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)

  • Thank you for this lesson. I am a Sunday School teacher of preschoolers and first grade children.
    This works perfectly with teaching them the Fruit of The Spirit. Honesty, Trustworthy, Faith, Goodness.
    This is a wonderful lesson and then reward them with a dish of ice cream, to show contrast betwee
    being honest and sin.

  • What a fabulous way to teach any child! I love this concept because it is so easy to understand and to teach – brilliant! Thank you. Oh, and I have 5 children, (31-14 years) and I still think this is a great object lesson!

  • This is an awesome idea on for lies and honesty. I love every aspect of it and will use it to teach the parable of the dishonest servant. My group of kids is only young and this is a brilliant idea. thank you very much

  • Lesson went well. 7 year old said that she doesn’t like chocolate ice cream, but agreed to try the salty ice cream. Upon trying it she decided she does like chocolate ice cream but only with salt. Thanks for the great post.

  • Great idea! Even if you did not want to include the idea of repentance you could easily talk about how hard it is to get rid of the damage done by lying long-term. I love the bowl of water and reference to the Savior, so great!

  • Thanks so much for this awesome object lesson! Each month our family has a theme and January is always Honesty. We listen to Alexanders Amazing Adventures by Richard and Linda Eyre and hold all our FHE lessons about the month topic. I really wanted a new object lesson for teaching honesty and I found this one- THANK YOU! I love it!

  • I’m going to use this at my Chapel tomorrow in school. Can’t wait to see how the kids react to the salt. Love how it applies to real life and making good choices. Also how we need God’s help to truly repent.

  • I found you on pinterest- I had to tell you that this is such a beautiful lesson! And, I plan to use this in my own home! We’re not religious, but I think the bowl of water idea is absolutely fantastic in either use! It illustrates that “coming clean”, at any point, is better than leaving the residue on the bowl (who wants to eat ice cream out of a dirty bowl :]). Thank you so much for the brilliant post!

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