Serpents appear in several Bible stories: the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden; Aaron's staff turning into a serpent as a sign to Pharaoh; Nehushtan, the bronze snake that God instructed Moses to build in the wilderness to heal the people who were suffering from fiery serpent attacks; or in Acts 28, when Paul miraculously survives a bite from a poisonous viper without a single ill effect. Parents and teachers can use serpent Bible crafts to illustrate the symbolism of sin, healing and God's power.
Paper Serpent Craft
The first mention of a serpent in the Bible is in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, when the serpent tempts Eve to doubt by questioning God's wisdom, resulting in the first sin. A simple paper craft illustrates this story. Cut out or draw a fruit tree loaded with ripe fruit and Eve looking at the tree. Make a slit in the center of the leafy part of the tree. Cut out and color a paper serpent and slide it head first through the slit so that it can move freely in and out of the tree. Another paper craft you can do is make a paper chain snake with loops of taped-together paper strips. Glue eyes and a serpent's forked tongue to the end loop.
Many young children love finger painting, so you can draw on the natural attraction for another illustration of the Garden of Eden. Provide red, green, brown and black finger paints and allow children to make a fingerprint tree and serpent. For example, green thumbprints can be the tree's leaves, and a brown S shape made by a finger can be the snake. Once the paint dries, children can add details such as eyes and a tongue with a permanent marker.
To illustrate the story of the bronze serpent in the wilderness, children can wrap a clay snake around a post such as a pipe cleaner or chopstick. Provide clay and let them roll out ropes to create a serpent. Affix it to the top of the pole and spray paint the whole thing bronze for an authentic-looking representation of this sign of God's power to heal. For other serpent Bible stories, leave out the pole but let the snake air-dry or oven-dry and paint as desired.
A length of braided yarn with wiggly eyes and a red pipe cleaner tongue makes an easy serpent craft to illustrate any of the serpent-related Bible stories. You may use several strands for each arm of the braid or make a small three-strand braid and tie a long single strand to one end. Feed it through a wide straw, letting the single strand hang out. Children can use it to illustrate Aaron's rod turning into a serpent by grabbing the strand as they toss the "rod" on the table so that the serpent comes out. For the bronze serpent, use brown and gold yarn or metallic cording and wrap the serpent around a pole.
Edible crafts are a perennial favorite with kids. Thread a needle for each child with a long piece of thread or fine string. Slide a combination of grapes, jelly beans, gumdrops and raisins onto the string. Let the children pull their snakes across a clean table to make it slither. Eat the treats while listening to Bible serpent stories that demonstrate God's power over life and death.
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