In observance of The Feast of Unleavened Bread, I am working on teaching my preschooler about what sin is, what Jesus did for us in regards to sin, and how having sin in our lives affects our relationship with God. This object lesson is great for kids of all ages.
Honestly though, after doing it I think my son might be a little too young for it (he’s 3). He didn’t fully comprehend it, but I think in a couple years (probably more around age 5) he would get it more. So you’re welcome to try this with kids of all ages!
In this object lesson we work to teach kids about how sin affects our relationship with God and what happens when we repent and let go of that sin.
Sin Separates Us From God Object Lesson Supplies:
- Latex Balloon Filled With Helium
- Piece of Paper
- Marker or Sharpie
- Invisible Tape
- Jumbo Paperclips (black paperclips would be good)
- Small Labels to Put on Paperclips (optional) (or these label clips would be cool)
- Picture of Your Child (optional)
Bible Object Lesson About Sin Instructions:
Gather your supplies. You will need a balloon filled with helium because it needs to be able to float. Also for the paperclips, the larger, heavier ones would be best. And I chose to use black ones because they are going to represent sin and I thought that was appropriate. But you don’t have to use black, regular are fine.
Another idea I had after we finished the lesson would be to add little tags to each paperclip with the name of a sin (or use these cool clip label combo things). Like one could say “lying” and another could say “stealing”, etc. This would be especially helpful for kids who can read. For younger kids tags with pictures drawn or printed on them depicting each sin might be a little more helpful.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies you’ll first want to write the name of God on the paper. Your child can help to color the name if they are old enough to do that. Another idea here would be to have a picture of Jesus. It might help younger kids get the visual.
Just make sure that whatever you draw, write, or print out, is big enough to see from standing on the ground. Because this will be taped up on the ceiling.
As you draw/write the name of God on the paper you can talk to your child about who God is. Even if you’ve discussed it before, it’s good to review this regularly. Ask them if they know who God is. Tell them that God is who created us. Tell them that Jesus is God come in the flesh. Tell them that when we pray, we are talking to God.
Next you’ll want to hang the picture up onto the ceiling. The idea here is to symbolize God being in heaven and us being below, down on earth. As you tape this up on the ceiling you can tell your kids about this. Ask them where God lives. Talk about how God is in heaven and when we pray He can hear us all the way from up there. No matter where we are, God can hear us.
Now sit on the floor (underneath the paper on the ceiling) with your child and hold on to the balloon. Tell them that the balloon represents them, or people in general. Again, after the fact I thought of the idea to tape your child’s picture to the balloon. I think this would help more with solidifying the idea that this balloon represents them.
As you hold the balloon and sit there with them, tell them that we (point to balloon) are way down here and God (point up to the paper on the ceiling) is all the way up there in heaven. But God can still hear our prayers, and when we pray (let go of the balloon so it goes up to the ceiling) our prayers are sent up to God. We can have a relationship with God like this, because even though He’s far away, He can hear us and He can tell us what He wants when we read the Bible.
Start adding paperclips to the balloon string. As you do, tell your child that each one represents a sin. Tell them that when we sin, we start adding baggage to our lives. As you add each paperclip talk about a particular sin. For example, when you add one say: “This paperclip represents the sin of lying. When we lie we add that sin to our baggage”. And so on.
Once you have enough paperclips on the balloon to weight it down (it took 5 large paperclips for me) then you can let go of the balloon to demonstrate that the balloon no longer floats up to the ceiling. As you do this, tell them that this baggage of sin in our lives weighs us down. And it hinders our relationship with God (Psalm 66:18).
Ask them what we need to do in order to be close to God again? Tell them that we need to get rid of this sin (point to the paperclips) in order to be close to God again (point up to the drawing of God’s name on the ceiling).
Begin to remove the paperclips one by one, holding on to the string of the balloon as you do. As remove them, ask your child how we can be free from sin. Tell them that the only way we can be free from sin is to ask God for forgiveness (repent) and believe on Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins (Mark 1:15).
After all the paperclips are removed and you’ve shared this important lesson, let go of the balloon. As it floats up tell them that when we repent and believe on Jesus, we can be close to God again (point up to the balloon on the ceiling).
I hope you and your kids enjoy this object lesson! If you do it with your children, please feel free to leave a comment below with your experience. I’d love to hear about it!