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

  • Post the chalice-lighting words on the wall near the Circle Time area.

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 your chalice-lighting words are displayed. Repeat 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 [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 [congregational] family to share them with.

Introduce today's theme, saying something like:

Does anyone know what holiday is coming? Halloween! What does that mean? Some people go trick-or-treating in a costume. They dress up and pretend to be something else. What are you going to be for Halloween?

What do you like to do at Halloween? How does a mask make you feel? Here's a mask. When I put it on, I look out at you. Why don't we pass the mask around and each of us try it on. Who's this? It's [child in the group]! And there's [the same child] with a mask on!

Describe each child with their name and mask as they pass the mask around. When everyone is done, ask:

Do you become a different person with the mask on?"

Encourage the children to affirm and reassure each other that they are the same people.

It's fun to pretend, and it's fun to try out the mask. That is part of Halloween, to explore some scary things and know that they are just pretend. Let's read a story about Halloween.

Including All Participants

If any child has mobility challenges, 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.