Amazing Beach Days
God Made Us
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 3 - God Made Our World and God Made Us
God is the creator of heaven and of earth and of everything in it. He made all the creature that inhabit the world. The powerful God that did all this by his hand also created you and I. He made each of us in his image and knows us intimately. We are His children and he loves us. Even when no one else will tell you, you are important. You are His!
This is the first activity of the day and it is very important. It is the first thing that will catch the children's attention. If this part is effective most of the children will remain and be attentive. Sometimes a special opening event is planned, but in this lesson the appearance of a guest to introduce the rules provided the excitement.
At this point Rex will be brought out to make the kids pay attention to the rules. Rex is a dinosaur costume that one of the volunteers wears. If a costume is not available, dress up a puppet or volunteer in a costume to portray a lifeguard.
Leader Good afternoon everyone. Today we are going to have a special guest to help us with singing and the Rules. His name is Revelation Rex! (Rex enters)
Hi Rex, I see you have the Zoo rules with you (they are written on bristol board). Rex, you hold up the rules and we will read them together. (Have children read rules) That was great, Rex, are you going to stay and help us sing? (Rex nods vigorously). Let's pray first.
This is an important part of the program. Prayer is essential. This is also an excellent teaching opportunity. It provides us with the chance to set an example. Use simple language so the children learn that they can talk to God and he understands their hearts. The children will learn how to pray by your example.
Singing is always a fun time in the program. The children love to move around and make some noise. To change it slightly Revelation Rex is present. He helps with actions and helps to excite the children. He encourages them to sing louder and be more energetic. This provides a slight variation in the program. This could also be done using a puppet character or a clown.
All of the games are adapted to suit the beach theme. This is excellent as summer programming since the children are already excited about summer activities.
Game #1 Beach Rescue
Select teams of four. Have players line up behind pylons in their groups. Each team has an inflatable ring. The first contestant must place the ring on their stomach and do the crab walk to the end of the course. Once at the end they must throw the ring back to the next person in line who repeats the same task. Keep this up until everyone has finished. Repeat.
Game #2 - Water Balloon Toss
Select four players. Have the players select a partner. Each pair will receive a towel. A water balloon will be placed on the towel. One pair will toss it to the other. The team that tosses the balloon successfully without breaking it, wins. Use a cheaper brand of balloon, quality latex balloons do not break easily. This game is always a hit on a warm sunny day.
This is done in two parts, Part one is an interaction that occurs between a puppet and a leader. Part two is a game played which provides for a teaching opportunity.
The leader is not on the stage and the puppet "OCTAVIA the Octopus" appears in the puppet stage. This could be done with any ocean puppet, a fish, a whale or a shark "whatever is available"! The stage curtain is decorated with tropical fish and shells so it would give an appropriate setting.
Octivia: - Hello... is anyone out there? Excuse me is anybody there? (Allow for response) Oh hello there, sorry I didn't see you all out there. I'm getting a little near sighted and I forgot my glasses.
Leader: (enter) Oh hi Octavia, It is nice to see you again. How was your week?
Octivia: It was lovely. I have been swimming just off the coast. I swam by a lot of beaches. There were a lot of people out playing in the water and the sand.
Leaders: That sounds fun. You know I've been doing some thinking since I saw you last. Do you remember what we talked about?
Octivia: Yes, I certainly do. We talked about God. He is pretty amazing. He made the ocean where I live and the land where you live.
Leader: That's right. We also talked about the animals that live in the ocean and on the land.
Octavia: I remember, God made them too. All the big ones and the small ones.
Leader: Do you know we forgot to mention something?
Octivia: We did?
Leader: Yes, God also made people. He made me and he made all those kids sitting out there in the crowd. Did you know that He made each of us and he loves us!
Octavia: That is pretty exciting. You know God made a whole bunch of people, does he know them all?
Leader: That is what is so amazing about God. He made each person and he knows them all. He even knows how many hairs are on each persons head. God loves us.
Octavia: What great news! I think I'll share it with my friends in the ocean when I go back.
Leader: We are glad you could make it today.
Octavia: So am I. I have learned some really important things about God while I visited the Zoo. He sure is amazing! I better go now. I can't really stay out of the water too long.
Leader: See you later, Octavia.
Octavia: Bye bye.
Leader: I have a really important message to share with you. See if you can solve the puzzle and get the verse.
Before hand make up a poster board with blanks to represent the letters and words in the memory verse.
"God created people in His own image" Genesis 1:27
In this modified game of "hangman" a man will be buried in sand up to his neck (use a stick man and a brown marker to represent sand). The children will be given a verse that has only blanks. The kids will have to guess what letters appear in the verse. If they guess correctly their team will receive one point for each time the letter appears. If they guess wrong then the sand will start to cover the stick man until it gets to his neck. If the man is covered to his neck before the kids finish the puzzle, then the leader will need to fill in the remaining letters. The team with the most points wins.
At this point have the children repeat the verse until they are able to recite it without looking. Once they have learned the verse, it is important to explain what it means. Define image so the children can understand what is meant.
This is an opportunity to reinforce what was taught in the memory verse. Everyday objects are used to relate the content to the children's lives. In this section our dinosaur character Rex returns carrying two pictures, a family picture and a picture of a group of friends.
Leader: Raise your hand if you remember who it was that helped us sing today. Does anyone know his name? Rex is back to help us out, come on out Rex!
Rex (Enters and waves: At the Zoo, Rex does not speak, but it would be very easy to adapt the interaction to include verbal dialogue.
Leader: Hi Rex. We are glad that you could come back. What do you have in your hands?
Rex: (Hands the paper portraying a picture of His dino family over to the leader). Leader: Oh, this is nice Rex. It is a picture of your family isn't it?
Rex: (Nods excited)
Leader: That reminds me of what we have been learning today . See all those people. God made each one of them and he loves them.
Rex: Hands the second picture to the leader.
Leader: Are these friends of yours Rex?
Leader: God made them too. God made all of us and he loves us. Thanks for showing those pictures Rex.
Rex: Points to the kids
Leader: Yes, that is right Rex. God made all of the kids that come to "The Zoo". He loves them too. Pretty amazing, isn't it?
Rex: (Nods and waves while exiting the scene)
Leader: I'm real glad that Rex could come and remind us that God loves all of us. I think a special person has a story about this. Let's see if DIVER DAN can tell us one of his diving adventures again.
(Diver Dan enters the scene and tells this tale to the kids)
Hi, I'm glad to see you guys again. Last week when I was here I was telling you about the treasure and the shark infested water. This week I have something even more exciting to share. Remember, the captain who was here last week? Well after we got his treasure, he told me about a treasure that I could get for myself. He told me about the "FINE PEARL"! This pearl was extremely valuable in fact it was probably the best pearl in the world. Wow! Trouble was it was at the bottom of the ocean in a sea cave. It would be very dangerous but well worth the effort.
As soon as I heard about it, I decided that is what I wanted. Wouldn't you want to have it? It would be extremely expensive. I would need new diving equipment, but the stuff I had was not going to stand up to the test of the deep sea. I would have to give up all my favourite diving equipment plus all of my favourite stuff; like my bike, my walkman even my Nintendo. I sold it all because I wanted that pearl. It is so valuable!
So I did it, I sold everything that I had, and went deep sea diving. All I owned in the world was this new scuba gear now and nothing else.
The cave was hard to find. But I found it. As I swam into it, it got narrower and narrower. Eventually it was so narrow that I could barely fit. Finally I saw the pearl, there it was, put it was just out of my reach in a hole. I strained and I stretched, but I could not touch it. I knew that the only way I could reach it would be if I took off my air tank. I thought about it for a minute, I wanted that pearl more than I wanted anything else so I did it. I gave up my air tank, swam quickly to the pearl grabbed it and swam back to the surface. Wow, what a thrill, now I had the most valuable pearl!
That was a great story. It tells us about how God feels about us. We are really important to God. Each one of you is like a valuable pearl. God gave up everything for you. He gave us Jesus. Jesus gave up his life so that you would be forgiven. That's how important you are. God loves you.
Quiet seat prizes and closing prayer.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries