Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A large, blank jigsaw puzzle
- Multicultural markers or crayons
- Optional: Digital camera or smartphone
Preparation for Activity
- Buy a large, blank jigsaw puzzle at a retail craft store, or online; this “community puzzle” would work well.
- Or, make a blank jigsaw puzzle with foam core or cardboard. To see someone make a puzzle, watch the video at the bottom of the web page “How to Make a Jigsaw Puzzle”. You can purchase a large sheet of foam core from a craft or art/architect supply store. Pizza-box cardboard works well, if clean. Draw an outline of your congregation on a sheet of paper the same size as the foam core or cardboard (and make a copy, to use as a guide for putting the puzzle together). Glue the picture to the foam core or cardboard. Make enough pieces so that each child can have one or two. Foam core: Using a utility knife, cut the foam core into a variety of shapes. Large shapes with at least two semicircular shapes facing in or out will be easiest to work with. Leave a solid border of foam core as a frame for the puzzle. Cardboard: Turn over the cardboard and draw puzzle shapes on the back. Then, cut out the shapes.
Description of Activity
Children draw a picture of their family as part of the puzzle. This puzzle will be fun to share during Session 12, Family Snack Party or during the Faith in Action for this unit, a puzzle-and-snacks family gathering (see Session 9, Faith in Action).
Invite the children to the activity table. Say, in these words or your own:
Each person is a part of our church [congregation], and together we make a church [congregational] family.
Tell the children that they will get to draw their family on a puzzle piece. Show the outline of your congregation that you created. See if the children can guess what the shape is. Tell them that the puzzle they create will be in the shape of our church [congregation].
Give each child one or two puzzle pieces. Ask the children to draw themselves and their family members (including pets) on one or both puzzle pieces. Write the name of each child’s family on their piece, for example, “Tara’s family.” Leave some pieces blank for any children who are not in class today. (You might consider setting aside a few, blank puzzle pieces to welcome newcomers to the group throughout the year, who may add their own family puzzle pieces.)
Help the children put the puzzle together. Ask them if they’d like to add more people or details. Point out how many different kinds of people and families are part of the whole church [congregation]. Name and celebrate each family.
Invite the children to clean up. They can sort the markers and make sure the caps are on, return drawing supplies to storage, and throw out or recycle scraps of paper. Place the completed puzzle on a table to show to families, if possible. Optional: Take a picture of the completed puzzle.
Including All Participants
Emphasize that there are many different kinds of families-foster families, adopted families, families with one parent, families with two parents (two mommies, two daddies, one of each), families with grandparents, and more-and that all of our congregational families, with all of our differences, are recognized, celebrated, and loved by our congregation.