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.
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 Two - God made the
World and All of the Animals !
In order to have a relationship with God we have to
know who he is. An important aspect of God is that He is the Creator. He
is the Author of life. Children need to know as much as possible in
order to establish a personal relationship with Him. This series was to
designed to emphasize the fact that God is "Amazing" but at the same
time he loves us. Powerful yet personal.
- to reemphasize the fact that God made the
- to stress the fact that God made all living
- to remind the children that He loves them
In this lesson a puppet song was selected. It had
to do with creation so it introduced the theme perfectly. It was also
set on a beach so it had the perfect flavour. The puppets were dressed
in tropical outfits and dancing to the music. The song was called "The
Here we are back at the beach. It should be even more fun today!
It is very important to have little to no physical
contact with a child particularly in a discipline situation. In order to
protect the integrity of your ministry this should be standard policy.
This should be made extremely clear to all volunteers. We have found
that having a parent from the community attend and reinforce your rules
can be a big asset. Often the parent will know the families of the
children. Their presence can do wonders.
Designate a special time when your ministry can
pray together. It is fine to talk about how important prayer is and to
teach that to the kids but you must put your words into action. We have
discovered that if a specific time is not set apart for prayer it will
not happen. Once you pick a time stick to it. Do not make exceptions or
it won't become a habit. We all need to pray consistently.
It is quite difficult to find music to suit this
part of the program. If you have someone who can play the keyboard or
guitar, you are fortunate. Our Zoo team is not musically inclined yet we
still manage to have a great time in our singing portion. We have been
able to find other individuals with talent who have made tapes for us.
These tapes have just the music and we sing along with them. Anyone can
do this, if you can carry a tune you can lead. Upbeat versions of songs
the children are familiar with are a big hit. Souped up "Jesus Loves Me"
is a Zoo favourite.
All of the games are altered to fit the beach
theme. Be creative, if there is a game that your children know alter it
to suit a beach. If a game went well, don't be afraid to repeat it the
- Stormy Seas
This game involves all of the children. Have the children form a line
facing an open area. Select one child to be "the sea monster". Assign
each child the name of an ocean creature. They must be one of four kinds
of animal that you select. For example the first five children in the
line are sharks, the next group are dolphins, the next group are tuna
fish and the final group are whales. All of the kids should be included
in one of the four categories. The person who is "the sea monster" yells
out one of the creatures and all of the children with that title must
run across the open area to the other side without being captured by the
"sea monster". If you are captured you become a helper to the sea
monster. If the "sea monster" yells out Stormy Seas then all of the
creatures run. The last creature to remain after all of the others have
been captured wins.
- Jellyfish Game
Select four players/two from each team. The players
will be partners. One partner will be given a mop and the other will
have a basket. Twenty wet sponges will be put on the stage, the partner
on the stage will sweep the "jellyfish" into the basket. The team that
catches the most "jellyfish" wins.
This memory verse has two parts. The first is an
interaction between a puppet, the leader and the children.
One - The character called
OCTAVIA. returns from the ocean.
Octavia: Hello there, I made it back. I was heading back out
to the ocean when I decided that I wanted to return to the Zoo. I had
such a lovely visit last week.
Leader: We are really glad that you could come back again. How
are things in the ocean?
Octavia: Great. Things are great. I have been visiting friends
of mine all week. There are lots of creatures that live under the ocean,
you know. Whales, sharks, sting rays, tuna, swordfish, clams, oysters,
dolphins, starfish and that is just a few.
Leader: That sounds exciting. I think it is amazing. I would
like to meet all of your friends some day.
Octavia: If you went scuba diving, I bet you could meet a few.
Leader: Cool. Octavia, did you know that God made all of the
animals that live under the sea?
Octavia: He made all of them?
Leader: Yes, it is true! God also made all of the animals that
live on the land. Can you think of some? (Give the children opportunity
to respond) All of those creatures were made by God.
Octavia: That is amazing. God has really done amazing things.
Leader: That's for sure.
Octavia: I had better get going. I am starting to get a little
too warm. I can't stay out of the water too long. I'll be back next week
to learn about God again. See you later. (She exits.)
Leader: Thanks for dropping in Octavia! You know I have a
memory verse. It is a verse right from the Bible that tells us that God
made the animals. Let's take a look at it.
This section is a game. The children will be shown
a verse that is nothing but blanks. They will be asked to guess the
letters that fit in the verse. It is like hangman. When an incorrect
letter is guessed the water will rise on a picture of a boat. The object
of the activity is to solve the puzzle before the boat sinks. The team
with the most points wins.
"God made the big animals that live under the sea and every living
thing." Genesis 1:24
After the game is completed the verse will be repeated until they can
do it without looking. One effective way that we have encouraged the
children to remember is through rewards. In a typical Sunday school
program the children are rewarded through stickers or stars on a chart.
At the Zoo if you can remember the verse you can play the game the next
week. After the first child has recited it, the other people who want to
play will have to recite it too. This might help them to remember it
Revelation Rex (the dinosaur costume) has returned.
He doesn't speak, he communicates through exaggerated gestures and hand
movements. This is an interaction between Rex and the leader.
Leader: Right now we have a very special guest. He was here
last week and his name is Revelation Rex. Come join us Rex!
Rex: Rex enters waving to the crowd. In his other hand he is
carrying what appears to be a tool box. He has a whistle and a flutter
Leader: Rex, we are really glad that you could make it. It is
nice to have you here two weeks in a row. Are you glad to be back?
Leader: I was talking to your Mom Rex and she told me that you
got a new summer job. Is that true?
Rex: nods and holds up the items that he has taken with him.
Leader: (speaking to crowd) What do you think Rex's new job
is? (allow the children to respond) Is that right Rex? Are you a
Rex: nods vigorously
Leader: Will you show us what is in your first aid kit?
Rex: nods and pulls out an item and hands it to the leader.
Leader: Those are band aids. They are really important. You
never know when someone might get a scrape and need one of those, right
Rex: nods and pulls out another item
Leader: A bottle of peroxide, that will clean out any cuts.
You could get some sand in your cuts when you are playing at the beach.
What else is in there Rex?
Rex: holds up another item
Leader: Who knows how we could use this item? (addressing the
kids) That is absolutely right. It is a sling. If the lifeguard thought
that you might have broken your arm he could wrap it in that until you
got to the doctor. Wow Rex you sure do have a lot of useful items in
that kit. Are there anymore?
Rex: nods while holding up one finger. He is indicating that
this is the last object. He passes it to the leader.
Leader: Hmmmm ... a book, maybe it is a manual to help you do
first aid. (flips the book over) A Bible! Why would you have a bible in
your kit? (asks the kids) That is a pretty hard question. The Bible is a
very important book it can help you in your life. It contains God's
word. It was written to tell you about God and to tell you how to live
your life. Do you use it to help you Rex?
Rex: nods and makes a motion with his hands. He slides it
across parallel to the floor indicating all the time or everyday.
Leader: You use it all the time. You kids should try reading
the Bible it is a great help. Thanks for showing us all of the things in
your first aid kit. We are really glad that you could be here again
today. See you later Rex.
Rex: waves and exits.
This story is told by a puppet and his friend. It
involves some interaction between the two and the leader.
Leader: Last week we had a very important guest. He works
under the ocean. Does anybody remember him? (asks the children) Oh look,
well here he is now. It is diver Dan.
(yelling back to someone) No problem Captain. No
trouble at all. That is what I'll do alright. I know I would have no
difficulty getting down there to get the treasure.
Leader: Hi Dan, it seems that you are talking to someone.
Diver Dan : (Looks around behind him) Yes my friend the
Captain Souwester was right behind me.
Captain: (enters still having the conversation with Dan)
Sorry, I tripped over some barrels on my way in here so I got behind. As
I was saying my son I don't think you'll think it is so easy when I tell
you where the boat sank. It is just off the coast near Devil's Bay. The
water is shark infested.
Leader: Diver Dan, that sounds like a scary job are you going
to do it.
Captain: I sure hope he will do it. I really want to get the
treasure. Will you Dan?
Diver Dan: I'll try. (both puppets exit and a few minutes
later a sign comes up. It says "ONE WEEK LATER")
Leader: How did it go Dan?
Diver Dan: I'll tell you all about it. The next day Captain
Souwester and I got into my boat and went down to Devil's Bay. When we
arrived I put on my wet suit. I slipped into my wet suit. I jumped over
the side and down I went. I had a big light with me so I could see. I
swam down and soon found the broken ship. No sign of sharks anywhere. I
searched through the entire wreckage looking for the treasure. Then
suddenly it was right in front of me. It was half buried in the sand so
I had to dig it out. As I was digging I felt something move in the water
above me. A great shadow passed over me and I knew it was a shark. I was
so scared that I couldn't move. Then another shark appeared from out of
nowhere. I was shaking like crazy. I knew that they had seen me and I
hoped it wasn't shark lunch time.
I was so frightened. I figured if I got the treasure and swam really
fast to the surface I would be ok. I tried to lift up the treasure chest
but it was very heavy. I pulled and it began to move. The sharks were
moving too but they were moving closer to me. The chest was just too
heavy. I knew that I would have to leave it behind. I dropped the
treasure chest and swam like crazy. I got to the top and jumped into the
boat. The captain had seen the sharks. He was glad to see that I was ok
but he was a little upset that I didn't get his treasure. He got more
and more upset. Soon the captain started yelling about sharks. He said
they were the worst creatures ever and he didn't know why God would make
such nasty animals.
Leader: Diver Dan that is an incredible story. I am glad that
you did not get hurt, but that Captain did have a good question. Why did
God make such a mean animal?
Diver Dan: I was kind of wondering the same thing. I asked my
friend Phoebe. She told me that God made the heavens ant the earth and
he even made sharks. He did that on purpose none of it was an accident.
Sharks are a very important part of the balance in the ocean. All of the
creatures and plants that live down there have a special job. They have
to live and grow and eat to keep things down there in order. If there
were no sharks in the ocean there would be too many fish and the fish
would eat too much and cause other plants and animals to die. It is part
of God's plan to keep the system working under the water. It is actually
quite a complicated system which is sometimes called a balance.
Leader: That is very interesting. God was not being mean when
He made sharks he was just keeping things working properly under the
water. God sure is amazing. He made all of the animals that live on land
too. So Dan, what about the treasure?
Diver Dan: Captain Souwester and I came up with another plan.
We are going to use a cage that was designed to be used in shark
infested waters. I will go in it and I will be lowered down to the
treasure and load it into the cage. So the whole time I will be safe
behind the bars. I have a diagram. (holds up a picture of a guy in a
cage surrounded by sharks.)
Leader: What a great idea! I am glad it all worked out for you
Dan. See you again soon. (Dan exits)
Leader's Conclusion: at this point the leader could ask some
questions about the story and have the kids discuss some of the animals
that God made.
Quiet seat prizes and prayer.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries