From lizards that run on water to luminescent sharks, we are literally surrounded by epic object lessons that will help kids discover and enjoy the majesty and power of Jesus! Most kids are fascinated by extremes in nature. The biggest, smallest, fastest, oldest, or even deadliest specimens capture their attention and meld into their memory. God did this on purpose! His creation helps kids (and adults) learn about and appreciate His attributes. For instance, you could just tell kids God is powerful, but saying “God created massive dinosaurs with feet the size of refrigerators just by telling them to exist!” is not only more fun; it also helps them realize and remember the truth that God’s power is incomprehensible.
I do this type of thing a lot when I teach kids. Sometimes it’s just a brief mention as I’m teaching a Bible lesson or memory verse. Other times it’s a bit more intentional and detailed. It’s something I do with my own kids at bedtime, story time, playtime, or just anytime we happen to talk about planets, water buffalo, giraffe weevils, or any of the other cool stuff God created. Whether you’re a dad, grandpa, teacher, or just someone who has lots of opportunities to talk with kids, you can do this too! I even have an A+ idea for using Creation to help kids appreciate and understand God’s attributes that might help you get started. (Perhaps it should be called an A++ idea since there are three parts that all begin with A, but I digress. Honestly, I just teach this way automatically and didn’t actually appreciate the amusing accidental alliteration about it until I authored this article.)
The “A+” Idea
The first A stands for Attention First you need the kids to pay attention. All you have to do is say something incredible! (No pressure!) Seriously, it’s not hard. Just google animal facts for kids and you’ll get plenty of material to work with. Fascinating facts about nature tend to focus their attention. For instance you might say…
“Do you know what a baby porcupine is called? I’ll give you three guesses… A baby porcupine is called a porcupette.”
Boom—they’re paying attention! All you have to do is learn something cool and share it with them. Once you have their attention, move on to the next step.
The second A stands for Attribute Show the kids how the remarkable fact you shared with them teaches something about who God is or what He does. Perhaps you could say…
“I didn’t know very much about baby porcupines until I looked it up. But did you know God knows exactly when and where every baby animal is born? (See Job 39:1-4.) Do you know how many porcupettes were born around the world today? God knows exactly when and where each of them was born. God knows everything.”
Of course to say something like this means you need to think about it ahead of time. Talk to God about it. He created the incredible masterpiece you’re talking about and He can help you figure out how it points to Him.
The last A stands for Application Help the kids see how knowing this truth about God impacts them personally. Frankly, you may not always have time for this step, but when possible, it’s a great way to help kids see that God’s attributes are good for them. You could say something like…
“The next time you see a baby animal, remember the same God who knows exactly when and where every baby animal is born also knows everything about you. You are more valuable to God than all the porcupettes that have ever existed. No matter what happens, you can remember that God knows all the details of your life and He cares for you.”
Now you’ve helped the child form a memory that connects baby animals to thoughts about God’s omniscient care over their life. Great work—you get an A+!
Now it’s your turn! I’ve gathered a few fascinating facts to get you started. How could you use these facts to get kids’ attention so they can enjoy Jesus by discovering His attributes revealed in Creation?
· The basilisk lizard can run on water for short distances!
· An elephant has more muscles in its nose than you have in your entire body!
· A leopard’s spots are called “rosettes” and every leopard has a unique pattern!
· The ostrich is the fastest running bird in the world!
· Cookiecutter sharks can glow in the dark!
You don’t have to always make it as elaborate as my porcupette example. No one will be checking to make sure you include all three parts in the proper order. Sometimes you won’t have time for all that, but you can still use creation to point kids to the Creator.
Perhaps you can mention it as the kids arrive in your Sunday School class by saying, “Do you know which bird is the fastest runner?” Let them discuss it and guess until you’re ready to start your class then just say, “God made the Ostrich with legs that are so strong and so long that it’s the fastest running bird on earth.”
Or maybe you’ll want to work it into a Bible lesson like this, “Did you know there’s a lizard so light and so fast that it can run on top of the water? That’s amazing, but the basilisk lizard can’t run very far before it starts to sink into the water and has to swim. It can’t control the water like Jesus did. Jesus was showing that He is God’s Son, the powerful King who controls the universe!”
Hopefully these fascinating facts inspire you to dig deeper. And speaking of digging deeper, I highly recommend you check out the ministry of Answers In Genesis and the website they have for kids. They’ve got lots of articles and even videos about creation showing God’s glory! Their ministry played a key role in helping me discover how my fascination with Creation could be used as a natural way to cognitively connect kids with the Creator’s character.
I also really like the “Marvels of Creation” books by Buddy and Kay Davis. These books are great because they have large pictures of all kinds of animals plus a whole page of fascinating facts about them. You should also take a look at “BUGS Big & Small God Made Them All” by William Zinke–kids love it! I’ve often used these books at Sunday School, AWANA, Good News Club, and in my own home to rather easily point kids to their awesome Creator. I’d give these books an A+!
There are lots of ways you can use God’s amazing creation to focus the kids’ attention and point to the Creator. So dig in and discover some fascinating facts for yourself so you can guide kids in enjoying Jesus through Creation. I’m sure you’ll do an A+ job! If you’ve got some kids close by, call them over and celebrate God’s awesome power displayed through His creation in this video!