Your kids can connect with God and experience his faithful presence in their life. My passion to help you facilitate this kind of connection is what motivated me to write Faith-Filled Moments: Helping Kids See God in Everyday Life. This book is packed full of tons of fun, unique, active, imaginative, hands-on ways you can help your children practice God’s Presence.
Here’s one idea from the book — and you can click here to find several more hands-on, creative ways to help your kids encounter God!
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Magnetize nails and paper clips to discover how being connected to Jesus changes us.
Supplies: 1 or more strong magnets (a bar or ring magnet is preferred); 1 or more iron nails; 15 or more metal paper clips; a few other metal objects like coins and piece of jewelry
Enjoy some magnet play with your child by trying these various experiments:
1. See what your magnet can pick up. Nails? Paper clips? Coins? Jewelry? Now see what a plain old nail or a paper clip can pick up just by touching it. (The answer? Nothing.)
2. Make a magnetized paper clip chain. As she holds the magnet up high, have your child gently connect one paper clip to your magnet. Prompt her to then gently touch another paper clip to the one already hanging; it should attach. Continue to carefully add paper clips to the magnet, seeing how long of a chain you can create. Next separate the very top clip from the magnet to see what happens. (All the paper clips will fall down.)
3. Turn a nail or paper clip into a magnet. If you’ve got a bar magnet, have your child stroke the paper clip or nail in the same direction along one half (one pole) of the bar 100 or more times. If you have a ring magnet, have your child rub the paper clip or nail around the ring in 100 circles in the same direction. Your nail or clip should now be a temporary magnet. Attempt to pick up other nails and paper clips together. (Be careful not to flip over or turn the nail or paper clip over during the magnetization process and don’t to drop or strike your new magnet.)
We can learn a lot from magnetization! In the first experiment, it quickly becomes obvious that only the magnet has the power to attract and pick up objects; the nails and paper clips are powerless. Invite your child to imagine that the magnet is God—only God is all-powerful, and we are not.
In the second experiment, the paper clips become temporary magnets as the power of the true magnet flows through them. What a picture of the essence of Christian spirituality! Talk about this experiment and say something like, “Just as the paper clips acted like magnets, when we are connected to God, we become more like him.” Invite your child to share ideas about how people can be connected with God as well as ways people can become godly.
In the last experiment, the same point is made even more clear. With every stroke on the magnet, your nail or paper clip becomes even more powerfully magnetized. Similarly, the more we spend time in contact with God, the more like him we become.
There are many ways we can be connected with God, but with your child be sure to zero in on spiritual growth practices that she can do, such as talking to God (prayer), singing to God (worship), learning Bible stories (listening to Scripture), and learning Bible verses and thinking about them (memorization and meditation). Help your child to see that these ways of being connected to God that actually change her in amazing ways.
You may want to ask your child questions like…
- What do you think about the way your nail (or paper clip) changed? Were you surprised? Why or why not?
- What are some ways we can “connect” with God?
- How do you think God may be changing you to be more like him?