I have a new job in my church. Volunteer job, of course. That’s how my church works and I like it that way. No one is stuck doing the same thing forever. We get to help out in lots of areas and get better at lots of things.
So remember how I used to be in charge of planning activities for the women in my neighborhood and we did the “Every Needful Thing” program? Well, now I’m taking it down to the 10-11 year old girls. It’s called “Activity Days” and I am actually really excited to get my hands on these fabulous girls twice a month!
I’ll be posting some of the activities we do for the simple reason that I think they can apply to lots of situations. School teachers. Anyone who works with kids. Families who want to teach their children ways to serve and live better. These ideas are for you – and you can access them easily by clicking on the “Activity Days” category in the sidebar of my blog.
I am saying upfront, however, that all of these ideas are not my own. I have done my own thing with them and put them in a nice little package for you, but the older I get the more I believe in simplicity. And simplicity, when it comes to Activity Days, means to borrow ideas from those who have gone before. No re-inventing the wheel here. I will give credit where credit is due and link you to the right places where possible. First, I have to give a general but HUGE “thank you” to Pam and LeeAnne who’s incredible list of activities has become my favorite 3 pieces of paper in the world. THANK YOU!
All right. So we just finished our first activity. Loved.Every.Minute. From the first knock on the door to the final wave goodbye, I am thrilled to say that I am totally impressed by these wonderful young women. They were totally fab!
Here’s what we did:
In the spirit of Halloween (although it can be done ANY TIME of the year), we recycled part of a lesson about spider webs that was found here. But this isn’t any old web lesson. It’s about a spider, a pig and looking for the good in others. You guessed it. Charlotte’s Web was the inspiration for this activity and after first admonishing everyone to read it for themselves (how is it possible that some hadn’t?????), we discussed what made Charlotte and Wilbur’s relationship so special. Charlotte looked for the good in Wilbur and helped him see the good in himself as well by spinning descriptive words into her amazing web.
Who wouldn’t like to be called those things (inserting yourself in place of the word “Pig,” of course)? Charlotte was the kind of friend who changed Wilbur’s life. Wouldn’t we all like to have a friend like that? How about BEING a friend like that?
After discussing this idea of friendship we decided to put it into action by writing fabulous things about each other on our own personal Webs of Friendship (click here for a printable). I have to admit that I was a little surprised but a lot thrilled at how seriously these girls approached the assignment. It only took a couple of minutes for each one to write on the next web before passing it along but we would often see them pausing thoughtfully before writing the perfect message about each person. Then, after mounting each web to cardstock and tying a ribbon, the webs were ready for their bulletin boards or bedroom doors. And to take it a step further, they filled out the web for each girl that was absent from the activity and committed to deliver them to their homes.
We brought it all together by handing out plastic spiders and asked the girls to think about them differently. Instead of just being creepy or scary or spooky, every time they see a spider simply remember Charlotte, the best friend that a pig could have. Seeing the good in Wilbur and helping others see it, too.
Everyone needs a Charlotte, don’t you think?