Week Five: Family Connections Toolkit

Creating a More Just World:
Find Your Heroes!

Scripture:

Micah 6:8 (CEV; adapted by Kevin Brown)
God has told us
what is right
and what God demands:
“See that justice is done,
let kindness be your first concern,
and humbly walk with your God.”

Spend a few moments wondering together as a family:

  • I wonder how God gave these words to the people?
  • I wonder when someone has treated you with kindness?
  • I wonder when being kind to someone has been easy for you? 
  • I wonder when being kind to someone has been hard?
  • I wonder what justice looks like?
  • I wonder when there has been a time that you walked with God?

Spiritual Practice: Nature Meditation Walk

Find a poet your family can enjoy together! Here’s one of our favorites:

Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” (excerpted here)

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

Discover New Art Heroes

creative, reflective, all ages 

Get inspired by artists who work with social justice themes:

Potato Prints for Change

creative, tactile, ages 4+

Use your art heroes as inspiration, watch this video to develop a motto* and/or design an image that spreads a positive message. Make multiples to share or post in your neighborhood with one of these simple printmaking techniques:

*If you print words, keep in mind it will be reversed-like looking in a mirror- when printed!*

Portrait of a Hero

creative, tactile, ages 4+

Create a self-portrait HERO collage! This special collage will represent your child – their interests, personalities – and the way they want to be givers and helpers. HERO self-portraits will remind your child that no matter how old we are, we have the power to make a difference.

Find Your Play Heroes

creative, for the parents

Parents, this one’s for you! Think back to your own childhood, or look around for inspiration from the kids and playful adults in your life. Consider the following:

  • Who (or what) plays well? What are qualities you admire? 
  • How might you be inspired by their playful spirit?
  • Where does play fit into your life?
  • How does play and playfulness fit into working toward a more just world? How can(your) levity be a tool in social justice? 

Now, go play! Or, try on a new playfulness quality. Or tell someone you appreciate how they play. Or tell someone they are your play hero!

Change the Rules!

creative, ages 8+

This is a ‘meta-game’ to try every once in a while with your favorite games. Here’s how:

  • Select a board or card game, or even a physical outside game.
  • Before beginning, agree upon 2-3 new rules using certain criteria, such as:

Making it harder for everyone; making it easier for everyone; making it harder for the adults; making it easier for the adults; what are the rules on Tuesdays? What are the rules for hot days? Etc etc.

  • Notice what it feels like to play that way, and then try another set of new rules. Be creative! Be experimental!

Points of reflection & learning that may arise:

  • What is easier? What is harder? (for this particular game)
  • What is fair (for this particular game)? What is unfair? 
  • What makes this game fun to play together? 
  • Do we like any of our new rules and want to use them again?

Advocate for Racial Justice

Speak up to your elected officials and adopt long-term habits to correct structural inequities with this unique printable. Want to do more? Share your voice around the issues of hunger, environmental stewardship and immigration as well using these other kid-friendly advocacy printables.

A Family’s Guide to Active Citizenship

This unique guide from Doing Good Together is designed to help you replace anxiety about local and global challenges with action steps that empower your family to become part of the solution. Find simple strategies and thought-provoking tools to get more engaged in your community. Download for free using the coupon code: UCCCIVIC

Sign a Petition

Challenge your family to learn about and support a cause that you all care about through online petitions. You can start a petition or sign an existing petition at Change.org. This way you can participate in initiatives that are up and running, or start making a difference for an issue that’s meaningful to you. Check out Doing Good Together’s Sign a Petition page for ideas on how to get started!

At the Dinner Table

reflective, engaged, all ages

Read this short article “My Role in a Social Change Ecosystem”. Recap and share it with the non-readers in your family. Discuss the role(s) each family member is excited about playing and why.

  • Name three of your interests or talents. How could you use those gifts to make a difference for others?
  • If you won a grand prize of $1,000 and you had to give it away, where would you donate it? Why?
  • There are many people in history who have fought for justice. Can you name some of them? What kind of difference did they make? Who are some people fighting for justice right now
  • What could you do to build a more just world?
  • Some people believe we’ve replaced heroes with celebrities. Do you think that’s true? What do you think are the differences between the two?
  • Who are some of your heroes? Why did you choose those people? What obstacles did they overcome? What character strengths do they exhibit? Do you share any of those qualities?
  • Can kids be heroes? If so, can you name any?

Journal Prompts

elementary +

  • For each prompt give yourself at least 1-2 minutes to write or draw in response to these prompts.
  • Tips: ✐ When you get stuck, keep coming back to the prompt and re-write it to start your next sentence or drawing. ✐  Try to keep your pen moving and don’t overthink your words! ✐ Feel free to speak your truth or write your fictions. 
  • If I was a superhero I’d be…
  • If I was a hero I’d be…
  • If I could heal the world, I’d start with…
  • In order to help others, I take care of myself by…
  • One thing I’d like to learn more about is…
  • Anti-racist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi (Ages 3-8)
  • Sometimes People March by Tessa Allen (Ages 4-8)
  • Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai (Ages 4-8)
  • Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers (Ages 5-8)
  • The Epic Fail of Arturo Zomora by Pablo Cartaya (Ages 10-13)
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds (Ages 13-17) (Read all of Jason Reynold’s fiction, too!)
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Ages 14-17)
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Ages 14-17)
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (Adult)

Buy these titles online at a local bookstore! Some we recommend in the Twin Cities: Red Balloon, Mager’s and Quinn & Moon Palace Book.

© Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ | 2021