1. Where is New Jersey?
Show the children where the United States is and then where New Jersey is on a world map. Have one child place a finger there. Have another child place a finger on your state on the map. Notice how far apart or close together the places are. Place a stick-on flag or dot there. Review the stories that the other flags represent. If you live in New Jersey, bring a state map so the children can find Jersey City and your hometown. Sing the song “Children of the World.” (Materials: map or globe, stick-on flags or dots, music)
2. Conversation About Preserving Water Resources
Most children have studied conservation of the environment in school. Thus, this conversation about ways to preserve water will not be entirely new to them. What you can interject into the discussion is our role as Christians to care for God’s creation, which includes seeing that all parts of it has adequate and clean water. Some questions to consider together are: What do we do that wastes water? How can we save water? How can we keep bodies of water clean?
The beauty of the reservoir made Willow want to preserve it. As a reminder of the beauty of many water places in the world, make a pond-on-a-plate. For this project, provide paper plates or platters that are not coated with plastic; poster board, construction paper (lots of colors), magazines, markers, transparent tape, and glue. Other items that the children might use are small rocks, sand, mosses, and dried grasses. To make trees and other tall figures stand upright, cut a slit in the paper plate. Slide the bottom of the figure through and tape it securely under the plate so it stands upright. Here are some ideas for starters: ducks swimming on the water, a bridge over the water with people on it, trees from magazine pictures, transparent blue or white gift wrap for the water. Ask the children to title their water places when they are finished. (Materials: paper plates or platters that are not coated with plastic, poster board, construction paper (lots of colors), magazines, markers, transparent tape, glue, small rocks, sand, mosses, and dried grasses.)
4. World Water Day
March 22 is World Water Day as declared by the United Nations. If you are using this session near that date, have the children make posters that tell people about World Water Day and the importance of water for all living things, and what we can do to protect and save water.
If that date is some time off, have the children make refrigerator magnet reminders of the day. Cut white or light blue poster board into shapes of water drops. On them print “World Water Day -- March 22.” Glue a small magnet to the back of each water drop. If possible, make extras to distribute to the congregation or at the Build a Better World: Water fair. (Materials: white or light blue poster board, small magnets)
5. Speak Out for Water for all!
The struggle for safe water and decent sanitation is taking place around the world. Besides the contributions of individuals and groups for wells, irrigation and sanitation projects, it is alsoimportant for governments to act. Like Willow, your children can speak out about water, particularly on behalf of children who don’t have safe water to drink. Perhaps the children might invite the congregation to join them!
6. Water-based Snack
For a snack, have the children make lemonade with real lemons. A simple recipe is six lemons, juiced (about a cup of juice), six cups of cold water, and one cup of sugar. Stir together. Serve with ice. If this will take longer than you can allow, at least have the children mix together water and a powdered mix instead of pouring lemonade from a bottle or carton. (Materials: lemons, water, sugar, ice)