Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Faithful Journeys Path
- Footprints and wheelchair tracks for all participants (Leader Resources 3 and 4)
- Trees cut out from copies of Leader Resource 5, Trees for the Faithful Journeys Path
- Optional: Templates of trees (Leader Resource 5), blank paper and scissors to share (including left-handed scissors)
- Color markers
- Glue sticks or tape
- For Footprints
- Newspaper to cover floor
- Shallow basins of warm water and paper towels or rags for cleaning/drying feet
- Tempera paint in a variety of colors
- Roller trays or other long, shallow containers, one per color of paint
- Blank paper, scissors and glue sticks or tape
- Optional: Paintbrush(es) for children who do not step in paint to make footprints
Preparation for Activity
- If you have not done so, create the Faithful Journeys Path for this program and display it in the meeting room. Leader Resource 2 provides guidance.
- Set up a station to make children's footprints. Cover floor with newspaper; fill basins with warm water for cleanup and set with towels nearby; pour tempera paints into roller trays; set blank paper for footprints and identify a nearby space for footprints to dry.
- Set cut-out trees or templates and other decorating materials on work tables.
Description of Activity
Children will mark the Faithful Journeys Path with their own footprints, decorate the path with trees, and learn how they will mark their progress along the path in future sessions, with signposts and their own symbolic footprints and wheelchair tracks.
Gather near the Faithful Journeys Path. Say:
Faithful Journeys is a journey we will take together and this is the path we will make as we go. Each time we meet, we will find out how some other Unitarian Universalists have taken action in the world. As we go along, we will learn ways we can put our beliefs into action, too.
Show the group the cut-out footprints and wheelchair tracks. Tell them that, in future sessions, they will have a chance to record their own faithful actions on these to post on the Faithful Journeys Path. Then say:
Today we will work together to decorate our Faithful Journeys Path with trees. We are also going to put our footprints on it to show we are ready to start our journey.
Have participants remove their shoes and sit at work tables. Explain that while they make trees for the Faithful Journeys Path, children will be called up one at a time to step into the paint and then step onto a piece of paper, guided by a leader.
Label each foot-printed paper with the child's name, and set it aside to dry. Before calling up the next child, help children clean and dry their feet, using the water and paper towels, and ask them to return to their work tables to work on the trees for the poster.
Including All Participants
Some children may be unable or unwilling to take off shoes and socks and step in paint. Help as needed. You can also trace children's shod feet on paper and help them paint their footprints a color they choose, or invite them to paint footprints cut out from Leader Resource 3.