How to Explain Evolution to a 7-Year-Old


Have you ever tried to explain evolution to a 7-year-old? I’m struggling to even explain it to you in terms a child would understand. Here is my best shot.

How do you explain evolution to a 7-year-old? Explain how some people believe that we share a common ancestor with primates and we “evolved” to become smarter and also began to stand on our hind legs. This helped us to do more things since we had hands we could use. Explain the evolution butterflies go through as an example.

Kids are really good at asking questions that we don’t have answers to. I found some great information that you can use to help your child understand evolution.

Explaining Evolution

Well, I was contemplating where to start. I think it is important to just mention that Charles Darwin was the one who really backed the idea of evolution. I wouldn’t go super in depth about Darwinism. That might be too far for kids.

How about, where did humans come from? Since science is not one hundred percent sure, I would leave most of this up to the parents.

There is a probability that we came from apes. Some don’t like the idea that we came from primates like monkeys and gorillas. Some religious people believe that we came from Adam and Eve.

The Story of Primates to Humans

Let’s assume for a minute that we did come from primates. How did they become people? Evolution. There were two groups of primates. They were probably chimpanzees because humans and chimpanzees are pretty similar under a powerful microscope.

Anyways, the story is that both groups were living in Africa. The one group was chilling under trees and enjoying the good life with plenty of shelter and food. The other group did not have those same things and they spent their lives out in the open fields.

Because of this harsh environment, the primates out in the open field began to walk upright which made them faster and more versatile. Over millions of years, the differences began to be distinct and then the second group began to take human form. The first group stayed chimpanzees.

Tell that to your kids and they will probably never chill in the shade ever again. I wouldn’t want to become a monkey in the shade.

Why did Monkeys Turn Into People?

Animals evolve over time adapt to their environment. Fish evolved to have gills to breathe underwater. Some have sharp teeth or claws they gained over time to become predators and eat meat.

Other animals grew scales to protect their body.  Some grew wings to stay aloft and away from predators.

Unfortunately, we as humans never got those things. It would have been sick to have wings. But what we did get is a far superior brain. This was our key to survival. We figured out how to make fire, among other things.

Because of our smart brains, we learned to build shelter and stay warm and safe. Only the smartest survived and they had children. We created new inventions like the wheel and we learned to create food and hunt with weapons.

Life for early man was a forever evolving. Well, it has not stopped. I mean we made it to the moon.

Some people might ask why we don’t have tails and the answer that Chris Darwin, the great-great-grandson of Charles, gave was that we most likely came from chimps who do not have tails. He says that it is a great question though.

Why don’t we have them?

It would make climbing trees easier. It would also make sitting difficult. It probably was just one of those things that did not come with us in evolving.

Search for Truth

If anything, you want your kids to seek for truth, wherever that is. Teach them to ask “why?” Don’t settle for what you think might be true. Teach them to challenge their opinions and personal beliefs.

Look for evidence, and search for truth. This is the way to true knowledge. There is a chance that Evolution is true. There is also a chance that Creationism is true.

All of this is a theory. I think what it comes down to is find what you feel is best and keep learning so you can teach your children to the best of your ability.

If you are looking for truth and you teach your children truth that you have found, you both will find it. It’s healthy to keep an open mind. That is one of the most important things to teach your kids. Keep an open mind to new things.

Creation Stories

So creation stories are pretty interesting and I thought I would share some I enjoy.

Genesis Creation Story

This is a classic story that I’m pretty sure most people know. This is the story of how God created the earth. After 7 days, God rested. God created Adam and took a bone from his rib to create Eve.

After that, he commanded them to take care of the Garden of Eden and “multiply and replenish the earth.”

The Devil eventually tempted them and they were cast out of God’s presence. They lived in our world and eventually, the human race was in full force.

This story is the creation story of Christianity and Judaism. It is similar to the Muslim story as well.

Norse Creation Story

Before anything existed, there was only a huge abyss of nothing called “Ginnungagap.” Great name guys. It was between the land of fire called “Muspelheim” and the land of ice called “Niflheim.”

Both the frost and flames from these two areas came towards each other and met in Ginnungagap. The Ice melted from the flames and formed into Ymir, a godlike giant.

There is a huge story you can read about here but basically what happened was that a cow got created by the frost, too. She fed Ymir with her milk. Eventually, Buri, the first of the Aesir tribe of gods, was uncovered by the cow.

After generations, Odin and his brothers were born. Odin and his brothers killed Ymir, the giant god. After that, they set about constructing the world.

Fun Fact: I lived in Norway for a little while and I love Norse mythology.

Väinämöinen

Don’t worry. I don’t know how to say that either. This is a Finnish mythology story about an old sage called none other than Väinämöinen.

He created the Universe. He created the earth while floating on the sea. He then scattered seeds all over the earth so it would grow food and not be barren.

He did other things too but this is about creation. Feel free to look here for more information about this Finnish hero.

Examples for Explaining Evolution to Your 7-Year-Old

Okay, so this is totally subjective. I have two ideas for how you can do this.

The main one being the evolution of caterpillar to butterfly. It’s simple and it explains how things change over time. Of course, this change is fairly quick it but will get the idea across.

Another thought I had was to give them Pokemon games to play. This is not for everybody. I just really enjoy these games so I thought I would throw it in for fun.

In these games, you capture animals called “Pokemon.” You train them to protect you and fight for you. Over time they become stronger and they evolve. They change into something better.

It may not be as effective as the caterpillar to butterfly example but it is fun.

Anyways, I just thought it would be fun to include these few things. Good luck with teaching your children!

Related Questions

What is the process of evolution? The process is evolution by natural selection. Charles Darwin created the theory and talked about it in his book “On the Origin of Species.”

This is the process in which organisms change over a large period of time to become better or more efficient through physical or behavioral traits.

Is evolution really progressive? Yes. Evolution is the process of progressing as a species. That’s really what it is. It’s like the origin of progressive things in life.

Is biology based on evolution? Evolution is a part of biology. You learn about evolution in biology classes. The theory of evolution is the idea that all species are related and have gradually changed over time.

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