Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Construction paper
- Scissors (including left-handed scissors)
- Optional: Compass or circle template
- One-hole puncher
- Yarn or string
- Drawing materials, such as markers or crayons, for participants to share
Preparation for Activity
- Cut circles with diameters of 5" out of different colors of construction paper. Make at least enough circles to give each child one per family member.
- Set drawing materials at work areas for participants to share.
Description of ActivityIn this activity, children have an opportunity to think about their own families and articulate the roles different family members enact. Constructing badges for their own family members helps children recognize family members' roles.
Ask the children to think about their families. To invite discussion, prompt them with these questions:
- Who started your family?
- How did your family grow?
- Who is part of your family now?
Remember to let children define their own families; a family might include grandparents, cousins, and pets. Say, in your own words:
Some children think of their family as the people who live together in their house with them. Some people think of their family as including a few important people who may live in another house, maybe even far away. The way you think about who is in your family is up to you.
Direct children's attention to the paper circles and other materials you have provided for making family badges. Invite them to draw their family members on the circles, using a different circle for each member of the family. Visit children individually. Assure them they may draw whomever they want, in any way they want.
As children complete their drawings, punch two holes at the top of each circle. Tie yarn through both holes to make a neck badge. Help the children write names on the badges, if they like. After this session, you can have children hang all the badges in your meeting space, or have them take them home to their families.
Once the badges are complete, let children put them on and take turns naming their family members from the badges. Then lead a discussion about roles. You might refer to Session 3: Beehive, if the group has done that session, and say something like this:
Remember when we talked about the bees? Remember that the bees had different jobs to perform in the hive. Do your family members have different jobs to perform, too? Does anyone work outside the home? Who works at keeping your home clean? Who works as a student, going to school?
Let children name other roles. These might include cook, homework helper, sweeper, and dishwasher. Focus first on the tangible jobs, like chores. Then, expand to jobs that are less tangible, that involve caring for and loving each other. For instance, you might ask who helps them when they fall down and hurt their knees? Who tucks them into bed? Who hugs them?
Families do these actions for each other out of love. Sometimes family members love each other, but can't do all the things they would like to do. Sometimes, even though people are not related biologically, they perform the roles of families and so become family.
If you are about to present the story, "A Penguin Family," you may say:
Here is a story about creatures that might not have been born as family, but they became family through love.