I have been brainstorming over the past few weeks for activities that would be appropriate for a Creation week Vacation Bible School or for a day camp program. Rather than make separate posts for each day I plan to make one continuous post here. My intentions are to update this post from time to time as I add new ideas to the plan. I encourage my readers to also add their suggestions as comments to this post and help with the brainstorming.
Creation Bible Quilt
A week long activity. Download the Creation Coloring Pages which are proportioned for making a Bible quilt. They could also be used as regular coloring pages. The directions for making the quilt are included in the download. It is advisable to have someone knowledgeable about making quilts to sew the pieces together as the directions assume some quilting experience. Quilt suggestion: Make one quilt for the classroom and have different children color the various quilt blocks.
Dover Publishing Company has some wonderful nature coloring books that can be legally copied for classroom use. You can go to their website and preview the pages before ordering. I highly recommend them for their accuracy in drawing plants and animals in nature. I do not recommend their Bible coloring books; however, as I find them lacking in Biblical accuracy.
Build a Collage
A week long activity. Each day as new wonders are created add them to a large collage on one wall of the classroom or general room before classes separate. Plan ahead so you will have a day sky and a night sky, waters, land, etc… Use pictures from magazines or old calendars, or let the children draw on paper and glue them to the collage. The bigger the better to make this impressive.
Creation Day Numbers and or Notebooks
I found this cute idea on Pinterest. Make a large set of numbers, 1-7, large enough for children to decorate them with things that were created on that day. Check out this link for a better description: Gentle Revolution Homeschooling: Days of Creation Craft
I then found other similar notebook-type ideas. One was made with eight circles all joined together with a paper brad through a hole punched on one side. The first circle was the cover. The rest each represented a day of creation. The children drew their own pictures.
Another notebook idea was made using standard size sheets of paper. The pictures were all made from torn pieces of colored paper glued into the notebook. This link will tell you more…
Indescribable (You Are Amazing God) (YouTube video with text)
All Things Bright and Beautiful (YouTube with text)
This Is My Father’s World
How Great is Our God (YouTube video with text)
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
The First Day
Emphasis on darkness & light, day and night. May also include water as it relates to the beginning and God’s spirit hovering over the deep waters. (This is the hardest concept to develop activities around, so I hope to come back with more ideas later)
A cool idea for the very young found on a blog: When You Rise: Creation Unit Day 1 Let the child paint the inside of a box black and put a peek hole in it. Make another hole that can be opened and closed. While the child is peeking in the peek hole, open the second hole to shine a flashlight inside representing the light God created.
Games for first day might include water balloon games. Lazer Tag comes to mind since it involves the use of light though I have very little knowledge on how it works and the equipment may be cost prohibitive.
Daytime/Nighttime – An indoor game could be designed for day and night by turning the lights on and off. Call out “nighttime,” turn out the lights if indoors, and everyone lies flat on their backs as if they were sleeping. Without warning call out “daytime,” flip on the lights and everyone must stand up as quickly as they can. The last one to stand must sit out the rest of the game (like in musical chairs). Then call out “nighttime” again and proceed as before until only one – the winner – is left playing
Crafts Use glow-in-the-dark paint to decorate a light switch plate or to create a bug-free lightning bug jar to glow in your room at night..
Make silhouettes of children by tracing their shadows.
Make leaf prints using the sun and dark construction paper: http://www.ehow.com/how_4500700_make-fall-leaf-sun-print.html
Or use blueprint paper to make leaf prints and develop in ammonia or Windex fumes – study this one out before trying it as it is complicated. I couldn’t find any ready to use instructions on the Web, but I have done this before. I may have to write up a separate blog post on it.
Science/Nature Experiment with shadows. Perhaps God created a shadow using the mass of deep water to separate the light from the darkness.
Solar energy project… (need to come back with something specific)
The Second Day
Emphasis on God separating the waters and creating the sky
Games Sit on balloons, see who can sit the longest before the balloon pops
Crafts Air paint - blow paint around on paper or to do it on flower pots. Use straws to blow the paint around. The flower pots can be used again on day three.
A Creation Pinwheel: http://www.littleblots.com/BibleCraftsCreationPinwheel.html
Science/Nature Air has volume – Do experiments that demonstrate this principle. Use air pressure to lift a book: http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci/airlift.html
Make an air-powered car using these directions.
Measure the wind (air movement) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bring-science-home-wind-speed
The Third Day
Emphasis on God calling dry ground out of the waters, creating plants with fruits and seeds
Games Matching plants and seeds. Find or draw a set of pictures of a variety of plants on small pieces of paper. Make a second set of pictures that show the seeds these plants make. Tape one piece of paper to the back of each child. Let them find their partners by asking questions that can be answered with yes or no. For example, a person who has a pine tree on his back could start by asking if his picture is of a plant. His next question might be is the plant big? Is the plant a tree? If he can’t guess pine tree yet, he might notice a pine cone on another person’s back. At that point he could ask, “Is my tree a pine tree?” Then he would know the person with the pine cone is his partner.
Crafts Make an edible picture using fruits and nuts. Take a photograph of the edible picture, then eat the fruit & nuts.
Coloring pages about plants: Look on the Dover Publishing website for coloring books about plants. They have many to choose from. Dover is not a specifically Christian company so you may need to watch for references to evolution, but their coloring pages are amazingly accurate for teaching about science.
Science/Nature Identify plants on church or camp grounds. Plant seeds in pots. Make a leaf collection.
Take a field trip to a farm and learn about seeds and plants.
Wildflower bookmarks from Dover Publishing.
The Fourth Day
Emphasis on creation of sun, moon, and stars. Also emphasize the beginning of seasons.
Crafts Make constellation cards by punching holes in cards. Experiment with this before doing it with the children. The holes will have to be fairly close together on the card, probably in a space smaller then the width of the flashlight. Shine a flashlight through the holes in a dark room to see the constellations on the wall or ceiling. Make a lampshade with holes cut out like stars and moon.
Make a day and night fan: For the foundation of the fan find some already made old-timey church fans, or use heavy card stock paper and a tongue depresser. On one side of the fan glue dark blue construction paper and on the other side glue pale blue paper. Use stickers or confetti stars and moon to glue on the dark blue side to create the night sky. Glue a yellow sun to the pale blue side.
Science/Nature Consider scheduling a trip to a planetarium or having a late evening session or a campout so you can study the stars and find some constellations in the sky.
Demonstrate with a globe and a bright light how the earth rotates to make day and night. Also walk around the light holding the globe to show that one orbit around the sun makes one year. If you can hold the earth’s axis reasonably in the same position, you can also demonstrate how the earth’s orbit around the sun creates the seasons. This is what the Bible tells us God designed on the fourth day so there would be seasons.
The Fifth Day
Emphasis on creation of birds and creatures of the oceans
Games Very young children would enjoy a game of Duck, duck, goose.
Crafts Make bird feeders or bird houses.
Make a bird nest with yarn soaked in glue. http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2011/03/wool-and-glue-birdie-nest.html
Purchase a copy of Birds Alphabet Coloring Book or consider other nature coloring books from this Dover Publishing website. Their inexpensive coloring books are very true to nature and may be duplicated. Dover Publishing is not directly associated with any Christian organization, so you may need to watch for references to evolution. If it should come up, use it as an opportunity to share the difference between the Christian view of life and that of the world.
Science/Nature Birdwatching – identify birds around church or camp. Look for bird nests in the bushes, but do not disturb them.
Dover Publishing has several great books of nature bookmarks with pictures of birds and sea life. These can be separated and given to the children after discussing the many kinds of birds and sea life.
If you have Internet access available watch one of the bird webcams from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web page or check out their bird guides and let the children see how many birds they recognize. Perhaps someone will have a laptop with portable Internet access so your children can see this online. Otherwise, you can print out pictures of the most common birds.
The Sixth Day
Emphasis on creation of land animals and of people
Crafts Make diorama of various animals and create a diorama zoo. Tell a little about each animal.
Science/Nature Look for animals outdoors – don’t overlook worms and insects
The Seventh Day
Emphasis on God resting and setting the example for us to rest as well
Crafts Make decorated pillow or pillowcase with one or more pictures from The Creation Coloring Pages. Use 100% cotton fabric, color with Crayola crayons and press with iron to set color.
Science/Nature Discuss the ways all creation rests: sleep, hibernation, plants…
Days of Creation Puzzle by Biblequest 16 wooden block cubes that make six pictures of the first six days of creation
Additional resources on the creation may be found at the website for the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. I have been to the museum and it is awesome. They have a large variety of videos for sale on many themes of the Bible, especially including scientific evidence for creationism.