Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Love Surrounds Us: A Program on the UU Principles and Beloved Community for Grades K-1

Faith In Action: Magic Penny Party

Materials for Activity

  • Leader Resource 2, Parent Note for Magic Penny Party
  • A large metal bucket, dish pan, or wash tub
  • Paper penny rolls
  • Two clean, empty, plastic gallon jugs
  • 5 dollars in pennies
  • Child-size non-folding chair
  • Metal pie plate
  • A five-quart pan
  • Four 12-ounce paper cups
  • Masking tape
  • A broom handle or a three-foot long 1-inch around dowel
  • Scissors

Preparation for Activity

  • Send note to parents/caregivers (Leader Resource 2) by email or postal mail.
  • Arrange for extra adult volunteers-an adult to supervise each of up to six penny stations.
  • Cut off the threaded openings of the plastic jugs to enlarge the top holes.
  • Set up six stations around the perimeter of the meeting space. Place metal bucket, dishpan or wash tub by the door. Make a large group gathering place in the middle of the room.
  • Instruct adult helpers how to run each learning station.

Description of Activity

This Faith in Action activity shows how we come as individuals into a community surrounded by love with the purpose of doing good in the world.

Penny Stations

  • Drop the Penny. Place a child-size non-folding chair. In a line from the outside of the back of the chair, place the two empty milk jugs. Participants kneel on the chair and reach over the back to try to drop pennies into the top of the milk jugs.
  • Penny Toss. Place the metal pie tin on the floor. Walk off 4 feet and tape a length of masking tape to the floor. Participants stand on the line and throw pennies until they get pennies into the pan.
  • Wishing Well. Fill the five-quart pan with water. Tape a length of masking tape to the floor, three feet away. Participants throw pennies into the water and each time a penny goes in, make a wish.
  • Penny Pass. Using paper cups, pairs of children pass a penny back and forth. Children start standing close to one another and take a giant step backward each time they catch the penny and try to pass the penny from the new spot.
  • Wrapping Pennies. Participants work together to count out 50 pennies and put stacks in penny wrappers.
  • Penny Pick-up. Roll a length of masking tape into a loop and stick the loop on the bottom of the broom handle or dowel. Participants try to pick up pennies off the floor using the tape and dowel. Change tape for each participant.

As children enter, welcome them and invite them to drop their pennies one by one in the bucket. How does it sound when the pennies hit the bucket?

Gather participants in the large group area and say, in these words or your own:

Today we are having a Magic Penny Party to celebrate our UU Principles and our community. A penny is a part of a quarter just like we are a part of a community. Each of you brought pennies today. What sound did those individual pennies make when they hit the bucket? Plunk, plunk, plunk. We're going to play some games that use individual pennies. At the end of our time together, we will dump all the pennies into a big container and see what all the pennies sound like. Then we'll count the pennies and donate them to the American Red Cross. There will be an adult to help you at each station. So let's have some fun.

Use pennies from the container at the door to play the games. While you explain the activity to participants, a co-leader or adult volunteer can put 25 pennies in the container at each station to start the games.

Reserve 15 minutes at the end to bring all the pennies from plastic jugs, pie plates, sauce pans, and buckets to the middle of the large group. Dump the pennies into the largest container. You might say:

Wow! When we put all our pennies together how does it sound? I wonder how many pennies we have here. Let's work in small groups and count the pennies.

Form small groups and give them 10 minutes to count and wrap pennies, with adult help. (It won't be a perfect count; you may not get all the pennies counted.) Re-gather the children and process with these questions:

When we all work together, does more get finished? When we are in community we can make a loud difference. Just like all those pennies.

How should we post the number of pennies so everyone in our whole community knows what we collected?

Send a check for the amount of the pennies to American Red Cross National Headquarters, 2023 E. Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Including All Participants

Have several small paper bags with fewer than 50 pennies for children who did not bring pennies from home. Direct children with physical challenges to the stations where they can succeed.