These resources can help families with children engage with out theme for the month:
“What does it mean to be a family of Trust?”
Ideas to explore trust with kids (Ideas to engage Trust as a Family)
Family Adventure Ideas
Obstacle Course (indoors or outdoors) Trust Building
Create an obstacle course of a tunnel (under a table or bush with a blanket covering), over monkey bars, across “Lava” on stepping stones (pieces of paper), hanging from a rope, balancing on a curb, blindfolded partner walks around trees, etc.
Invite your family to compete on the Obstacle Course, with points for:
- “Helpful comments through the tunnel,”
- “Family problem solving through the Lava,”
- “Trying again after falling off the balance beam,”
- “Trying something new,” etc.
Keep track of helpful points and make up some as your family goes along.
The points are trust points, so invite your family to enjoy how much they built trust.
Rock Game – as suggested by Liza Earle-Center, Director of Spiritual Exploration, UU Church of Montpelier, VT
“On night hikes I used to have a wide assortment of rocks, small, medium, smooth, rough… I’d pass one to each child as we sat close together in the dark. They’d spend a couple minutes holding their rock as I guided them through really getting to know it… then I’d collect them all, and would slowly pass them to one person, slowly one at a time they would get handed around the circle. When yours came to you, you kept it (while still passing the others to your neighbor. Eventually everyone has their rock back and is excited to have found it again! It takes trusting that you really DO know your rock well. This might be played in the daylight with blindfolds or an invitation to close their eyes as they pass the rocks.”
The Zipper Game ( a Trust Game which doesn’t involve risking a fall)
Students face each other in two parallel lines. They extend their arms to block the path that lies between them. One student is chosen to walk, jog, or run — depending on his or her comfort level — through the path. The dialogue and actions are as follows:
- Johnny: “Zipper ready?”
- Class: “Ready, Johnny!” If Johnny doesn’t hear all of them shouting and see all of them focusing, then he may repeat his first question until he is sure he has their undivided attention.
- Johnny: “Today I am going for a jog.”
- Class: “Jog on.”
- At this point Johnny jogs through The Zipper and each member of the class drops his or her arms just before he encounters them. The more trust the student has, the quicker he or she will go through The Zipper.
Suggested by Soul Matters member Liza Earle-Centers, UU Congregation of Montpelier, VT
Divide your family into pairs of roughly equivalent height and weight. In each pair, have one person stand directly in front of their partner, with their back turned toward them. Tell the person in front to close their eyes and fall backwards toward their partner. Their partner will catch them under the arms and take their weight gently to the floor, or lightly place the, back up to standing. Have the partners reverse roles.
Trust Fall Fail – as a warning if you decide to try one!
Stories To Read Together
“Fannie Barrier Williams helped start a home for girls in Chicago, and she started a center where people could live together, no matter the color of their skin. She was part of the group that started the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the NAACP), along with Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells Barnett, Frances Watkins Harper, and W.E.B. DuBois.
Fannie also worked with suffragists like Susan B. Anthony, helping women get the chance to vote. Because back then, remember, people thought that men were better than women. Women couldn’t own property or have a bank account or vote in elections.” – from the story.
Nothando’s Journey by Jill Apperson Manly (Author), Alyssa Casey (Illustrator)
“NOTHANDO’S JOURNEY is a journey in self-discovery, told through the eyes of a young girl named Nothando. The book tells of the Reed Festival, an important celebration in Nothando’s country of Swaziland in Southern Africa. Nothando and her brother venture into the unknown hills, in order to get to the festival on time. As Nothando explores the hills of Swaziland, she visits with various animals–Nothando moves freely with the animals and begins to become comfortable with who she is.” – Amazon. The video is great! Theme Connection: Trusting in one’s abilities.
Family App Ideas
“Parents need to know that My PlayHome is a highly interactive, dollhouse-style app for kids. Kids can choose from five “types” of family members in generic white, Asian, and African-American skin tones; the characters include moms, dads, boys, girls, and babies. Kids can add all 15 characters (each has a different outfit, hairstyle, etc.) to their homes, allowing for flexibility in creating a variety of family types. They can create a mixed-race family, one with two (or three) moms, or one with only sons.” – Common Sense Media Theme Connection: Our families are places of trust. You can build a family like your own.
Family Movie Night Ideas
Theme Connection: Several movie suggestions which bring to life the paradox of distrust and trust which has marked the past history of racism in America.
The Muppet Movie (G)
“Parents need to know that The Muppet Movie is a pretty likeable road trip romp with singable songs, but with some guns and slapstick violence.” – Common Sense Review. Theme Connection: Kermit has to trust in himself in order to undertake the road trip to Hollywood.
Vikings and dragons, in a moving Pixar movie. Some scary parts means it might not be appropriate for under 7 years old. As suggested by Gina Montarsi Hundt. Theme Connection: The boy, Hiccup, and his dragon, Night Fury, need to learn to trust each other.
For Parents and Guardians (as Faith Formation Guides)
“As parents, we spend a lot of time worrying about our children. We fret about the degree to which our parenting affects their development and well-being. Yet children are actually emancipated individuals who would spare us the insecurities of raising them, if we would trust them…”
Reflections for parents on the balance of trust in an ideal world and a feeling of betrayal when reality bites. Michelle Richards, UU World Magazine
Helping parents reflect on truth-telling and the implications of a lie. Michelle Richards, UU World Magazine