In "Exploring Our Values Through Poetry," a Tapestry of Faith program
Host a Poetry Pajama Party for young children in your congregation.
This activity will help youth share their love of poetry with others and build multigenerational connections. When you have permission to hold the event, ask the group if they would like to share their experiences with poetry with younger children in the congregation. Youth who have not had much interaction with the younger children might be pleasantly surprised to see how many youngsters think they are extremely cool.
Use newsprint or the dry erase board to list the party logistics that you must settle. These may include:
If some youth cannot attend the party because of conflicts, invite them to help with prearrangements such as making phone calls, sending e-mails, selecting poems, or planning snacks. If youth have transportation issues, arrange carpools according to your congregation's safety policies.
If you are serving food, be aware of allergies and which foods are off-limits. Decide how you will obtain the food.
Now decide what you will do at the party. A simple party format is best, such as:
1. Children arrive in pajamas and set up blankets and pillows in a large space.
Organize an activity for early arrivers to do while waiting for everyone else to arrive. You might consider having them make simple animal puppets. To do this, provide cartoon-like pictures of the animals that are included in the poems to be read. Have children color the pictures, cut them out (with assistance), and glue them to wooden craft sticks. Instruct them to write their initials on the back and set the puppets aside to dry.
2. When everyone has arrived, play a game. You may need another room or space for the game.
3. Reconvene in the party room. While participants take turns reading poems, children could snack on popcorn or another easy snack. Consider interspersing popular children's songs, riddles, or jokes between the poems. Alternatively, you could read poems for several minutes, stop for a craft activity related to the poetry, and then read a bit more before children collect their crafts and go home.
Decide which poems the group will read and by whom. Youth might have favorite books of poetry from their childhood. If not, search the library, ask a children's librarian, or check out these suggestions:
With a few adjustments, the Poetry Pajama Party could be held at a local library and include children from the community.
Check with the congregation's religious educator to see if any of the children who will be attending the party have food allergies or other special needs. Bring these needs to the program participants' attention so they can be prepared to provide whatever each child needs to fully participate in the event's activities. During planning, if anyone proposes an idea that cannot be made accessible for every child who MIGHT attend do not use that idea.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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