Here at Group, we always have crazy experiments happening around the building. Watching my coworkers find clever and creative ways to help kids grow in their relationship with Jesus is one of my favorite things to do. Just yesterday, my friend Ali had about 20 clear cups on her desk along with dish soap, vegetable oil, milk, corn syrup, water, and food coloring. She was testing the idea that, depending on which order you pour the ingredients, they would either remain in layers or stay separated.
It didn’t quite go the way she planned, BUT the cool thing about a Jesus-centered life is that you start to see Jesus everywhere – like in vegetable oil!
Here’s what happened: As she was cleaning up, Ali realized that no matter how she poured the ingredients into the cup, the vegetable oil always came to the top. Ali tried this experiment in a new way today (spoiler alert: it worked this time!) as a possible object lesson for our new DIG IN Sunday school curriculum. Here’s how it turned out…
Bible point: Jesus is the best gift ever!
Key verse: Luke 2:1-7 (Yes, we are working on Christmas lessons in April)
- tall glass
- large clear plastic cups, one for every four kids
- 4 smaller cups per four kids
- dish soap
- vegetable oil
- Pour a little bit of each liquid into four separate cups. You’ll need one set of four cups per four kids.
Mix It Up
- Say: Jesus is the best gift ever. Sometimes other gifts might seem better.
- Ask: What’s a gift someone might think is better than Jesus?
- Say: But Jesus will always come out on top, because Jesus is the best gift ever.
Have kids form groups of four. Distribute supplies to each group. Hold up the vegetable oil and say: Let’s pretend this liquid represents Jesus. Pour it into a clear cup. Have one child in each group pour the vegetable oil into their cup.
- Ask: What do you think will happen if we pour another liquid in the cup?
Have another child in each group choose a second cup to pour into the cup. The vegetable oil will rise to the top. (It may take a few seconds.)
Continue until everyone has poured one of the liquids in the cup. Regardless of the order you pour things in, it will end up in four distinct layers in this order (from top to bottom): vegetable oil, dish soap, milk, honey.
- Ask: What do you think will happen if we combine all of our cups?
Have groups each pour their cups into the tall glass. Within a few seconds, the oil will create its own layer on top. (The other layers may combine a bit, but the oil will remain separate.)
Talk About It
- Why do you think the vegetable oil always stayed on top?
- How can other people see that you think Jesus is the top gift?
- Say: Sometimes people make Christmas wish lists, starting with the things they want the most. Those are probably really awesome gifts! But we’ve already gotten the best gift ever—Jesus! Any other gift will sink below him because he’s the best gift ever!
No matter how they mix the ingredients, the vegetable oil always rises to the top. In the same way, no matter what happens, Jesus always rises to the top! He is above all else! He is the best gift ever!
After the kids have seen this on a small scale in their groups, they get a real big wow at the end when all the groups combine their already mixed ingredients into one big clear container and still, all the vegetable oil rises to the top! This is a great object lesson for kids as they learn to trust Jesus, rely on Him, and truly believe that He is above all else!
Check out other sample lessons and take the DIG IN demo for a test drive by clicking here! Or, if you just want to learn more about DIG IN you can watch this video. Let us know what you think in the comments below!