Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Toolbox of Faith: A Program That Helps Children Discover the Uses of Faith


Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice candle or LED/battery-operated candle
  • Lighter and extinguisher, if needed
  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Light-colored construction paper, several sheets for each participant
  • Shallow basins of water, one for every two or three participants
  • Straws for all participants
  • Newspaper to cover worktable(s)
  • Bubble solution, or hand-wash dishwashing liquid), a half cup for each basin
  • Tempera paint, a quarter cup for each basin
  • Tool of the Day - a water bottle, filled with water
  • Toolbox of Our Faith poster and a glue stick or clear tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Print the opening words on newsprint. Post the newsprint where the children will be able to see it when they gather in the Council Circle space.
  • If you have not done so for Welcoming and Entering, cover worktable(s) with newspaper. Include a worktable where children can place their bubble prints to dry. Fill large, shallow containers (such as pie tins) two-thirds full with water and set on worktable(s), along with straws and other materials.
  • Optional: To see examples of bubble artwork, visit the online Air-Blown-Art Gallery of the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Description of Activity

The children will blow into a basin of water to explore the qualities of water and make a bubble print, an ethereal, beautiful, almost marbleized piece of art. In this activity, you will guide them to connect the properties of water with some qualities of the Spirit of Life.

Gather the children in a circle, in your Council Circle space. Light the chalice.

Indicate where the opening words are posted, for any children who are unfamiliar with them. Lead the group in reciting:

We are Unitarian Universalists

with minds that think,

hearts that love,

and hands that are ready to serve.

Hold up the water bottle and tell the children it contains water, the Tool of the Day.

Pass around the tool. As children pass it, invite them to share prior experiences with water. Encourage each child to mention something that no one else has said.

Lead a discussion to introduce the water in the water bottle as a symbol for the Spirit of Life. Ask, "What do you think makes this a Unitarian Universalist tool?" Allow participants to share ideas. Affirm that there is no one answer.

Explain, in these or your own words:

Just as water is around us all the time, sometimes unseen and unrecognized, so is the Spirit of Life around us all the time, sometimes unseen and unrecognized. Water is healing and life-giving, and so is the Spirit of Life. Unitarian Universalism is a faith that can help each person connect to the Spirit of Life and be endlessly expanded by the possibilities in the world.

As we talk more about the Spirit of Life today, you will come to understand it better. It is something that can be defined in different ways. Here is a definition which may work for you: The Spirit of Life is a force which creates and upholds life.

Unitarian Universalism affirms the direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life. Recognizing and welcoming the Spirit of Life is one way to grow spiritually. This is a key part of growing in faith and deepening in religious understanding. One reason we are exploring the Spirit of Life today is that Unitarian Universalism values acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.

Collect the tool. Extinguish the chalice.

Invite the children to arrange themselves at the worktable(s) in groups of two or three around a basin of water. Help each group mix bubble solution and tempera paint in their basin, and guide them to create bubble prints. Tell them:

Use your straw to blow into the water and make bubbles. Gently press a sheet of construction paper on top of the bubbles, for just a second. Then lift the paper straight up to remove it, and let it dry.

Indicate where the children can lay their bubble prints to dry. After a few prints have dried, invite a participant to write the words "Spirit of Life" on one and tape or glue it to the Toolbox of Our Faith poster. Or, do this during the Closing.