Ripples


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the impact of our actions on others. It uses silly string and will make a huge mess, but it’s easy to clean up, and the kids will enjoy it.

Materials

· Enough cans of silly string (a.k.a., crazy string or crazy ribbon) for 6-8 children to have one.

Preparation

· Get the cans of silly string / crazy string ready for the children to use.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “How many of you know that the things you do and say have an impact on the people around you?” (Look for a show of hands.)

· “Let’s do an activity to illustrate this.” (Ask for 6-8 volunteers. Place the first one in the center of the teaching area. Place the others at different distances around the center volunteer. Make sure that the center person has clear line-of-sight for all the others. See diagram below.)

ripples

· “This person (gesture to center person) represents each of us, and all these other people represent the people in our lives. Our brothers and sisters, our parents, our friends at school and other people we know.”

· “When we say things and do things, they send off ripples like when a pebble is dropped into a pool of water.”

· “Those ripples go out from you and touch those people around you.”  (Hand the center volunteer a can of silly string, and have him/her spray it while turning in a circle. Silly string should fly out and hit all the people around the center person.)

· “Now, you can send out positive ripples, or you can send out negative ripples.” (Spin your volunteer once clockwise while he/she sprays silly string. This can represent positive ripples. Then spin the volunteer once counter-clockwise while spraying. This can represent negative ripples.)

· “Positive ripples usually make those around you feel good.  Negative ripples typically make them feel bad.”

· “What kind of ripples do you want to send out?” (Assumed response: ’Positive ones.’)

· “Sure, I knew that.  But sometimes when we say mean things or do hurtful things or even when we aren’t even paying much attention at all, we send out negative ripples.”

· “When people get negative ripples from someone, do you know what happens?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Many times, when someone gets negative ripples from someone, they send out their own negative ripples.”  (Hand one of the other volunteers – the one closest to the center volunteer – a can of silly string. Have him/her turn counter-clockwise and spray string.)

· “Those ripples go out from them to you and often to others around them – even people who had nothing to do with what happened between the two of you.  That doesn’t seem fair, does it?” (Hand another volunteer – one close to the second volunteer – a can of silly string, and have him/her spray while turning counter-clockwise.)

· “Those negative ripples go out and impact other people, who then sometimes give off their own negative ripples that affect other people around them and cause them to give off even more negative ripples.” (Hand out the rest of the cans, and have those volunteers spray in a counter-clockwise direction.)

· “When the negative ripples come back at you, your first temptation will be to send negative ripples back.” (Have all the volunteers do a few spins counter-clockwise while spraying.)

· “Before long, the first negative ripple you sent out could end up impacting lots of people – people you’ve never met.” (Point out any children left in the audience, who will no doubt have silly string all over them.)

· “But what if you worked harder at always giving off positive ripples?  What would happen then?”  (Listen for responses.)

· “The good ripples would go out and make other people want to give off good ripples.  Then those good ripples would make other people want to give off more good ripples to the people around them.” (Have the center volunteer do a turn clockwise while spraying. Then have the person closest do a clockwise turn, which will trigger the next closest person, which will trigger the next closest person, etc…)

· “That’s it!  That’s what I wanted to help you understand.  You could help a lot of people have a better day just by starting the first good ripple.” (Let the volunteers do a few last clockwise turns while spraying. Then thank and dismiss them.)

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Filed under Great Commandment, Hands-on, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, Relationships

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