Play Week 4: Playing with Jokes (recognizing both those that help & those that harm)

Throughout our abundant lives, we can find simple and quick ways to connect our learning and growth at church to our lives at home. 
PLAY: Spotify Playlist / Youtube Playlist

At Church: 

We were reminded that we like to be silly when we play and laugh. Jokes are one way that people are silly and engage in play with one another. However, while there are many jokes which heal with laughter, there are also jokes that harm by being cruel or mean to a group of people. We can recognize and speak out these harmful, so-called “jokes,” AND we can also lift up the truly funny jokes which make us laugh. One of the ways our faith guides us into being a people of Play is by reminding us to know and name the difference.

Morning Time:

Colors of PRIDE Mindfulness 


PLAY: Get into the Moment and remember that life is Wild and Precious

Consider these thoughts from Tom Robbins~  “Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”

Drive Time: 

Listen to: Good Day Sunshine by the Beatles

Weekly Chalice Lighting

We light this chalice, spark of the original fire of creation, to remind us that we all on this planet—the furred, the feathered, the finned, and the scaled, along with us featherless bipeds—we are all made of the same star-stuff and all share a common destiny. We all share the same hopes of a life free from harm and suffering and the same aspirations of happiness, love, and flourishing—being able to express our own unique natures and capacities as best we may. We are just that many diverse perspectives from which the whole is seen and experienced. We are inextricably intertwined, interconnected and interdependent. And it is good.

~Mark Causey

Meal Time: 

Discuss: If you and a beloved adult in your life were both kids at the same time, what do you think you would play together? 

Bed Time:

Read: The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster

Family Time:

Reasonable-Risk Play

Ten or fifteen years ago, the parenting literature was full of extolations on the value of “risk play,” defined as experiential and experimental play where the outcome is uncertain. Think tree climbing, woodworking with real tools, wandering without parents, etc. The science suggested that children who regularly engaged in risky play showed better problem-solving skills, abilities to set and hold their own boundaries, and even had fewer play-related injuries, presumably related to that ability to calculate their own limits through trial and error.

This month, challenge yourself to engage in some reasonable-risk play with your child, or set up situations where they can try reasonable-risk play:

  • Climb something high. This could be a tall piece of playground equipment, a tree, a rope, etc. (Note: folks who use wheelchairs might enjoy para-climbing, an option some climbing gyms offer.)
  • Wander somewhere. This might be a trail, where a young child would be free to be a little ahead of a parent, out of sight (but depending on age, maybe not out of earshot); going to the corner store and back alone; or going through the store, picking out, and paying for goods by themselves.
  • Enjoy being in a body out in the elements. Go outside on a windy day, or a wet day. Let your child play with fire in a way that evokes risk but is contained. (For example, you might let them light matches and throw them into a lit and contained fire pit.) Play near the water.
  • Build something big, like a cardboard box city, a fort of fallen limbs and underbrush, or a treehouse.
  • Try rough-and-tumble play. Some kids love and immediately take to play fighting, wrestling, and tumbling together. But you know your child best; be sensitive if you suspect your child might react negatively to an invitation to play rough. Check out the work of O. Fred Donaldson for ideas on how to do this safely and fun.

Don’t work too hard at the debriefing but check in with your child after an experience. Did they feel exhilarated? Scared? A little of both? Affirm that risky play often takes us to our limits, which invites powerful and mixed feelings.

Blessing of PLAY

May the month ahead brim with merriment, with joy, with revelry and experiment and glorious, irrelevant efforts for no particular purpose but play. May we be each other’s conspirators in gigglement and glee, in dashing, in daring, in delight. May we remember that children and crows and otters and kittens are wise in ways that we would do well to emulate, that is, in their instinctive impulse toward game and contest and exploration. This month may your body play. May your mind play. May your spirit play. And with the Divine, the Source of all ebullience everywhere, may you dance playfully to the music of your own light heart. 

-Teresa Honey Youngblood

Monthly Meditations

PRIDE Mindfulness

We hang PRIDE flags of rainbow colors during June, which is PRIDE month. Celebrate PRIDE with a Rainbow Meditation. If your children are younger, consider having them draw the color of the rainbow during each pause.

Centering: Let’s now get into our meditation positions.

  • Sit comfortably in your chair or on the floor.
  • Put your hands on your lap or on your knees.
  • Sit up nice and tall.
  • Focus your eyes in front of you.
  • Find your breath moving in your body by taking in one breath through your nose and then slowly breathing it out through your mouth.

Mindful Moment: Colors of PRIDE Mindfulness

Imagine yourself a cloud in the sky. Floating, relaxed. [PAUSE]

Imagine a rainbow of light shines through and around you as a cloud, with all of the colors arching from you to the ground below. [PAUSE]

Look down the rainbow at each color. [PAUSE]

Imagine the red of the rainbow, shining, glowing, the red of heart, red of love, red of stop signs. [PAUSE]

Imagine the orange of the rainbow, shining, glowing, the orange of creativity, orange of dawn, orange of mangoes. [PAUSE]

Imagine the yellow of the rainbow, shining, glowing, the yellow of power, yellow of the sun, yellow of sunflowers. [PAUSE]

Imagine the green of the rainbow, shining, glowing, the green of calmness, green of the forest, green of spring wheat. [PAUSE]

Imagine the blue of the rainbow, shining, glowing, the blue of relaxing, the blue of the sky, the blue of a Blue Morpho Butterfly. [PAUSE]

Imagine the indigo of the rainbow, shining, glowing, the indigo of mystery and thought, the indigo of jeans, the indigo of blueberries. [PAUSE]

Imagine the violet of the rainbow, shining, glowing, the violet of the spirit, the violet of amethysts, the violet of galaxies and nebulas. [PAUSE]

Imagine this rainbow as a beacon of rainbow colors, signaling PRIDE support for all of us.

Return now to this place and time, and carry the rainbow of colors with you throughout your day.

Reflection: How did it feel to be a cloud lighting up the sky with a rainbow?

Mindful Moments with Lea about PLAY: 

Get into the Moment and remember that life is Wild and Precious

  • Remind the child(ren) about the importance of calming ourselves so we can better focus on each other and our time together.
  • Tell them that a special friend named Lea has written a song for us to learn and it is a song that teaches us something important about this month’s theme: we have the opportunity to consider the ways we c.
  • Center the child(ren) before playing the video.
  • After the video, talk and listen with your child to discover all the things you heard together.