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

Be There at the Crossroads

  Last week I was looking through an old box, searching for letters that Norm and I wrote to each other before we got married. I didn't find the letters but instead found an old journal from 1987. Look below and see my handwriting when I was a ten year old girl living in San Diego. We’d just moved there from Grand Junction, and I talked about missing our cat, about making new friends, going to Disneyland with my dad and my brother. It was really fun to read through this old journal. I'm glad I wrote that stuff down!  In the middle of these memories from 1987, I was also searching for a quote about mothers and their great influence on their kids. And the quote was something like “be there at the crossroads” when your children are coming and going. Turns out that the quote I was searching for also came from the late 80's. A brilliant church leader and prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, talked to the women and spent time encouraging and reminding us why motherhood is impor

2021 Christmas Card

December 2021  Dear Friends and Family, We love you and and miss y'all that are far away in WA and UT and other places!! This year we skipped our tradition of sending a Thanksgiving card and opted for a virtual Christmas card instead. It saved a ton of stamps and envelopes, but I definitely miss the glitter and sparkle. We hope you can feel our love even through a simple email or blog post. One tradition we couldn't skip was our gratitude tree, where the little leaves are a list of blessings. We are so thankful for God's goodness and mercy every day. Here's the highlight reel:  Cade graduated, made lots of Domino's pizza, read probably a thousand books, and is currently living in Provo, UT as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's heading to Helsinki, Finland in January. We are so proud of him and his hard work, we miss him but are excited for his opportunity to learn and serve. Shad spent a zillion hours with Marcus Ban

Golden Anniversary

My parents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. CONGRATULATIONS! Fifty years. An anniversary like this is remarkable for a few reasons: to stay together that long, to both be alive and well, and to still like each other after all these years. Let's take a quick trip down memory lane first.  My mom and dad met at a college dance.  When my dad proposed, he was working at a ski area, and she was skiing that day. My dad taught me to ski when I was a girl, and he taught me to love the mountains. My mom taught me to love the ocean. Marriage is a funny thing. In our culture we make a big deal about the wedding and plan expensive parties and receptions. But the real work begins AFTER the ceremony. Anytime my father-in-law talks about attending a "Wedding Deception," I have to laugh and cringe at his dry wit. I learned many great life lessons from my parents through the years. My mom taught me to serve, saying, "You love the people you serve."

Hair and random thoughts from a Brunette

Recently I've thought quite seriously about doing this to my hair. It might be so fun to have purple/blue highlights! I never dyed my hair in high school or college. Then when I was 37 the first few grey hairs appeared, ironically enough while I was pregnant. I've spent the last handful of years adding lots of blonde highlights.  Now my hair has a respectable amount of silver. It's kind of annoying. I'm learning to say farewell to being a brunette, because that young girl with the dark hair has grown up. Last month for Christmas, one of my favorite gifts that I GAVE to my little daughter was kinda fun. I spent like 20+ minutes at Target deliberating on which Barbies to buy. Finally I chose this group of friends for their amazing variety in hair!!  And I love each for different reasons. The dogwalking blonde is fun because my daughter really wishes we had a dog. The other three have accessories to be an astronomer, a teacher, etc. Ultimately, each Barbie is different fro

Love

"How are you feeling about your son leaving soon?" has been my favorite question lately. My answer is kinda mixed. During July and August I was surprised and excited. Then on September 14 he flew to and from San Francisco by himself for a day. The purpose was a quick visit to the Finnish consulate for a visa. He had fantastic instructions to get from the airport to the BART to the consulate, but waiting for the interview took longer than planned. Leaving the consulate he had less than an hour until his flight was supposed to take off. That included a 32 minute tram ride, printing a boarding pass, airport security, etc. In all honesty, he should have missed that flight home. But he didn't. Call it a miracle or a test of faith, or whatever you want to call it. But for my boy who loves to be punctual, boarding a flight 7 minutes before take-off was pretty intense. Long story short, I think we all realized a few things that day. There are so.many.details I can't control,

The Invisible Woman

Today I'm thinking about my mom. She spent a lot of years building and serving and lifting. She poured love and time and energy into her children, in a never-ending pattern. She did a hundred things that we still haven't noticed. I wonder if there's a coming of age that happens for a young mom, when she begins to realize how much work it is to BE a mom. Then maybe about two dozen years into this parenting thing, she begins to see  more stuff she missed. Then another realization comes when her oldest is almost grown. I'm still learning to see my mom and appreciate her as a person. But how can you see somebody who's been invisible? This morning I was talking with a good friend, another mom like me. She's younger and in a different season of mothering, yet we both can relate to sometimes feeling lonely. Sometimes we need evidence of progress, or at least a friendly word from a girlfriend. Maybe sometimes we just need somebody to notice and say thanks. Years ago I h

How Controlling Are You?

Life is like Mario Kart. In the early levels, you're driving through Moo Moo Meadows and the grass is green and there's cows and fields and it's lovely. There's an occasional banana peel that gets tossed in the path, and sometimes the cows walk in the road so you try not to hit them. But overall the driving is pretty mellow.  Then later after you've unlocked other levels, there's stuff like Bowser's Castle. It's a maze with lava on both sides of the path, there's fire and brimstone all around, there's stone columns that try to smash you at random intervals. Just to know where to go and how to steer and stay on the path is complicated. Some stages of life are like Moo Moo Meadows. The details are easy-peasy and you just keep moving right along. And then there are years like Bowser's Castle where it's pretty intense and you pray a lot because the fire around you is pretty hot and you're trying not to fall in the lava pit.  During years

Companions - Notes on Home MTC

November 18, 2021 Most people know that missionaries run around in pairs. Some of my neighbors have seen this version of a companionship lately. Let me explain. During Covid, the church did a pivot and changed the missionary training experience from in-person to virtual. During this process they realized there were a few cool benefits that were worth continuing even after the pandemic. So the new version of missionary training begins  at home  with an Elder or Sister doing full-time training with a companion online. Then they transition to  in person  after a few weeks.  My oldest son began on November 8 with training at home. When they are in class or working together, they are meeting and making friends with other missionaries in their district. My son's cohort has four young women and four other young men, for a total of nine kids all going to Finland in January. BUT when they're not actively working or studying together,  I'm his companion . All of the places I'd no

Twenty + One Month

You know how life gets kinda messy sometimes? My version of messy looks like this: Four kids including a teenager learning to drive; a kindergartner learning to get herself ready in the morning; a senior learning about adulting; a middle schooler learning to ride her bike to electives every other day, a mortgage husband's career VIRTUAL PLUS church service pandemic, civil unrest, election year my own personal need for friends and connection even when my schedule looks like a revolving door Our big anniversary was last month and we were lucky enough to celebrate together this past weekend. We managed to sneak away for 24 hours. First I need to give credit where credit is due. There was a very generous friend who volunteered to parent the children during our 'Nelson marriage offsite.' And there was a generous benefactor who donated Marriott points to spring for the fancy room. I won't mention either party by name, but thanks to their generosity we had a great time. I'

It doesn't matter where you live, but how...

Thoughts on Houses This is my first post from Texas.  The blog lives on.  August was a whirlwind, September we started settling in, and now it's October.  Most of the boxes are unpacked.  Just last week I found the box that had cookbooks in it, and that makes me pretty happy.  I still haven't made whole wheat bread or cookies since we got here, but maybe I'll do that soon. We spent a lot of time this summer thinking about houses, getting ready to sell our house in Traverse Mountain (in Lehi, on the northern edge of Utah County), and brainstorming on what we'd need in a house in Texas. On the way to Texas, we drove south through Colorado and spent the night at Mesa Verde.  We found the Far View Lodge inside the park and stayed up high on the mesa.  The night sky was pitch black away from the city lights, and the weather was at least ten degrees cooler up high.  I loved it.  The next morning we learned a lot about the Native Americans who lived there.  A man ga