An Object Lesson in Honesty for Kids from!

An Object Lesson for Kids on Honesty


The other day I was thinking about how I could help my kids understand honesty better. While they understand what it means to be honest I think as kids their little minds think that lying can actually change the truth. I came up with this idea for a Family Home Evening lesson to help illustrate how a lie doesn’t cover up the truth.

For the lesson you need:

Vanilla ice cream

chocolate syrup


3 bowls

a big bowl of water


To prepare in the morning I put a little water in one of my bowls and then I added a bunch of salt. I let it dry and also used a blow dryer on it to help the salt harden in the bottom. I added another layer when the first dried and did the same thing to make sure it was thick and hard.


That evening I took my tray out at lesson time and the boys were so excited to see ice cream and chocolate syrup for our lesson! I dished a scoop of ice cream in a bowl and handed them each a spoon and asked them who liked ice cream.  They were so excited! I said that sometimes we make bad choices. What about putting salt on ice cream, would that be a good choice? They said no and I took about a teaspoon of salt and sprinkled it all over the top of the ice cream. I made a big deal out of it saying oops!

Then I said sometimes we are embarrassed about the choices we make so we try to cover them up with a lie. At this point I took the Hershey syrup and covered all the salt with the ice cream. I then asked them questions like, can you see the salt anymore? How does it smell now? How do you think it would taste? I took their  spoons and gave them each a spoonful of the ice cream and syrup. I made sure to take shallow bites so there would be lots of salt. I asked who wanted to try it and shockingly they all did. I really think they thought you wouldn’t be able to taste the salt. Be prepared to laugh at some funny faces!

I said that’s how lying is. We try to cover up what we did that was bad but it doesn’t really go away. The only way to get rid of the salt is to start over and go back and make our mistake right.

I took the second bowl and added a little salt to it. I told them that when we tell a lie we can go back and make it right. I had them take a paper towel and had them easily wipe the wet salt out of the bowl. Then I took the bowl with salt dried in it and said sometimes we have told a lie a long time ago and everyone has forgotten but we don’t. Sometimes the lies build up because we have to tell more lies to cover the first one we told. I talked about how the longer you let it go the harder it gets to tell the truth. I let them try to swipe the dried salt away with a paper towel but it wouldn’t come off.

I took the big bowl of water and talked about how we need the Savior to help us make it right through repentance. Then I took the bowl with the hard salt in it and put it in the big bowl of water and swished it a few times and the salt dissolved. We talked about taking the sacrament each Sunday and how that reminds us of our baptism and how each week we can be washed clean.

The boys were mesmerized during the whole lesson – no fighting or whining! Yea! After we were done we dished up ice cream with syrup and had that for our treat. They have referred back to it a few times so I know it made a difference for them. Yay! I love when a lesson actually gets through!

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Previous author of Over the Big Moon. I shared my passion for home and family life! I love graphic design, DIY projects, cooking, and working in my garden! My favorite role is taking care of my husband and our 3 amazing and busy boys!

Comments (130)

  • Really nice idea, very good for visual learners! Think I’ll try this with my kids (13, 11 and 5). As a side note, if repentance is not part of the lesson, then what is the point! I Will be the first to remind my kids that I am their mother and not their friend, it is not my job to let them walk through life oblivivious to the fact that they must take reponsibility for their actions and not have society teach them. It is our job as parents to love, teach, correct and yes discipline our children so that they become responsible adults who can function in this crazy society and the only way to do that is to keep the Lord above all! And not be afraid to offend anyone!

  • This is such a beautiful kinesthetic way to teach children about lying. I followed all the steps, except I put the bowl with the salt in the microwave and the salt encrusted in 1 minute. 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing!!! I strongly believe teaching your children these things is nothing but great parenting!!! I would do this even if my kid didn’t lie. Teach them before it becomes an issue. Your not going to let your kid touch the fire first then tell them it’s hot. If my kid got mad because of what I did, I’ll remind them I’m not trying to be their friend, I’m their parent and want them to succeed in life!! They’ll be greatful when they’re older

  • Thank you for his idea! It’s not bad parenting its a great lesson that will stick in their minds! Maybe if more people stopped being afraid of parenting and ruining their kids society would be better for it. There’s no harm in this lesson and a bit of salt! It’s not like you’re sprinkling De-Con on the ice cream!

  • I rarely comment on blog posts, but I just have to today – Lisa, this is brilliant! My children are high functioning ASD and one thing they have in common is a ‘hands on’ learning style, so this is just perfect! And such an important lesson. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Awful way of parenting! FAIL! There are different ways to teach a lesson, making your kids uncomfortable. Ugh! Bad parent

    • No one said the kids were uncomfortable. Unless you’re referring to the funny faces they made after eating salty ice cream. Try not to hurt yourself jumping to conclusions.

  • What a great lesson! I’m going to incorporate this into a lesson for my 4th/5th Grade Sunday School class. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Adults always tease children. At least THIS way she’s teaching them a valuable lesson. I had an experiment with salt as well, but mine turned out differently. My mother used to give me a teaspoon of sugar in my hand that I would lick off all day long. One day my Aunt was over and decided it would be funny if she gave me a tablespoon of salt. I didn’t think she’d trick me, all I thought was “WOW! A whole tablespoon of sugar!”. I was so excited I licked my WHOLE hand only to gag moments later on the amount of salt I swallowed. Moral of the story? Don’t trust your Aunt! Lol.

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