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:

We are celebrating Earth Day! What is Earth Day? A time for celebrating our beautiful earth. We live on the earth. What else is on the earth? Animals, all people, rocks, cities, oceans, and plants. Everything in the whole wide world!

We need to take care of the earth. How do we take care of it? Keep it clean, keep it healthy. How do we do that? Pick up litter. Make new soil with compost. Does anyone have a compost bin? What is it? How does it work? Does anyone recycle? How do you do that?

We also want to reduce the things we use. That means finding simpler things, like simple toys, and simple food. Can you think of other things that happen on Earth Day? Do you hang a flag with a picture of the earth on it? Do you wear a special tee shirt? Do you like to take a walk outdoors in nature? We are going outside for an Earth Day treasure hunt today. First, let's read a story.

Including All Participants

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