Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Sheets of paper, preferably card stock, for all participants
- Crayons and markers
- Optional: Colored tissue paper, scissors (including left-handed scissors), and glue sticks or tape
Preparation for Activity
- Download Leader Resource, Table Graces. You may wish to substitute a grace your congregation uses for the text of one of the graces. Or you can edit the page so the same grace is repeated four times. Decide how many of each template (each grace) to make.
- You can fold the sheets of paper in half or in quarters to make table tents. You may also wish to glue a grace to one side of each table tent. Or, you may have the children do both of these tasks.
- Set out crayons and markers on work tables.
- Optional: If you have enough time, you may have the children decorate the side that does not have the grace with colored tissue paper. They can tear tissue paper in bits and glue the bits in a design they like, or you can help them cut shapes out from that side of the table tent and paste tissue paper on the underside, for a "stained glass" effect. Provide an assortment of colored tissue paper, scissors, and glue sticks or tape at worktables.
Description of ActivityIn this activity, children decorate a table tent imprinted with the words of a grace blessing. Children should take theirs home, but, if you have time, let each child make a few extra. Give these to the congregation to use at faith home gatherings that involve sharing food.
Show the children a folded table tent. Explain that they will glue a grace blessing to one side and decorate the other side. Indicate the materials they will use to decorate their table tents.
Before you distribute the table tents, explain that a grace blessing is words family or friends can say together to give thanks before eating a meal at the table. As you distribute the table tents, show children how to flatten it to decorate it, and how to make it stand again when they are done. You may say, in your own words:
When a table tent sits upon the table where people will share food together, it can be more than just a decoration. Looking at the decoration you will make and saying the words of the grace together help remind people to be thankful for the food that we eat and for the chance to be with our family and friends.
If in an earlier session the children made wax-resistant chalice pictures (Session 2, Alternate Activity 1), a "stained glass" table tent they make with tissue paper will nicely match the chalice pictures they have already brought home. If you have colored tissue paper, invite the children to tear or cut some small pieces to glue for decoration. Or, you can show them how to cut shapes from one side of the table tent and glue pieces of tissue paper behind the shapes for a see-through "stained glass" effect. Some may need some help. Allow children to combine "stained glass" and coloring, as they choose.
When children finish decorating, help them fold and crease the table tents so they stand.
As you clean up, keep table tents handy. Children will use them for Activity 3: Graces and you will want to use at least one for Activity 4: Breaking Bread Together.