Have fun squeezing pudding from a bag, then try to put it back in the bag again.
Discussion point: Angry words can hurt someone, and they’re impossible to take back.
Whip up a treat, and a teaching tool! Prepare by filling a small bag with pudding, then use a twist-tie or bag clip to firmly close the opening. With a pair of sharp scissors, cut a small hole at one of the bottom corners of the bag. (Yes, you guessed right: this is messy fun; choose an area where clean-up is easy!) Give each child a prepared bag of pudding and a plate. Let the children have fun squeezing the pudding out all over their plates.
Next, ask each child to put the pudding back in the bag. Obviously they can’t, so instead, invite them to eat the pudding. While they are enjoying the snack, initiate a discussion about speaking hurtful words.
Be sure your children understand that, just as it was easy to squeeze the pudding out of the bag, it is easy to allow harsh or unkind words to spill out of our mouths when we are upset or angry. Once our words have left our lips we cannot take them back, just as we could not put the pudding back in the baggie.
Questions for discussion
- Was it easier to squish the pudding out of the bag or to put it back in?
- When we are angry or upset, is it easier to speak or to remain quiet?
- What kind of words do we usually say when we are angry?
- How do these words make others feel?
- Was it possible to clean all of the pudding off of the plate?
- Is it possible to mend the hurt in someone’s heart after you have said something unkind?
Refer to the Proverbs listed below and finish the discussion by brainstorming some words of “death” and “life.” Close by praying a short prayer based on Psalm 19:14. For example, “Dear God, May the words of my mouth and the thoughts in my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock. Amen.”
“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”
“The tongue has the power of life and death…”
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”