Lesson 2: Genesis: God Gives Adam and Eve a Choice to Stay Close to Him 01/27/2023
Classroom: My Classroom
Genesis 3 Leader Guide for One Room

Teachers Dig In

 

Dig In to the Bible

  • Read: Genesis 3
  • In This Passage: Adam and Eve are in paradise—the Garden of Eden. There’s one tree they aren’t allowed to eat from. But a serpent tells Eve she can be like God if she eats fruit from that tree. Eve makes the choice to disobey God, and then Adam does, too. Then they’re punished and kicked out of the garden. God lets us choose between good and evil, just as he let Adam and Eve make their choice.
  • Bible Point: God lets us choose between good and evil.
  • Summary Verse: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

 

Dig Deeper

  • You’ll Be Teaching: God lets us choose between good and evil. Kids are faced with choices every day. Use this lesson to help them distinguish between good and evil choices and to recognize that wrong choices have consequences.
  • Think About: Think about a tough choice you had to make. How did God help you see what the right decision was?

 

Dig In to Prayer

  • Pray for God to help your kids choose good over evil.

 

Quick Tip

  • While some choices are between right and wrong, others are just between two fun options. Let your kids practice making choices by incorporating options into your teaching time. For example, kids can choose whether to sit in chairs or on the floor, who to partner with, or even which activity to do next. Your flexibility will enable kids to practice making choices.

This Lesson at a Glance

Opening

▲Kids share about a topic related to the lesson.

Supplies

  • Bible

Music Video

▲Kids sing songs of praise to God.

Supplies

  • “No Matter What I'm Facing” (watch or download here)
  • “God Is Always With Us” (watch or download here)
  • “God Is Good” (watch or download here)

Core Bible Discovery

Kids are tempted by cupcakes and analyze why people make certain choices.

Supplies

  • Bible
  • table
  • small plates
  • napkins
  • a variety of snacks, such as fruit, crackers, and cheese (avoid choking hazards, like grapes)
  • a plate of 3-5 cupcakes

Easy Prep

  • Set the snacks on the table along with plates and napkins. Put the cupcakes right in the middle.

Core Bible at Home

▲Kids analyze why people make certain choices.

Supplies

  • Bible

Talk-About Video

▲Kids watch a video and discuss the Bible Point.

Supplies

  • “Programming Robots” teaching video (watch or download here)

Preschool Puppet Skit

Recommended for preschoolers.

 

Object Lesson

▲Kids choose between a raw and hard-boiled egg.

Supplies

  • raw eggs (1 for every 2-4 kids)
  • hard-boiled eggs (1 for every 2-4 kids)
  • 2 colors of markers
  • disposable plastic tablecloths
  • wet wipes

Easy Prep

  • Cover your tables with plastic tablecloths prior to the activity.  

Deeper Bible

▲Kids explore why God allows freedom of choice.

Supplies

  • Bibles

High-Energy Game

Kids roll “fruit” into squares, trying to avoid the bad squares.

Supplies

  • masking tape
  • tennis balls or paper wads (2 per child)
  • upbeat music (optional)
  • music player (optional)

Easy Prep

  • On each side of your meeting area, make 3 masking-tape squares (approximately 1 square foot each) side by side, as shown. You’ll need 1 set of squares for every 6 kids.

 

  • On the tape at the top of each square, write point values. The square on the left is worth 5 points, the square in the middle is worth 1 point, and the square on the right is worth 10 points.
  • Make a masking-tape line 6 feet away from each set of squares.
  • Place a pile of 12 tennis balls or paper wads next to each tape line. Use a marker to draw a large black X on 1 ball in each pile.

Low-Energy Game

▲Kids make tough choices.

Supplies

  • index cards (1 per child)
  • pens

Craft

Kids make a board game with many choices.

Supplies

  • “It’s Your Choice!” handout (1 per elementary child) (download here)
  • “Color Course Board Game” handout (1 per preschooler) (download here)
  • markers
  • index cards
  • scissors
  • envelopes (1 per child)
  • 2 pennies per elementary child
     

Easy Prep

  • Make a sample craft to show kids.

Life Application Wrap-Up

▲Kids pray about good and evil choices.

Supplies

  • Bible

Take-Home

▲Kids receive a take-home page about the lesson.

Supplies

  • this week’s “Dig In @ Home” handout (1 per child) (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Add your church announcements to the “Dig In @ Home” handout.

*Marked supplies can be reused from Core Bible Discovery

Let's keep kids safe! You can help by using supplies as instructed for only ages 3+, purchasing child-safe items, and being aware of allergy concerns.

Opening [5 min]

Welcome

Supplies

  • Bible

Welcome

            Thank kids for coming.

            Just for fun, have kids high-five three of their friends.

            Make announcements.

            Introduce new kids.

            Celebrate birthdays by having kids whisper the “Happy Birthday” song.

            Collect the offering.

 

Introduce the Lesson

            Say: Today we’re going to learn that God lets us choose between good and evil. Let’s think about people who make good and evil choices.

 

Share

            Tell kids about the good guys and bad guys in your favorite movie.

            Have kids form pairs and tell about the good guys and bad guys in their favorite movie.

            After partners have discussed, ask two or three kids to share with the whole group what they talked about with their partners.

 

Summarize

            Open a Bible, and say: It’s easy to see good and evil choices in a movie. But we make good or bad choices a lot, too! Let’s see what the Bible says about a choice two people made—and what happened because of their choice. One way God talks to us is through the Bible—his special book. God is here right now, ready to talk to you.

            Pray, thanking God for letting us choose between good and evil.

Music Video [10 min]

No Matter What I'm Facing

Supplies

  • “No Matter What I'm Facing” (watch or download here)
  • “God Is Always With Us” (watch or download here)
  • “God Is Good” (watch or download here)

Tip

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can choose your own worship songs from our Best Of Dig In Music DVD here.

 

Sing Songs to God

            Sing the three songs in any order.

Core Bible Discovery [20 min]

Genesis: God Gives Adam and Eve a Choice to Stay Close to Him (Genesis 3)

Supplies

  • Bible
  • table
  • small plates
  • napkins
  • a variety of snacks, such as fruit, crackers, and cheese (avoid choking hazards, like grapes)
  • a plate of 3-5 cupcakes

Easy Prep

  • Set the snacks on the table along with plates and napkins. Put the cupcakes right in the middle.

Choose Snacks

            Point to the table, and say: I’ve prepared an amazing snack for you today! God created an amazing world for humans to live in, and then he created Adam and Eve. They had everything they needed, including plenty of delicious food! So to help remember that, I’ve got plenty of food for you. You can fill one plate with whatever food you want—but you may not take a cupcake.

            Have kids repeat the rules to you.

            Stand by the table and watch as kids take their food. If you’re concerned some kids might try to take the cupcakes despite your rule, hold the plate and stand by the table so kids can still see them, but you can move them out of the way if a child reaches for one.

            When everyone has food, lead kids in this discussion as they eat.

            Ask: • How did you choose what to put on your plate?

            • What are your favorite foods?

            Say: For our snack, you had a lot to choose from! There might’ve been things you didn’t want, but there were plenty of other choices. But there was one choice that you knew was against the rules: taking a cupcake.

            We’re going to look at a time in the Bible when God had set up a perfect world. And his world included choices. God lets us choose between good and evil. Let’s see what Adam and Eve chose to do in God’s world.

 

Choose a Side

            Read Genesis 3:1.

            Say: Right off the bat, Eve has a choice. How will she respond to the serpent’s question? One choice would be to tell the truth about God’s rules. Another choice would be to complain about how strict God is.

            Have half the kids go to the left side of the room, which will represent telling the truth about God’s rules. The other half of the kids will go to the right, which will represent complaining about how strict God is. Try to have a mix of ages on each side.

            Ask: • What would make someone choose your side over the other side? Allow time for kids to talk with the others on their side of the room and then share their best arguments with the whole group.

            Gather kids back in the middle of the room. Say: Let’s read on to see what Eve chose to do.

            Read Genesis 3:2-3.

            Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. Eve chose the good thing! The serpent had exaggerated God’s rules to sound extreme. But Eve told the truth about what God had asked her to do. But uh-oh…another choice is coming!

            Read Genesis 3:4-5.

            Say: Eve has another choice to make! Will she obey God’s rules, or will she eat the fruit?

            Have half the kids go to the left side of the room, which will represent obeying God’s rules. The other half of the kids will go to the right, which will represent eating the fruit. Try to have a mix of ages on each side.         

            Ask: • Why would someone choose your side over the other side? Allow time for kids to talk with the others on their side of the room and then share their best arguments with the whole group.

            Gather kids back in the middle of the room. Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. Obeying him is good. Eating the fruit would be evil, because that’s disobeying. Let’s see what Eve chose!

            Read the first part of Genesis 3:6: “The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.”

            Say: Oh no! This time Eve chose evil! But now she has another choice to make. Remember, she wasn’t alone in the garden. Adam was there, too. Normally, sharing is a good choice…but not this time. Eve could choose to convince Adam to disobey, too. Or she could keep him away from the tree so he wouldn’t make the same evil choice.

            Have half the kids go to the left side of the room, which will represent keeping Adam away from the tree. The rest of the kids will go to the right, which will represent giving fruit to Adam. Try to have a mix of ages on each side.

            Ask: • Why would someone choose your side over the other side? Allow time for kids to talk with the others on their side of the room and then share their best arguments with the whole group.

            Gather kids back in the middle of the room. Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. Eve chose evil and gave some fruit to Adam. Faced with his choice between good and evil…he chose evil! He ate the fruit, too.

            The serpent told Eve that she’d become like God. But that wasn’t true. In fact, it wasn’t so great knowing about good and evil! Adam and Eve felt ashamed—something they had never felt before. They used to have a perfect relationship with God, but now they were embarrassed for him to see what they did. So they tried to hide in the garden.

            God asked them, “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

            Remember, God lets us choose between good and evil. Adam and Eve have another choice to make now…will they tell the truth and apologize to God, admitting their sin? Or will they make excuses and blame each other?

            Have half the kids go to the left side of the room, which will represent telling the truth and apologizing. The rest of the kids will go to the right, which will represent making excuses and blaming each other. Try to have a mix of ages on each side.

            Ask: • What would make someone choose your side over the other side? Allow time for kids to talk with the others on their side of the room and then share their best arguments with the whole group.

            Gather kids back in the middle of the room. Say: Let’s see what Adam and Eve chose. Read Genesis 3:12-13.

            Say: Once again, Adam and Eve made a wrong choice. And their evil choices had consequences. Adam and Eve were punished, and their punishment included things that still punish us today. Their punishment made work a lot harder for us. And they got kicked out of the garden!

 

Talk About It

            Ask: • Tell about a wrong choice you made. Share your own example first.

            • Tell about a time you were punished for a choice you made. Share your own example first.

            • We looked at the choices Adam and Eve had to make. What are choices between good and evil that kids your age have to make?

            • We talked about why people might choose one side over the other in Adam and Eve’s situation. What or who guides your choices between good and evil?

            Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. He wants us to choose good and obey him. When we choose evil, we hurt our relationship with God. But God loves us so much that he made a plan to fix our relationship, even though evil has broken it. One day, many years after Adam and Eve’s bad choice, God sent his Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for our evil choices. Jesus chose good over evil every single time, but he died as a punishment for all of our evil choices. Let’s say thank you right now.

            Pray: God, thank you for loving us so much that you gave us choices instead of forcing us to obey like robots. Please help us choose good over evil. Thank you for sending Jesus to help us make good choices, and thank you for sending Jesus to take our punishment when we choose evil. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Core Bible at Home [20 min]

Genesis: God Gives Adam and Eve a Choice to Stay Close to Him (Genesis 3)

Supplies

  • Bible

Tips

  • This Bible Experience is specifically designed for video calls, pre-recorded videos, or parent-led lessons for a wide age-range of kids.
  • If you’re leading this as a video, tell families to pause when you ask questions so they can discuss them. Tell families as you start the video what supplies they’ll need so they can gather them before they begin.
  • For additional activities that adapt easily to an at-home setting, click “view” to preview the content of each activity block and choose only those that include a ▲ symbol in the highlighted summary description:
    • Opening
    • Music Video
    • Talk About Video
    • Object Lesson
    • Deeper Bible
    • Low-Energy Game (create your own list of good and bad scenarios instead of matching up kids’ ideas)
    • Life Application Wrap-Up
    • Take-Home page (for families to do at home)

 

Make Choices

           Say: We’re going to play a game of Would You Rather? I’ll give you four choices, and you’ll hold up the number of fingers that shows your choice. But I have one rule: you must never choose option number 4. You can choose any of the other options you want, but not number 4. Got it?

            Have kids repeat the rules to you.

            Read these sets of options, allowing time to vote after each one and repeating if needed for the vote. If a child does choose 4, don’t worry—you can talk about that later.

  • You’re getting a new pet! What would you rather have? 1 – an iguana; 2 – a puppy; 3 – a guinea pig; 4 – a tiger.
  • It’s dinner time! What would you rather eat? 1 – pizza; 2 – tacos; 3 – macaroni and cheese; 4 – ice cream.
  • It’s time to watch a movie! What kind of movie would you rather watch? 1 – a cartoon; 2 – a love story; 3 – something with a lot of action; 4 – something with a lot of violence.
  • You get to go to a school that only teaches your favorite subject. Which would you rather spend all day learning? 1 – math; 2 – reading and writing; 3 – science; 4 – recess.
  • You have some free time! What would you rather do? 1 – play outside; 2 – watch TV; 3 – play a board game; 4 – make fun of your sibling.

            Ask: • How did you choose an option each time?

            • Were you ever tempted to choose number 4? Why?

            Say: In this game, you had a lot to choose from! There might’ve been things you didn’t want, but there were plenty of other choices. But there was one choice that you knew was against the rules: choice number 4.

            We’re going to look at a time in the Bible when God had set up a perfect world. And his world included choices. God lets us choose between good and evil. Let’s see what Adam and Eve chose to do in God’s world.

 

Choose a Side

            Read Genesis 3:1.

            Say: Right off the bat, Eve has a choice. How will she respond to the serpent’s question? One choice would be to tell the truth about God’s rules. Another choice would be to complain about how strict God is.

            Have half the people lean to the left, which will represent telling the truth about God’s rules. The other half of the kids will lean to the right, which will represent complaining about how strict God is.

            Ask: • What would make someone choose your side over the other side? Allow time for everyone to share their best arguments.

            Have everyone stand upright again. Say: Let’s read on to see what Eve chose to do.

            Read Genesis 3:2-3.

            Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. Eve chose the good thing! The serpent had exaggerated God’s rules to sound extreme. But Eve told the truth about what God had asked her to do. But uh-oh…another choice is coming!

            Read Genesis 3:4-5.

            Say: Eve has another choice to make! Will she obey God’s rules, or will she eat the fruit?

            Have half the kids lean left, which will represent obeying God’s rules. The other half of the kids will lean to the right, which will represent eating the fruit.

            Ask: • Why would someone choose your side over the other side? Allow time for everyone to share their best arguments with the whole group.

            Have everyone stand upright again. Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. Obeying him is good. Eating the fruit would be evil, because that’s disobeying. Let’s see what Eve chose!

            Read the first part of Genesis 3:6: “The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.”

            Say: Oh no! This time Eve chose evil! But now she has another choice to make. Remember, she wasn’t alone in the garden. Adam was there, too. Normally, sharing is a good choice…but not this time. Eve could choose to convince Adam to disobey, too. Or she could keep him away from the tree so he wouldn’t make the same evil choice.

            Have half the kids lean left, which will represent keeping Adam away from the tree. The rest of the kids will lean to the right, which will represent giving fruit to Adam.

            Ask: • Why would someone choose your side over the other side? Allow time for everyone to share their best arguments with the whole group.

            Have everyone stand upright again. Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. Eve chose evil and gave some fruit to Adam. Faced with his choice between good and evil…he chose evil! He ate the fruit, too.

            The serpent told Eve that she’d become like God. But that wasn’t true. In fact, it wasn’t so great knowing about good and evil! Adam and Eve felt ashamed—something they had never felt before. They used to have a perfect relationship with God, but now they were embarrassed for him to see what they did. So they tried to hide in the garden.

            God asked them, “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

            Remember, God lets us choose between good and evil. Adam and Eve have another choice to make now…will they tell the truth and apologize to God, admitting their sin? Or will they make excuses and blame each other?

            Have half the kids lean to the left, which will represent telling the truth and apologizing. The rest of the kids will lean to the right, which will represent making excuses and blaming each other.

            Ask: • What would make someone choose your side over the other side? Allow time for everyone to share their best arguments with the whole group.

            Have everyone stand upright again. Say: Let’s see what Adam and Eve chose. Read Genesis 3:12-13.

            Say: Once again, Adam and Eve made a wrong choice. And their evil choices had consequences. Adam and Eve were punished, and their punishment included things that still punish us today. Their punishment made work a lot harder for us. And they got kicked out of the garden!

 

Talk About It

            Ask: • Tell about a wrong choice you made. Share your own example first.

            • Tell about a time you were punished for a choice you made. Share your own example first.

            • We looked at the choices Adam and Eve had to make. What are choices between good and evil that kids your age have to make?

            • We talked about why people might choose one side over the other in Adam and Eve’s situation. What or who guides your choices between good and evil?

            Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. He wants us to choose good and obey him. When we choose evil, we hurt our relationship with God. But God loves us so much that he made a plan to fix our relationship, even though evil has broken it. One day, many years after Adam and Eve’s bad choice, God sent his Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for our evil choices. Jesus chose good over evil every single time, but he died as a punishment for all of our evil choices. Let’s say thank you right now.

            Pray: God, thank you for loving us so much that you gave us choices instead of forcing us to obey like robots. Please help us choose good over evil. Thank you for sending Jesus to help us make good choices, and thank you for sending Jesus to take our punishment when we choose evil. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Talk-About Video [10 min]

Programming Robots

Supplies

  • “Programming Robots” teaching video (watch or download here)

Tip

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can download the videos before class using the “download” button at the link provided, or purchase DVDs here.

 

Discuss and Watch “Programming Robots”

            Say: We’ve been learning that God lets us choose between good and evil. But I wonder why? Couldn’t God have just made us choose good all the time?

            Ask: • Why do you think it would be good or bad if God just made us to always choose good?

            Say: Let’s watch a video where kids build robots, programmed to do just what they want.

            Watch “Programming Robots.”

            Ask: • If you could program a robot, what would you program it to do?

            • Can you have a relationship with a robot? Why or why not?

            • What’s the difference between someone who chooses to love you instead of someone who’d be programmed like a robot to love you?

            Say: If we were programmed like robots, we’d have no choice. But we wouldn’t really love God, and we wouldn’t be doing good out of love. God wants us to choose to love him, because that helps our relationship. God lets us choose between good and evil.

Preschool Puppet Skit [10 min]

Preschool Puppet Skit

Not available for this age level.

Object Lesson [10 min]

Which Egg?

Supplies

  • raw eggs (1 for every 2-4 kids)
  • hard-boiled eggs (1 for every 2-4 kids)
  • 2 colors of markers
  • disposable plastic tablecloths
  • wet wipes

Easy Prep

  • Cover your tables with plastic tablecloths prior to the activity.  

Observe and Guess

            Form mixed-age groups of two to four kids around the tables. Give each group one raw and one hard-boiled egg.

            Say: One of these eggs is raw and one is hard-boiled. Without breaking or cracking the shell, work together in your group to try to figure out which one is which. Kids might smell, hold, shake, or spin the eggs. If they spin, they’ll notice that one (the raw one) spins more slowly than the other. Don’t tell them this secret, but let them guess and observe. When they choose, have them mark the raw egg with one color and the hard-boiled egg with the other color.   

             

Drop the Eggs

            Say: Let’s see if your choices are correct. Choose one of your group members to stand and hold the egg that you think is hard-boiled approximately 3 feet above the tabletop. We’re going to drop these eggs and reveal if you made a good or bad choice. Are you ready? Have everyone count down from three and watch what happens when the eggs drop. Celebrate groups that chose correctly, and then have groups each choose another member to drop their other egg. Hand out wet wipes so kids can clean up.

           

Talk About It

            Ask: • How confident did you feel about your choice of egg? Why?

            Say: Good and evil aren’t always obvious. Both options may seem good at the time, but like the raw egg, one turns out to have messy consequences.

            Ask: • Tell about a time a bad choice led to messy consequences in your life. Did you know it was a bad choice right away?

            Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. We can ask him for help in making good choices. But when we do make a mess, he’ll help us pick up the pieces and learn from the experience. Have kids carefully clean up the mess by rolling and throwing away the tablecloths.

Deeper Bible [15 min]

Why Does God Let Us Make Bad Choices?

Supplies

  • Bibles

Introduce

            Say: We’re learning that God lets us choose between good and evil. Before anyone had ever done anything bad, Adam and Eve had the first choice—to obey God or disobey. But there are different things they could’ve done to obey or disobey.

            Ask: • What are some things Adam and Eve could’ve done when the serpent tempted them?

            Say: God gave Adam and Eve the choice to eat the fruit or not. He didn’t force them to obey. But why is that? If God wants us to obey, why does he let us make bad choices? Let’s dig in to that.

 

Obey

            Say: Let’s try a game. I’m going to be a drill sergeant. You’ll follow all my commands. Ready? Everyone stand at attention!

            Give kids the following commands, running through the list three or four times. Each time, get faster and faster until it becomes difficult for kids to obey you.

  • do five jumping jacks
  • touch your toes, and then jump up
  • rub your belly and pat your head at the same time
  • spin around three times
  • clap four times
  • stomp your feet 10 times
  • hop like a frog
  • sit down and stand up three times

            Ask: • How did it feel obeying me in this game?

            • Did you want to keep obeying? Why or why not?

            • How would you feel if I had a way to force you to keep obeying this list over and over and over?

 

Dig Deeper

            Say: If God didn’t give us choices, we’d be forced to love and obey him. Just like your phone is forced to send a text message when you say so or your computer is forced to type the keys you press, we’d be like machines loving and obeying God because we have to.

            Ask: • Why do you think that would be good or bad?

            Say: Let’s see what Jesus said about why we obey.

            Read John 14:15.

            Ask: • Tell about someone you love. How does that impact how you treat that person?

            Say: Because we have choices, we won’t always obey God perfectly. But when we do obey, it’s because we want to. It’s because we love him! And the more you get to know and love God, the more you’ll want to obey him. It’s not because you’re trying harder; it’s because as you grow in love for God, you’ll just naturally want to love and obey more and more.

            It’s kind of like if you love your friends. The closer you get to your friends, the more you find out what makes them happy and what hurts them. And you don’t want to hurt your friends!

            But even though we might not want to disobey God, sometimes we do. Let’s explore how God can help you choose good over evil.

            Read 1 Corinthians 10:13.

            Ask: • What are some “ways out” God might provide when we’re tempted?

            • What was Eve’s way out?

            Say: God lets us choose between good and evil. But he can help us choose good. We’ll all be tempted by evil choices, just as Eve was. But if we turn to God, he can help us.

 

Dig In to Eve’s Temptation

            Say: It might seem like we’re not tempted by the same thing Eve was. There’s no “forbidden tree” outside our houses. But let’s look at what really tempted her. This is what the serpent said would happen if she ate the fruit.

            Read Genesis 3:5.

            Ask: • Why might this have sounded like a good thing to Eve?

            Say: Eve was tempted because the serpent said she could be like God and know more. It’s kind of like saying she didn’t really need God because she could be just like him all by herself!

            Ask: • What are some ways you hear that kind of message today?

            Say: Sometimes we’re tempted by the same thing Eve was. We think things would be better if we ruled our lives instead of letting God do it. And since God lets us choose between good and evil, that’s a choice we can make. But when we choose a loving relationship with God, we’ll see that choosing God is actually what’s best for us. In the Bible, God’s people were challenged with that choice. Listen to this.

            Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20.

            Ask: • What are good consequences that can come out of choosing to follow God?

            • What are bad consequences that can come out of choosing not to follow God?

            Say: Let’s commit to choosing God.

            Pray: God, we love you. We know we can’t be like you, and we need you in our lives. Help us show our love for you by choosing good over evil. Please help us follow only you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

High-Energy Game [10 min]

One Bad Fruit

Supplies

  • masking tape
  • tennis balls or paper wads (2 per child)
  • upbeat music (optional)
  • music player (optional)

Easy Prep

  • On each side of your meeting area, make 3 masking-tape squares (approximately 1 square foot each) side by side, as shown. You’ll need 1 set of squares for every 6 kids.

 

  • On the tape at the top of each square, write point values. The square on the left is worth 5 points, the square in the middle is worth 1 point, and the square on the right is worth 10 points.
  • Make a masking-tape line 6 feet away from each set of squares.
  • Place a pile of 12 tennis balls or paper wads next to each tape line. Use a marker to draw a large black X on 1 ball in each pile.

Tip

  • You can purchase downloadable music and other items to enhance your DIG IN program here.

 

Recommended for 6 or more kids.

 

Roll the Tennis Balls

            Say: Today we heard how God told Adam and Eve they could eat from any tree in the garden except one, and they chose to eat from that tree. Because of Adam and Eve’s bad choice, they were separated from God. Let’s play a game as we think more about the effects of one bad choice.

            Have kids form at least two mixed-age teams of no more than six per team. Have each team line up single-file behind their tape line, facing the squares. Explain to teams that the square on the left is worth five points, the square in the middle is worth one point, and the square on the right is worth 10 points.

            Say: Each of you will get a chance to roll two “pieces of fruit” into the squares in front of your team. The object of the game is to score more points than the other team by getting your fruit into the higher-scoring squares. Here’s the catch: Each team also has one forbidden fruit, a “bad apple” marked with a black X. When the bad apple lands in a square, it means your team loses all the points from those balls in that square. If your apple misses the squares, you’ll have to keep rolling until it lands in one. So choose wisely which square to aim for!

            Once kids understand the rules, begin playing the game. If you’d like, play music as kids play.

            After each child has had two turns rolling fruit into the squares, count up each team’s points minus the points from the square with the bad apple.

            Tally the score at the end of the round to declare a winner. Play more rounds as time allows.

           

Talk About It

            Ask: • What was it like to lose all your points when the bad apple landed in one of your squares?

            • How are the effects of the one bad apple in this game like the effects of Adam and Eve’s one bad choice in real life?

            Say: One bad apple in this game took away all your points in that square. In the same way, Adam and Eve’s one bad choice meant they were forced to leave the Garden of Eden forever. Adam and Eve’s choice also meant that we all are separated from God by our sin. God lets us choose between good and evil, but our evil choices have consequences. Thankfully, God also lets us choose to be forgiven by believing in Jesus.

Low-Energy Game [10 min]

Choices, Choices

Supplies

  • index cards (1 per child)
  • pens

Make Tough Choices

            Gather kids together. Say: Adam and Eve got to choose whether to obey or disobey God. Let’s play a game where we make some choices of our own.

            Have kids form two mixed-age groups of equal size. Ask the kids in one group to each write something on their index cards that they’d really want. Give examples such as “eating candy for dinner every day” or “never going to school again.” Then have kids in the second group each write something on their cards that kids wouldn’t want at all. For example, kids might write “never getting to watch TV again” or “eating liver and Brussels sprouts for every meal.” If you have fewer than 10 kids, have kids each fill out two or three cards. Kids who can’t write can ask older kids to write for them. Allow time for kids to fill out their cards. When you collect them, keep the two piles separate.

            Then say: Time to make some tough choices. Based on what you wrote, I’ll read aloud a question. If your answer to my question is yes, move to my right. If your answer to my question is no, move to my left.

            Pair up one “good” card with one “bad” card. Then ask kids to choose their answer. For example, you might ask: “Would you want to eat candy for dinner every day even if it meant you never got to watch TV again?” Or “Would you eat liver and Brussels sprouts for every meal if it meant you would never have to go to school again?” Once kids choose an answer and move to the left or the right, have them discuss with someone near them why they answered as they did. Then read the next question and allow time for kids to move again and discuss their choices. 

            Play as long as time allows, even if you don’t get through every card.

 

Talk About It

            Ask: • What was the toughest choice you had to make in this game? Explain why the choice was tough for you.

            • Tell about a time in real life when you were faced with a hard choice. What did you choose to do?

            Say: Just as I gave you choices in this game, God gave Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden of Eden. But our choices were just preferences. Adam and Eve had to choose between right and wrong. God gives us those kinds of choices, too. God lets us choose between good and evil.

Craft [20 min]

It’s Your Choice Game

Supplies

  • “It’s Your Choice!” handout (1 per elementary child) (download here)
  • “Color Course Board Game” handout (1 per preschooler) (download here)
  • markers
  • index cards
  • scissors
  • envelopes (1 per child)
  • 2 pennies per elementary child
     

Easy Prep

  • Make a sample craft to show kids.

 

Make a Game Board

            Give each elementary child an “It’s Your Choice!” handout, and give each preschooler a “Game Board Template” handout. Have kids color the spaces using a variety of colors. Ideally, kids will use several different colors. While kids may choose to use fewer, encourage them that a greater color variety will make a more fun game. To save on time, elementary kids can simply make a dot in each hexagon rather than fully filling it in.

 

Make Cards

            Give each child six index cards. Have elementary kids cut their index cards into eight small squares each. Then have kids draw dots on the squares that match the colors on their board, using one color per square. (Preschoolers can color the full index card, one card per color they used.) Older kids can also include a few of these variations (or others they make up):

  • two dots of the same color (allowing you to move two spaces of that color)
  • three dots of the same color (allowing you to move three spaces of that color)
  • plus signs with numbers (allowing you to move forward that many spaces)
  • negative signs with numbers (forcing you to move backward that many spaces)
  • lose a turn

            Have kids each place their cards in an envelope.

            Help preschoolers make their playing pieces by each folding two index cards so they stand up like tents and decorating each card with a different picture.

 

Play the Game

            Give elementary kids each two pennies as playing pieces for their game. They’ll each use one penny now but take two home to play with a family member. One partner’s penny will be heads-up and the other will be tails-up. Then have kids form same-age pairs to play one of their games. To play, kids will take turns reaching into that game’s envelope without looking, pulling out a card, and moving their piece according to the instructions. The elementary game incorporates choice because there are many paths to get to the end. Kids can choose which way to go at forks in the road. The preschool game incorporates choice because kids can choose their card (without looking). Preschoolers will return their cards to the envelope and mix them up after each turn.

 

Talk About It

            Ask: • How did you choose which path to take or which card to pick in your game?

            • How do you know what the best choice is when you’re faced with choices in real life?

            Say: In a game, sometimes it’s easy to see which path will get you farthest. But sometimes it might not be an easy choice. Life can be like that, too. Sometimes it’s easy to choose good over evil. Other times, we’re not sure what the right choice is. God lets us choose between good and evil, and if we ask him, he will help us make the right choices.

            Encourage kids to take their games home (including the playing pieces) and play with their friends and family, explaining how the choices in the game are like the choices God gives us between good and evil.

Life Application Wrap-Up [5 min]

Turn From Evil

Supplies

  • Bible

Pray About Evil

            Say: Today we’ve learned that God lets us choose between good and evil. But we don’t have to make those choices on our own; we can ask God to help us. Let’s do that now.

            Gather kids on one side of the room. Say: Let’s imagine that this side of the room is a bad or evil choice. Think about a choice facing you this week. Pray silently that God will keep you from making a bad choice. Allow time.

            Have kids move to the middle of the room.

            Say: Jesus prayed about staying away from temptation. Let’s pray his prayer. Read Matthew 6:13, and then have kids pray it by repeating it after you.

 

Pray About Good

            Read Romans 12:21.

            Say: God says we can overcome evil by doing good! Let’s go to the other side of the room and imagine it’s a good choice. Lead kids across the room.

            Say: Think about a good choice you could make this week. Silently ask God to help you make that choice. Allow time.

            Read Psalm 34:14.

            Say: God can help you turn from evil and do good. Remember this verse during the week as you try to make good choices.

            Thank kids for coming, and encourage them to make good choices and come back next week to tell you about their choices.

Take-Home [0 min]

Dig In @ Home

Supplies

  • this week’s “Dig In @ Home” handout (1 per child) (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Add your church announcements to the “Dig In @ Home” handout.

           Distribute a copy of the “Dig In @ Home” handout to kids as they leave, or email it to parents during the week.