Amy’s Free Ideas

Sunday School or Bible Clubs > Visuals > Objects for teaching Old Testament Bible lessons

Instead of just showing the animals to tell the story, think of an activity that the children can be involved in. For example for teaching creation to young children, divide them into 2 teams and see how many animals they can correctly name (imitating Adam and his first job) and see if older children can accurately categorize animals (mammals, reptiles, et.) For teaching Noah and the ark, for younger children, hide the animals around the room, and have the children look for them--you could ask them to find the other person who found the same animal and make them walk onto a cardboard box ark. Older children could be asked to sort them into clean and unclean animals. Be sure to explain how to identify each of these groups.

Children learn better if they can experience things and manipulate objects than if they have to sit still and just listen. So think of creative ways to involve them in experiencing the story!

Snakes---Use for teaching the fall--the snake tempted Eve to sin, Moses’ staff became a snake, and in the wilderness, and when Paul healed people bitten by a poisonous snake

These snakes move like  real snakes if you hold it by the tail and gently tilt your hand to the right or left. The green one cost 500 yen at a gift shop--so if you ever see one at a hundred yen store (the brown snake) buy it right away! They probably won’t be selling it when yo need it!

These snakes are home made from air drying clay such as Hearty (Karui Kaminendo.) These are just the right size to use with Bible figures to tell the stories, but they are quite fragile, so should not be handled by the children.

Kids love to eat things, so try to find something in the story that can be eaten. Call gummy worms snakes, and no one will complain about eating snakes! Cut a mouth with kitchen shears if you are worried that the children will insist that they are worms.

Toy Animals---Use for teaching Creation, Noah and the ark, and Peter’s vision

Bible Action Figures--any Bible story can be told with these, or re-enacted by the children

With just a few figures, almost any Bible story can be reenacted. While supplies last, Christian books is selling similar Bible action figures for just $1 or $2 each--down from $6!

Link to

If stores near you don’t sell Bible action figures, you can make your own from wooden clothespins, or even toilet paper tubes. You can even buy dollar store action figures and dress them with Bible costumes.

view figures made from toilet paper tubes

Collect or make small items for various Bible stories--scepter for Esther, sheepskin for Gideon, bag for when Joseph put a silver cup in Benjamin’s bag of grain, etc.

Tents---Use for teaching about Abraham, the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness, and Paul the tent maker

Cut a cardboard box to fit and cover it with an inexpensive placemat or kitchen towel (hundred yen stores usually have a lot). Prop up a pole in the middle (pencil, disposable chopsticks, etc.)

Make a well by drawing stone on the outside of a used tape roll. Put black paper around the inside edge and cut a circle of black to go underneath it to give the illusion of a deep hole.

Altar or monument--use when teaching about Abraham, Moses, Elijah, etc.

Glue rocks together--it helps to glue them to a base. For an altar, add wood bundles on top. For a memorial, make sure you use 12 stones if that is how many are called for--the children will have fun counting them to make sure you did it right. (Stones are sold at some hundred yen stores in the gardening section.

Buy a set at a hundred yen store. or get a pliable piece of wood and make your own. It’s fun to provide toy animals or paper animal cut-outs as target practice for kids to try out shooting for themselves. Even if you can’t use this during the lesson, you can have it as an activity for early birds.

Bow and Arrow--Use when teaching about Esau, and David

Let each child make his or her own bow and arrow with Q-tip arrows and  plastic shopping handles (free at some stores in the bagging area, and sold at many hundred yen stores.) Tie thin elastic to the handles to make the bows.

Stone--Use when teaching about Jacob and David and Easter

If you can’t find a stone on the side of a road, or by a stream, you can make one--mix air drying clay and vermiculite. Shape and let dry. For a fun twist on angels going up and down to heaven in Jacob’s dream, buy on of these monkey slides at hundred yen stores. Paste a picture of an angel over the monkey picture.

Any doll will work as long as it is wrapped up in a piece of cloth. For Moses, put the doll in a basket on a blue sheet (the river), and fake or real plants for young children to hide behind--you can have one child hide and report, another pull a string on the basket, and another be the princess who finds the baby. Then swap around roles.

Baby--use when teaching about Baby Moses and Baby Jesus

Rod--use when teaching about Moses

A long wooden rod is best, but if you can’t find one, or if it is too expensive, get a long wooden colored tension rod instead. Use it when telling how Moses’ rod turned into a snake, when he held it over the Red Sea to part it, and when he struck the rock to get water.

Any time egyptian looking objects are sold at hundred yen or dollar stores, stock up on a few. You can “bury” them in a box of sand, flour, or uncooked rice for children to pretend to be archeologists and discover “ancient” artifacts with a paint brush. Another option is to have them make rubbings by putting paper over the plaque and rubbing with the side of a crayon.

These frogs were purchased at a hundred yen store in the toy section, but they are only sold occasionally, so keep looking, or ask for them. They sort of feel like real frogs. Buy several if you ever do find them so that you can put them in different places around the room for kids to discover frogs everywhere--in their chairs, in the offering plate, on their snack plate, etc.

Frogs--use when teaching about the 10 plagues

Purchase two toy frogs at the hundred yen store and let the early birds have frog races. Or make origami frogs that really hop and let everyone race them.

view instructions for making hopping origami frogs.

For the most fun of all, buy gummy frogs (sold in stores that sell foreign foods) and let kids put them around a room of doll furniture--then eat them of course. Another option is to hide them around the Sunday school room and let them find them, or you can decorate cupcakes with them.

view photos of gummy frogs an doll furniture

Fasten poles to the bottom of a box and cut another box into cherubim. You can spray paint the whole thing gold, or just cover it with a cloth.

Ark of the Covenant--Use when teaching about wandering in the wilderness

Let children carry it on their shoulders, and use a blue sheet to represent crossing over the Jordan River.

You can make grapes out of balloons for the spies who scouted out the Promised Land. But I think it is better to fill a shopping bag with bags of flour (or anything heavy) an tape paper grape clusters on the outside. This heavy load will give them a better idea of why they needed two men to carry them!!

Make a sling and find 5 smooth stones. For more fun, let the children make paper wads and practice trying to hit a target.

Sling and harp--Use when teaching about David

David played a harp, not a panpipe, but you can make musical instruments to go along with David’s stories. Make a “harp” by stringing rubber bands on a cardboard box, and make a pan pipe by cutting drinking straws to different lengths and taping them together.

Lions--Use when teaching about David and Daniel