Rewarding cotton balls

Any time

Decorate a jar each, then reward your children with a cotton ball for their jar when they are patient.

Discussion point: Let’s have soft “cotton” hearts that are patient with others.

Start by decorating a clear bottle or jar with fruit stickers or pictures. Explain the connection between patience and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Tell your children that each time they are able to wait patiently for something, you will give them a cotton ball for their bottle or jar. Explain that when we are soft-hearted towards one another like the soft cotton, we will be patient with each other, rather than short-tempered or easily irritated. Each child’s goal is to see if they can fill his/her jar to the top. Pray one of the kids talk with God prayers with your children to encourage them before you begin awarding cotton balls.

There is a famous exercise for diffusing anger that requires a person to count to 10. Most of us forget to do it. Instead of counting to 10, you could have your children count the cotton balls in his/her jar as a patience exercise.

Alternatively, when you see your children being tempted to be impatient, encourage them to say their Bible memory verse. For a Biblical perspective, read aloud your choice of the Bible verses listed below. Let you children know beforehand that when their container is full, you will celebrate by playing some silly games with the cotton balls. Ideas include using tape to stick the cotton balls onto parents’ faces or having a snowball fight with them.

Relevant Scripture

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Proverbs 14:17 “A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated.”

Proverbs 16:32 “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.”

Proverbs 17:27 “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”

Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”

Proverbs 29:11 “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”

Proverbs 29:20 “Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”