Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Creating Home: A Program on Developing a Sense of Home Grounded in Faith for Grades K-1

Alternate Activity 1: Colored Salt Jars

Part of Creating Home

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • An empty egg carton or a few styrofoam cups for each participant
  • Salt
  • Colored chalk
  • Small empty glass jars with lids, such as baby food jars, for all participants plus one extra
  • Optional: Paint and brushes

Preparation for Activity

  • Practice coloring salt with colored chalk in a styrofoam cup or egg carton to make sure you can demonstrate how to do it.

Description of Activity

To help children appreciate how people in families take care of one another, invite children to make a reminder of their families with colored salt and glass jars.

Before preparing the salt or explaining the activity, you may want to invite children to paint the lids of their jars. You may suggest they paint a first or last initial that represents themselves or their family, use the color of their front door, or choose another way to relate the decoration to their family. If you are using small jars with corks instead of lids, you can skip this part.

If children have done Activity 2: Family Badges, count each child's name badges. For each badge (each family member), put a few spoonfuls of salt into an individual egg compartment or a cup.

Give the children different colors of chalk for each filled egg compartment or cup. Invite children to pick one color to represent each family member.

To color the salt, rub a piece of chalk into the salt until both are the same color. This colored salt resembles sand; children can easily transfer it into their jars.

You might want to limit the number of egg compartments or cups you fill for each child; it may take children some time to color their salt different colors. A child who has more family members than colors can use some colors to represent more than one family member.

Using the extra jar and your own family as an example, demonstrate taking a spoon and adding multiple layers of colored salt to the jar. As you add the salt, say which family member it represents and name some way that person helps take care of the family.

Then, ask the children to fill their own jars. Each time he/she adds a new color, ask each child to share something that family member does to care for others in the family, or something the child does to care for that family member. Children may like to think of ways two family members represented by adjacent layers connect. For instance, a child who starts off with a yellow layer that represents a grandfather might say "I help my grandfather weed in the garden." Next, the child might add a red layer to represent their mother and say "My grandfather brought my mother ice cream to give us all for dessert."

The thinner the layers, the longer it will take to fill each jar. Encourage the children to make rather wide layers of three to five spoonfuls each. Top off the jars with corks or their painted tops and let the children take them home.