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Teaching the Trinity to Children on up!

Always begin with Scripture when teaching the Trinity to children and youth. Then lead into this fun interactive object lesson to help students better understand the teaching of the Trinity in the Bible.

You have probably seen other object lessons using an apple, water, etc.  Any object lesson is going to fall short in completely explaining this difficult concept.  I hope this interactive demonstration with clay will help in understanding.  It's worked well for me when teaching the trinity to children.

The word, Trinity, actually is not found in the Bible, yet the concept of God existing as one God, but in three persons is revealed throughout the Bible.  He is Three in perfect unity.

Nothing can quite capture the complete concept of the Trinity (One God - the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit), we must accept by faith that God is One and yet exists as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What you'll Need

  • Three colors of modeling clay (play dough could also be used) Ahead of time pinch off pieces of the same size of each color clay.  Roll these into a ball while carefully not mixing the colors together.
  • Wax paper or paper plates if allowing kids to also participate

Begin by asking if anyone has ever heard the word "Trinity" and do they have any idea of what it means.  Explain that the word itself is not in the Bible, but the concept is taught throughout Scripture.

Depending on the age, either read the following together or have children look these up and read them out loud.

Bible Verses
For Teaching the Trinity to Children

Trinity Seen in creation -

The Father: Malachi 2:10 - "Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us?"

The Son: John 1:1-4 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."

The Spirit: Genesis 1:2 - "the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

All Three as One: Genesis 1:26 - "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,"

Mark begins his Gospel account pointing to the Trinity-

"One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River.  As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Mark 1:9-11

Trinity included in how we pray -

"pray to your Father, who is unseen"(Matt. 6:6).

Jesus,the Son, goes on to say in John 14:13, 14:14, 15:16, 16:23, 16:24, and 16:26 that we should ask in His name.

Romans 8:26 says: "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us..."

Jesus speaks of the Trinity

Jesus leaves us with this command: Matthew 28:19 - "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"

Throughout God's Word He shows that He exists as the one, true God, but also as three identities.

Teaching the Trinity to Children Demonstration

I usually demonstrate this object lesson myself when teaching the Trinity to children before I allow them to have clay in their own hands and become distracted.

  • Show kids the three different colors of clay.
  • Ask how they are all the same. (All three are clay, feel the same, made of the same substance, etc.) Ask how they are different.(They are each a different color.) Does one being a different color make it not clay? Do the colors help you identify each from the other?

  • Show the tricolor ball you made ahead of time to the kids. If you think it would help, you could designate one color for each person of the Trinity - such as Purple/Father, Yellow/Son, Green/Holy Spirit.  Actually I would probably try to use red or pink clay instead of purple if I had had it - pink/red for the Father so loved the world, yellow for the Son because it makes us think of Light or the sun, and green for the Holy Spirit because He is with us and helps us grow in our faith.
  • Ask them if there is more than one ball since there are three colors?  Is the yellow clay part of the ball?  What about the green and the purple?  Did the green clay become the yellow clay?  Can we still see the difference even though all three are one ball?
  • Explain the Bible teaches God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all God.  They are One God, yet they are each unique in Who they are also.  Just like each color of clay is still clay, but the green clay is uniquely different from the yellow clay, etc. In a similar way God has always existed as One God, but three unique persons.  God the Father and Jesus are both God, but the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father.  The same goes for the Holy Spirit; He is God, but He is not the Father or the Son.  
  • Just as the color of each clay that makes up the ball helps us see each as unique, so the three persons of the Trinity can be seen and known even though they are One God. Three colors of ball.  Three unique persons...One God. Three in perfect unity - the Trinity.

Hands On! Now pinch off three pieces for each child and have them try to explain it back to you!  Have them place there created ball somewhere it can remind them about the truth of the lesson and think about God!

© Copyright 2018 Susan Smart

Diagram of the Trinity

The following diagram is also helpful when teaching the trinity to children or any age.  It is one triangle but has three individual angles.  Each angle is exactly the same and yet uniquely separate, but all are always the triangle.  The triangle would not be a triangle without all three.  God is three in One.

The diagram points out that although The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are God and God is all three, The Father is not The Son, The Son is not the Holy Spirit, and The Holy Spirit is not the Father.

More for Teaching the Trinity to Children

We also have more object lessons for teaching the Trinity to children.

For more in depth information and Bible verses about the Trinity take a look at GotQuestions.Com.

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