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The Importance of the Little Toe

Every part of the body is important

by Helen Redfern (revised, originally published in 2009)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider that, just as every part of the body has a role to play, every member of a group is important, too.

Preparation and materials

  • None required.


  1. Which is the most important part of your body?

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Is it your brain? It tells your body exactly what to do.
    Is it your heart? It pumps the blood around your body.
    Is it your lungs? They provide your body with the oxygen that it needs.

    But how could you tie your shoelaces without your fingers?
    How could you listen to music without your ears?
    How could you taste chocolate without your tongue?
    How could you kick a ball without your foot?

    Every part of your body is important. Every part has a role to play.

  2. I guess your little toe doesn’t seem very important. It’s so small and doesn’t seem to do anything at all. After all, it’s hidden in your sock most of the time.

    How often do you think about your little toe? Only when someone stands on it? Ouch! Some people would even say that we don’t need our little toes and we would be better off without them!

    But what would happen if you cut it off? People who have broken or lost their little toes report that they keep falling over. They find it really hard to walk without them.

    Our little toes help us to balance. They help us to distribute our weight evenly over the whole foot to make us more stable.

    The little toe may not seem important, but it has a vital role to play.

  3. In the Bible, the writer, Paul, talks about the Church as a body (in 1 Corinthians 12.12–26). The Christians of Corinth had been arguing about who had the most important role to play. Paul points out that every part of the body has an important, but different job to do. He writes, ‘If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?’

  4. Each of us belongs to many different groups. Each of us belongs to a family. Each of us is a member of a class. Maybe we are part of a football team or a Sunday school class or a computer group.

    Each of these groups is like a body. And every member of the group has a unique part to play.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Thank you for making our bodies.
Thank you that every part does something different.
Thank you that every part matters.
Sometimes, we feel that we don’t matter very much.
Sometimes, we feel that we can’t do very much.
Sometimes, we feel that we are useless.
Help us to play our part in the groups we belong to.
Help us to see that every member matters.
Help us to work together like a body.

Publication date: September 2016   (Vol.18 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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