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Safety Rules

To show how the Ten Commandments are designed to help people live in safety.

by Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To show how the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20.1-17) are designed to help people live in safety, without being hurt.

Preparation and materials

  • Prepare 'God's safety rules' on large sheets of paper, one for each of the following rules:
    'Love God.'
    'Look after your mum and dad.'
    'Don't lie.'
    'Don't steal.'
    'Don't get jealous.'
    'Don't murder.'
    'Don't be unfaithful.'
    'Don't make silly things important.'
    'Have a good rest.'
    'Don't misuse God's name.'
  • A toaster, a slice of bread and two 'instruction sheets' (sheets of paper, as before), showing:
    (sheet 1) 'How to use a toaster.'
    (sheet 2) 'Don't put your fingers in it, stupid!'
  • An electric screwdriver (or some other implement) and 'instruction sheet', as before, showing:
    'Don't eat it, silly!'


  1. Explain that you are very excited because you have just bought a couple of new things. Show the toaster. Pretend to plug it in. Put the bread in and wait. Nothing happens. Say something like, Oh dear, it isn't working, perhaps if I just have a look inside. Move as if to put your hand inside then stop and think, saying something like, I'll just have a look at the instructions.

    Hold up the instructions and show that they say, 'Don't put your fingers in it, stupid!'

  2. Show the children your electric screwdriver, and say how wonderful it is. Explain that you were working with it yesterday and it was brilliant. So much so that you forgot to have lunch, but just as you were about to take a bite out of the handle you thought you'd better read the instructions.

    Hold the sheet up: 'Don't eat it, silly!' Say how you obviously need to follow these safety rules so you don't get hurt every day.

  3. Ask for ten volunteers. Give them each a commandment, but ask them not to show them yet. Explain that a long time ago God gave us a list of safety instructions which tells us how to live safely together. Ask if the children know any. When they suggest the right ones, ask the volunteers to reveal them. If there's time, ask why following the rules is a good idea, e.g. Why do you think God said 'Don't lie'?, etc.

  4. Keep 'Love God' until last. Say that the most important rule is to love God because he is the one who can keep us safe. Some people call these the Ten Commandments, but you prefer to call them 'God's safety rules'. They tell us how to live without getting hurt.

Time for reflection

'We are children of God' (Romans 8.16)

Dear God,
Thank you that you want to keep us safe.
Help us to follow your safety rules for life.


'God who made the earth' (Come and Praise, 10)

Publication date: January 2002   (Vol.4 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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