You will need
- A4 paper
- Coloured pens or pencils
- Glue sticks
Before you begin
- Create paper strips by folding sheets of A4 paper lengthways twice and cutting along the folds. You should end up with strips about 7cm wide and almost 30cm long. You’ll need one or two strips for each person.
- Set out the paper strips and pens on the table, so everyone can get started as soon as they’ve finished talking.
Talk about reflection
- Everyone should sit in a circle.
- The person leading the activity should help everyone start thinking about reflecting or praying.
- Anyone who prays or reflects could tell everyone else about it if they want to. The person leading the activity should help everyone understand that different people with different backgrounds may pray and reflect.
Use your digits
- Everyone should hold up their hand like they’re about to wave to someone. They should look at their thumb, which is nearest the heart. Everyone should think about people who are important to them, and who are close to their heart, such as their friends and people in their family.
- Everyone should wiggle their index finger. This finger is the leader. Everyone should think about the people who lead them every day, for example, their teachers or parents or carers.
- Everyone should look the finger in the middle of their hand. This finger stands tall, like the people in the world who make big decisions (for example, the leaders of countries). Everyone should think about the decisions big leaders make, and how their choices affect other people.
- Everyone should close their fingers into their palm and try to lift their ring finger. They’ll probably find it tricky, as the ring finger is the weakest finger. Everyone should think about people who are struggling—they might be unwell or facing other problems. It could be someone they know, someone they heard about on the news or at school, or a character from a book or film.
- Everyone should hold up their little finger—this is for them! They should think about what makes them happy, and how they can do their best in any situation.
Link it all up
- Everyone should go to the table with the paper and pens.
- Everyone should take a strip and, remembering what they thought about with their fingers, they should write or draw a reflection or prayer.
- Everyone should decorate their strip to make it extra special.
- Everyone should get back into a circle with their strips.
- Someone should volunteer to start the paper chain making. If they want to, they can share some of their reflection or prayer with everyone else. They should put some glue on one end of their strip, and stick the ends together to make a loop.
- The next person can share some of their reflection or prayer if they want to. They should thread their paper strip through the first person’s loop, and glue it to make a loop of their own.
- Everyone should take it in turns to share if they want to, then add their paper strip as a loop, until all of the strips are linked together in a long paper chain.
- Everyone should decide what they’ll do with their paper chain.
This activity was a chance to develop your beliefs. You don’t have to follow a religion to pray or reflect—it’s also a chance to think about the good things in our lives and what we want to improve or change. Take a moment to think quietly about what you put on your slip of paper. Why did you choose those things? It can be tricky to think about big things like beliefs, so well done!
For this activity to work, you also needed to respect others (including people with different backgrounds to yours). How did you show you respected others? You talked about different ways people might pray and reflect, but everyone did the same activities together. Have a look at your long chain of reflections and prayers. They all link together, even though they’re different. Do you think people share some of the same reasons for praying and reflecting?
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people
- Glue and solvents
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.