You might not think that a banana split has a spiritual side but I have found that it does! I take inspiration from Jesus’ example – I think everyday objects make great teaching tools. About ten summers ago, some volunteers helped me come up with this idea. We advertised it as the community’s largest banana split and invited kids to watch us build it and help us eat it. It became a sweet annual tradition that kids count the days for.
What you’ll need for a banana split object lesson is a 6-foot piece of plastic gutter. It’s best to use a brand new piece each time. Purchase gallons of vanilla ice cream, bunches of bananas, toppings, whipped cream and cherries. (I don’t use nuts because some of my kids are allergic.) Also, you will need three to four volunteers to help you construct the banana split as you lead the object lesson. Doing it yourself takes for ever and the food will melt away.
The topics I most use is building a spiritual foundation or building church unity. The first item to go into the gutter is the bananas. Volunteers peel and slice the fruit and then lay it in the gutter. Explain to kids that the fruit represents God; it’s sturdy and makes a good holder for all the goodies He will pile on top.
Scoop up the ice cream and start placing the scoops in the gutter on top of the bananas. Tell kids that we are like the ice cream. We rest on God and help Him build His kingdom. Sprinkle toppings on the ice cream, like strawberries and chocolate. As I do this, I tell children that the toppings are our praise and prayer – these make our Christian experience sweeter.
I squirt the whipped cream on top, making a big mess. I use several cans of cream and pile it up high. I sprinkle cherries on the cream as a finishing touch. As I do this, I tell my kids that the whipped cream and cherries remind me of heaven and the great future we have with God. You could teach many important lessons with a giant banana split, like sharing is sweet and working together is important to grow God’s kingdom.
Serve up bowls of the sweet treat quickly! It’s delicious but it will melt away in no time.