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Activity 3: Time, Talent and Treasure

Activity 3: Time, Talent and Treasure
Activity 3: Time, Talent and Treasure

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Write "Time," "Talent," and "Treasure" on three separate sheets of newsprint. Optional: Draw a simple clock, a stick figure, and money to illustrate time, talent, and treasure.
  • Clear (or, plan to bring the group to) an open space where you can play music and children can move freely without bumping into any objects or one another. You may wish to do the entire activity in this open space, or, just the "generosity dance."
  • Post the three newsprint sheets at least a few feet apart from each other.
  • Cue a recording of "The Magic Penny Song" and test the music player.

Description of Activity

Participants learn that "time, talent, and treasure" are three kinds of gifts good stewards can offer their family, friends, or congregation. Children make up their own dances to express how it feels to be generous.

Say, in these words or your own:

When you love someone, you take care of and protect them. When you love something, you take care of and protect it. Taking good care of something you value is called stewardship. We can be good stewards of our families, our friends, our schools, the earth we live on, and our congregation.

Ask:

  • What are some ways you care for, or are good stewards of, your family, including your pets? [If needed, prompt: helping with chores; watching younger siblings; celebrating family members' accomplishments; cleaning your house or apartment; feeding, walking and brushing pets.]
  • What are some ways you care for, or are good stewards of, your friends? [If needed, prompt: helping with homework; being with a friend when they are sad or sick; sharing toys and snacks; being kind; and playing with friends.]

Point out any of the children's examples that involve (1) devoting time to taking care of family and friends, (2) using their abilities to do something special or helpful for them, or (3) sharing resources, like food or toys.

Say, in these words or your own:

You could say you give the gifts of time, talent, and treasure to your family members and your friends.

Make sure children understand talent and treasure. Say that treasure can be a precious toy or book, like the donations children brought today, but it can also be money. For example, what if their friend wanted to buy ice cream after school, but did not have the money for it? If they were to give their friend the money, that would be a gift of "treasure."

Say:

Now let's talk about ways to give time, talent, and treasure to our congregation. When we want to be good stewards of our congregation, we might give in some of these ways.

Say you will name some actions people take at the congregation, and the children can decide if the action involves giving time, giving talent, or giving treasure. Everyone should decide for themselves, and move to the appropriate sign. Indicate the three sheets of newsprint. Say they will probably have different opinions sometimes, because some of the actions you will name could involve two, or all three, kinds of giving.

Read an item from the leader resource. Allow children to move to newsprint signs. If children disagree, discuss their choices. Use as many items as time and the group's interest allow.

Ask for a show of hands or other indicator if they have ever done any of the actions you named. Thank them for being good stewards of the congregation and for giving generously of their time, talent, and treasure.

Affirm that giving generously to the congregation can make you feel very good. Ask the children to think about a time they gave time, talent, or treasure and felt very good about it.

Play "The Magic Penny Song," and invite the children to make up a generosity dance. Tell them they may move any way they wish that is safe, does not touch anyone else without being asked to, and shows how they feel when they give generously of themselves.

Including All Participants

If there are differently-abled children in the group, you may wish to have children point to the time, talent, or treasure signs, rather than move from sign to sign. When you suggest the generosity dance, ask a child how they like to dance, and dance with them.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.