I picked up a whole box of brightly colored buttons at a second hand store–so when our AWANA Cubbies lesson covered Noah’s Ark, I thought it would be a great way to collaborate to make a giant button rainbow. This is a great idea for a Noah’s Ark Sunday School lesson that focuses on God’s rainbow covenant with Noah. Both the leaders and the children were mesmerized by lining up the buttons and sorting them by color.
Collaborative Activities with Preschool Children:
The collaboration afforded a great opportunity to talk with the children. The activity with their hands allowed their little minds to share openly and conversationally—which can sometimes be hard when working with 3 and 4 year-olds. We also had a smaller group than normal this night, so all were able to participate rather than take turns like we normally do. For a larger group, simply create a second rainbow on poster board and divide the buttons or take turns offering other center type activities that connect to the lesson.
Our rainbow turned out so beautiful and with a class heavy on little girls, we couldn’t resist adding a row of pink. You can’t see it in this photo, but the children also thought to use gray buttons to form rain clouds. Love their creativity! They always add ideas that I never think about when I plan the activity.
Bright buttons make beautiful rainbows
How we prepared our Noah’s Ark Sunday school lesson:
- On a sheet of sky blue poster board, I free handed the outline of a rainbow.
- On each line of the rainbow, I wrote the appropriate color in that color. (I work with pre-readers).
- I provided a variety of buttons in many shapes and sizes. Like I said, I found this treasure at a second hand store, but many craft stores sell buttons in variety packs.
- I put a button or two in the right color on each of the lines to get the kids started. Only one of the kids didn’t want to make the rainbow, she was more interested in collecting all the large size buttons and doing her own thing–so that was fine, we just worked beside her.
What we learned:
Besides the great fine motor skills and color sorting, we were able to relate this activity to this week’s Bible verse, Genesis 9:13 “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
We have been learning the story of Noah and the Great Flood for the last couple of weeks, so this was a great way to wrap up our Bible lesson on Noah. Teaching the story of Noah to young children can be difficult. We focused on Noah’s righteousness before God and on God’s provision to Noah and his family as well as the animals.
Additionally, this particular group of children LOVES rainbows! I give them a lot of opportunity to draw their own pictures during children’s worship on Sunday mornings and week after week I see rainbows–made with water colors, crayon, colored pencils, do-a-dot markers and whatever materials are provided. This was a great opportunity to take something that has already captured their interest and imagination and connect it back to God’s character.
If you are looking for additional ideas for a Noah’s Ark Sunday school lesson or for AWANA Cubbies, we did this rain in a jar activity when we learned about the great flood.
We also found these activities helpful for our center activities for this lesson:
- Rainbow Magnet Activity Cards from Sew Fantastic
- Noah and the Ark Free Storytelling Printable from Keeping Life Creative
and lots more Noah’s Ark Bible lesson ideas on my Pinterest board!
What do you find the children in your ministry (or your own children) are naturally interested in? How do you incorporate those natural curiosities into what you teach them about God and the Bible?