Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- One copy of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition
- Birthday candles for all participants
- Optional: Matches or lighter, and tin foil
Preparation for Activity
- Review "This Little Light of Mine," Hymn 118 in Singing the Living Tradition. If you wish, arrange for a volunteer to provide musical accompaniment or teach the song for you.
- If you will light the children's birthday candles, provide each child with a square of aluminum foil with which to make a candle holder, or wrap each birthday candle in a makeshift candle holder ahead of time.
Description of Activity
Children will sing "This Little Light of Mine," an African American spiritual sung in many different faith homes. Children may already know the song.
Teach the song using the rote method, as described in Making Music Live.
Give each child a birthday candle. If children will make their own simple candle holders, give each child a square of aluminum foil, and show them how to wrap the foil around the bottom of the candle so they can safely hold the candle when it is lit.
Lead children in singing the song while they hold their unlit candles up into the air. This would be a good song to share in worship with the whole congregation.
If you wish, after the children have sung the song, gather them in a circle and light each of their candles. Ask them to hold up their lit candles and step closer together. Point out the amount of light that is generated by all of their candles, when they gather together. Then, ask them to carefully blow out their candles.