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An elementary girl is holding a cup as water is poured into it. It is overflowing.
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2 mins

Elementary Children’s Message: How Full Is Full?

In this elementary children’s message, use amazing surface-tension water displays to show kids that God has more joy to share with them than they can imagine.

You’ll need:

  • a Bible
  • newspaper
  • clear plastic cups
  • paper clips
  • a pitcher of water
  • towels or paper towels
  • envelopes or small plastic bags (optional)

Elementary Children’s Message: How Full Is Full?

Spread newspaper over a table or on the floor.


  • Have you ever filled a glass too full? What happened?

Say: Today we’re going to see just how full full really is. As we do this experiment, I’d like you to think about how it might be like God’s love for you. Have kids form groups of four, and have groups gather around the newspaper. Give each group a clear plastic cup and twenty paper clips.

Scientist’s Strategy

You may want to separate the paper clips ahead of time and place them in envelopes.

Say: Now I’ll fill your cup to the rim with water without making it overflow. Be sure to have towels on hand as you do this. After you’ve filled all the cups, say: These cups are really full!


  • What do you think would happen if you put a paper clip in the cup?

Say: Try it and see! Have each group add one paper clip to its cup, and then have them continue adding paperclips, one at a time until the water flows over the rims of the cups. Then ask:

  • How many paper clips were you able to put in the glass before the water overflowed?
  • Why do you think we were able to put in so many paper clips before the water overflowed?

Say: Water molecules have a very strong attraction to each other. This makes them bond together in the cup even when it looks like the water should overflow. Because of this, adding paper clips to a full cup of water causes the water on the surface to form an upward curve.


  • How was this a demonstration of God’s love for us?

Read aloud John 15:11, and say: God’s joy can fill us even more than we can imagine. It’s easy to become content with the relationship we have with God. We must continue to seek him even when we feel filled so his joy can fill us even more.


  • How can you continue to seek God after you’ve asked him to live in your heart?

Say: God wants to fill us and surround us with his love and joy, but he can only do that if we ask him to. Praying to God, worshiping with other Christians, and reading our Bibles are all ways we can continue to seek God and allow him to fill us up with his joy.

Looking for more children’s messages? Check out these posts!

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