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.
  • If Meet Jesus is not the story book you will share in Activity 4, Story, prepare to tell the children the short story about Jesus that concludes Circle Time. If you will read Meet Jesus aloud in Activity 4, skip the short story.

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:

Today we celebrate Easter. What do you do at Easter?

Invite their responses about an Easter egg hunt, Easter lilies, a special meal, new clothes, Easter baskets, a springtime family walk, or visits by friends or family. Affirm everyone's contributions.

If you are planning to share a story book other than Meet Jesus after Circle Time, conclude Circle Time by sharing the short story of Jesus below. Ask:

Does anyone know about a teacher named Jesus? His story is part of Easter.

Jesus was a very special teacher. Jesus died at this time of year, on a cross. People were sad that Jesus died. They remembered him, and remembered his stories, what he said and what he did. They remembered him so well that it was as if he were right there with them again.

We like to remember Jesus on Easter because of the good things that he did and taught. His stories remind us to love one another. They remind us at Easter that there is hope for a better world.

We also enjoy Easter eggs and Easter baskets. We will make a basket and play with some eggs, but first, let's read a story.

Including All Participants

If any child has mobility limitations, consider forming a circle of chairs to make it easier to include a wheelchair or for a child to sit down in braces.