This object lesson helps children understand how they can pollute their hearts and minds by allowing things in that don’t glorify God. It’s a messy lesson that the kids will enjoy, and the clean-up is kept to a minimum.
· Garbage bag or shopping bag
· Some “garbage” for filling up the bag (you can choose how messy you make it)
· Some other items to squeeze (recommended are: toothpaste, orange, lemon, grapes, shampoo, baby powder…the messier, the better)
· Clear, plastic tub or bin that the kids can squeeze the items into to keep the mess manageable but also so that the kids can see what is happening
· Wet wipes to clean up the kids hands after all the squeezing is done
· Two large sponges
· Two plates or bowls for the sponges to rest on (if you use a plate, you will want a lip that can hold in some of the overflow from the sponges)
· A pitcher of water
· A pitcher of a dark liquid (grape juice, prune juice or simply water with food coloring)
· Display table
· Put your squeezable items on the display table. (You may or may not want to conceal them to add some suspense for “What will be squeezed next?” In the script below, I’ve listed the items in a suggested order, but you can choose any items in any order that you like.)
· Put your clear, plastic tub or bin on the display table.
· Fill your bag full of trash, and cut a slit in the bottom of the bag so that the contents will fall out when squeezed.
· If you are using citrus fruits, you might want to cut a slit on the top and the bottom for the juice to flow out when they are squeezed.
· Practice the script.
Use this script, or modify to suit your needs:
· “I want to teach you something important today, and I’m going to need some volunteers to help me.” (Select volunteers – one for each of your squeezable items.)
· “Here’s a bottle of baby powder.” (Hand it to your first volunteer.)
· “If our first volunteer squeezes it, what do you think will come out?” (Listen for responses. Then have the volunteer squeeze the bottle into the clear tub.)
· “You were right! Baby powder did come out.” (Hand the next volunteer the bottle of shampoo.)
· “Here’s a bottle of shampoo. If he squeezes it, what do you think will come out?” (Listen for responses. Then have the volunteer squeeze the bottle into the clear tub.)
· “Right again! It was shampoo!” (Hand the third volunteer a bunch of grapes.)
· “What will come out if she squeezes these grapes?” (Listen for responses. Then have the volunteer squeeze the grapes into the clear tub.)
· “You guys are amazing!” (Hand the fourth volunteer an orange.)
· “What will come out this time?” (Listen for responses. Then have the volunteer squeeze the orange into the clear tub.)
· “I just can’t get anything by you.” (Hand the next volunteer a tube of toothpaste.)
· “What’s your guess?” (Listen for responses. Then have the volunteer squeeze the toothpaste into the clear tub.)
· “Yep. Let’s do another.” (Hand the next volunteer a banana.)
· “This will be fun – what’s coming out this time?” (Listen for responses. Then have the volunteer squeeze the banana into the clear tub.)
· “Oooo-that’s gross.”
· “So, would you ever get toothpaste out of a banana?” (Listen for response.)
· “How about shampoo out of a grape?” (Listen for response.)
· “Of course not, right? You only get what’s been put inside. Sometimes God puts it in there (like in the fruit), and sometimes people do (like with the baby powder).”
· “So what do you think will come out if we squeeze this?” (Hand last volunteer the bag of trash.)
· “Well, let’s see.” (Have the volunteer squeeze the trash bag over the clear tub.)
· “Isn’t that interesting?”
· “The same principle applies – whatever you put in is going to come out.” (Thank and dismiss volunteers.)
· “Guess what…your minds and hearts are just like that bag.”
· “If you put garbage in, you’re going to get garbage out.”
· “You might be able to keep it in for a while, but when you’re under pressure… (squeeze the garbage bag again) …out comes all the garbage.”
· “For example, if you spend hours listening to bad language in movies and T.V. shows, you can bet that it’s going to come out at the worst time – like when you’re helping your dad fix something and hit your thumb with a hammer. Or when you are helping your mom and burn yourself on a hot pan.” (Bring out sponges and pitchers of clear and dark liquid.)
· “You see, your heart and mind are like these sponges.”
· “If you pour good things into them like God’s Word, truth, praise music, and love (pour some of the clear liquid onto the sponge), then when you are under pressure, those good things will come back out again through your mouth and your actions.” (Squeeze the sponge into the plastic bin.)
· “But if you pour bad things into them like bad language, gossip, meanness, violence or lack of respect for authority (pour some of the dark liquid onto the sponge), then when you are under pressure, those bad things will come back out again.” (Squeeze the sponge into the plastic bin.)
· “There’s a saying that computer programmers use. It’s “G-I-G-O, and it means Garbage In – Garbage Out.”
· “It means, if you put bad stuff into the computer, you can’t expect to get anything other than bad stuff out.”
· “Remember G-I-G-O, and only let good stuff into your hearts and minds.”
8 responses to “Garbage In – Garbage Out”
“In God we make our boast all day long” – Psalm 44:8
Thanks for your thoughts!
we did this in our school(BVBS)n i n my frnds got 20 out of 20(fa4)
thnks 4 such gud thoughts!!!!!!!!!!!!
You’re very welcome! Glad you were able to use it. Blessings…Michael
I have been using your 50 Object Lessons Book. It has been a huge blessing. Lessons are just the right amount of time for our children, who range in age from 5-10 years old. They absolutely loved the GIGO lesson. So much fun and messy, but so easy to clean up. Hopefully they will take the GIGO lesson with them throughout life and save themselves from a lot of heartache and sin. I also took the scripture and printed it on heavyweight paper for them to put their names into and hang on their mirrors to remind themselves each day of the lesson. Thanks so much for sharing these great lessons–truly a blessing.
Hi, Katie! Thank you so much for your comment! It’s wonderful to hear how the lessons are working in other ministries, and I love your innovation with the scripture.
Please let me know if you ever have a need for a lesson on a particular topic. I would be happy to write one for you.
I am so excited about using this lesson with my family this week. I have teens that have a good foundation, but recently have made some poor choices in content. So I am going to “refresh” what they have been taught. THIS WILL BE GREAT.
Thanks for the comment, eviecat21. I’m glad this will work for you, and I hope it’s a huge blessing for your teens!