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

Activity 3: Chalice Sand Painting

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Cardboard
  • Craft sand (at least three different colors), paper cups, and plastic spoons
  • Pencils
  • Glue and small paintbrushes

Preparation for Activity

  • Cut cardboard into circles approximately 8 inches in diameter, one circle for each child plus a few extra.
  • Cover work tables with newspaper.
  • Place small amounts of colored sand in paper cups-a few cups of each color of sand. Place a spoon in each cup.

Description of Activity

Participants make a chalice symbol wall hanging that they can take home.

Ask each participant to draw a simple chalice on their circle. Encourage them to use simple shapes-for example, triangles for the base and the flame-rather than small details.

Invite them to choose colors for the chalice's base, flame, and background. Show them how to use a paintbrush to paint glue on one section of their painting to fill it with one color, and then use a spoon to sprinkle the colored sand onto the wet section.

Give each sanded section one or two minutes to dry. Then, shake excess sand onto newspaper. Do not shake excess sand back into cups.

Optional: Guide children to color their circles, one section of the chalice picture at a time.

To be sure the sand is securely attached, allow pictures to set until the next time you gather.

Ask participants:

  • Why do you think Native Americans might have used sand paintings?
  • How are the sand paintings and the talking sticks similar? (Both use items from nature to make something that symbolizes a belief.)
  • Why do we make pictures of our religious traditions? Do they remind us to do something that our religion teaches? What might your sand chalice remind you to do, when you see it at home?

Including All Participants

Children may find it difficult to paint with glue or to sprinkle sand in a small, detailed area. Be prepared to draw chalices in glue for participants who are unable to do so. Engage co-leaders or other children to help fill in detailed sections according to a participant's specifications.