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Alternate Activity 1: Hand In Hand (10 minutes), Session 12: John Murray

In "Creating Home," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Large roll of paper, such as butcher paper or brown mailing wrap
  • Scissors and masking tape
  • Washable paint in different colors
  • Pie tins, one to hold each different color of paint

Preparation for Activity

  • Identify a place in your meeting space where you can display the welcome sign, and cut the length of paper you need.
  • Tape the length of paper to the floor or a long table where children can reach it.
  • Lightly trace the word "Welcome!" onto the paper. Make the letters large enough and spread them apart so children's handprints on the letters will clearly spell the word.
  • Pour about one inch of paint into each pie tin.

Description of Activity

In this activity, the children will produce their own sign of welcome for visitors and newcomers.

Say, in your own words:

The name of the ship that brought John Murray to America was the "Hand in Hand." That was a good name for the ship, because our hands can help us show hospitality.

Ask if children can think of ways we use our hands to show hospitality. Prompt for answers such as:

  • We shake hands when we meet people.
  • We wave "hello" and "goodbye."
  • We hold hands to comfort each other and show friendship.


Let's create a poster that extends the hand of friendship to everyone entering our meeting space. Let's all use our hands to make the word "Welcome."

Let the children press their hands into the pie plates of washable paint, and then make handprints on the paper. Guide them to follow your tracing to spell out "Welcome!"

Ask the children to wash their hands.

Let the sign dry. Before the group meets again, hang it in your meeting space or outside, above the door.

In Session 14: Coming Home, Activity 3 invites the children to create homecoming signs to display in their family homes. The activity description will guide you to use the "Welcome!" sign made by the entire group to connect the two activities.

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Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.

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