Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Moral Tales: A Program on Making Choices for Grades 2-3

Activity 4: Home-made Modeling Dough

Part of Moral Tales

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Smocks or old tee shirts for all participants
  • Flour, water, vegetable oil, salt, and food coloring as detailed in Leader Resource 1, Modeling Dough Recipe
  • Measuring cups
  • Tablespoons
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Waxed paper
  • Mixing spoons for all participants
  • Pint-sized sealable plastic baggies or food containers, one for each child in the younger group you will visit

Preparation for Activity

  • Consult with your director of religious education and the leaders responsible for teaching younger children at the time Moral Tales meets. Arrange a mutually convenient time and date for a shared 15-minute activity. Figure out about what time the Moral Tales group will have made modeling dough and be ready to visit the younger group, to help the other leader(s) incorporate this activity into their own session plan. Decide together whether the older children will surprise the younger children, or whether the younger group will be expecting the older visitors.
  • Calculate how much modeling dough you will need, in order for the Moral Tales group to give one parcel to each of the younger children. Adapt accordingly the quantities of each ingredient in Leader Resource, Modeling Dough Recipe or an alternate recipe you prefer to use.
  • Set ingredients, mixing bowls, and other materials on work tables. The recipe in Leader Resource 1 makes enough modeling dough to give three children. You may like to have the Moral Tales children work together in groups of three. Each group will need a large mixing bowl, a mixing spoon, and the correct amount of each ingredient.
  • Gather smocks or old tee shirts for participants.
  • Tear off a sheet of waxed paper approximately 18 inches long for each participant, including the younger children

Description of Activity

This activity gives children an opportunity to make and give something that will be valued by a younger child and, hopefully, to feel a measure of accomplishment and joy in doing so.

Gather the children at work tables where they will make modeling dough. Say, in your own words:

Today we are going to have the chance to be generous, like Uthman ibn Affan. We are going to make modeling dough and give it to our younger friends and siblings here at our congregation. If they want us to, we can help them make something with the modeling dough after we give it to them.

Ask the children to imagine how the younger children might feel when they receive this gift. Encourage them to think about the younger children and imagine their happiness while they make the modeling dough.

Distribute smocks and tee shirts; ask children to put them on. Form groups around each mixing bowl, and assist each group to measure ingredients (except the food coloring) into their bowl. Invite the children to take turns mixing and kneading their batch of white modeling dough in the mixing bowl.

If the modeling dough is too sticky, add flour. As groups finish, help them divide their batches of modeling dough into smaller portions, one for each child in the younger group you will visit. Place each small portion on top of a piece of waxed paper.

Invite each child to choose a color they think a younger child might especially enjoy. Let the children add food coloring to a portion of the modeling dough and knead it on the waxed paper. To minimize the food coloring mess, make an indentation in the modeling dough for the food coloring and cover it over before kneading.

If there are more younger children than older ones, have a few volunteers add food coloring to extra portions of modeling dough. If the younger group is smaller, invite the children to suggest recipients for the extra modeling dough, such as other young children in the congregation. Or, the children may like to donate the modeling dough to the congregation for use by any group. If so, you may like to invite the Director of Religious Education to this or another session to receive this gift.

Place finished modeling dough in the plastic bags or plastic containers, and seal the bags or containers.