Object lessons are a great way to enhance your lessons in small group or large group. Using real, every day objects that illustrate your teaching point can help make concepts stick for children, especially as they are in the concrete learning stage of development. Let’s be honest, teaching children about God and his Word involves a lot of really abstract concepts that are hard even for adults sometimes to grasp!
Here are a four great object lessons that explain sin to kids.
Materials: a few slices of bread, green food coloring
Place some green food coloring on slices of bread at least five minutes before your object lesson presentation. The green food coloring will seep into the bread and give an appearance of mold. Use the bread and pretend to make a sandwich. Express disgust at finding the bread “moldy.” The “mold” has ruined an otherwise perfectly good sandwich.
Explain how this is like sin. Define sin for students and explain how even a little bit of sin is damaging and separates us from God.
Sin Makes a Mess (Toothpaste Object Lesson)
Materials: a tube of toothpaste, a paper plate
Squeeze some of the toothpaste out of the tube onto the plate. Ask a student volunteer to try and clean up the toothpaste by putting it back in the tube. Note that the toothpaste has made a mess and it is not easy clean up. Explain how sin makes a mess of our lives and our world. Just like the toothpaste, we cannot undo the effects of sin. Therefore, we need a Savior who can make things right.
Materials: a bottle of chocolate sauce
Pour a small amount of chocolate sauce in the palm of your hand. Optional: Do the same for each student in your group. Try to keep the chocolate sauce from slipping through your fingers. Note how sticky the sauce is, and how difficult it is to keep the sauce from getting everywhere and making a mess. Explain that sin is also hard to control, because it has many negative effects and it hurts our relationships with God and others. Wash your hands off with water and talk about how God sent Jesus as a solution to this problem. He washes our sins away.
Materials: a penny, a small candle, two glasses (one that is small enough to fit inside the other), a plate, food coloring, a lighter
Here’s a video demonstrating this powerful object lesson: