Mouldy attitudes

Science with a twist

Grow mould on a slice of bread to illustrate how disrespect “spoils” relationships.

Discussion point: Self-centredness precedes disrespect.

This experiment is a hands-on illustration of how attitudes of self-centeredness and pride precede disrespectful behaviour, which then spoils relationships.

You will need a piece of bread (stale is ideal), a re-sealable freezer bag, a water spritzer, water and dust.

  • Send your children on a dust hunt. Give them a slice of bread and have them gather dust from dusty areas of the house on the bread. Tell your children that the dust represents selfishness and/or pride.
  • Spritz the bread with warm water so that the slice is damp and place it in an airtight bag.
  • Place the bag in a warm place for three days to allow mould to grow. After you have successfully grown some mould, take some time to discuss how disrespect “spoils” relationships as the mould spoiled the bread.
  • Compare a fresh slice of bread and the mouldy slice. Ask your kids which bread they would prefer to eat. Tell them that the mould represents disrespectfulness.
  • Then read Romans 12:16-18, 1 Corinthians 10:24, Philippians 2:3-4 and discuss how attitudes of selfishness and pride can cause people to treat each other disrespectfully. For example, if we are thinking only of ourselves, we will be more likely to push in front of someone in a line up. If we are proud, thinking that we are more important than others, we will be tempted to treat them poorly. On the other hand, if we are considerate of others, we offer to let them go ahead of us. If we consider other people to be valuable, then we treat them with kindness and respect.Use the discussion questions to help your children discover we all prefer to be around people who are kind, thoughtful and loving, than those who are out to please themselves.
  • Pray together, asking God to enable you to think of others instead of yourselves and to show proper respect to everyone (Philippians 2:3-4, 1 Peter 2:17).
Questions for discussion
  • Which slice of bread would you want to eat?
  • The mould has spoiled the bread. How does failing to show respect for others spoil relationships?
  • If you are thinking only of yourself, what will you do when someone pushes you by mistake?
  • Who would you rather be around – someone who treats you as a valued friend or someone who always wants the best for themselves?
Relevant Scripture

Romans 12:16-18 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

1 Corinthians 10:24 “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”