In "Windows and Mirrors," a Tapestry of Faith program
Singing songs together, especially ones that are important in your congregation, can foster a sense of multigenerational community and create special memories for children.
Welcome everyone. Distribute hymnbooks or song sheets. Lead the group in singing the songs you have chosen, using call-and-response to make sure all can join in whether or not they already know the words.
Include some songs that elders can teach and others that children can teach. Inviting young children to teach hand motions to a well-known song could be fun.
Warm up the group with games all ages can play together. Groups of 20 or fewer can play a Name Whip game. Participants sit in a circle and each introduces themself by saying their name and a word that starts with their first initial—for example, Dana Delicious or Amy Apple. You might ask participants to introduce themselves with a word that describes something they and other people their age do or like—for example, Dana Driving or Amy Aerobics. Each participant must recite the names and matching words for every person who has already spoken and then add their own name and word. The whip ends when the last person names everyone in the room and their age-related word. Then you might invite one or two volunteers (preferably of different ages) to name every person in the circle and the word they chose.
For another game, Do As I Say, have everyone sit in a circle. One person starts the game by repeating a simple action, such as patting their head or tapping a foot, but saying something different, such as "I am making a fist." Everyone has to repeat the statement each time the leader says it, but do the action the leader is doing. The first person the leader catches doing or saying the wrong thing becomes the new leader. If the leader gets mixed up first, they choose someone else to be the new leader. Younger children may need help with what to say but often find "opposite" motions easier to negotiate than adults. Older participants may need suggestions for a simple action to perform.
Make sure the room is fully accessible and has seating options to make people of every mobility level comfortable. Invite people with hearing or vision limitations to sit where they can best hear/see.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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