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Activity 5: Minimalist Party Planning

Activity time: 12 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • A chime or bell

Preparation for Activity

  • Familiarize yourself with materials that are generally available in your religious education space, including arts supplies. Make sure there are some items that can safely be used for party activities.
  • Optional: You may wish to provide items for snacks. Chose some basic snacks that the children can make more festive for a party, such as plain crackers. Make sure materials are available to help children serve these in a special way.

Description of Activity

The goal of this activity is to help participants explore the possibility of having fun with "less." Begin by asking the children to brainstorm what sorts of things they like to do at a party. Write these ideas down on newsprint. Remember that this is a brainstorming session, so write down all ideas, however outrageous, unless they involve harm to people or property. (If necessary, you can remind participants of the Principle of justice, equity, and compassion that guides our interactions.)

When the list seems complete, articulate themes that you observe, for example, "I can tell that we like parties with games and food and goodies for everyone."

Then post a new blank sheet. Tell the children:

Now we're going to try thinking about a party in a different way. We don't have a cake or a roller skating rink or a swimming pool (or whatever came up on the list). What kind of party could we come up with right now, using just what is in this room?

Give the children a few minutes to explore the resources available.

Use the chime or bell to call children back to the group, and then ask them to brainstorm party ideas using only available materials. You may wish to guide the conversation by asking "What kinds of games could we play?" / "Does anyone have a suggestion for decorations?" / "Can you think of anything we could make for gifts or party favors?" / "Do we have a way to have music at our party?" Write down suggestions. Then ask for volunteers to work on aspects of the party preparation. Be clear about how much time children have to create the party. Help children divide into smaller groups at appropriate locations to work on their party preparations.

Including All Participants

Find out about food allergies or limitations before purchasing any snacks, so that everyone present can enjoy them.

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