As we look ahead to Christmas, here is a project that your student(s) or your whole family can do together that blends science, art and Bible together. Below you’ll find inspiration for making science-themed Christmas ornaments that connect to who Jesus is and the true meaning of Christmas. We have included pictures for inspiration, but feel free to flex your own creativity! Use your ornaments to decorate your tree or as gifts for family and friends. If you like, send us pictures of your handiwork – we may feature them on a social media post!
Bakeable clay, air-dry clay or salt dough. We chose white, but you can use different colors if you want.
Toothpicks, for creating designs on the clay and for connecting the pieces of The Molecule. Make sure no ornaments with toothpicks go in the oven!
Scissors or a knife for cutting clay pieces. Parents help younger kids!
Thin string or ribbons for hanging ornaments on the tree.
Paper clip, for making holes for the ribbons/string to hang your ornaments.
Optional: Clothes pins. It may be easier to use clothes pins to attach a couple of these ornaments to your tree. See photos below.
Optional: Hot glue gun for attaching ornaments to clothes pins if you go the clothes pins route. This is another place for parents to help younger kids!
Field of Science: Astronomy
Bible Verse: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Revelation 22:16
The Lord who names the stars (Psalm 147:4) chose a star to guide the wise men to Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12). While we don’t see the “Christmas star” today, the stars we do see in the sky and the wonders we learn about through astronomy - literally the laws of the stars - still point us to the Creator God and His Son Jesus. How amazing that the God who made and knows all stars also made and knows each one of us! Like the wise men who followed the star, may we have joy, worship Him and give Him our gifts. Maybe we don’t have gold, myrrh and frankincense but we do have time and talents that we can use to serve Him! Make a star ornament to remind you of these truths. You can make either a decorative star or a more scientifically-accurate depiction of a star – your choice!
Field of Science: Biology
Bible Verses: The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. I Corinthians 5:7b
The field of biology is simply put the study of life. That includes people and animals. Make a lamb ornament to remind you of how God chose to tell the Good News about Jesus’ birth to humble shepherds (Luke 2:8-17) and how Jesus is the Lamb who was sacrificed to pay the price for our sins.
The Water Molecule
Field of Science: Chemistry
Bible Verses: Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
Have you ever been really thirsty? Or have you ever been really hot on a summer day? Well, maybe you quenched your thirst with a nice, cold glass of water. Maybe you cooled off by jumping into a pool or running through a sprinkler. When you drink water and when you jump in a pool, you are interacting with teeny-tiny wonders of creation called molecules. Molecules are made up of atoms. Water molecules are made up of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom, so water is abbreviated H2O.
Remember the idea of being really thirsty? Well, people can be thirsty in a spiritual sense, too. They long to know God, to have their sins forgiven, to have assurance of what will happen to them when they die. Jesus came to be the answer (John 7:37-38)! Make a water molecule to remind you of how the Creator makes atoms work together to make molecules and of Jesus coming to quench our spiritual thirst. Also, remember to pray for people who are still thirsting to know Him.
Field of Science: Earth Science
Bible Verses: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." Isaiah 1:18
When we hear “Earth Science” we may think it has to do with, well, earth. But earth science includes branches of science that affect Earth (or earth, as in, dirt) like meteorology. Meteorology, or the study of the weather, includes snow, of course, so that’s why we can have a snowflake as our ornament for earth science.
You may or may not live where it snows at Christmastime. Either way, snow is a beautiful reminder of the Creator’s power and of God’s gift to us through Jesus – Jesus makes our sins white as snow! Make a snowflake ornament to remind you of these truths.
Field of Science: Physics
Bible Verses: Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Physics, the study of energy and how it moves and interacts with matter, includes the study of light. From the idea that light travels in waves in 1678 to the idea that light is made up of particles (1905) and beyond, there has been a lot for us to learn about light! Light not only helps us see but it also helps plants grown. How fitting that Jesus came as the Light of the World since we need Him (and His Word – Psalm 119:105) to “see” the world and ourselves and to grow spiritually! Also, passages like Isaiah 9:2 remind us that the birth of Jesus was foretold centuries before it happened and that there were unique prophecies that had to be fulfilled.
Make a candle to represent the greatness of God who made the light for us (Genesis 1:3), of our need for Jesus, and of the prophecies fulfilled in Jesus.
We hope you enjoy making these ornaments and reflecting on the wonders of Creation and the wonders of Christmas. And don’t forget to send us photos of your ornaments!
From all of us at Science Shepherd, Merry Christmas!