures that live there.
Octavia: That is amazing. All kinds of animals live in the water. I saw some on my way here. Can you name some?
Leader: Let's see if the kids can name some... (allow the children to raise their hands and make suggestions)
Octavia: You seem to know a lot about the ocean.
Leader: God made the land, too?
Octavia: That is amazing! God made a place for me to live and a place for all of you people to live. Well, I had better get going. You can't stay out of the water very long when you are an octopus.
Leader: We are really glad that you could come to join us today Octavia.
(She disappears with a splash)
Leader: We have a memory verse that talks about what God created........
The memory verse will be handled like a game. A piece of bristol board will be shown to the children. It will have a bunch of blanks on it, similar to hangman. The children will be divided into two teams. For every blank that is successfully filled in the team that did it will receive a point. Anytime a letter is selected that is not in the verse there will be a penalty. On another page there will be a lovely beach scene. If an incorrect letter is chosen the water will cover a little bit more of the beach. Eventually it will cover your towel and site. The team with the largest number of points wins. "Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power." Jeremiah 32:17.
After the game part is over explain the verse and have the children repeat it. This repetition should continue until they can do it without looking. Always emphasize the fact that the verse is from the Bible. The Zoo does not make them up. This will help to eliminate any confusion.
At this point a long time friend of the Zoo is announced. His name is Revelation Rex. He is a green dinosaur. It is a costume designed for the Zoo by a member of the community. He has made appearances previously and is always a big hit. The costume will fit an adult. Revelation Rex does not talk, he communicates through exaggerated gestures and hand movements. (If you do not have a costume available for your program you could dress someone up or use a puppet.) This segment is an interaction between a leader and Rex.
Leader: Good afternoon everyone. I would like to welcome someone that you all know. His name is Revelation Rex. Come on out Rex.
Rex enters waving. He has an inflatable ring around his arm, he is wearing sunglasses and he is carrying a bag.
Leader: We are really glad that you could make it, Rex. It looks like you have been spending some time at the beach. Rex nods.
Leader: I see that you are wearing sunglasses and you brought a toy to play with in the water. What is in your bag Rex?
Rex holds the bag out to the leader.
Leader: Let me see...(reaching into the bag)... Oh some shells. Those are really nice did you find those on the beach?
Leader: What else is in there? (reaches in) Some sun screen. That is really important. You need to protect yourself from the sun.
Leader: I think there are a couple of other things in the bag. (reaches in) A plastic shovel. Did you make a sand castle ?
Leader: There is one more thing in there from Rex's day at the beach. Let me get it out. An empty pop bottle. Did you have a drink while you were at the beach?
Rex shakes his head.
Leader: But Rex, if you didn't have a drink why do you have an empty pop bottle? Did you bring it to help with your sand castle?
Rex shakes his head and begins to make a throwing motion.
Leader: Oh I see you are saying that someone threw that empty bottle on the beach. They littered. That wasn't very nice. So you brought it along to remind us not to litter.
Rex nods vigorously while jumping up and down.
Leader: You know Rex has taught us something very important. We are learning about how God made the earth and you know He wants us to take care of it. Thanks for helping us today Rex maybe you can come back another time. Bye Rex.
Rex exits waving.
This story is told by a puppet with some interaction with a leader. Storyboards are effective too. They are simply illustrations that go with the story. They are helpful because they help to give a child more stimulation so that they can be more attentive. Use more than one medium at a time.
Leader: Since it is "Amazing Beach Days" we have brought along a friend of ours who spends a lot of time under water. Here is DIVER DAN.
Diver Dan: Hi, how are things on dry land?
Leader: Things are great up here. How are things under water?
Diver Dan: That is exactly what I wanted to talk to you about. I had such a great day under the water that I wanted to share it with all of you. Do you mind if I tell you about it?
Leader: Go right ahead. It sounds amazing....
Diver Dan: Early this morning just as the sun was coming up I jumped out of bed and into my wet suit. I could hardly wait to get into the water. I am a diver. It is my job to go out and explore the bottom of the ocean. It is the most exciting thing to do. Most days are pretty wild. I find all kinds of beautiful fish and shells. Today, I had my snorkel and mask and I was studying different kinds of seaweed. As I was swimming along I saw other divers. They waved and kept on swimming. Then I went right to the bottom to look at the seaweed. I took a little bit and put it in a bag so that I could study it later. I noticed that my air tanks were starting to run a little low so I thought that I should head back up to my boat on the surface. I started to swim and my foot got tangled in the weeds. I pulled and pulled and I couldn't get free. I knew I did not have a lot of air left so I was starting to get nervous. I took out a small knife and tried to cut myself loose. It didn't work. I was running out of air. Finally, with a huge pull I managed to get free. Wow, that was close! I swam to the top and as I did I could see all of the things in the ocean. It was really neat. I got back in my boat. I went back to the shore. What a day! I began to whistle as I put away my stuff. Then my friend Phoebe came over to help. I told her about all of the exciting things I saw under the ocean. She was really excited. That was when she told me about God. She told me that God made all of that and if I looked in the Bible it says that God made the whole earth. She said that everything we see around us was made by God. That is pretty amazing!
Leader: Dan, you had quite an adventure in the ocean. You know what Phoebe told you is the truth. God did make the earth. Look around and see if you can see some things that God made. Maybe the kids have some answers. (allow the kids to say some things that God made that they can see: trees, sky, grass etc.)
Thanks for sharing with us Dan. You know God is amazing. He made some interesting things. But the most important thing he made is you. He created each and everyone of us and he loves us.
Prayer, quiet seat prizes and treats.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries