Going back to school presents an opportunity to get children thinking about Christ’s famous words: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 7:12). Using the Golden Rule takes practice, and this millennium version of “Sticks and Stones” will help.

Sticks ‘N Stones Craft
This craft is recommended for older children who are already familiar with harsh treatment of others.

– Red construction paper
– Blue construction paper
– White construction paper
– Scissors
– Black flow pens
– Paste
– White mail envelopes

– Cut red construction paper into six squares and blue construction paper into six squares.
– On each red square write the following six inappropriate statements that are often heard in school:
1. I don’t like you!
2. You’re not invited!
3. I’m not sharing with you!
4. Get out of my way!
5. Get lost!
6. You’re stupid!

– On the blue squares write the following six kind and merciful statements:
1. I think you’re nice!
2. Would you like to come to my party?
3. You can share with me.
4. You can go in front of me
5. Do you want to play too?
6. You did really well!

– Fold each square and place them in a basket.
– Half the group picks red squares, and half the group picks blue squares from the basket.
– The blue group will lavishly decorate a poster board with very pretty designs that surround the six nice statements. Write at the top, “Good to Say in School.”
– The Red group will also decorate a poster board, but their designs around the six inappropriate statements should be negative or scary. Write at the top, “NOT Good to Say in School.”
– The two poster boards will be tacked onto a wall or cork board to remind the class that nice words are beautiful and make us feel happy, while mean words are ugly and make us feel sad.

Teacher Discussion Points: If you say something mean to someone and that person insults you back, the argument will escalate. Non-threatening answers can avoid an argument. Help students think of other harsh things they’ve heard and to practice replying with kindness instead of returning the meanness.

Do you think this craft would work in your church? Why or why not? I’m interested in hearing some feedback from other KidMin volunteers around the world”¦ so be sure to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.