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
  • 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 it is? Thanksgiving! What happens at Thanksgiving? We often have a special meal, with special people, our family and our friends. What is happening at your house? What are you going to eat? Does anyone say a blessing, or be quiet together for a moment of silence before you eat? Sometimes people hold hands and say one thing they are thankful for. Let's try it now.

Invite the children to hold hands in their circle in silence for a few moments. Then say:

Now let's think of something we are thankful for... and share it with each other.

Model the sharing, e.g. "I'm thankful for my family [name the people in your family.]

When we share what we are thankful for, that is called gratitude. Can you say "gratitude"?

Church [Our congregation] is a good place to share gratitude. Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and to give thanks. Do you have anything else you are grateful for to share with the group? Now let's read a story together.