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Pause for Thought: Itís Coming Back!

Giving and receiving

by Brian Radcliffe

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider that what we ‘give out’ to others affects us too.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a boomerang (made out of card if necessary) and a hula hoop. Alternatively, you can use the images in the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Pause for Thought: It's Coming Back!), in which case you will also need the means to display them.
  • If a hula hoop is available, you will also need to prearrange for someone to demonstrate how to spin the hoop forward in such a way that it returns to them.


  1. Show the boomerang or Slides 1 and 2.

    Ask the children what you are showing them and what is special about a boomerang.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Ask the children if they have ever had a go with a boomerang. Were they able to get it to come straight back to them? Explain that some people are very skilful at throwing boomerangs: they can throw it a long way and still get it to return directly to where they are standing! Tell the children that this takes a lot of practice.

  3. Show the hula hoop or Slide 3.

    If a hula hoop is available, ask the prearranged person to demonstrate how it can be spun forward in such a way that it returns to them.

    You may wish to ask one or two children to have a go and see who can throw the hoop the furthest from them and still get it to return.

  4. Explain that in some ways, the boomerang and the hula hoop are similar to the actions that we take in our lives. The way in which we treat others can come back to affect us.

    For example, if we are unkind to others, they are less likely to be understanding of us; if we never share, people are unlikely to want to share with us.

    However, the opposite is also true. If we are kind to others, they are likely to treat us kindly; if we are polite, people will tend to speak to us in a similar way; if we are generous, people will share with us.

  5. Point out that even smiling at someone can change their day from a sad one, where they feel as if no one cares about them, to a happy one where they feel cared for and loved. Point out that many older people live alone and sometimes have little contact with the outside world. A smile can make a big difference to their lives.

Time for reflection

Challenge the children to think about what they ‘give out’ to others. Encourage them to treat others in the way that they would like to be treated. Remind them that they can share happiness through something as simple as a smile.

In the Bible, in the Book of Matthew, there is a section called the Sermon on the Mount. In this passage, Jesus teaches some important lessons. Matthew 7.12 states, ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.’

Jesus is saying that we should treat other people in the same way that we would like them to treat us.

Ask the children whether they can think of any examples when this has been true in their own lives.

Dear God,
Thank you for all the people who love us and care for us.
Please help us always to treat others with care and respect.
Please help us to take our responsibility towards other people seriously.
Please help us to treat people in the way that we would like to be treated ourselves.


‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from the film Toy Story 4, available at: (2.08 minutes long)

‘That’s what friends are for’ by Dionne Warwick, available at: (4.31 minutes long)

Publication date: November 2021   (Vol.23 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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