Skip to main content

Seven Pennies to Spend on Candy

 Family lesson on being Generous

I love this felt story for little children, my mom taught it back in the early 80's. If you're using this as a lesson with a child as your assistant, you'll use the felt pieces and have them add them to the story board one at a time. Start with the backdrop and the sunshine and tree, or use your imagination and be creative as you make your own.



Once there was a little boy named John. He was a very good boy and lucky too, because he had seven pennies. “Wow,” he thought.

 "I have seven pennies to spend on candy

All for myself

Isn’t that dandy?"


 His mom gave permission to walk through the woods to the store nearby. He knew the way and promised to be very careful. It was a beautiful day and he was happy. As he walked along through the forest, he whistled to himself, admiring the trees and plants and flowers. Just then he saw a cat, and couldn’t help but share the good news. He said to the cat,

 I have seven pennies to spend on candy

All for myself

Isn’t that dandy?

Mr. Cat replied back:

"If I had seven pennies

To spend as I wish,

I’d buy myself

A delicious fish."

 John smiled and kept walking. When he heard a bird singing in the tree, he shared his good news: 

I have seven pennies to spend on candy

All for myself

Isn’t that dandy?

 Mrs Bird tweeted back:

"If I had seven pennies

For what I’d like best

I’d buy cotton

To line my nest."

 John smiled again and kept walking. All of a sudden a frog hopped out of the pond, so he shared his good news with Mr Frog.

I have seven pennies to spend on candy

All for myself

Isn’t that dandy?

 "If I had seven pennies

Said Frog with a yawn

I’d buy a lily pad

To lie down on," said the frog.

 


Bear was nearby searching for blackberries. He heard when Johnny said: 

I have seven pennies to spend on candy

All for myself

Isn’t that dandy?

He growled softly:

"Oh dear little boy

A penny’s worth of honey

Would bring me great joy."

 

Mrs Rabbit was listening carefully and said:

"Oh no, Mr Bear

Honey wouldn’t do

With a penny

I’d buy a carrot or two."

 John kept walking and finally he reached the store. He walked inside and looked around at ALL the toys and candy, and started to fill his bag with LOTS of delicious things: cotton candy, peppermints, lollipops. With seven pennies, he could buy seven things. Then he remembered his animal friends in the forest. He thought, “Maybe I’ll share something with my friends too.” Remember what Mr Cat had said?



He decided maybe he didn’t need to spend all his pennies on candy. So he asked Mr McCoy, the storekeeper, to help him find a fish, and some cotton, and a lily pad, and some honey, and a carrot. Each of the items cost one penny. He put back some of the candy he'd thought about buying, and decided on a lollipop and some fruit snacks for himself. (use whatever candy you have in your house, and demonstrate which candies he bought.) He smiled to himself again, thinking of how much fun it would be on his walk home, to share with his animal friends in the woods. He found his friends again, first Mrs Rabbit, then Bear, and then the frog, and the bird, and Mr Cat. Each time he reached into his brown paper bag, finding just the right gift for his friends. The bag felt lighter now, and he couldn't wait to get home and eat his lollipop and fruit snacks.

 


When he arrived home, he saw this note in the bottom of the bag:

"To a very good boy

From Mr McCoy."





Mr McCoy had seen John’s generous heart, and there in the bottom of the bag, after digging out the fruit snacks and the lollipop, was another surprise. Smarties! (Find whatever smarties or candy you have around the house, or use your child's favorite treat, and add it to the bottom of a brown paper bag.) He couldn't believe it, what a wonderful bonus!

At this point in the story, depending on your kids' ages and understanding, and their attention span, you chat about the following: 

  • what is the golden rule? (do unto others and you would have them do unto you)
  • the law of the harvest (you reap what you sow) 
  • karma (what you send out comes back to you)
  • How do you feel when somebody does something kind for you? 
  • How do you feel when you give another person a present? 
  • What can I do when I see somebody less fortunate?
  • Heavenly Father sees our good deeds and blesses us.
  • Matthew 25:35 "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in." See more thoughts here




PS. As I'm writing about being generous, I need to carefully point out that balance is necessary. If you're already giving too much, or doing too much, or being too generous, then I recommend the following two posts: here I talk about swinging the pendulum more to self care. And the novel Atlas Shrugged presents a different theory of operating.


 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Leaving Utah

Norm and I are at a crossroads.  It's time for our family to take the next step.  But first a quick trip down memory lane. We first came to Utah sixteen years ago.  We were young and cute and pregnant with baby #1.  Norm had been accepted as a student.  I had a lot of fun during my first two years of college, and I imagine the admissions board looked at my transcript and said something like, "yeah right!"  (More details about getting a D in organ lessons over  here .) So my first BYU application was rejected.  They let me attend classes as a visiting student, and one day an admissions officer called my phone.  It was a landline, and we were living in BYU married student housing.  He had two questions for me:  Is your husband a full time student?  Yes.  And you live on  campus?  Yes.  End of interview.  A few days later I got my acceptance letter. We finally graduated together in 2004. We bought our first home in Lehi, not too far from Willow Creek middle schoo

Thorns and gifts

We've been reading in the New Testament as a family lately, and Paul has some great advice and counsel that's still applicable today.  In his letter to the church in Corinth, he talks about a thorn in the flesh. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. It's kind of a moot point to speculate what Paul's particular thorn might have been, but I've often wondered. More importantly: what is God's purpose in giving his children such difficult stuff to learn? Why does life have to be so hard?

One More Syllable

It's been a year. One year ago we moved to Texas. One year ago I started asking people to call me Kristina instead of Kristy, thus adding one more syllable to my name. August is our anniversary. Last year we celebrated that anniversary by adding a cool new memory. That day we drove up to our house, found the keys and walked inside with the kids. We spent the night in our house without any stuff. Isn't it funny how places seem bigger when they're unfurnished? And that pool in the backyard? We knew nothing about pools and maintenance but just jumped in carefree. It was great. It was like being in a hotel but with room for everybody to spread out. Maybe it's time to explain the name change. For me, I had decided before moving to Texas that I wanted to quit using Kristy as my nickname. It served me well for many years and I still like it, but it's mainly for simplicity. When I'd first meet somebody, maybe I'd mumble or maybe I don't speak clearly enou

Meek Warhorse

Norm's last church talk/sermon in Utah before moving to Texas July 2018, Lehi UT, Traverse Mountain 8th Ward Hello brothers and sisters, it’s my privilege to speak to you today.  I guess this is our good-bye address even though we haven’t moved yet, which I’m taking as a personal sign that the bishopric can’t wait for the next family to move in.  (that was a joke, guys) In my remarks today, I’m going to cover an alternative definition of meekness that really struck a chord with me.  Once I’ve introduced this idea, I’m going to share my supporting argument for meekness as a strength, and then I’m going to talk about how I believe we can develop this form of meekness in our lives. As Kristy told you, our topic is “being meek and lowly of heart” which, in the terms I normally think of meekness or lowliness, is a subject that does not come naturally to me.  I am not naturally what I consider to be meek, quiet or, as Kristy would tell you, all that well behaved.  While I