What a Mess!

Hands-On Activity

Best Use

As a family night activity with young children


Nutritional Value

Teaching kids to be aware of what they say and what effects their words might have


Advance Preparation

  • Gather one or more tubes of toothpaste. You can get one per child, or have them share one. 
  • Gather some trays, plates, or something else you can work on and clean easily. 
  • Gather some other assorted items like a spoon or toothpick (to help with a later step). 
  • Also have a Bible on hand.

Serve It Up

  1. Gather your family around a kitchen table with the supplies sitting out. 
  2. Instruct your child to squeeze the toothpaste out. 
  3. If you want, encourage them to draw a picture with the toothpaste. (It’s like icing a cake!) 
  4. Ask your child, “how hard was it to squeeze out the toothpaste?” 
  5. Now, challenge your child to put the toothpaste back into the toothpaste tube. 
    • They can use other items, if they want. 
    • You can also have Mom or Dad try to put the toothpaste back in. (It’s very hard!) 
  6. Ask your child, “how hard was it to put the toothpaste back into the tube?” 
  7. Talk about how this toothpaste is like the words that we speak. It’s very easy to let words come out of us, but once they’re out, it’s almost impossible to take them back. 
  8. Share a time that you said something you wish you didn’t say. Ask your child if they remember a time they wish they said something differently. 
  9. Read Psalm 19:14 and/or Proverbs 12:18. The Bible talks about the power of the words we speak. Those words can encourage or hurt others! 
  10. Pray together that everyone—parents included—will use their words to help others, and not hurt them. 
  11. During cleanup, have your child go grab his/her toothbrush, and use some of the toothpaste to brush their teeth! 

We want our mouths to be clean,

and we want our words to be kind!