To help the young children understand that our God made animals and insects for us and that we are responsible for caring for the animals.
Begin to sing Shall We Go For a Walk Today (Little Voices Praise Him, # 82) and take a walk outside. Point out to the children the things that God made; especially look for animals and insects. Ask the children if they can find things that are no bigger than their hand that Jesus made which can be carried back to the classroom in a box or bug cage. Are there any insects that can be taken back to the classroom for a few days of observation? Be sure to plan for the feeding of the captured insects. Discuss the colors and sizes of the bugs and insects. How fascinating these little creatures are! Jesus made them that way. Jesus and God the Father love the animals and insects. Jesus made them for us because He loves us. Can you think of other animals that Jesus made? Do you like animals? Do you like insects? Is it important for us to take care of the animals? Is it important for us to take care of insects, too? Yes, it is.
Provide an animal-scape for the children to play with such as a barn with farm animals, or a low cut brown box with Safari animals. Introduce the new activity set to the children through demonstration and explanation. Begin by singing Animals, Animals (Little Voices Praise Him, #67), allowing each child to bring an animal to the activity set. Toob-animals may be too small for particular children, but stuffies are always a great choice! You can also bring into the classroom an insect display for observation such as an ant farm, silk worms, caterpillars, etc. Whichever insect you choose, be sure to have a consistent source of food for that particular insect (e.g. silk worms eat mulberry leaves, Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed, etc.).
(Materials: Butterfly and caterpillar shaped paper that is blank.) Read Beautiful Bones and Butterflies (A child’s Steps to Jesus, Vol. 2). Talk to the children about how they are changing, growing, learning. Impress upon them the importance of being careful about what we eat, watch and hear so that we grow and change and become more and more like our loving Jesus. Provide blank pieces of paper that are shaped like butterflies and caterpillars and help the children record beautiful and kind actions. Display these in a prominent place and repeatedly encourage the children to act in kind and beautiful ways.
Plan a Pet Party and invite the children to bring their favorite stuffed animal to school and options for allowing live animals might include: Having the local animal shelter bring a friendly, vaccinated animal., Having a local pet store bring a friendly, appropriately vaccinated animal or Inviting the owner of a registered “working” or “service” animal to visit. Have the children discuss what it means to be responsible for the animals. How many “tasks” can they name and perform?
To provide young children with Christ-centered, developmentally-appropriate experiences in safe, nurturing environments that are aligned with the beliefs and values of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.