Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Green pipe cleaners
- White and green paper, scissors (including left-handed scissors), and tape
- Color markers or pencils
Preparation for Activity
- Draw a simple leaf. Use it as a template to trace and cut leaves from the green paper, at least two leaves for each participant and co-leader.
- Make a sample flower.
- Set materials on a work table.
Description of Activity
Tell participants they are going to make memory flowers to remember an animal or a person that has died. If they do not know someone who has died, they can make a flower to represent a relative or an ancestor who has died that they did not know; you might suggest a great-grandparent. Others may wish to remember a public figure they are aware of who has died; suggest a much-loved figure, such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
Show them the sample flower. Say, in your own words:
As Unitarian Universalists, we learn from nature. In nature we see that although everything dies, new life is always being born. It's as if old life gets recycled in the Earth and helps create the new life. Flowers can be a symbol of that new life.
Invite and help children to trace one of their hands on white paper. Then, invite children to cut out the hand and decorate it with images or words that remind them of the loved one that has died. Those who have not experienced a death can simply decorate the hands as they wish. As participants finish decorating their paper hands, help them make flowers by taping the hand (the blossom) and some of the green leaves to a pipe cleaner (the stem).
Note: Make a few extra flowers for leaders to use in Activity 4, Ritual of Love and Remembering.