When I am lonely, will you be my friend? — from "When I Am Frightened," Hymn 1012 in Singing the Journey
The theme of this unit, and this session in particular, is that the Chalice Children group (and our congregation) is a place to make friends and to be a friend, and that being a member of this group means helping to make it a friendly place for others. The sessions of Teddy Bear Month (Sessions 25, 26, 27, and 28) use a third party—teddy bears—to introduce in a gentle, non-threatening way some potentially scary concepts including being lost and being sick.
Remember that preschool children vary greatly in their social development. The youngest children may still engage in parallel play; four year olds may be learning to express their feelings; kindergarteners may be more willing to conform to the goals and norms established by parents, teachers, church leaders, and society.
Note: Before this session, ask families to have their children bring a favorite stuffed bear or another animal to each session in this unit. See Leader Resource 1, Teddy Bear Month Invitation.
This session will help preschoolers:
- Learn how to make the Chalice Children group feel like a friendly place
- Experience caring and sharing as a way of affirming themselves and others
- Feel a growing sense of belonging to and identity with a Unitarian Universalist congregation.
- Practice the skills involved in making friends with others
- Feel a sense of competence by teaching the bears the Chalice Children songs and games.