Age-Appropriate Curriculum: Children's Program (ages 4-13)
UUG Children’s Chant
We are Unitarian Universalists.
We are the place of the open mind.
We are the place of the flaming chalice that lights our search for truth.
We are the place of the loving heart that helps us share good times and bad times, together.
We are the place of the helping hands that we use together to make the world a better place.
(Adapted from Second Unitarian Church, Chicago.
Suggestion from Luca, Nov.2017 to replace church with "place".)
19 November 2017 -- 3rd UU Principle: Acceptance and Encouraging Each Other
Karin filled in for Nancy who was visiting family in the U.S. We practiced the UUG Children's Chant (see left column). Someone had the idea that we shouldn't call UUG a church, because it does not have the kind of religious rules and beliefs that we usually associate with a church. So we changed it to "place." We also figured out how to recreate the symbol of the hands in a circle!
We sang the 7 UU kids principles (see in left column the color image: "My 7 Principles") to the tune of Do-Re-Mi!
We examined the 3rd UU principle: developing ACCEPTANCE of others who are different from ourselves and ENCOURAGING FAITH and spiritual development. We played with hand puppets and each child created a character: Deadpool, the Hippo, Ms.Giraffe, the giraffe, Shreddie, the crocodile, Zookie, the treelo lemur. Each character has different habitats and food preferences and we each got to know and accept each other. We found things we liked in common and tried each other's environments and cuisine! We had a pretend "picnic" with our puppet characters with rice crackers. We played a game suggested by one of the children to get to know each other better ("2 truths and 1 lie").
Fall 2016 - Fall 2017 Children's UU gathering activity: from 5:30pm for ages 4-13 years old.
Our dear "Friend of UUG," Nancy, has led the Youth Program. A mother of two grown daughters, ex-Girl Scouts troup leader, and a successful leader in her professional life, Nancy has been kindly helping us out by teaching around the UU Seven Principles with fun activities and stories. They started reading the classic, "Charlotte's Web."
June 2016 Our Children's UU gathering activity: from 5:30pm for ages 4-13 years old.
Topic: Making the World More Beautiful & Unexpected Kindnesses
It will be led by Marie Pejcic, our UU Youth Leader, assisted by her dad, Mike Pejcic. Please let us know if your children would like to attend. The UU monthly gathering will start at 5:00 where children start out with the parents all together until they are "sung to their class."
(Please click here.)
May 2016, Our Children's Mindfulness Circle runs from 4-5 pm before the gathering.
Mindfulness: "Bringing More Peace Into Our Children's Daily Lives"
It's an independent community outreach, independent of our once-a-month service, offered on a donation basis (to the teacher/leaders). This month:
We always start with a greeting, a song, and a guided breathing meditation. We connect with the four nature elements. This meeting is going to continue the theme of making our homes, classrooms and playgrounds as conflict-free as possible. One child's idea was to create a spinner for our own unique board game, to present solutions for breaking up cliques and for coping with bullying. his program derives inspiration and ideas from the book, Planting Seeds, by Thich Nhat Hanh. It will be led by Kate Lanxner UUG Youth Director, assisted by Marie Pejcic. (Registration required. Please click here)
May 2016, Our Children's UU gathering activity: from 5pm for ages 4-13 years old.
"One Light, One Sun". We will discuss the unity of all peoples of Planet Earth, and create individual collages, about designing refugee "dream homes" for their resettlements. We will learn at least one new song. It will be led by Kate Lanxner UUG Youth Director, assisted by Marie Pejcic. Please let us know if your children would like to attend. The UU monthly gathering will start at 5:00 where children start out with the parents all together until they are "sung to their class."
Sunday, 15 November, 17h (5pm)
What is "Community?" We'll talk about at least two meanings of the word and then each child will create something visual after they go on an "imagination vacation" to see what they could accomplish with a lot of other people that they would not be able to do by themselves.
Sunday, 11 October 2015, 5pm
Children's activity (ages 5-11)
UU Ministerial Intern Lara Fuchs-Holm performed a Room Dedication for the new children's room that the UUG's helped renovate together with the Quakers. Our resident menuisier, Scott, constructed a built-in seat with storage areas for the religious education supplies and he and others painted the space a lovely yellow color. Prayer was this month's theme. Kate led the youth in exploring what prayer is and made prayer ribbons to put down our non-denominational prayer request: " May we find a way to __" (for example, "house the homeless"). The children designed wall hangings small watercolors in square formats, joined vertically with ribbons, then hung from a rod.
Sunday, May 10, 2015: Mother's Day
On Mother's Day, Sunday evening, May 10th, we held our children's activity outside in the beautiful garden of the Quaker House. We had three girls between the ages of five and ten years old. We were blessed with great weather.
First, I taught them a simple song I had written for Mother's Day. The lyrics went like this:
"My mother is nice,
My mother is kind,
My mother is good to me.: (repeat)
Everyday, we should hug our mothers,
Especially on Mother's Day! (repeat)
We then played with finger puppets and made up what they would say about their mothers, from what the girls felt about their own mothers.
The rabbit: "She plays with me."
The lion: "She lets me play with my sister."
The turtle: "She lets me sunbathe on her back when the sun is out."
The tree elf: "She takes care of me when I am not feeling well."
The king: "She is fair with us."
The bride "She reads me stories and songs."
The Witch and the frog together: "KISSES !"
The girls then went inside with me and we performed the song and thenthe short puppet play. Afterwards there was the rest of the singing with the parents.
Then, the adults joined with the children in the garden for potluck snacks and drinks. A great way to spend Mother's Day!
From the Kids' program director for ages 5-10.
April 2015: Having the courage to admit you were wrong
Kids will explore the topic of "Lose the Fear of Being Wrong" with sharing stories of things that they remember from home or school. What is courage? What does it mean to be "right"? They will then create some short skits with finger puppets to perform for the adults at the end.
March 2015: Vocation: What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you want to be when you grow up? How will you make this make the world a better place?
We will explore the differences between work that makes things (artists, architects), work that helps people, the animals and the environment (the helping professions), work that invents things (science), work that involves taking care of a store, business, etc. We will explore different professions with the book "What do People Do All Day?" by Richard Scarry.
Kate, the teacher, will prepare paper for an art project : "A door to your future", which is similar to an advent calendar which kids will draw in.
February 2015: Dialogue across Cultures
We talked about how people greet each other when they first meet. We also talked about what kids have in common with each other all over the world, and how what everyone has to say is equally important. We'll conclude with a reading of "Horton Hears a Who" by Dr. Seuss which has a similar message.
January 2015: Different Kinds of Families
We will look at books that illustrate the different kinds of families that exist across the world. Then, we will pull different family descriptions out of a hat and draw them. Examples will be: Mommy, Daddy and two children; Grandparents, Mommy and one child; Mommy, Daddy and adopted children; Two Daddies and one child.
December 2014: Winter Solstice
Many different religions celebrate their main holidays during this time of year around the shortest day of the year. We will decorate candles and light them to celebrate the Solstice.