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Our hands are absolutely amazing creations of God! Did you know that our thumbs, which are opposable—able to move freely—work with our fingers so we can do more complicated things than animals can? Try to guess how many bones work together in your hand. Take responses. You have 27 bones in your hands, all working together so you can bend your fingers to do things!
Give the children a piece of paper and a pencil. Ask them to lightly hold the pencil in one hand. Have them write their name (or draw a picture) on the top of the paper. Remind them how intricate the design of the hand is to perform this task—the muscles need to get signals from the brain about what to write and then need to move the bones in the hand to do the writing in small and large ways, moving different directions.
Then have the children hold their other hand flat against the sheet of paper and trace the outline of that hand. Tell them that apes cannot hold their hands flat, only humans can! Ape hands are hooked for gripping branches. But a flat hand has many uses—for sign language, for rubbing a back, for smoothing things out, etc.
Also, only human hands have the ability for the pinky and ring fingers to grasp with the thumb. To demonstrate, have each child hold up their piece of paper. Then ask them to grasp it between their thumb and index finger. Note that both humans and apes can do the same. Then ask each child to grasp the paper between the thumb and little finger. Only a human can do that. An ape cannot.
Our fingers are amazingly able to bend and move. Let kids wiggle their fingers and hands. Let’s see what happens if we don’t have fingers that bend.
Give each child five craft sticks and tape. Have them tape one stick on each finger so that each finger can’t bend. Try to pick up various small items with the unbending hands. Discuss their findings.
Most animals’ hands don’t bend. What kind of things could we not do if our fingers and thumbs didn’t bend?
Take responses: we couldn’t pick things up, write, text, play baseball, tie our shoes, eat with our hands—we couldn’t do anything that requires our fingers to bend.
Our hands also feel in amazing ways. There are about 5,000 touch receptors on each finger, making our fingers very sensitive. Touch receptors send information to our brain that allows us to feel many different textures, such as the softness of a blanket, the smoothness of a baby’s skin, or the roughness of tree bark. There are also receptors that help us sense vibration, pressure, temperature, and pain. These receptors are important for telling us about our world and keeping us safe in a fallen/cursed world. For example, this helps us know when something is very hot so we can pull our hand away from it and not be injured.
Have trekkers remove craft sticks and then reach into the bags without looking and guess what the items are.
We use our hands to work, and God gave us amazing hands; different hands than the hands animals have. Read Proverbs 13:6. We need to make sure that whatever our hands are doing, they are working for the Lord. How can our hands do that? Take responses and give examples. In everything we do (e.g., homework, chores, playing with friends), we need to have wise hands that honor the Lord. Pass out the Design Card—Hand, one for each child.