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 (see Suggestions for Preschool Chalices section, under Resources in the Introduction)
  • Feelings chart (see Posters for Chalice Children, under Resources in the Introduction) or Feelings Flashcards by Todd Parr

Preparation for Activity

  • Post the chalice-lighting words (e.g., “We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of action”) 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.

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, in these words or your own:

Our favorite symbol for our church [congregation] and our Unitarian Universalist religion is the chalice. Did you know that Unitarian Universalists all over the world share this same symbol with us? It’s one of the ways we show that we are Unitarian Universalists.

Talk about how the chalice is used in your congregation. Then say, in these words or your own:

That’s why we are called Chalice Children. Chalice Children come to make friends and learn about the congregation [or, church]. Lighting the chalice is one way we practice our religion. Today you are going to make your own chalice. We can play show-and-tell with our chalices, and then you can take your chalice home with you! But before we make chalices, let’s read a story together about our special Unitarian Universalist chalice.

Including All Participants

If any child has mobility problems, 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.