Main Content

Activity 6: Circle Games

Activity 6: Circle Games
Activity 6: Circle Games

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Blankets or towels, one for each child
  • Optional: Lullaby or other music, and music player

Preparation for Activity

  • Familiarize yourself with the games and songs listed in Posters for Chalice Children, under Resources in the Introduction, and the new songs and games suggested for this session. You may want to practice guiding a waking dream so you will be comfortable leading the "Dream Time" game. You may also wish to research additional circle games or songs about dreams or nighttime, or make up your own words to a common tune.
  • If you don't know the tune of "Toora Loora Loora," you can watch this video on YouTube.
  • If you'd like to play a lullaby during the "Dream Time" game, choose one and prepare to play it during this activity.
  • Display any posters you have made.

Description of Activity

Gather in a circle on the floor.

Play the games and sing the songs. Keep the pace brisk to help the children stay focused.

Dream Time

Invite the children to find a place on the rug (or, sit at the activity table and lay their heads on their arms) and pretend to go to sleep. Darken the room, cover children with blankets, and sing a song or play a lullaby. Then send them on a "dream"-floating on the clouds, flying over the congregation, the town, and the whole day. Say "hi" to the moon, say "hi" to a goose flying up in the sky. Ask children for suggestions about what they could be dreaming. Then invite children to "wake up" and stretch.

Gather in a circle on the floor.

Play the games and sing the songs. Keep the pace brisk to help the children stay focused.

Welcome, Chalice Children

Ask the children to stand, as they are able, in their places. Sing "Welcome, Chalice Children" to the tune of "Little Rabbit Foo-Foo":

Welcome, Chalice Children,

We are Unitarians.

Jump into the circle,

Jump, jump, jump.

Welcome, Chalice Children,

We are Universalists.

Jump into the circle,

Jump, jump, jump.

Welcome, Chalice Children,

My name is [leaders' and children's names, in turn].

Jump into the circle,

Jump, jump, jump.

Alternate verses:

We are Chalice Children!

Welcome to our circle!

We are Chalice Children!

Clap, clap, clap!

We are Unitarians!

We are Universalists!

Welcome to our circle!

Clap, clap, clap!

We are Chalice Children!

Let's all welcome [name of a child in the group]!

Welcome to our circle!

Clap, clap, clap!

Toora Loora Loora

Teach the chorus of this classic Irish lullaby to the children:

Toora, loora, loora,

Toora, loora, li,

Toora, loora, loora,

Hush, now, don't you cry.

Toora, loora, loora,

Toora, loora, li,

Toora, loora, loora,

It's an Irish lullaby.

Dream Time

Invite the children to find a place on the rug and pretend to go to sleep. Darken the room, cover each child with a blanket or towel, and sing or play a lullaby. Send them on a "dream." You might float on the clouds, fly over your church [congregation], say "hi" to the moon, say "hi" to a goose flying up in the sky-let your imagination soar. You can also ask the children for suggestions about what they could be dreaming.

When you are ready, have the children "return" to the room, wake up, and stretch.

Lead more Circle Time songs and games, as time allows.

Find a Friend at Church

"Find a Friend at Church" is sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell." Have the children gather in a circle. Have one child walk around the outside of the circle while the first two lines of the song are sung. The child then chooses a friend. The two friends hold hands and skip around the circle while the remainder of the verse is sung. The first child returns to the circle, and the game is repeated with a second child walking outside the circle. Continue until all have had a turn to choose a friend.

I'll find a friend at church.

I'll find a friend at church.

Heigh ho, the derry oh,

I'll find a friend at church.

We'll skip around the room.

We'll skip around the room.

Heigh ho, the derry oh,

We'll skip around the room.

Variation: Instead of "skip," ask each child to choose an action, such as run, walk, hop, or jump.

If You're Happy and You Know It

Sing "If You're Happy and You Know It," leading the children in the actions noted after each line:

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. [clap-clap]

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. [clap-clap]

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. [clap-clap]

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet. [stomp-stomp]

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet. [stomp-stomp]

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet. [stomp-stomp]

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" [hoo-ray!]

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" [hoo-ray!]

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" [hoo-ray!]

If you're happy and you know it, do all three. [clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!]

If you're happy and you know it, do all three. [clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!]

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you're happy and you know it, do all three. [clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!]

Variation: Sing this welcome song to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It" (from Channels to Children: Early Childhood Activity Guide for Holidays and Seasons, copyright 1982). As the verse is sung, the leader shakes the child's hand. Repeat with each new child:

Including All Participants

If any child might find jumping or standing difficult, substitute other actions, such as clapping, stepping, or wiggling, or sing the songs from a seated position.

Like, Share, Print, or Explore

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

Find everything tagged: