Materials for Activity
- Simple puzzles, card games, and board games
Preparation for Activity
- Consult with your minister or religious educator to select a group of people to whom the children can give the gift of time. Ideally, choose a group of people with whom the children can have an ongoing relationship and with whom they do not often interact, for example, a congregational senior group, toddler play group, or young adult or youth group.
- Arrange a time and place for the children to visit with the group of people.
- Communicate your plan to the parents and children. Arrange transportation and gather permissions, as appropriate.
- Recruit a few extra adult leaders for the visit.
Description of Activity
Before the visit, gather the group to discuss the needs of the people you will visit. Talk about appropriate behaviors for the setting you will be in. If you will visit elders, for example, talk about the possibility that some older people need help walking or may not hear very well. Emphasize that spending time together with people of different ages, with different needs, is a way of building a loving community.
Visit the designated group and spend an hour or so playing games together. Before you leave, or immediately afterward, gather participants and take a few minutes to debrief the experience using questions such as:
- Did anyone see anything or experience anything that was surprising?
- Did anyone see anything or experience anything that was uncomfortable?
- Were there any ways that you could tell that this gift of time was appreciated?
- Does anyone want to share something that was especially fun about this experience?
If possible, follow up with additional opportunities for the children to interact with the group they have visited. This way, the connections they make can continue through lasting relationships.