Sand Play for 10 Plagues Story

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Moses and the ten plagues lesson plan

Out desert box just got invaded by bugs—albeit plastic ones, but lots of creepy things to help the children learn about the ten plagues God sent on Egypt when Moses asked Pharoah to “Let my people go” and Pharoah said “no!”

Our sand play really only covered the first nine plagues and then we covered the last plague and the crossing of the Red Sea in another lesson.

The main point of the lesson  series was to tell the story of how God’s people were freed from slavery through God’s power.  This story is so meaningful in the overall story of God as this is where the Israelites really gain their identity as God’s people. 

The overlap between Passover and Christ’s death on the cross are not by accident and so this story of the Exodus is one of my favorites because it helps us understand Jesus as the perfect Passover lamb sacrificed so we could be saved, just as the Hebrews were saved from Pharoah.

How we did it:

  • We have a sandbox in our classroom filled with play sand that we use for many of our lessons.  I always lay a cloth beneath the sand to make clean up a little easier.  We have carpet–enough said.
  • I found items to represent each of the first nine plagues and laid them out beside the sand along with some other items to provoke exploration.  For more description of the items see the note below the post. 
  • I let the kids use the items to play in the sand.  It got pretty crowded in there—that’s a lot of stuff.
  • For the story, all the items were mixed together and even buried in there, so as I taught about each plague I sorted and pulled out those items from the sand.  This was a last minute idea that worked great–total inspiration from the Lord!
  • We used a sand sifter to get the items out of the sand so we could use the sand for other lessons.  That was a lifesaver!

Items used to represent the plagues as follows:

  1. Red gems- Nile turned to blood
  2. Plastic frogs- frogs
  3. Dried black beans-gnats
  4. Plastic flies- flies
  5. Plastic pigs, sheep, and cows-diseased livestock
  6. Black cloth- darkness
  7. Wooden people shapes with red dots- boils (I originally used these for ten lepers story)
  8. Clear glass gems- hail
  9. Plastic grasshoppers-locusts

When I told the follow up story of the Passover and crossing of the Red Sea I reused the red gems to represent the blood spread over the doors.

When dealing with issues of violence in Scripture such as the loss of Egyptian life as the death angel passed over, thought should be taken to teach Children carefully, but not to leave out what’s important about the story.

Children should be treated with respect as should God’s word.  This is a careful balance that I sometimes don’t know how to keep, but I have found God to be faithful as I have prayed for correct words to speak.