One of the things I love most is finding ways to help explain concepts to our children that even we adults can have a difficult time grasping. I’ve mentioned before that Family Time Training’s lessons are such a resource to our family and this month’s free activity is no exception. It’s all about what the kingdom of God is like–a mustard seed!
We know that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed then God can do amazing things with that. Once again, in Mark 4:30-32 Jesus uses a mustard seed to explain the kingdom of heaven.
Again [Jesus] said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
So here is why I love using Family Time Training’s lessons so much: They use interactive visuals to get the point across and they script the whole lesson out! Sometimes, I’m rocking the analogies with my kids but other times, when pregnancy brain kicks in, I have a difficult time making a coherent sentence. Being able to read the bolded words and follow the script is helpful! (Of course, you can always ad lib if you want.)
This activity is good for all ages because it gets all the kids involved, and honestly, it even made my husband and I think about this parable in a different way, a way that made every day practical sense. Isn’t that what we need to be able to live out Biblical truths–practical applications?
- Family Time Training “Mustard Seed: Kingdom of God” Printout (Print it out now! It’s only available for free this month – Feb. 2017. If you missed it for free, no worries. They have a great activity available every month AND the option to have a monthly membership which gives you access to all their activities! Go ahead and click on the link to see their current activity.)
- A large glass or clear container like a mason jar or vase.
- Dark food coloring
- 1 cup measuring cup
- mustard seeds or picture of a mustard seed
- picture of a mustard seed tree
I mentioned even my husband and I learned to look at Jesus’ parable about the kingdom of God in a different way when we did this bible study and hands-on activity. We started this study by describing what earthy kingdoms are typically like then compared that to what the Bible has to say. One of the kids read the corresponding verse. Then we handed out mustard seeds to everyone so they could see how small they are. Next we moved on to the activity, which includes some math. But don’t worry, even the little ones can participate in it!
We began by filling a dropper and counting how many drops it takes to fill up a tablespoon.
What’s your guess?
It took us around 300 drops of water to fill this tablespoon! That was way more than we imagined! Now, just imagine how many thousands are in an eight-cup jar! No, we did not use the dropper to fill the big glass jar. Oh my, that would have taken forever. Thankfully, in the script they point out how many tablespoons it takes to make a cup. The script recommends that you allow your older kids (or parents) to calculate about how many drops are in the big glass jar based on how many cups you put in the jar.
From this point, we watched how just a handful of drops of food coloring can make an enormous impact on those thousands of water droplets. At the end of the lesson, we showed them how big a mustard tree grows and how it is able to protect many animals. Once again it reiterated the point that God can use small acts for big purposes!
We started talking about how God makes small things big and weak things strong! This is actually one of my favorite points in the entire Bible. We all want to be super heroes in some way. Yet we need to realize that even our smallest actions done for the glory of God can have a huge impact! It doesn’t matter that we are just one humble, unfamous person. God can use anyone if they are seeking His will! It doesn’t matter that we might not be a king or queen, we are the children of the King! He uses the weak to do powerful things!
So what small act can you do today that God may use in a big way? Maybe it’s simply doing a fun Bible activity with your kids! Or maybe it’s passing this activity onto another family. Perhaps it’s passing on a smile or praying over someone. Don’t underestimate what God can use to impact generations!
Check out some of the other Family Time Training Activities we have done and be sure to follow their Facebook page to get future activities!
- Back to the Basics! - February 24, 2020
- Blessing Others with a Valentine’s Day Heart Attack - February 10, 2020
- Are You Willing to Be Humiliated? - December 9, 2019
Looks like a really fun activity to do outside!
It was the perfect day to be outside talking about God’s kingdom!
What a great way to teach about the “mustard seed”!
My daughter is only 17 mos I can’t wait until she’s older to do activities like this!
I found your article interesting. I really like the visualization that this study came with for the kids. Sometimes in my line of work while coaching adults we have to describe something like you just did for your kids. Rustled Kipling wrote in the poem “If” that a person should talk to wise. Sometimes when we put things in simple terms they come across the strongest and most impactful. I teach my clients that it’s the tiniest moments that have the greatest impact and micro changes in our lives that can pay the greatest dividends to living a rich and… Read more »
I love this idea. I don’t have any grandchildren near us, but I’m going to share the information with them about the website!
Thanks for sharing this fun activity! It really does have a strong visual impact and your pictures made a powerful statement!!