Updated: Feb 25
SPROUTS ages 2-6. When we think of doing something we know is wrong, we should be strong like a superhero and have self control! God’s heart bursts with pride when we choose to do the right thing.
Use this lesson as it fits for your family! Spend a cozy Saturday morning in discussion together using the whole lesson or use parts of this lesson for several conversations throughout the month! There are so many activities to apply and experience the lesson together. You're the parent and know your child best- enjoy making it your own!
My child will develop confidence as a child of God who can make the right choices when faced with temptations.
For sensory activity: marshmallow(s) or other treat your child enjoys, plate or bowl, optional cup or bowl big enough to cover treat(s)
For crafts: Paper and pencil (or anything to draw and/or color with)
For games: The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham; itchy things, Jenga game, Laptop or smartphone to play music on
Read these scriptures together. Idea: use one as a memory verse!
"What is the answer to these temptations? What do we have to answer to them? …The only right answer is, '...The only thing I want to become is a son of God, that's all I want.’"
- Rev. Sun Myung Moon, To the Departing Seminarians, Lancaster Gate, London
"God's love, life and truth can be developed on the basis of self-control."
- Rev. Sun Myung Moon, The Way of God’s Will
"Every time I say “no” to a small temptation, I strengthen my will to say “no” to a greater one."
- Mother Angelica
"The only temptations that you have are the temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to stand it."
- 1 Corinthians 10:13, International Children’s Bible
"God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control."
2 Timothy 1:7, International Children’s Bible
"Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory."
- Frederick William Faber
Try your own version of The Marshmallow Test (extension of previous lesson Patience)
Place a marshmallow (or any treat that your child likes) on a plate in front of your child and ask her NOT to eat it. Simply watch her, giggle with her, observe her. See how long she can last! See what kinds of faces she makes or interesting questions she comes up with! Optionally, ask her if she wants you to cover the marshmallow with a cup so she can’t see it. Take time to really enjoy the moment and learn something about your child.
We’ve learned how our parents have a lot of knowledge and can teach us important things. They can teach us and help us if we ask. One thing our parents can help us with is temptations! What is a temptation? It’s when we feel strongly that we want something, but we know we shouldn’t have it. We can practice stopping and thinking, being still and quiet and making a good choice. We can listen to our conscience and we can ask God or our parents for help.
Read My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook
Or watch My mouth is a Volcano Read Aloud by Learning with Mrs. Lammers
What does “my mouth is a volcano” mean?
What are some things that happened to the main character in the story?
Did the boy use self control?
If you could talk to the boy, what advice would you give him for having more self control and not interrupting others?
What lesson does the boy learn at the end of the book?
Read this script to your child like a story time.
God loves you very much and your parents love you very much! Did you know that you are valuable and worthy just because you are a child of God? Just being you makes you a very valuable and important person. God, Mommy and Daddy love you more than you can imagine! What’s the biggest thing you can think of? (Answer) We love with a love that’s even bigger than that! What about the ocean? A giant, tall tree reaching all the way to the sky? The whole entire world! Or the galaxy! God, Mommy and Daddy love you even more than that! It is our job to protect you and teach you! Whenever you have questions or problems or when you feel big feelings or need help, please tell us! Say “Daddy, Mommy, can I tell you something?” or “Daddy, Mommy, can you help me?” We want to listen. We want to help you pray. We want to help you feel safe and secure and make good choices.
Confidence is a big word. Confidence means trust and belief. It means “I can do things! I am smart and strong and I can do so many things!” It’s a good idea to have confidence in yourself. Tell yourself “I can do it”. You are learning and growing every day. Daddy and Mommy are so proud of you. You know much more now than you did one year ago. You are better at fill in now than you were two years ago. Can you give yourself a pat on the back? Trust yourself and believe in yourself! Use your smart brain and kind heart to make good choices. Think before you act and choose to do the right thing! If you don’t know what the right thing is, ask Daddy or Mommy!
Sometimes, you might see someone doing something that isn’t right. You might see someone fighting or saying mean things to someone else. You can be a good example and say “You shouldn’t do that. That hurts feelings. Let’s do something else instead.” Show them how to play nicely. Show your friends that it’s cool to care about and protect other people’s feelings, not hurt their feelings. If a boy says, “Come on, let’s run away and hide from the teacher!”, should you do it? No! That’s not a good choice! You can stand up for yourself and say “No, I’m not going to do that.” If a girl whispers, “Go tell Eric you’re his girlfriend”, should you do it? No, you don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable or that you know is wrong. We don’t have boyfriends or girlfriends when we’re little, right? We just have a bunch of good friends! Lots of boys and girls to play games with, run with, draw with, and laugh with.
A lot of the examples we just shared about are called temptations. Can you say temptation? If you have a temptation, you feel that you really want to do something. BUT! Sometimes, the things you want to do might not be things you should do! What about eating ten pieces of candy when Daddy told you to only eat 2? What about taking your tablet when Mommy isn’t looking and hiding in the closet to watch a show without asking? What about throwing a toy car straight at your sister because she made you mad? Are these right choices or wrong choices? These are wrong choices! There are some things we should never do and there are some things we can do, but we have to wait for the right time!
Sometimes, you might not do the right thing. That is ok! You are not bad! You are a good person who made a mistake! Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. You may feel bad about your mistake and that’s ok. It’s good to feel sorry when you know you could have done better. The point is to look at the mistake and then tell yourself to try harder next time and to not make the mistake next time! You can do it!
When you do good things and make good choices, God and your parents are so proud! Did you know that you can be an example? That means you can show others the right way to act and help them to act properly too! This is also called being a role model. Think about your friends at school or at church or your younger sister or brother! If you do the right thing, when they observe you, they might do the right thing too! That’s such a happy sight for God to see! When you spread your goodness to others, God smiles from ear to ear!
Let’s remember to think before we act! Let’s listen to the voice inside of us that tells us the right things to do. When we are not sure, we can be still, be quiet, and see what we feel in our conscience. This can help us make a good choice and good choices are awesome!
If your friend takes a toy you love out of your hand, should you hit her? Why not?
If your friend tells you to say a bad word, should you do it? Why not?
Have you ever had a temptation? Tell me about it.
When was a time you used self control?
When was a time you did not use self control?
If you have a hard time controlling yourself, what can you do? Who can you go to for help?
Parents, share about a time you made a mistake as a kid: how it made you feel and what you learned from it. Share about a time you faced a temptation and did the right thing!
We know that God and our parents love us very much. They guide us and help us grow our minds and hearts properly. They teach us to do good things. We should respect and obey our parents and follow our conscience in order to make good choices! When we think of doing something we know is wrong, we should be strong like a superhero and have self control! Even when we see others doing wrong things, even if they ask us to do those wrong things, we should stand our ground and make the right choice. When we make good choices, our choices not only impact ourselves, but also those around us in a positive way. God’s heart bursts with pride when we choose to do the right thing.
God, today I learned about temptation. There are some things I should do and some things I should not do. When I want to do something, but I know it is wrong, I should control myself and not do it. Thank you for giving me a smart brain and a wise conscience. Please help me to make excellent choices every day. Amen.
Use these activities together with your child over the next month to create ongoing conversations on resisting temptations!
Watch Part 2 Here: The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies (Part 2)
Christmas Gift Challenge- Christmas is coming up! For those of you who give gifts at Christmas time, try this activity! Choose one or two of your child’s gifts to wait on opening. Open the day after Christmas or even later. Take time to talk about your child’s feelings about waiting. Based on your child’s development, decide whether to leave the gift out where it is visible, or simply put it out of sight. Ask questions that allow your child to understand his temptation (if he has) and work out those “resisting temptation” muscles!
Throughout the coming days, refer back to the concept of self control with your child when you see that she is struggling with it. Perhaps come up with a catchy phrase you both like such as “What do we need? Self control!” or “I say ‘Self’, you say ‘Control’! Self (Control!) Self (Control!)”
Write a story with your child with a main character who learns a lesson in resisting temptations or self control.
Record your child talking about a time he exercised self control.
Have your child draw or paint a self portrait and help her list things below that she can have self control with such as “I can have half of a chocolate bar and save the rest for later.”
Good choices & Bad choices Sort. Fold a paper in half. Have your child draw a happy emoji at the top of one side and a sad emoji at the top of the other. Then fill each side with drawings or words of good and bad choices.
Play a silly game of (simplified) self control! Read The Itchy Book by LeUyen Pham to your child. Follow it up with some itchiness challenges! Use whatever items from the book you have in your home (feathers, itchy sweaters, etc) to make your child itchy and ticklish and see if he can resist scratching!
Jenga- Tell your child, “Here is the trick to winning this game! Have self control when removing pieces from the tower. Be slow, careful, and cautious.”
Freeze Dance- Play music and stop it intermittently. Instruct your child to “freeze” when the music stops. She must use self control and remain perfectly still!
Red Light, Green Light, 1, 2, 3- Player 1 faces a wall and the others stand with their backs against the opposite wall (or at least 5-6 feet away). Player 1 recites “Red Light, Green Light, 1, 2, 3!” with back turned. At this time, remaining players can move forward toward him! Once Player 1 turns around to face others, they must stop all movement! If Player 1 sees obvious movement, he may send said player back to starting point. Player 1 continues reciting phrase until he is tagged by another player. Tagger becomes new Player 1.
Play a new board game. Practice following all of the new rules. Say to your child, “Sometimes we may be tempted to pretend we rolled a 6 or to skip ahead. Let’s follow our conscience and practice patience while following the rules. Then, we’ll all have a lot of fun together!”
Don’t Laugh! Challenge your child to remain serious while you do all sorts of funny things (make silly faces and noises, tell jokes etc.)!
Refer to previous Sprouts lesson on Patience to review delayed gratification and being patient enough to wait for the appropriate time for things.
How to be a Superhero Called Self Control by Lauren Brukner
I can do all things through Christ because he gives me strength. Philippians 4:13, International Children’s Bible
Patience is better than strength. Controlling your temper is better than capturing a city. Proverbs 16:32, International Children’s Bible
A person who does not control himself is like a city whose walls have been broken down. Proverbs 25:28, International Children’s Bible