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
  • Extra stuffed animals for those who did not bring one
  • Bear beds made by children (Session 25, Activity 5, Bear Beds) and extra boxes to make bear beds (e.g., shoeboxes)
  • Feelings Chart or Feelings Flashcards by Todd Parr

Preparation for Activity

  • Before the session, remind families for children to bring their bear and the bear bed from the last session (see Session 25, Leader Resource 1). For children who did not attend the last session, suggest that parents help the child make a bear bed from a shoebox, and bring it with their teddy bear or another favorite stuffed animal today.
  • Post the chalice-lighting words on the wall near the Circle Time area.

Description of Activity

Invite the children to get their teddy bears and bear beds or to select a stuffed animal from the collection of extras. 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 your chalice-lighting words are displayed. Say your chalice-lighting words as you "light" the chalice:

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 [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 [congregational] family to share them with.

Have the children introduce (or re-introduce) their teddy bears. Introduce today's theme, in these words or your own:

Last time we met, we talked about helping our teddy bears make friends. Today we will talk about how to take care of our bears when they are sick.

Let's pretend that our bears don't feel well. What would we do for them? [elicit ways to care for a sick person, such as bringing them a drink or a blanket, reading a story to them, getting a cool cloth for their forehead, asking what they need]

I think our bears look sleepy. Letting a sick bear sleep is a great way to help take care of them. While they are sleeping, we will read a story and then decorate blankets for our bears to sleep under. [have children put the bears in their beds]

Including All Participants

You can 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.