Those who are careful about what they say keep themselves out of trouble.
That means summer is here and everything that goes along with it: biking, hiking, lazy days at the beach, and picnics complete with barbecue, corn on the cob–and watermelon!
As much as I love watermelon—cool, crisp, juicy—I don’t like the seeds. If seedless watermelon isn’t on the menu, I dig out the seeds with my fork and flip them onto the grass or into a little pile on the side of my plate.
Spitting out watermelon seeds is a great way to give kids a picture of the impact their words have. Object lessons are great because sometimes we know what to do, but thinking of it in a different way helps the principle stick better. That’s what this watermelon activity & object lesson does—gives your kids a fun way of looking at what words are good and what words are better left unsaid.
What you’ll need for each person
Several slices of watermelon with seeds (options: papaya, longan) and a paper plate.
3-5 year olds – skip the game, just eat the watermelon and go right to the object lesson.
6 years to teens – You can sit around eating watermelon and casually (this is SO important especially with pre-teen and teens) bring up the object lesson. BUT kids this age love competition, so have an informal watermelon spitting contest.
How to play
- Give each person several slices of watermelon.
- Set a timer for 1 minute.
- Each person has to spit out as many seeds onto the plate as possible during that time.
- The person with the most watermelon seeds on the plate wins.
Important: As everyone’s playing, keep saying the phrase “spit ‘em out” or “Don’t eat them, spit them out.” That sets up the object lesson by emphasizing getting rid of something that’s unwanted.
What to say
Then say something like…
There are some things you just never eat.
You eat a popsicle but get rid of the stick.
You eat the corn off the cob but get rid of the cob.
You eat a sunflower seed but get rid of the shell.
You eat watermelon but get rid of the seeds. You eat what’s good and spit the seeds out.
Some words are good, the kind you want to speak. Other words you don’t want to say at all. They’re like a watermelon seed that you spit out and get rid of.
make fun of
What other words do you spit out/get rid of? What words do you replace them with instead? Click on these verses to find out:
To talk about together with early elementary age and up – What happens if you don’t “spit out/get rid of” one of the words above? How does it hurt? How does doing the opposite help? What’s been your experience?
The next time you hear your kid start to say a careless or unkind word, just say “watermelon seed” or “spit it out” and
see if they remember the watermelon activity & object lesson.
What creative ways have you found to get your kids to focus on good words and get rid of those that aren’t good? Please share!
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint (Proverbs 17:27).
2019 © Carol Garborg