Activity 1: Birth in Nature
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Optional: Magnifying glasses
Preparation for Activity
- If needed, seek permission and alert parents that the children will go outside for this activity. Make sure children will have appropriate outerwear.
- Does the congregation have a nursery or an area where parents may sit outside worship with their babies? Ask nursery caretakers or parents with babies if the group may stop by for a visit. Tell them the children will observe only and not touch or interact with the babies. Or, plan a visit to the preschool or kindergarten room instead.
Description of Activity
Children recognize the importance of new life and how to demonstrate reverence for it.
Visit the nursery or a space with younger children as a place that holds new life. Let the group know that they will observe only and not interact with the babies, to prevent the spread of germs. Ask participants, "Why are babies and children important?"
Lead the group outside and ask participants to look for signs of new life. Look for new leaves unfurling, buds, and spider egg sacs. Remind child to look but not to harm or interfere. Ask the group, "Why are we careful not to harm the plants or animals we find?" Affirm that it is because we revere life: Life is sacred and we cherish it. Because we think life is sacred, we protect life when we can. Do the children think animal and plant life is important to the congregation? To the world? How do they know?
Return indoors. Gather the group, and ask:
- What have you been told by your family, at school, or here at our congregation, or someplace else, about respecting living things?
- What do baby humans have in common with baby animals and plants?
- Why do you think families bring their babies and children to our congregation? Aren't babies too little to understand what we do here?
- Why do we have a special place in the congregation to take care of babies and younger children? Do you think they are important to the congregation? Why or why not?
- Congregations often have an announcement or even a ceremony when a family has a new babies or a new child joins a family. Why would a congregation care about a family having a new baby or child?
Including All Participants
Check the outdoor area ahead of time to ensure it is accessible to all the children. Make sure the area is safe for any children with plant allergies; learn whether and where there may be poisonous plants in the area you will tour.