How do you think it smelled on Noah’s ark?
I can only imagine.
And maybe it’s a good thing all we can do is imagine because it was probably pretty stinky.
One of the best ways we can introduce our kids to God and his Word is by using the five senses. No matter what age they are, kids like to taste, feel, see, hear, and smell. We all do! No teenager wants to just look at a plate of chocolate chip cookies. They want to smell them and sink their teeth into chocolate-y goodness, right? And what five-year-old wants to just look at the toys down Target’s aisle without shaking a box, or pushing a button, or exploring with little fingers what those toys feel or sound like.
Our five senses make life so much more interesting! Our five senses can also make God’s Word come alive. And scientists tell us that pairing learning with senses helps our kids remember what they’ve learned.
So I thought I’d share two ideas for tapping into the senses of touch, taste, sight, sound and smell that REALLY WORK WITH KIDS.
1 – Ask “five senses” questions that stir the imagination
Say you’re telling or reading the story of Paul being shipwrecked (Acts 27). Stop in the middle of the story and just ask…
What do you think the storm sounded like? (crashing thunder, wind swirling, rain pelting down)
What did it feel like when the ship ran in to the sandbar? (jerky, scary)
What did it taste like? (Imagine salty sea water splashing in your face or queasiness from your stomach moving up into your throat)
What would the people on the boat look like (after all, they’d be in the storm for 14 days!)?
You can help your kids start imagining by throwing out a few ideas, but try not to fill in your own imagination answers. Let them come up with their own ideas.
With older kids, you can send them off to read a Bible story on their own. Then have them come in a few minutes and tell you what the sounds in the story were or what the smells in the story were. Once, I divided a large group into smaller groups and assigned one sense to each group. It was amazing what they came up with!
2 – Introduce one of the five senses themselves
Let’s say you’re explaining how God loves to hear his children pray. Then you read your kids Revelation 5:8, how prayers are like incense that floats up to God. Incense, you say, has a wonderful smell. Then ask…
“What do you think our prayers smell like to God? Do you think it smells like this?” [Let your kids smell your favorite perfume or cologne.] “Or, do you think it smells different?”
Or maybe you’re telling the story of manna that came down from heaven. Explain that manna was sweet like honey, then give them a wafer cookie.
“How do you think manna tasted?” you can ask. “Maybe like this?”
Tapping in to the senses helps kids sink down into the story, like they were actually there. AND it helps kids remember. It’s simple to do but a powerful tool.
Please scroll down, leave a comment and tell me what you think.