Time Machine Days
In this series the lessons focus on life in Bible
times. Each one looks at a particular Bible story. The participants will
join our puppet characters and they will "travel back in time" to visit
the location of the Bible story.
The Time Machine Days series is one that could have
a variety of props. In the videos that we made to go with the lessons,
the puppets used a time machine. We designed it out of a cardboard box
and other household supplies. It was made to look like children put it
together. Each of the lessons have props designed to suit their
location. The story in lesson three takes place in the desert.
Lesson #3 - The Israelites
Struggle in the Desert
This final lesson in the series finds our time
travelers in the desert. The story is taken from Exodus and will recount
the struggle of the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. In spite
of all that God had provided, the people were discouraged. At one point
in their journey they gave up on God and the leader that He had given
and they built a new god. They thought that this golden idol would lead
them out of the desert and to a better life. They sinned, they were like
all people. Sin separates all of us from God but God loves us and He
sent Jesus so that it didn't have to stay that way. The redemptive work
of Christ on the cross reconciles us to God.
- to teach the children that it is important to
love God with all of their hearts and to make Him the priority in
- to teach the children that all people sin but
we can be forgiven because of what Jesus did on the cross.
- to communicate that Jesus loves all of us, big
This part of the program can be used to introduce
the theme. If a video of a desert scene is available it might be very
helpful. This would help the children to be able to visualize where this
story is taking place. It will help to bring the Bible story to life and
make it seem more realistic to them.
In order to maintain control an age limit can be
very effective. Although we have found it difficult to enforce, it is
best to have children between age four and twelve participate in this
program. Before four their attention span is too short and they tend to
be disruptive. After twelve the children tend to find the program too
Keep the prayer at the beginning fairly brief. The
children do not have a long attention span. Try to choose your words
carefully so that they can relate to what has been said. Simple language
and short length helps to convey the fact that God is approachable and
people of all ages can pray to Him.
Make sure to go over the word to any new songs. You
might want to have the children read them over a number of times to
avoid any confusion. This will give them a chance to hear the words
clearly before the music begins. This is particularly important with the
younger children who don't have a large vocabulary. This simple exercise
will help to ensure that the children are understanding what they are
All of the games have been adapted to suit the
Game #1 - Desert
Win, Lose, or Draw
Select one player from each team. The first participant is given a
marker and is shown a word. The player must draw that item so that their
team can guess what it is. See how many items they can guess within one
minute. The second team plays. After both have completed their turn, the
team that successfully guesses the highest number of items wins.
Game #2 - Grid Game
Select one player at a time. The first contestant comes to the front
and is shown a chart. The chart has four columns each with a different
letter on it. The participant must fill in the blanks in the grid with
words that begin with the designated letter. The catch is that the words
must all be within a given category. The second player must do the same
but with a different category.
In this lesson the memory verse is taught by a
leader and it involves interaction with the children. The words of the
verse are written on separate pieces of Bristol Board. The pieces got
mixed up in a terrible desert sand storm and have to be sorted out. Have
different children hold each piece so that the audience can help sort
"Love the Lord , your God with all of your heart, soul and
strength." Deuteronomy 6:5
The children should repeat the verse until they know it without
looking. Explain what it means. For the last few weeks we have been
talking about sin. All of us make mistakes and we do things that make
God unhappy. Jesus died on the cross so that we could be forgiven. Now ,
if we are truly sorry and we apologize, we can be forgiven. This is
possible because God loves us so much. He wants us to love Him. In our
memory verse it says that we are supposed to love God with all of our
hearts, souls and strength. We are supposed to love Him with all that we
have. God should be the most important thing in our lives.
This segment is not an object lesson. We have
chosen to use this time slot for a puppet skit. This puppet skit was
video taped to be shown on the TV during the program but that is purely
optional. This allows us to incorporate time travel into the lesson. The
puppets use the time machine in the video and in the next segment they
arrive in the actual puppet stage during the program. The puppet stage
is decorated to look like the desert.
Ann & Franklin enter slowly.
Franklin: This time machine is amazing. I can't
believe it actually works.
Ann: We must have done something right when we made
it because it has taken us to some really neat places.
Franklin: I liked visiting that old guy who built
Ann: I liked him too. His name was Noah and he built
that big boat because God asked him to.
Franklin: That was how God saved him from the flood.
Ann: I'm glad that God sent that rainbow and
promised never to do that again. It must have been scary for Noah and
Franklin: Do you want to use the time machine again?
Ann: Can we go back to Bible times again?
Franklin: I don't know but we could try.
Ann: This time I will move the arrow.
Franklin: Ok, try it a little closer, not quite so
Ann: Ok I'll push the button and you get in. Ok (she
waits) uhmmm.... Nothing is happening at all.
Franklin: (calls from inside) I don't hear anything
yet. (He gets out)
Ann: I don't know what is wrong.
Franklin: Me neither, why don't you try the other
buttons and I'll adjust the arrow.
Ann: I hear something now. Quick, Let's get in.
Franklin: Ok here we go
Ann: I hope we can get back
Franklin & Ann : SCREAM!
At this point the video segment ends and the puppets arrive in the
puppet stage which is a desert setting.
Franklin: It is so hot, I can't stand it.
Ann: I forgot to bring a hat.
Franklin: Me, too. Where are we now?
Ann: I don't know. It looks like a desert.
Franklin: Here comes a lady with a bunch of people.
Let's just see what she is talking about.
Lady enters. She is a tour guide and she is speaking to a crowd.
(Pre-recorded) Hello and allow me to tell you about this place. I'm glad
you came on the tour of the desert. My assistant will tell you all about
what happened in this location many years ago. Thank you assistant.
Franklin and Ann continue to listen off stage as the tour assistant
(leader) reads the story.
A very long time ago there was a group of people
called Israelites. They were God's special people. Unfortunately these
people were slaves in another land. One day God helped his people to
escape and He lead them into the desert where they could be free. The
people were very happy that they weren't slaves. After a number of years
passed they were getting tired of hanging out in the desert. Even though
God had given them everything that they needed, they continued to
One day their leader, whose name was Moses, left for a very long time
and they couldn't understand why he was gone. So they decided to take
matters into their own hands and they made a new god. The people made a
statue in the shape of a calf out of gold. They thought that it might
lead them out of the desert. The next day they began to pray to it.
When Moses came back he was very upset with the people. He knew that
this would make God unhappy. After all that God had done for them, they
chose to pray to something they made. Later Moses explained to the
people that is was wrong and he destroyed the statue.
This seems like a weird story but it isn't. Those
people are a lot like us. In our lives we do the same thing. We make up
things to take God's place. We find other things and make them more
important than God. Some of us forget about God because we are more
interested in TV or sports or maybe we care more about clothes and toys.
That is sin. In our memory verse we learned that we are supposed to love
God more than anything else and with all of our hearts, souls and
strength. God loves us and we are important to him. We need to say we
are sorry when we sin. Jesus died on the cross for us so that we could
be forgiven. That was done for us, we need to make God the priority in
Dismissal: Closing prayer, Quiet seat and treats
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries