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Experiment - Hydrogel beads: ‘David and Jonathan say goodbye’

A cool science experiment with hydrogel beads, about two good friends meeting for the last time.

In 1 Samuel 20 David and Jonathan have to say goodbye for the last time. They have been best friends for years, but king Saul (Jonathan’s father) wants to kill David.

“In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” 38 Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”

41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.” - 1 Samuel 20: 35-41


In this object lesson we’re going to use hydrogel beads and a hot frying pan to demonstrate the story and to think with the children about the following questions:

- Have you ever had to say goodbye to a really good friend? How did that feel?
- David and Jonathan had to say goodbye because David was afraid of king Saul. Why did king Saul want to kill David?
- What did they promise one another?
- Do you think David kept his promise? (Yes - see the story of Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9)

This object lesson will really help you address this Bible story about friendship within your Sunday school lesson or kids ministry..


David and Jonathan, being friends, friendship, saying goodbye, being afraid, making promises, keeping promises.


You can download a complete worksheet which will help you to do the object lesson and teach about the friendship between David and Jonathan.

Tags: Object lessons, Experiments , Demonstration videos, Children's moments in church, Downloads - lessons and extra material, Friendship / Enemies

Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 20: 35-41
You can use this idea in a: Sunday School lesson, Sunday school class, Sunday school curriculum, children's ministry, children's moment in church, Messy church, school assembly, RE lesson, youth work, youth group, preaching illustration, creative preaching