Family fun trips are great times to reinforce what your kids have been learning about God. Zoos, aquariums, nature preserves and even farms are usually full of animals and other creatures God created. (Our suburban yard has even been host to deer, foxes, possums, rabbits and more!) You can use the animals you see as ways to teach or remind your kids of some important biblical principles.
The great news is that you don’t have to preach a sermon to your kids. You don’t have to memorize a lesson plan or a bunch of scriptures. You can just make casual comments as you go. Often these comments are best made in response to something your child has said. Hopefully, some of them will come out of your mouth spontaneously. And of course, you can say other things while you are enjoying God’s creation, just sprinkle in the comments from time to time.
Use your own words, but try saying some of these things to your kids the next time you visit the zoo or aquarium.
- “God must really love us to have created such an amazing variety for us to enjoy!”
- ”God is so creative! Did you know God made you in His image, which means He made you to be creative, too?!”
- ”God is amazing!”
- ”How awesome is that! God created the (insert creature name) so that (insert interesting fact about animal you just learned). Did you know that the extreme intricacy in God’s creation is what is leading many scientists – even some atheists – to admit that the idea that all of this was created by chance is impossible?”
- ”Oh! That’s a donkey like the one in the Bible that Jesus rode.”
- ”I wonder if this animal would have been clean or unclean when Noah was loading the ark?”
- ”How interesting that all of these different types of (insert name of animal grouping) are related. Noah didn’t have to take one of each variety of these on the ark, just one of each kind, or group of animals. He probably took baby animals so they would have longer to breed after the flood and would have taken up less space and eaten less food on the ark.”
- ”I wonder what day of creation these were created on?”
- ”God told Adam humans were supposed to take care of everything He created (have dominion over). How do you think He would want us to take care of all of these animals/fish? What is one thing we can do to help?”
- ”God sure did bless us by giving us so many beautiful things to see while we are on Earth!”
- ”Why do you think God created (insert name of creature) so that (insert characteristic)?”
- ”How many animals did we see today that you think are mentioned by name in the Bible?” (Provides a great excuse for teaching your kids how to use Bible resources to find information.)
- ”What are some things we saw today that we should thank God for the next time we pray?”
- ”God is amazing!”
You won’t use all of these every time you go to a zoo or a nature preserve. Some you will word differently because of the personalities and interests of your kids. There are probably dozens of more things you could say, but these should get you started. Have fun with it. Use every chance you have for a teaching moment that points your kids to God.