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An overdose of new things

To appreciate that new is exciting but can also be challenging (SEAL theme 1: New beginnings).

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To appreciate that new is exciting but can also be challenging (SEAL theme 1: New beginnings).

Preparation and materials

  • A bag with objects: these should be unusual and unfamiliar, a little puzzling, and should cover the five senses. A good selection might be:
    –  an unusual fruit such as a star fruit (taste)
    –  Cuisenaire rods (touch)
    –  a magnifying glass (sight)
    –  a tuning fork (hearing)
    –  strong-smelling crisps, such as salt and vinegar flavour (smell).


  1. Tell the children that you have a bag of objects with you today. You are not sure if they will know what these objects are, or if they will like them, but there is nothing in the bag that will hurt them.

    Ask for a volunteer to pick a first object out of the bag.

    The child should then say anything he or she knows about this object, for example, its name, what it’s used for.

    Do the same with all five objects.
  2. Explain to the children that every day there are lots of new things in school for them to experience.

    –  Sometimes they will taste new things, like the fruit.
    –  Sometimes they will look closely at new things with the magnifying glass.
    –  Sometimes they will hear new things, like the tuning fork.
    –  Sometimes they will work with new things, like the Cuisenaire rods.
    –  Sometimes they will smell new smells, like teacher’s crisps. Explain that she eats these as an occasional treat!

    School is an exciting place because new things are going on all the time.
  3. However, now and then we can get an overdose of new things.

    Explain the word ‘overdose’ by asking the children if they have ever been to a birthday party where there was loads of food on the table. Ask for suggestions of favourite party food. Ask if anyone has ever gone home from a party with a sore tummy or feeling a little bit sick because they perhaps ate too many marshmallow ‘top hats’ or too many chocolate crispy cakes (or whatever birthday treats are most appropriate to your children). Although birthday party food is great, you can have a bit too much of it – an overdose.

    It’s a bit like that at school, too. New is nice, but just sometimes you can have an overdose of new things. When this happens you might feel a sore tummy coming on, or you might feel a little bit sick. Many people feel tired or grumpy. You might even think, ‘I want to go home!’

    There’s a simple answer – you just tell the teacher and she lets you do something nice and quiet for a little while, something that you enjoy doing like reading a book or colouring in or playing. It’s nice to do old, familiar things, too!
  4. Explain that Jesus was a wonderful teacher. He had very many people following him and wanting to learn from him. He would speak to them about the birds in the air, the flowers and the harvest in the fields. He would teach them while having picnics and while out fishing.

    But every now and then, Jesus would notice that his friends were a bit tired. Maybe they had had a bit of an overdose of new things. He would say to them, ‘Come apart for a little while and have a rest.’

    Sometimes, then, they would climb a hill to get away from all the crowds and just find a nice quiet spot to lie down and have a snooze in the sun. Then they would come back down, refreshed and ready to learn more new things.

Time for reflection

Think about one new thing you enjoy doing at school.
Perhaps in a quiet time in class today you could draw a picture of this new activity for a display.

Dear Father God,
thank you for all the new things there are to do
and to learn about at school.
They are such fun.
Thank you for our teachers who plan our days.
Thank you for friends to learn with.


‘Thank you, Lord, for this new day’ (Come and Praise, 32)

Publication date: September 2011   (Vol.13 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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