Faith In Action: We Appreciate Our Animal Friends
Activity time: 60 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of Leader Resource 2, Vegan Dog Treats Recipe, which includes all materials, ingredients, and instructions for making the treats.
- Materials for Vegan Dog Treats gift packages
- Small gift bags
- Ribbons to tie bags, and scissors (including left-handed scissors)
- Stickers with room for writing (or paper and tape), and markers
- Large box(es) or bag(s) for completed gift bags
- Optional: Brochures or other information about the animal shelter or the guide dog training school that will receive the Vegan Dog Treats or the funds raised by selling them.
Preparation for Activity
- Arrange for access to the congregation's kitchen to prepare and bake biscuits. Or, make dough ahead of time, allow children to roll dough and cut shapes, and take biscuits home to bake.
- Contact a no-kill shelter or a guide dog training school in your area. Determine that they would welcome a gift of dog biscuits made by the children, and that the ingredients you plan to use are healthy for the animals in their care. Display brochures or other illustrated information about the facility for children to explore.
- The Vegan Dog Treats need eight hours to cool and harden. After you bake them in your congregation's kitchen, the children can decorate the gift bags. You might plan to take home the biscuits and gift bags to assemble yourself, or schedule a time for children to package the biscuits This can be an intergenerational activity involving other members of the congregation.
- Gather ingredients and cooking tools. If you have a large group, plan to have children work in small groups and make sure you have enough rolling pins, cookie cutters, and baking sheets. Enlist youth or adult helpers as needed.
- Set up a station where children can decorate gift bags and cut lengths of ribbon.
- Optional: Arrange for the children to sell the gift bags of Vegan Dog Treats. Have children make signs. Invite parents to assist with the sale.
Description of Activity
The children make Vegan Dog Treats and package them in gift bags. The children can give the biscuits to a local animal shelter or sell them as a fundraiser for a no-kill animal shelter, an animal protection organization, or a guide dog training school.
If the children are making the Vegan Dog Treat dough, have the group work together to measure and assemble the ingredients. Then set up smaller groups for rolling dough, cutting out the shapes and placing biscuits on cookie sheets. Before baking, use wax paper to separate layers of uncooked biscuits.
Have all the children wash their hands in preparation for working with food. While they work, talk about the importance of caring for animals. Ask them in what ways pets depend on their owners to take care of them. Invite children to list different responsibilities someone with a pet may have, such as feeding, walking, and bathing their pet and taking the pet to the vet. Tell the children about the shelter or guide dog training school that will be the recipient of their gift of biscuits or money.
Including All Participants
It may be helpful to have additional adult or high school youth volunteers on hand for this activity, especially if the group is large, includes children with high energy or children who have trouble focusing.