One of my all-time favorite object lessons is demonstrated with a tube of toothpaste. It’s a simple illustration that is also a powerful reminder for students on the power of words of their words.
How the toothpaste demonstration works
Ask for a volunteer to squeeze toothpaste out of the tube onto a plate or toothbrush.
After they have squeezed out a significant amount of toothpaste, ask them to stop and then ask them to try to get as much toothpaste as possible back inside the tube. (You can give them a q tip or a toothpick to assist them)
Be prepared that this illustration can be messy so have baby wipes or paper towel nearby.
Once the student gives up on trying to put the toothpaste back in the tub ask them or the rest of the group a few questions.
What was your experience like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube?
Were you able to put all of it back inside?
The Toothpaste Represents our Words
Our words are represented by what’s inside the toothpaste tube. When we use toothpaste in a positive way it can help keep our teeth healthy and strong. When we are careless with our toothpaste or misuse it, it can make a mess of everything it comes in contact with.
Once our words are said (squeezed out), we can’t easily take them back. Words have the power to build someone up or to tear someone down.
When we say something that hurts someone else, we can’t say “just kidding” or ” sorry” quickly afterward and then expect for everything to be ok. We tend to remember hurtful words that have spoken to us long after the situation is resolved and even apologized for.
Additional Follow Up Questions
How could this illustration also apply to social media?
What types of words do we need to use when we share on social media?
Can we take back what we say on social media?
Our Words Have Consequences
Even if we delete what we said, those words are still out there. Someone can still screenshot it and you can’t take back who saw it.
We are free to say what we want, but we are not free to choose the consequences of what we say.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should.
Great Quotes on the Power of Words
“Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten.” -Unknown
“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” Anonymous
“Words are powerful, they have the ability to create a moment and the strength to destroy it.” Anonymous
“Don’t mix your words with your mood, you can change your mood but you can’t take back your words.” Anonymous
“Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don’t mean much to you may stick with someone for a lifetime.” -Rachael Wolchin
“One kind word can change someone’s entire day.” Anonymous
“Your words have power use them wisely.” Anonymous
“Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.” -Pearl Strachan Hurd
“The tongue has no bones but is strong enough to break a heart. So be careful with your words.” Anonymous
“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” -Rumi
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” -Audrey Hepburn
Try this Object Lesson at Home
This illustration can also be a powerful object lesson and reminder for younger kids to understand the power that their words have on other people too, especially if they have siblings or if they are experiencing drama with their friends.
Save Money on This Object Lesson & Stock Up on a Healthy Smile
On February 24th, 2019, Crest will be releasing a national $2 coupon that can be used on a variety of Crest toothpaste products.
Keep your words healthy on the outside and your mouth healthy on the inside by taking advantage of upcoming savings on Crest toothpaste at your local Kroger store using the $2 coupon that can be found in Sunday newspapers nationwide on 2/24.
Crest Pro-Health is the only toothpaste accepted by the American Dental Association to treat all seven attributes: Plaque, Gingivitis, Cavities, Sensitivity, Tartar, Whitening, and Freshens Breath.
Additional Retail Savings Offers:
- Buy 5, Get 5 ($1 value) in-store at the same time as the $2 FSCI, netting items down to Free
- 5 oz Crest 3D White Paste
- 6 oz. Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste
- 8 – 6.2 oz. Crest Complete Toothpaste
Have you used the toothpaste object lesson before?
This post is sponsored by Crest. All opinions are my own.