Experiencing God, Learning Through Play

Creation by Days with Spielgaben

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. Genesis 1:1 (NKJV)

We began our study on the book of Genesis with the story of creation. There are many ways to approach the story of creation with young kids. What better way than to bring our kids outdoors and experience God’s creation firsthand. However, just this approach can be overwhelming for the young minds. Younger GEM and I spent a couple weeks to run through the six days of creation; reinforcing through craft and play using Spielgaben. We looked at the process of how God created the world, how it was carefully planned from the atmospheric elements to vegetation to lifeforms.     

Other than using the playboards or story mats provided with the Spielgaben set as a base for play, I prefer to use alternatives such as mirrors, gym coloured markers or by creating your own!

Using Spielgaben 3-6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 we built scenes of creation from day one to six.  

Day 1 – Light (Genesis 1:3-5)

First day of creation and it was light. Just like how Jesus came to be the light of the world (When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12). We used Spielgaben 8 – Sticks to spell “LIGHT” using a mirror base. 

Day 2 – Sky and sea (Genesis 1:6-8)

We created our sky and sea background canvas by painting the Ikea roll of drawing paper. Light blue for the sky and a darker shade for the sea. This story mat will also be used for activities for day 3, 5 and 6.

Using Spielgaben 9, semi-rings to create waves. For the clouds, we used Spielgaben 7. Younger GEM enjoyed the process of creating funky shapes for the clouds. While it doesn’t appear to look like clouds to me, it certainly did for her! Her favourite was the rocket! Are you able to spot it?

Day 3 – Land, plants and trees (Genesis 1:9-13)

Using the same canvas as day 2, we painted the bottom right, brown, for land. We planted some flowers and her favourite apple tree using Spielgaben 7 and 8. We followed the Spielgaben guide for the flowers and apple tree. It was challenging for younger GEM to follow the guide so I had to assist her. For example, dissecting the “apple tree” by identifying the different parts that made up the tree and rote count the parts while looking for them in the respective drawers. Use your intuition on how much help your child needs.   

Day 4 – Sun, moon and stars (Genesis 1:14-19)

We used a piece of drawing paper to create the day and night sky as our backdrop. Dividing the piece of drawing paper diagonally in half, younger GEM painted light blue (day) and black (night) on each half. 

We used Spielgaben 7 and 10 to create shapes for the sun, moon and stars. 

Younger GEM used a square piece for the centre of her sun initially and she decided it did not look quite like the sun and swap it for a circle. Let your child take their time and decide, let them think and rationalise for themselves. You will see they them delight in their accomplishments. 

Day 5 – Sea and flying creatures (Genesis 1:20-23)

Scrolling through the Spielgaben user guide, younger GEM picked the sea otter (sea creature) and seagull (flying creature) to represent each of the two categories of animals.

Day 6 – Land animals, man (Genesis 1:24-31)

Again, using the Speigaben guide, younger GEM chose the bear to represent land animals. The bear mainly uses Spielgaben 3-6. Spielgaben 7 for the ears and 10 for facial features. She exclaimed that the bear was the easiest compared to the otter and seagull. Indeed, she could execute the task with minimal help since the parts (Spielgaben 3-6) used were 3D; much easier for her to handle.

Finally, God created man, which He claimed was “very good”. We added stickmen to represent Adam and Eve on our story mat. 

At the same time, we used Spielgaben 7, 8, 9 & 10 and gym coloured markers, to form the faces of Adam and Eve. Each of the family members made our attempts!

Experiencing God

Closer Walk with God Through BSF

“And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45

Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) adopts a four-fold approach of Question, Discuss, Listen and Learn. First we attempt the questions individully then the group discussions followed by a lecture by the teaching leader and end off with the reading of the notes. Each year studying a book or theme in the bible with your discussion group reassigned allowing you to meet ladies from all walks of life.  

I started attending five years ago with the Women’s Day classes when older GEM started Nursery 2 after a church friend’s recommendation. My intention was to make better use of my time. Looking back now, BSF has been a great part of my life as well as my family’s. Although it can be challenging completing the “homework” before discussion, I always draw new insights from the study which keeps me going. To me, BSF is multi-facet; knowledge gain from the studies, non-judgemental discussion and sharing of God’s grace and mercy. It is not about finding the right answers to the questions but challenges you to think and change for the better in Christ’s likeness. It makes application of the principles learnt more natural. I feel recharged after each study. 

BSF has been a great part of me especially in the first year of study when I was contemplating for a second child after a difficult six months post birth of older GEM. Seeing many ladies who have multiple kids (like 4 and 5!) and it just seems natural for them. Turning point came when someone shared with me the following verses.

“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

“And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.” Genesis 9:7

God gave the same instructions, first to Adam and Eve then to Noah. I was encouraged. Younger GEM then came along! 

BSF also conducts a Children’s Programme (CP) so the kids are well-taken care of while the ladies can participate in the group discussion and lecture in peace! The CP is run by CP leaders and each lesson’s study runs in tandem with the adults’. Younger GEM started her BSF journey at six months old. The CP leaders would pray with and for them, sing praises, have bible story and verse time. The highlight for younger GEM is “quiet time”, where the kids will lay quiet on their blankets for a couple minutes to be still before the Lord. She would often practice “quiet time” at home!

Here we have younger GEM praying alongside the CP’s recording.

Then came COVID-19 where I thought BSF might come to a standstill but God has greater plans. BSF moved on virtually and group discussions started on ZOOM in February 2020. My mum, who is in her 70s, had to start going tech savvy in order to participate in BSF too! CP and lectures moved to recorded sessions.

Hubby and I started doing BSF questions together as couple studies in 2019. I have always asked him to join the Men’s Evening classes to no success so when BSF started a mini-study series of Noah over ZOOM, I signed him up. Subsequent to the mini-study, he signed up and is now a BSFer!

Thanks to daddy, older GEM is also on board, attending BSF over ZOOM every Monday! I must say she is the most disciplined amongst the family to complete the homework and pressure mounts when she asks if I have done mine!

So here we have the family studying the same passage of the bible each week with our respective groups!

I found it beneficial to make a case in point when I have to reprimand my girls for inappropriate actions or attitudes. Just the other day in the midst of their screaming and shouting at each other, I reminded them of how Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him to slavery. Joseph did not blame his brothers but shown forgiveness. As the study was still fresh in their minds, the girls apologised and gave each other a hug immediately.

Now you must be thinking that embarking on BSF is a huge commitment. It is! Try it out and see for yourself God’s purpose in your life!