Children as young as 3 years old are conscious of their body image. In the largest study of its kind in the world, researchers found that almost 38 percent of boys and 30 percent of girls wished to be a different body shape—most wishing they were bigger. Few of the kids acknowledged that weight loss was a possible concept. The results of the study showed that boys were more influenced by their father’s attitude about body image than girls were about their mother’s attitude.
Kids need Christ-centered self-esteem to withstand the world’s messages.
To help kids understand that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, here’s a fun activity that kids will enjoy. Kids use this crazy contest for an unforgettable lesson on being honest about who we are.
Object Lesson: How to Talk to Kids About Body Image
- mirrors, and
- Silly Putty or big pieces of bubble gum for each child
Consider making a certificate for the contest winner by cutting pictures of noses from magazines and taping them to a page that reads “Best Prosthetic Nose Award.”
Say: It’s time for a makeover. I want you to give yourself a nose job using these supplies.
Let kids go to work molding the putty on their noses to create a new look. Bubble gum could be used as an economical, albeit messier, substitution. If using bubble gum, have kids each chew their gum and then mold it on their own noses. Have mirrors available for kids to check out their handiwork, and give kids a few minutes to complete their new noses.
Afterward, ask players to vote for the nose they like best.
At the end of the game, discuss the following.
- What was it like to create a new nose for yourself?
- How do these noses create a different image of your face?
- What are other ways we portray a “false image” of who we are inside?
Read aloud 1 Samuel 16:7.
- Why do you think it matters to God whether we are honest about who we really are or if we portray a false image?
Say: It’s fun creating new noses. But it’s easy to create a false image of ourselves in other ways. Remember, God wants us to be honest about who we really are, both to others and ourselves. After all, God made each of us and values us all equally.
If you liked this activity, check out The Giant Book of Games for Children’s Ministry. It’s cram-packed full of games that have faith tie-ins and are just plain fun!