Last week we began learning from the Old Testament with a simple lesson about Creation. This week we'll keep moving through Genesis with the first of a two-part lesson about The Garden (or The Fall).
We all know what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. God's command, a serpent, and Adam and Eve ultimately eating the forbidden fruit is not a new story to us. It is, however, crucial in understanding our sin nature and our need for salvation. Because of this, the next two lessons are some of the most important in our Bible Basics Old Testament series.
By choosing to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve broke their relationship with God. As a result, they were driven from the Garden of Eden in order that they might not also eat from the Tree of Life. Even though we follow the same choices as Adam and Eve, Jesus makes a way for us to be in right relationship with God.
Here's how I define sin to toddlers and preschoolers. "Sin is when we do something wrong, like disobeying or being mean. When we sin, or do something wrong, it keeps us from being friends with God."
I follow it up with a simple presentation of the Gospel. "Jesus took the punishment for all of our sins, the wrong things we have done. He died on the cross and came back to life. When we believe in Jesus our sins are forgiven and we can be friends with God again."
If you have a different way of explaining this, then by all means use it. I find that I am usually repeating the definition of sin every time I use the word. You can see that from the script above. As always, repetition is essential for learning.
So, here's how Abby and I went through our lesson this week.
THE GARDEN, PART 1
"...you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil..." -Genesis2:17
Adam and Eve were not supposed to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Tissue Paper Tree
- Construction paper - white/blue, brown, and green
- Tissue paper - any color (we used red)
- Markers or crayons
1. Cut out a tree trunk from the brown construction paper. Cut out the top of a tree from the green construction paper. If you'd like to, cut out a strip of green or brown paper on which to write the memory verse.
2. Glue the trunk and treetop to the white/blue piece of construction paper.
3. Tear small pieces from the tissue paper. Put dots of glue all over the treetop. Crumple pieces of tissue paper and press onto glue spots. Allow glue to dry.
3. Write the memory verse on the paper.
How We Go Through the Lesson
1. Recite or sing memory verse.
2. Read Bible story. We use the Beginner's Bible, but you can choose a children's story Bible or "grown-up" translation that suits you and your family.
3. Recite or sing memory verse.
4. Craft or project. Depending on the day of the week this may be a project like the one above or it could be a coloring page or something completely different.
*Repeat the lesson almost every day. This could mean doing it on weekdays or taking one day to work on the project, saying the memory verse together throughout the day, and reading the Bible story before bed each night. It doesn't matter when or how, but the repetition is key for toddlers to retain the lessons presented to them.Here are some other tree crafts that could easily be adapted for this lesson:
Toilet Paper Roll TreeFingerprint Tree
Button Tree (first craft in post)
To break away from the tree crafts, here's a free printable mini book: Adam and Eve
How do you teach your kids about sin and salvation?