Activity 6: Circle Games

Activity 6: Circle Games
Activity 6: Circle Games

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Optional: Clean recyclable items and a recycle bin

Preparation for Activity

  • Familiarize yourself with the games and songs and display any posters you have made. Leave time to include the two Earth Day themed songs presented below. Listen to the Cedarmont Kids' version of "Paw-Paw Patch" (the tune you will need for "Picking Up Litter," below).
  • Optional: Gather clean recyclables you found during Activity 5, Treasure Hunt Outside or clean recyclable items such as a cardboard egg carton, a rinsed-out plastic container or aluminum can, or a newspaper.

Description of Activity

Play the games and sing the songs. Keep the pace brisk to help the children stay focused.

Welcome, Chalice Children

Ask children to stand, as they are able, in their places. Sing "Welcome, Chalice Children" to the tune of "Little Rabbit Foo-Foo":

Welcome, Chalice Children,

We are Unitarians.

Jump into the circle,

Jump, jump, jump.

Welcome, Chalice Children,

We are Universalists.

Jump into the circle,

Jump, jump, jump.

Welcome, Chalice Children,

My name is [leaders' and children's names, in turn].

Jump into the circle,

Jump, jump, jump.

Alternate verses:

We are Chalice Children!

Welcome to our circle!

We are Chalice Children!

Clap, clap, clap!

We are Unitarians!

We are Universalists!

Welcome to our circle!

Clap, clap, clap!

We are Chalice Children!

Let's all welcome... [name of a child in the group]

Welcome to our circle!

Clap, clap, clap!

Make New Friends

Make new friends, but keep the old,

One is silver and the other is gold.

A circle is round, it has no end.

That's how long I'm going to be your friend.

Find a Friend at Church

"Find a Friend at Church" is sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell." Have the children gather in a circle. Have one child walk around the outside of the circle while the first two lines of the song are sung. The child then chooses a friend. The two friends hold hands and skip around the circle while the remainder of the verse is sung. The first child returns to the circle, and the game is repeated with a second child walking outside the circle. Continue until all have had a turn to choose a friend.

I'll find a friend at church.

I'll find a friend at church.

Heigh ho, the derry oh, I'll find a friend at church.

We'll skip around the room.

We'll skip around the room.

Heigh ho, the derry oh, we'll skip around the room.

Variation: Instead of "skip," ask the player to choose the action, such as run, walk, hop, or jump.

If You're Happy and You Know It

Sing "If You're Happy and You Know It," leading the children in the actions noted after each line:

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. [clap-clap]

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. [clap-clap]

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. [clap-clap]

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet. [stomp-stomp]

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet. [stomp-stomp]

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet. [stomp-stomp]

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" [hoo-ray!]

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" [hoo-ray!]

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you're happy and you know it, shout "Hurray!" [hoo-ray!]

If you're happy and you know it, do all three. [clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray! ]

If you're happy and you know it, do all three. [clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray! ]

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.

If you're happy and you know it, do all three. [clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray! ]

Variation: Sing this welcome song to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It" (from Channels to Children: Early Childhood Activity Guide for Holidays and Seasons, copyright 1982). Each time the verse is sung, the leader shakes the child's hand. Repeat with each new child:

Good morning, [child's first and last name],

How are you?

Good morning, [child's first and last name],

How are you?

How are you this special day?

We are glad you came to play.

Good morning, [child's first and last name],

How are you?

It Isn't Any Trouble

Sing "It Isn't Any Trouble" to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic":

It isn't any trouble just to s-m-i-l-e.

It isn't any trouble just to s-m-i-l-e.

So smile when you're in trouble.

It will vanish like a bubble,

If you only take the trouble just to s-m-i-l-e.

Variations: Instead of "s-m-i-l-e," substitute "g-i-giggle-e":

It isn't any trouble just to g-i-giggle-e. [giggle]

It isn't any trouble just to g-i-giggle-e. [giggle]

So laugh when you're in trouble.

It will vanish like a bubble,

If you only take the trouble just to g-i-giggle-e.

Or, substitute "ha-ha-ha-ha-ha":

It isn't any trouble just to ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. [laugh]

It isn't any trouble just to ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. [laugh]

So laugh when you're in trouble.

It will vanish like a bubble,

If you only take the trouble just to ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Picking Up Litter

Sing this song, adapted from the traditional Appalachian song, "The Paw-Paw Patch":

Picking up litter and put it in recycle.

Picking up litter and put it in recycle.

Picking up litter and put it in recycle.

Way down yonder, at the paw, paw patch.

To add movement, distribute the cleaned, recyclable items to children in the circle. Place a recycle bin in the center of the circle. Invite the children to try to throw their litter in the recycle bin while singing the song. If they miss they may try again.

When everyone has given it a try and the song has ended, have them crawl into the center and pick up a different piece of recycling and try it again.

Note: Crumple newspaper or newsprint into a ball to make it easier to throw.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Sing to the tune of "The More We Get Together":

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,

Recycle, recycle.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

It's easy to do.

'Cause your trash

And my trash

Make up way

Too much trash!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

It's easy to do!

Movements: Skip or walk in a circle while singing the tune. Stop after "It's easy to do" and point to another person on "your Trash." Point to yourself on "my trash." Fling arms overhead for "Too much trash." Then, skip or walk in the circle to finish the song.

Variation: If you have some clean recyclable items, set them in the center of the circle before you begin. Have children put them in recycle bins at the conclusion of the song.

Including All Participants

If the group has any children for whom jumping and standing is difficult, you may consider substituting "clapping," "stepping," or "wiggling" as options for the songs.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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