Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A large loaf of bread
- Water or juice for all participants
- Tablecloth(s), paper plates, paper cups, and napkins
- A chalice for each table
- A table tent with the grace you will say, made in Activity 1: Making Table Tents, for each table
- Optional: Ingredients, mixing bowls, serving bowls, and utensils, if needed, if children will work together on making a snack to share
- Hand sanitizer
Preparation for Activity
- Find out about participants' food allergies and restrictions before you obtain a large loaf of bread to share. Be sure the bread is something everyone can eat, or use a substitute food.
- Identify a large table or a comfortable floor space where the entire group can sit in a circle at individual place settings, say a blessing together, and share bread. If space limitations prevent everyone from sitting together, determine where smaller groups can sit.
- Optional: If you have time, consider extending Activity 4: Breaking Bread Together by engaging the children in preparing a more complicated snack together, by inviting another group to break bread with the children, or both. Find recipes and guidance for having children prepare snacks together in Leader Resource 1, Snack Recipes.
- Optional: If children will prepare a snack together by combining foods, as suggested in Leader Resource 1, Snack Recipes or by using another recipe, obtain the ingredients you will use and bowls for combining and serving the snack, along with any necessary utensils. Identify a work space for children to use and set hand sanitizer, food ingredients, and bowls there.
- Set out the tablecloth(s), chalice(s), table tent(s), plates, cups, and napkins for children to use as they prepare the table(s).
Description of Activity
The children will prepare to eat together, say grace, and break bread with their peers, giving them a chance to experience fellowship around sharing a meal.
Engage all of the children in preparation; make sure everyone has a role. If you have decided to extend this activity by having children make a snack together, some can mix ingredients while others set a tablecloth upon the table(s) or floor, set out plates and cups, and place a chalice and table tent in the center of the seating area. Others can pour drinks into the cups.
Start with having everyone either wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. Once the table is set, place the bread in the center, along with any bowls of snacks the children have made together. Ask the children to clean their hands again. Then call everyone to a place at the table.
Invite the children to hold hands, and lead the group in saying or singing the grace printed on the table tent(s). While the children eat, start a conversation in which everyone has a chance to speak. You might ask everyone to tell the group their favorite food.
After the snack, ask everyone to help clean up.
Although it would take more planning and more time, consider inviting another group to join you for snack. Sharing what they are doing with another group will help the children absorb the learning they will do in this session. It will also give them an experience to bring to Session 12: John Murray, which focuses on hospitality. Ideal guests might be younger children or senior members of the congregation. Children of this age may become anxious about presenting themselves well if older children or youth are their guests.
Including All Participants
Find out from parents about any allergies among the children and plan accordingly. Avoid nuts in any shared snack, as nut allergies are common.
Make sure every child has a role in preparing the snack as well as cleaning up.