Children and Youth Activities
Children Activity 1: Bubbles
By Kathy Fuller Guisewite
Guisewite is a licensed minister in the Church of the Brethren and is a trained
Spiritual Director. Most recently, Kathy
was approved as a Pastoral Care Specialist through the American Association of
Pastoral Counselors. Kathy is also one
who loves exploring life and spiritual matters through various artistic
To help children equate bringing joy through this activity with bring joy to others through giving to One Great Hour of
Crayons and Markers
Scissors or cut paper
Other art supplies to make the cards nice, i.e. glitter, stickers, etc.
Encourage the children to color and decorate cards
or pictures. They could add bubbles, bright colors, abstract designs and lines.
They should write
Let’s be like bubbles… floating into
the lives of others
bringing delight and joy.
On each picture, Use folded paper so you can make
each of the pictures into individual cards.
It would be great to have one individual card for each member present in
During worship, someone should announce that the
children would like to offer a time of joy after the service. Weather permitting, the children could gather
outside to blow bubbles and pass out the cards to church members. As your church is comfortable, children could
also share this activity in the fellowship hall or in the foyer.
Blow some bubbles in class. Witness the delight! Talk with the children in Sunday School about
bubbles, and how they are a gift that bring delight to others. Ask the children to share why they think
bubbles are so much fun. Perhaps you
will get answers like: they are pretty,
you have to enjoy them while they last because they can disappear quickly, they
are fun to make and try to blow them as big as you can, they help us to look up
and to keep looking for more.
Let the children know that One Great Hour of
Sharing is about bringing joy to others and helping them in many other
important ways. Let them know that
today, they will have the chance to bring some joy to the people of this
Children can decide/take turns blowing the bubbles
and sharing the cards they make. Encourage the children to watch the faces of
church members as they see the bubbles.
This will help them gain deeper understandings as to how sharing blesses
and brings joy to others.
Children Activity 2: The Gifts of Sharing
by Pam Auble
Auble is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and earned a Masters of
Christian Education from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. She has
served as a Diaconal Minister in the United Methodist Church and as a Licensed
Pastor in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.
may view themselves mainly as recipients of gifts, blessings,
help and direction, especially in our churches.
They see adults as the givers, the leaders in worship, in Sunday school,
in choir, pretty much like the rest of their world. As their faith leaders we have a unique
opportunity to redirect this view of themselves. They have immeasurable potential to share
their natural tendencies towards love and acceptance. They can show God’s love to others. They can be the givers.
Help the children in your Sunday school classroom experience the joy of
sharing themselves. Plan a situation in
which they can offer themselves in service to the congregation, preparing them
beforehand and following up with discussion that highlights the results. Here are a few ways your children can share:
Make arrangements with the ushers to allow your children to distribute
worship bulletins. Before they start,
ask the children to look into the faces of each person to whom they hand the
bulletin. Ask them to share their smile
and share a simple greeting too. They
can simply say “hi” or “good morning”.
Afterwards, talk with the children to see how the congregation
reacted. Did the children make people
feel happy? Did they smile? What did the children share? (their smiles,
their greetings, their time, their love)
Another activity, in addition to or instead of the above idea:
During the Sunday school time invite the children to make a small card
or picture they can give to another person somewhere in the building that same
morning. Tell the children their card
ought to be a reminder of God’s love, a happy card. When the cards are finished, prepare the
children to deliver their gift. To whom,
in the building, would they like to give their card? Ask them to watch the face of the gift
recipient. Remind them to offer their
card with a smile and a simple comment, such as “Hope this reminds you that God
loves you”, or, “I hope this gives you a big reason to smile today”. After the cards have all been delivered,
gather the children together and ask them if they made anyone happy by their
gift. Ask them how sharing made them
Regardless of how the children share themselves be sure they know that
they are capable of sharing themselves.
Be sure they realize how their actions can make others happy. And let them know that they are sharing God’s
love when they are kind to others.
Together your class can read II Corinthians 9: 7,8. Did they share cheerfully? What does it mean to have enough? To share abundantly? They may need to know that even if they
didn’t have anything else to hand out, they can still share their smiles. Help them to see that even if they ran out of
everything else, they still had their love to share.
If the class is inspired to continue sharing, plan another event for the
following week. The children could bring
in a gently used toy to share with a local service agency. They could collect canned food from their
home and their neighbors to bring to church the following week and then be
given to a food pantry. Children will be
full of ideas of how to share and will live this verse from Paul, being
Youth Activity 1
By Bonnie Carenen
Bonnie K. Carenen works with Church World Service Indonesia as an advisor on
disaster relief and development issues and is a lifelong member of the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
work of One Great Hour of Sharing enables Christians to
respond to situations of crisis and great need, locally and globally. However,
often when people and organizations try to help people and communities in need,
they make the problems worse or create new injustices. This is one legacy of
missionary colonialism, for example. As Christians we are called to help God’s
people who are suffering, but when we respond we must do so responsibly. How is
sharing a model of faithful, responsible, response for God’s people? This
activity raises youth sensitivity to political and economic disparities and
reflects on individual choice and responsibility to live morally and ethically
in a global context.
A globe or a map of the world such as the very colorful Peters Projection Map which will make a great addition to the wall of
a church youth room
star stickers or small stickers
of paper for youth to take notes on, or blackboard/dry erase board for a volunteer
to take notes
or pre-print definitions of terms (below)
Part One. 15-20 minutes. Read II Corinthians
9:6-15, paying special attention to Paul’s description of sharing, providing,
and giving. Next define and discuss the following terms. Definitions may be
provided, looked up in a dictionary, or online with a smart phone.
Sharing or share
1. To divide and parcel out in shares; apportion.
2. To participate in, use, enjoy, or experience
jointly or in turns.
3. To relate (a secret or experience, for example)
to another or others.
4. To accord a share in (something) to another or
Providing or provide
1. To furnish; supply
2. To make available; afford
3. To set down as a stipulation
4. Archaic To
make ready ahead of time; prepare.
Patronizing or patronize
1. To act as a patron to; support or sponsor.
2. To go to as a customer, especially on a regular
3. To treat in a condescending manner.
Exploitation or exploit
1. The act of employing to the greatest possible
2. Utilization of another person or group for
3. An advertising or a publicity program.
1. To take (the property of another) without right
2. To present or use (someone else's words or ideas)
as one's own.
3. To get or take secretly or artfully
who has power and who is vulnerable in these exchange relationships. How might
people accidentally or intentionally confuse “helping others” responsibly with
some of these terms
think of biblical, historical or personal examples of each of these categories?
What happened? What kind of consequences were there?
you as an individual, your family or your church make decisions about what
“helping others” should look like?
Part Two. 15-20 minutes.
Set up: Lay out the map or globe where everyone
has access to it.
participants investigate the tags on all their clothes and products (include
all technology, glasses, shoes, food in the room, backpacks and bags, etc.) and
see where they all came from. Most everything should be labeled if you look
hard enough, unless the tag has been removed. List and locate on the map where
every item came from and mark it with a sticker or a dot. If you don’t have a
map, list each country in its geographic region. Mark every instance a country
appears, whether once or twenty times.
Discuss. 15-20 minutes.
patterns emerge? Where do most clothes come from? Where do most fine goods come
from? What did it take to get things from there to here? Who was involved in
about the countries that appear on your list/globe.
- What do
you know about them, culturally, economically, politically?
that country been in the news for any reason?
difficult was it to find it on the map?
youth have smart phones, consider learning more about a couple countries (maybe
the country is notable because so many items come from there, or so few, or
you’ve never heard of it before now). Do a quick internet search to see what
you can find out about the country and its context.
you think is the relationship between the people who produced the item and the
people who sold the item, and the people who purchase the item?
categories listed above, which ones may come into play, in what ways?
Conclusion. 5 minutes.
Consider the difference between Paul’s
description of sharing and providing versus the power relationships that affect
the rest of what we have, give, take, and share with others. Why do you think
One Great Hour of Sharing and Week of Compassion emphasize sharing and
partnership as the best way to give and receive?
Invite a youth to close in prayer.
Youth Activity 2
By Kathy Fuller Guisewite
Most youth have
ties to music in some form or another.
Invite the youth to work (either individually, as teams, or as a large
group) on listing as many songs or song lyrics that address the topic of joy or
sharing joy. It could prove beneficial
to address the fact that you are not asking for the word ‘joy’ to be present in
the song, only the concept of “sharing joy.”
Have some discussion around what that might look like.
to get them started could include:
Taylor: “Shower the People You Love with
Magic Penny Song
songs as appropriate
elaborate on this idea, the youth could then take the generated list of
songs/lyrics and put them together in a sort of story or poem to be shared in
worship or simply added to the bulletin.