Activity 6: Circle Games and Dancing

Activity 6: Circle Games and Dancing
Activity 6: Circle Games and Dancing

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Blue dancing scarves, one for each child, or rolls of blue crepe paper to make streamers
  • Optional: Equipment to play the song or show a video of it to the children
  • Optional: Digital camera or smartphone

Preparation for Activity

  • Familiarize yourself with the Circle Time games and songs and “Peace Like a River” (Hymn 100 in Singing the Living Tradition). You can hear it online sung in worship at the UU Congregation at Rock Tavern (NY) or watch a YouTube video where it is sung.
  • Optional: Pre-cut crepe paper streamers about 3 feet long so there will be several for each child.

Description of Activity

Welcome, Chalice Children

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!

I’ve Got Peace Like a River

Give each child a scarf or three streamers. Invite the children to hold the scarves or streamers as if they are in the water and to dance to the music as they sing about peace, love, and joy. Sing or play the song, “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”:

I’ve got peace like a river,

I’ve got peace like a river,

I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.

I’ve got peace like a river,

I’ve got peace like a river,

I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.

Verses:

I’ve got love like an ocean . . .

I’ve got joy like a fountain . . .

I’ve got peace, love, and joy like a river . . .

Lead more Circle Time songs and games, as time allows.

Find a Friend at Church

“Find a Friend at Church” is based on “The Farmer in the Dell.” Have the children sit in a circle. Have one child walk around the outside of the circle while the first two lines of the song are sung, to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.” The child then chooses a friend. The two friends hold hands and skip around the circle while the second 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). As 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?

As the verse is sung, the leader shakes the child’s hand. Repeat with each new child.

Sing “It Isn’t Any Trouble” (from Channels to Children: Early Childhood Activity Guide for Holidays and Seasons, copyright 1982) 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.

Including All Participants

If any child might find dancing difficult, substitute other actions, such as clapping, stepping, or wiggling, or singing the song from a seated position. Children with mobility limitations can accompany the dancing by shaking a rhythm instrument, such as a maraca, rain stick, or shaker, or keep rhythm with a clicker.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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