Activity time: 60 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Empty coffee cans with snap-on plastic lids for all participants
- Paper, markers, stickers and other decorations
- Tape and glue sticks
- Newsprint, markers and tape
- Optional: Dry beans
Preparation for Activity
- To pair children with adult partners, plan this activity for a time that does not conflict with worship, and invite guests well ahead of time.
- Collect coffee cans with snap-on plastic lids. You may wish to engage parents in saving coffee cans, and/or invite adult guests to bring one with them.
- Set materials on work tables.
- Write some getting-to-know-you questions (see Description of Activity) on newsprint and post.
- Optional: Prepare snacks and beverages for the group.
- Gather the group. Say, in your own words:
- Our group is blessed today with this special time to get to know someone in the congregation better. Each of you will have a chance to make a musical instrument with someone who is a different age than you and is not a member of your family.
Description of Activity
Make sure the children understand that their adult partner will take home the coffee can drum they make together. Remind them that they - the children - will go home with an intangible gift, the time they spent with someone in our community.
Form child/adult pairs to work together and indicate where they may sit at work tables. Try to form non-family pairs. Invite partners to introduce themselves to one another, or go around the room and have everyone say their name. Then say:
The children in Wonderful Welcome have talked about ways to give an intangible gift, like the gift of love. One way is by spending time making something together with someone, and another way is to make music with or for somebody. We're going to do both now.
Indicate where you have posted the getting-to-know-you questions for pairs to ask one another, if they wish. You may use these:
- What is your full name? What do you like to be called?
- Who is in your family? Who lives with you?
- What is your favorite food? What foods do you not like?
- What are you scared of?
- What do you like to play?
- What is your favorite color? What is your favorite thing that is that color? Why do you like it?
- What is your favorite animal or pet?
- Do you like ocean, mountain, desert, or forest best? Tell me about a time you went to one of these places or where you hope you can go someday.
Invite everyone to use these questions to learn about one another as they decorate paper to wrap around their coffee cans. If the group is making shakers instead of drums, make the dried beans available.
Try to visit and help each pair as they work. Explain that the adult visitors may take home the musical instruments.
When everyone is finished, you may wish to gather the group to show their coffee can instruments and make music together. Invite everyone to help clean up and then celebrate together with a snack.
Including All Participants
Try to avoid making family pairs, not only so children can spend time with an adult they do not know well, but also to minimize "left out" feelings among children who do not have parents present. If you will serve a snack, find out about the allergies and food limitations of all participants and plan accordingly.