Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Wonder Box poster
- Large sheet of poster board
- Optional: Ribbons, markers and other decorating materials
- Heart stickers (or a drawing of a heart, and tape or glue stick)
- Copies of Taking It Home for all participants
Preparation for Activity
- Prepare the poster board to resemble a box. You might cut it into a box shape, and/or draw or tie ribbons across the front of the poster so that it looks like a present. In each session's Closing, you will place an icon on the poster to represent a different intangible gift. Display the Wonder Box poster in the meeting space throughout the program. If the children will attach icons to the poster, make sure they can reach it.
- Customize, print out, and photocopy the Taking It Home section for all participants. Alternatively, you might arrange with parents to email the Taking It Home section to them each week if they prefer. One advantage of this plan is that families receive information about the sessions they miss.
Description of Activity
Gather the children in a circle and show them the Wonder Box poster. Explain that it looks like the Wonder Box because it is another place where we will remind ourselves about our intangible gifts. Tell them how very happy you are that you all could spend time together. You may say:
Giving thanks for being together is a way of showing loving welcome to one another. I am going to teach you some words of gratitude to say at our closing each time we meet. "Gratitude" is a word like "grateful" or "thankful."
Invite the children to hold hands and repeat each line after you.
We are thankful.
We are thankful to be here.
We are thankful to be here, together.
We are thankful to be here, together, now.
Then ask one child to gently squeeze the hand of the person to their left, and have that person continue to pass the squeeze until the squeeze has returned to the person who started it. Tell the person who started the squeeze to signal that it has returned to them by raising their arms, still holding hands with the people on either side. When this happens, instruct everyone to raise their clasped hands, together. If you like, suggest a word for them to say at this moment, like "Good-bye!" or "Shalom," or the name of this session's intangible gift - Love.
Distribute copies of Taking It Home. Thank participants and say good bye.