Day Five Experiment: Discovering the "Brazil Nut" Effect

on July 17, 2018
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Note: Depending on your time, budget, and allergies, choose one or more of the following options for the kids to do during class.

Materials: Nut-Free Option 1

  • Sand, 1 cup per group
  • Pebbles, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Pea gravel, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Larger stones, 1 per group
  • Marbles, 4 per group

Materials: Nut-Free Option 2

  • Uncooked white rice, 1 cup per group
  • Uncooked black beans, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Uncooked kidney beans, 1 tablespoon per group

Materials: Nut-Free Option 3

  • Uncooked oatmeal, 1 cup per group
  • Raisins, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Cornflakes, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Granola, 1 tablespoon per group

Materials: Nut Option

Use only if you are positive there are no nut allergies in the building.

  • Peanuts, 1 cup per group
  • Cashews, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Pecans, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Walnuts, 1 tablespoon per group
  • Brazil nut, 1 per group

Materials: All Options

  • Zippered sandwich bags, several per group
  • Timer, 1 per group
  • Small transparent plastic tub, 1 per group
  • God Thought of It First cards (download below)


  1. Put each set of items in individual zippered sandwich bags.
  2. Place the bags in the tub.

Class Time Directions

Today, we're learning about what the new heaven and new earth will be like. Sometime in the future, God will make a new heaven and earth so that those of us who are his children can live there with him forever. This will be an amazing place! We'll get to explore it and enjoy it while being with Jesus forever!

This new place will be perfect, like the original creation Jesus made in the beginning. Jesus is good and whatever he does is good, so when he makes this new place, it will be very good! One of the things we have today, as a part of this sin-cursed world, is earthquakes. Have any of you ever been through an earthquake? Take responses. It can be very scary, depending on how big the earthquake is. The good news is that there will be no earthquakes in the new heaven and earth! We know that God is sovereign (in control) over earthquakes in our world today. And we can look forward to the time when we will be with him without having to worry about earthquakes!

Today, we're going to pretend to make an earthquake in a tub and see what happens when we shake up some materials.

Pass out the materials to each group. Have the kids layer the materials. Dump the larger items in the tub first, then the smaller items, finishing with the sand, rice, oatmeal, or peanuts. Dump those on top of the other items.

Ask the kids what they think will happen when they shake the tub back and forth. Allow responses. Start the timer (either in individual groups or one for the entire class) and have them begin to gently shake the tub back and forth. What happens at 10 seconds? 20 seconds? How long did it take for the largest item to rise to the top? Was that what they had expected would happen? There are some laws of physics at work here—laws that Jesus put in place when he created the world in the beginning.

As time allows, pass out another set of materials and try the effect on those materials. Does the same thing happen? After they are finished, have them empty their jars for the next class.

Pass out the God Thought of It First bat cards, 1 per child.

Related Downloads

God Thought of It First Cards

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