Taming the Tongue: Bible Craft Ideas from James 3:1-12

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The tongue can be a tremendous tool…or a deadly weapon! It might seem simple enough, but our words have powerful impact. It’s important to teach young children that our words carry weight, and we want to use them wisely. These crafts remind students to think before speaking and to use kind words that build others up and glorify God. A “tongues in cheek envelope” offers ideas for using speech well. A “two-tongued puppet” warns of the dangers of harmful words. And a fun “open-mouths snacktivity” provides a fun edible craft to enjoy!  

Bible Verses or Craft Captions to Consider…  (James 3:1-12)

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  -James 3:7-9

Words can be Harmful…words can be helpful!

Use words wisely! Here’s how…

Glorify God with speech and praise!

Lift others up with words

Use the tongue as a tool of kindness!

Think before you speak!

More Teaching Ideas:

Craft one: “Tongue in Cheek Envelope” 

You will need:

  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • Glue, tape, or staples
  • Scissors
  • Markers, crayons, etc.
  • Envelopes
  • Other decorations (jewels, stickers, etc.)

Procedure:

  1. Decorate the envelope, adding a “face” to make the opening flap appear as a mouth.
  2. Add verses or captions to the front of the envelope.
  3. Cut “tongue” or mouth shapes out of construction paper or cardstock.
  4. On the “tongues”, write ways to use words kindly and positively.
  5. Tuck the wise word methods into the envelope, and use it to remember how to use words well!

Craft Two: “Two-Tongued Puppet”   

You will need:

  • Paper plates
  • Stickers/decorations
  • Markers/crayons
  • Cardstock/paper
  • Glue/tape
  • Scissors
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Captions/verses

Procedure:
1. Decorate one side of the plate to look like a “sad face”, with tongue sticking out.   
2. On the opposite side of the plate, add a smiling mouth and happy face. 
3. Add verses and captions to consider the potential two-sided nature of our words!  
4. Glue or tape a popsicle stick to the plate to hold it up as a puppet.
5. Alternate option: use a paper bag as the base for your puppet.

Craft Three: “Smiling Apple Snacktivity”   

You will need:

  • Apples, sliced
  • Miniature marshmallows
  • Peanut butter (or frosting/cream cheese)
  • Tools for spreading and serving

Procedure:
1. Cut an apple into slices.
2. Smear with cream cheese, peanut butter, or frosting.
3. Add mini marshmallows to the sliced apples to look like “teeth.”
4. Admire your “mouths”…then put them in your mouth and enjoy! 😊

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