Monday, June 11, 2012

Fun Tower of Babel Activities!

Last week I shared about how I've started a journey through the Bible, reading one chapter a day with my boys.  We'd done some fun activities with Creation and Noah's Ark, but when we got to the Tower of Babel, I decided to have a couple of fun things to do to go along with the story.  Not many children's Bibles have this story, so this was a pretty new story for my kids.

My boys are no strangers to towers.  We've got wooden blocks, lego blocks, squishy blocks, and cardboard blocks that we use to build them all the time.  But since we've been reading our chapter at lunch time, I thought it would be fun to do something food related to reinforce what we'd just read.  I started them out with some apple slices, grapes and carrot sticks for them to munch on while I read the chapter.

When we got done reading Genesis 11, I whipped out the main course:  Ritz crackers and peanut butter towers.  They were on cloud nine!  I gave them each a plastic knife (they have a hard time controlling the heavier metal ones still), a rationed amount of crackers, and let them get to building.

They each constructed a peanut butter cracker tower and then proceeded to devour it.

The Leaning Tower of Babel

Silas' approach to tower eating 
If you wanted to do more of a dessert like snack, I found these cute marshmallow and toothpick towers or you could substitute the Ritz and peanut butter with graham crackers and marshmallow cream.

Right after lunch, Silas ran off, but Isaac was interested in another activity I had for him.  First, I taped two pieces of construction paper together.  (I taped the short sides together so that when turned vertically, it would make a really tall piece of paper).

1+1+1=1 has the a super cool free printable full of bricks (pg. 2) that you can cut out.  I cut a sheet of them out and Isaac went to work gluing and creating his masterpiece of a tower.  He's not a super crafty kid, but he really, really liked this.  I'm guessing it's because about halfway through I let him have control of the glue bottle.  ;)

Isaac's Masterpiece
I also tried to spend some time explaining what languages were, but Isaac seemed a little fuzzy on his understanding.  I decided to teach him how to say "hello" in several different languages.  I figured this would definitely clear things up, so I taught the boys the following greetings and let them repeat after me.

Spanish: Hola
French: Bonjour
Japanese:  Konnichiha (pronounced as konnichiwa)
German:  Guten Tag (pronounced as Gootn Tahk)
Swahili:  Jambo

Well, it turns out with a 3 year old (at least MY three year old) that this "clarification" was as clear as mud.

SO, take two.  (And this is the part where I get kind of embarrassed to admit some of the things I do behind closed doors.)

We went back to Isaac's room and I told him we were going to play a game.  I told him I was going to be the "boss" and he was going to be my "worker."  I told him that I was going to tell him how to do something and he had to do it just the way I said.

He agreed.

First, I told him to go get all of the cardboard blocks off of his toy shelf.  Then I told him to put 2 red ones side by side.  And then again.  And then 4 yellow ones.  And then 2 more yellow ones.  I tried to be as clear as possible about how I wanted them stacked, but made sure to never touch them to help him.

Then in the same tone of voice, I started to speak jibberish.  He just kind of looked at me, so I said it again.  He half grinned and I started using hand motions and being more animated as I spoke my nonsensical babble.  I continued to get more and more animated until Isaac said, "Huh?"

This poor child is thinking, "I hope Daddy gets home soon.  My mother has gone mad!"
Silas was laughing hysterically and kept saying, "Do it again!"

We all had a good laugh and Isaac got a much better picture of what a "different language" was AND why it was impossible for them to finish constructing the tower once God confused their languages.

Here's a few more "Tower of Babel" links if your kiddos are into coloring or you want to practice writing the letter "T" with them:

Coloring page
Mini book
Letter "T" handwriting or coloring page  

I honestly didn't do a whole lot of "application" with this lesson.  I wish I had.  I usually like to spend some time talking about the spiritual implications of what we learn so that it's not just an entertaining story.  But, that's okay.  We should have numerous opportunities to bring the story back up as we build the next bazillion block towers at our house!  :)

If you're curious as to why this building of a tower was so offensive to God or your child asks questions, the answer is twofold:
1.  Because their building of a city to live and die in was in direct opposition to God's command back in Gen. 9:1 to scatter and fill the earth.  They even said they wanted to build it so that they WOULDN'T be scattered abroad (Gen. 11:4).
2.  Because it was a reflection of their sinful hearts.  They desired to make a name for themselves (Gen. 11:4).  At the root of their actions was pride, not a desire to bring glory to God.

I hope you have as much fun eating towers and speaking jibberish as we did!

We linked up at:

I Can Teach My Child


  1. good stuff! love to see parents so involved in their kids spiritual growth!



2011 Design by sweet cheeky designs