April 2021: Becoming

Mindful Moments with Lea BECOMING (Kids can be the light)

April 4: Easter! Letting Go and Letting In (UU Source #4: Love our neighbors as ourselves)

Story of the Week (linked here):The Bug Girl by Sophia Spencer

Family Meditation: Mindful Moments with Lea BECOMING

  • Remind the children 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 about the importance of this month’s theme: BECOMING  (Springtime Will Come)
  • Center the children before playing the video.
  • After the video, talk and listen with your child to discover all the things you heard together.

Weekly Activities: 

The Wheel of Kindness – Letting In Radical Kindness

One of the sources of our UU faith is “Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.” UUs have long welcomed this as a call to kindness. This is another way to honor Easter. Yes, Easter is about the miracle of Jesus overcoming death and coming back to life. But we also honor Jesus’ life by remembering the many ways he offered kindness and love to those who society treated as unwanted and unlovable. In this spirit, dive into the Wheel of Kindness game below and do the actions.

  1. Wheel of Kindness:  https://wheelofnames.com/pkv-v72
  1. Which of the following ideas for radical acts of kindness do you want to do? Why?
  • Call your grandparents or other elders.
  • Add encouraging messages to your sidewalks using chalk.
  • FaceTime a friend from school that you don’t talk to often to say hello.
  • Write a note to a trusted adult to let them know they are doing a good job.
  • Make your parents/guardians breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Don’t fight with your siblings.
  • Color pictures for people you love and then put them in the mail.
  • Leave a note and a small gift for delivery drivers.
  • Write a letter or make a card for a relative.
  • Do your chores without being asked and without complaining.
  • Pick weeds from your flower beds and gardens.
  • Tell each of your family members one thing you love about them.
  • Give a parent a big hug out of the blue.
  • Host a virtual game night with friends.
  • When walking down the street, wish each person: “Be happy, be well.”

Chat About It Prompts/Questions:

  • How will you remember what you wanted to do?
  • Do you want to try more than one?
  • Do you have other ideas for what you might do?
  • Does this make you wish someone would do one for you?

Drawing Becoming–A Month of Sketchbook Exercises

These sketchbook exercises invite the artist to play with becoming, with change from one form to the other. Try one exercise each week for the whole month, then host a family art show one evening! 

Week 1 of 4: Before and After

Scenes around our homes change throughout the day. Choose one spot to sketch in the morning, and again in the afternoon or evening. Maybe your family takes and leaves shoes by the door, maybe your dish rack empties and fills, or the light coming through a south-facing window changes dramatically.

Coloring

April 11: Who Are You Becoming?

Story of the Week (linked here): The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

Mindful Moments with Lea BECOMING (Springtime Will Come)

Family Meditation: Creative Visualization: Your Gift

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 or close them.

Find your breath moving in your body by taking in one breath through your nose and then slowly breathing it out through your mouth.

Creative Visualization: Your Gift

Imagine that you are walking down a path. There are trees on either side. You hear little animals rustling in the leaves.

You look down the path and see a house. You walk up and gently knock on the door.

The door opens and a wise person smiles at you. The wise person beckons you in.

Breathing in, breathing out. You are at peace.

There is a box.

You rest your hands on the box.

The box is your gift.

You slowly open the box. What is inside?

What does it look like? [PAUSE and let the children answer]

Now put it away.

Stand up and stretch.

Continue on the path for a little ways, then start to return to us here and now.

Remember your gift as you open your eyes.

May you carry the memory of your gift with you always.

Weekly Activities: 

Becoming through Rhythm and Emotions (Musical Painting)

This 2-in-1 activity lets children get in touch with their emotions as they learn to identify the music and colors that get them in touch with themselves.  

Prep: 5 minutes

Activity time: 15-20 minutes

Place: indoors or outdoors at a solid surface or easel

Materials: paper or other surface to paint, watercolors or washable paint, paint brushes, music (whatever your child(ren) wants or you can use this Becoming playlist)

Steps: Emotion option: 

  1. Tell your child they are going to paint how the music makes them feel
  2. Turn on the music and ask your child how the music makes them feel.
  3. Tell them to paint how the music makes them feel.
  4. Now, change to a different song or type of music, and ask them to paint how it makes them feel.  They can describe their emotions while painting.
  5. Repeat with as many songs or types of music as you or the child want.  You can have them compare their feelings between different types of music.

Steps: Rhythm option:

  1. Tell your child they are going to paint to the tempo or beat of the music.
  2. Turn on music and have your child paint to the tempo of the music.
  3. Change the type of music or song and have them paint to a different tempo.
  4. Have a conversation with them about which tempo they liked best and why.
  5. Encourage them to sing as they paint.

Discussion (during or after): What do you like about music and painting? What is powerful about music and other art, like painting? How does getting in touch with how we feel help us?  Based on what you’ve painted, who do you see yourself becoming?  Describe the person who painted these images.

Drawing Becoming–A Month of Sketchbook Exercises

These sketchbook exercises invite the artist to play with becoming, with change from one form to the other. Try one exercise each week for the whole month, then host a family art show one evening! 

Week 2 of 4: Front and Back

 Inside or outside, pick something to draw from the front, on one side of your paper, and from the back, on the other side. This could work with people, pets, landscapes, favorite toys, or anything else that is 3-D.

Coloring

April 18: Earth Day! Becoming a People of Earth

Story of the week (linked here):  I’m a Duck by Eve Bunting

Mindful Moments with Lea BECOMING (Springtime Will Come)

Family Meditation: Be a Camera

Centering: Let’s 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 in and out.

Mindful Moment:

Imagine being outside (or stand at an open window) and close your eyes, just for a moment. [PAUSE]

Take three deep breaths. [PAUSE]

Now open your eyes as if you are a camera.

What do you see, Camera?

What is in your photograph?

Take a picture, click!

Now close your eyes again.

Open your eyes as if you are a camera.

What do you see, Camera?

Take a picture, click!

One more time…

Close your eyes again.

Open your eyes as if you are a camera.

What do you see, Camera?

Take a picture, click!

Notice one new beautiful thing each day for the next week—on a walk, while running errands with your family, or just from your window. [PAUSE]

Now return to us, here and now.

Weekly Activities: 

Birdwatching

Birdwatching is one of the most popular outdoor hobbies. One reason for this might be that environmental degradation and habitat loss has left birds as the wildlife most visible to us. Through birdwatching, we are able to satisfy that longing within to see, hear, feel, and remember our place on the web of life. Wildlife veterinarian and UU minister LoraKim Joyner says that “Birding is but one way to take up an intentional practice that asks us to look within at our inner demons and look outward in acknowledgement that though we may be alone or feel it, we are interconnected to all of life.”

Drawing Becoming–A Month of Sketchbook Exercises

These sketchbook exercises invite the artist to play with becoming, with change from one form to the other. Try one exercise each week for the whole month, then host a family art show one evening! 

Week 3 of 4: Single Line Representation

 Decide what you’d like to sketch, and without taking your hand off of the paper, draw your object in one, continuous line. This technique has been around for a long time, and is well loved for loosening up one’s hand and mind, alike!

Coloring

April 25: Hope for the Future

Story of the Week (linked here): Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Pena

Mindful Moments with Lea BECOMING (Springtime Will Come)

Family Meditation

Be an Imaginator of the future

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 or close them.

Find your breath moving in your body by taking in one breath through your nose and then slowly breathing it out through your mouth.

Mindfulness Moment: Being an Imaginator of the Future

Imaginator question #1: What new kinds of inventions will we use?

Pause for 5 seconds: Imagine the future inventions in your mind’s eye.

Share with each other.

Imaginator question #2: What pets will you have?

Pause for 5 seconds: Imagine those future animals in your mind’s eye.

Share with each other.

Imaginator question #3: How will you be a helper?

Pause for 5 seconds: Imagine the ways you will help in your mind’s eye.

Share with each other.

Keep these imaginator questions and possible answers in your mind as you move through your day.

Weekly Activities: 

Around the Neighborhood Treasure Hunt

This month, we are acknowledging the part we all play in the becoming of the world around us. We are powerful agents of change! Let’s look together for examples of how we, as a community, are noticing transformation and the becoming happening all around us.

  1. An empty lot or abandoned building becoming something new
  2. A community center, an RV or large truck, a parking lot, or other space that has become a Covid vaccination space
  3. A piece of land becoming a garden
  4. A favorite view changing, because of a tree growing tall or a new building going up, etc.
  5. Nature transforming into something new, like a tree growing leaves or a sprout pushing through the ground.
  6. A puppy or kitten becoming a dog or cat (pets have a tween phase, too!) 
  7. A small weather event becoming a big one (depending on where you live, this might be a thunderstorm, snowstorm, drought, and so one)
  8. Someone growing a mustache or a beard
  9. Someone who is pregnant or who has a baby
  10. Someone learning to ride a bike, either by seeing them learn with the help of their parents or by noticing them riding with training wheels

Drawing Becoming–A Month of Sketchbook Exercises

These sketchbook exercises invite the artist to play with becoming, with change from one form to the other. Try one exercise each week for the whole month, then host a family art show one evening! You could hang a string around the gathering room of your home, and display all your art with clothespins. You could even dress fancy and make a special meal or snack to share as you admired one another’s creations.

Week 4 of 4: Reductionism

Completely cover your paper in pencil marks. (You might want to trim down your sketch paper for this, as it takes quite a bit of time and pencil dust!) Then, using an erasure, make your picture by erasing pieces of the background.

Coloring