Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Chalice Children: A Program about Our Unitarian Universalist Community for Preschoolers

Activity 3: Circle Time

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice-lighting words, written on newsprint
  • Chalice with tea light flame or other preschool chalice option
  • Feelings Chart or Feelings Flashcards by Todd Parr

Preparation for Activity

  • Write the chalice-lighting words (“We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of action”) on newsprint, and post them on the wall near the Circle Time area. If you need to take down the poster after this session, find a place to store it safely, as you will use these words in every session of this program.
  • Choose a preschool chalice (see Suggestions for Preschool Chalices, under Resources in the Introduction).
  • Create a Feelings Chart or purchase Feelings Flashcards by Todd Parr. The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University offers a free Feelings Chart, which you can either download or use as a guide for creating your own.

Description of Activity

Bring the chalice into the circle, either on the floor or on a small table or stand. Say, in these words or your own:

Welcome to Circle Time! First we light our chalice.

Point out where the words are posted on the wall. Say:

We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of action.

Say, in these words or your own:

Now we share our names and feelings. How are each of you feeling today? We will go around the circle and each say our name and point to how we're feeling today on the Feelings Chart [or Feelings Flashcard]. If you would rather not share today, you may say, "No, thank you."

Once everyone who wishes to has shared, say, in these words or your own:

For all the feelings that we feel today, we know that we have our friends, our families, and our church [congregation] family to share them with.

Introduce today's theme, in these words or your own:

Welcome to Sunday school. Does anybody know the name of our church [congregation]? [Say the name of your congregation.]

Can you say it with me?

Point to the chalice and ask, in these words or your own:

What is this? A chalice. This is the special symbol of our church [congregation]. We call our group the "Chalice Children." We are here to make friends, feel love, and learn about our church [congregation]. Love is the spirit of this church. Let's read a story together about love.

Including All Participants

If a child in the group has mobility problems, you could hold your circle activities in a circle of chairs to make it easier to include a wheelchair or for a child to sit while wearing leg braces.