Shake a bottle of pop and watch the fizz “boil over.”

Discussion point: When we lose self-control, we can hurt others; go to a parent, or to God, for help.

This exercise in simple science is designed to help your children understand the importance of dealing with emotions before they get to the point of “boiling over.” This project should be done outside or in an area that is easy to clean up.

You will need soda pop in a clear bottle and a suitable place to make a mess

  • Shake the bottle of pop up a lot. As you are shaking the pop, explain that life has its shake-ups, too. Life’s shake-ups are times when we feel a lot of pressure. For example, perhaps teasing from a sibling shakes you up; maybe it is feeling as though you’re not getting your fair share or being treated unjustly. Use examples of things that press your children’s buttons.
  • Next, take the top off the bottle of pop and fizz from the pop will fly everywhere. Explain that when we lack self-control, we are just like the bottle of pop. Just as the pop flying everywhere makes a mess, we make messes when we lack self-control.
Questions for discussion

Read Galatians 5:13-15 and 25-26 and ask the following questions:

  • What kind of messes do we get ourselves into?
  • Is it a mess when we hurt someone’s feelings?
  • What other messes can you think of?
  • Would you rather live in a family where people encourage each other or devour each other?
Key concepts

When we do not use self-control, we end up “biting and devouring” each other, and “provoking and envying” each other. This is not God’s plan for our lives. He would rather see us encouraging and building one another up. When we feel like fizzing all over everyone, it is time to get alone with God for a talk.

Help your children make plans for what they will do when they feel like they are going to lose self-control. Challenge your children to hold one hand in a fist and clamp the other hand over top of it, pretending that it is a bottle of pop ready to explode. In order to “keep the lid on,” he/she can to come to a parent who will help them bring their frustration to God. As your children are able, have them go directly to God with their concerns.

Relevant Scripture

Galatians 5:13-15 “You my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Galatians 5:25-26 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let is not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”