Teaching children about creation and about how God created the world and everything around us is an important foundational truth that kids need to learn. One of the first things that children need to know about God is that He is our Creator. This sets the stage for teaching them more about God’s character, why it’s important that we obey God, and then ultimately who Jesus is and why He’s so important.
This fun and engaging object lesson activity is a great way to teach kids about the first day of creation, when God created light from darkness. When there was nothing God spoke something into existence, and that something was LIGHT.
What’s great about this activity is that if your kids are old enough to prepare it with you, it also makes a fun craft project that you can do together too.
I hope you and your kids enjoy this one and learn a lot about God and what He’s done as our Creator. There are also instructions on how to teach the lesson as you create and do the activity below.
- Shoe Box or Other Small Box
- Black Acrylic Paint (you can also use Washable Paint if you’d prefer)
- Paper Plate or Small Paint Tray
- 1-2″ Sized Paint Brushes
- Utility Knife
- Small or Medium Flashlight
First gather your supplies. If you don’t have a shoe box on hand, then I’d suggest either using another small box or maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, mama 😉 A shoe box will be easiest to use for this because of the way the lid works. I’ve tried doing this with small boxes from Amazon and it’s kind of a pain because you have to tape it up and then you can’t open it back up again if needed.
Also a note about the paint. We used black acrylic paint and it worked out great. But you could also probably use black washable paint if you want to. I’m not sure if it would stick as well to the box, we didn’t try it for ours. But I would imagine it’d be fine. If you try it, let me know your experience so I can share here if it’s a viable option or not.
Next you’ll want to cut your holes for the flashlight and the hole to peek inside. For the flashlight hole you want it in the far back corner (either side). And then the peek hole will need to be in the front. You can see the placement of them in the last picture above. I forgot to cut the peek hole until after we painted, but that’s where it goes and I recommend cutting it out before you paint.
For the flashlight hole you don’t want to cut a full hole out. You want to mark your spot where your flashlight will go (based on it’s size) and then cut an “X” through the hole. This will help it to grip the flashlight and hold it in place a little better.
Then for the peek hole you’ll want it to be smaller so that it doesn’t let too much light into the box from the outside.
Now is the time to paint. And this is the point when it’s great to start including your child in on the fun. There isn’t must that can be “messed up” in regards to the painting because all you’re going to do is paint the entire inside and outside of the box black. We want the box to be as dark as possible.
As you paint with your child talk to them about darkness and light. Tell them that in the beginning there was nothing at all, it was all black and all darkness. It was basically a blank slate for God to work with. Tell them that the box you’re painting represents the earth and that the Bible says that darkness covered the whole earth from top to bottom, inside and out.
Let it dry and what to do while you wait
After you’re done painting, you’ll need to wait until the box completely dries before moving on to the next part of the activity. As you wait, you can:
- read some books about the creation story (like this one, this one, or this one)
- do some creation games, crafts, and activity books (like this one)
- watch a movie about creation (like this one or this one)
- make some creation themed snacks (like this one or this one)
The drying might take a good amount of time, depending on the paint you use so make good use of the time you wait and try to keep their minds on the story as much as possible.
Object Lesson Activity Instructions:
After the paint has completely dried you can begin by placing your flashlight in the flashlight hole with the flashlight off. Then replace the lid.
Now have your child look into the peek hole and ask them what they see in there. More than likely they will say “nothing”. But, if they don’t say that then guide them to that answer. My preschooler started answering what he thought I wanted him to say, like he said “trees”, and “God” lol … I told him that “no, we can’t really see anything in there can we?” He said, “no”. I told him that “it’s completely dark, we can’t see anything but darkness” and he finally agreed. 🙂
After your child gets to this answer, even if it’s after a little discussion (like with my little one), then start talking about the story.
Tell them that in the beginning of the world there was nothing BUT darkness. If you were there you wouldn’t have been able to see anything because the earth was covered in darkness. You wouldn’t have been able to see people or animals or plants or trees.
Have them look into the hole of the box again. Now tell them that God wanted to start working on creating things on the earth. And to start He wanted everything He created to be visible. So God said “Let there be light!”. And as you say this, click the flashlight on.
Tell them that as soon as God said “Let there be light” that there WAS light. And this was the beginning of creation. This was the start of it all.
A few lesson notes and tips
Now there’s a lot of interesting theological discussions you can have with your kids, depending on their age. You can gauge what stage they’re at. But one of the biggest ones is “what is the light that God created on day 1″(Genesis 1:3)? Because He didn’t create the SUN until the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1:14-19).
This isn’t something that people have a solid answer for, but there are a lot of theories. So if your children are older, this would be a great discussion to have with them. Personally? I think the light God created was time. But, it’s hard to say for sure. Still, it’s a good topic of discussion with your older kids that can encourage them to think deeper and ask questions about God’s Word.
If your children are younger, you can talk about what they might miss if God didn’t create it. Would they miss the sun? Or the trees? Help them to find appreciation and thankfulness for these things that God created and that God also gave us light to be able to see and enjoy them.
A fun and engaging Creation Day 1 activity
I hope you and your children enjoy this fun and engaging Creation Day 1 activity! It’s a great opportunity to teach them about the beginning of God’s creation and to get them excited about learning about this lesson. It’s also a great platform to prompt deeper and more meaningful discussions about the first day of creation and God’s creation as a whole.
Please let me know if you try out this activity with your kids and how you and your family like it in the comments below!