Virtual Spirit Play

Spirit Play Logo

For Elementary Age Children: We offer Spirit Play as a worship model for children in grades K5-3rd grades. Since the Covid-19 pandemic is preventing our RE classes from meeting in person, we have developed a way for your children to enjoy Spirit Play at home. The Virtual Spirit Play stories and other supporting materials on this page provide you with everything you need to create a Spirit Play experience for one or more children at home, with a parent, guardian, or caregiver serving as a Spirit Play Guide.

On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, we will feature a new spirit play video that you can enjoy at home.

Scroll down this page or click the following links to:

Fry Bread, presented by Amber Galea

This week’s story is one of our holiday/holy day explorations where we depart from diving into our Seven Promises to pay attention to the sacred moments people around us are celebrating. This coming week holds forth the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s complicated – as complicated as…bread. Amber and Victor Galea – and their children – welcome us into their kitchen this week to introduce us to the story Fry Bread (and all that that entails)!
Click here for the wondering questions for Fry Bread.

Want to discuss this week’s video with other GUUF families? Join our GUUF Family to Family Facebook Group and find the post with this video to let us know what you think!

Fry Bread

How to be a Spirit Play Guide

Here is a Spirit Play Guides Virtual Spirit Play Training video led by veteran Spirit Play Guide Jim Hennigan. Watch this before you lead your child in their first Spirit Play session.

Click here for Spirit Play Resources, including Spirit Play procedures, opening readings, and closing song lyrics.

Here are some items you will want to have on hand for your Spirit Play experience:

  • A cloth to lay down and mark your sacred space
  • A chalice or a candle (lighting is optional)
  • Opening reading text(s) (See Spirit Play Resources)
  • Video display for the week’s story
  • Activity or activities for work/play within the sacred space
  • Feast: a small drink, an edible treat, and a napkin or place setting (for all participants, Guide included)
  • Closing song lyrics (See Spirit Play Resources)

Order of Spirit Play Worship Service:
I. Gathering-in (calm) – up to 2 minutes
II. Creating the sacred space – up to 2 minutes
III. Opening reading – up to 3 minutes
IV. The story (video) – varies week-to-week, up to 12 minutes
V. The wonderings – up to 6 minutes
VI. Work time with an activity – 15 to 20 minutes
VII. Feast preparation – up to 5 minutes
VIII. Feast and sharing of joys, concerns and thoughts – up to 5 minutes
IX. Closing song and leaving the sacred space – up to 5 minutes


Virtual Spirit Play videos

Click the links below or scroll down for Virtual Spirit Play videos:

Intro to the Promises

Presented by Claire Hennigan
“Promises” are how we talk about the seven UU principles with children. This lesson is an introduction to the seven UU principles for children.
See below the video for the wondering questions for this lesson.

Intro to the Promises

Wondering Questions for this lesson:
I wonder if you have ever made a promise?
I wonder which promise you like the best?
I wonder how it feels when we keep a promise?
I wonder what happens when we keep a promise?
I wonder if it is easy or hard to keep a promise?
I wonder what happens when a promise is broken?
I wonder what here is most important?
I wonder how it feels to be on this rainbow path?

Wondering Questions for each promise
Red–I wonder how it feels to be special, to be a gift?
Orange–I wonder how it feels to be kind and fair?
I wonder if you’ve ever noticed unfairness?
Yellow–I wonder if you’ve ever learned something about yourself?  others?  the Mystery
Green–I wonder how it feels to ask a question?
I wonder how it feels to find an answer to a question?
I wonder how it feels to have a question answered?
Blue–I wonder if you’ve ever heard that little voice inside that tells you something’s right or wrong?
Indigo–I wonder how it feels to have peace and justice in your life?
I wonder how we can be peaceful?
Violet–I wonder how it feels to be a part of Earth?
I wonder how we can respect all living beings?


Belinda’s Bouquet

Presented by Claire Hennigan
Belinda’s Bouquet is a “Red Promise” story. The Red Promise is the kid version of the First UU principle–The worth and dignity of every person. We say, “Respect Everyone.”
Click here to get the wondering questions for Belinda’s Bouquet.

Belinda’s Bouquet

The Wise People and the Elephant

Presented by Claire Hennigan
This story is a parable. Parables are fun stories that seem to be about one thing but they also could tell us something about ourselves or the world we live in. Because parables are like gifts, we keep our parables in boxes. You’ll see that Claire found this week’s story in a box. That’s how you can tell it must be a parable!
Click here to get the wondering questions for The Wise People and the Elephant.

The Wise People and the Elephant

The Flaming Chalice

Presented by Jim Hennigan
The Flaming Chalice is a review of all seven of the Spirit Play Promises. It connects our Promises to the mystery of the flaming chalice of Unitarian Universalism. And it helps children understand why promises are important to being together in a community.
Click here to get the wondering questions for The Flaming Chalice.

The Flaming Chalice

The Peacock and the Tortoise

Presented by Em Sullivan
This is a parable from the Hindu tradition. It is about about friendships, greed, and saying goodbye – which can be a liberating thing or a melancholy thing – as this parable has both of those kinds of farewells.
Click here to get the wondering questions for The Peacock and the Tortoise.

The Peacock and the Tortoise

A Star Lesson

Presented by Em Sullivan
This is a story from the Hawaii’an tradition. The story was adapted for Spirit Play by Connie Dunn who used to run our religious education program some years ago. She has adapted many stories we continue to use in Spirit Play. This story has something different to say about friendships – building on last themes from the previous story, The Peacock and the Tortoise.
Click here to get the wondering questions for A Star Lesson.

A Star Lesson

The Paper Bag Princess

Presented by Lesley Lindstedt-Sullivan
This story is an Indigo Promise story. It’s a favorite one for the children – and the adults in the CYRE program. If your child has already heard this story in Spirit Play before, you may want to ask them if they noticed anything different this time. This story might reveal to them how their perspectives can change. In fact, you may want to ask yourself how you might have received this story at different times in your own life and if different parts of the story might have been the most important based on your age. As you and your child grow older, how do you think your view of the story might grow with you?
Click here to get the wondering questions for The Paper Bag Princess.

The Paper Bag Princess

The Empty Pot

Presented by Lesley Lindstedt-Sullivan
The Empty Pot is a Green Promise story – which means it was chosen because it helps us to…Grow by exploring what is right and true. As you consider the story, spend some time reflecting on it from a parent’s or caregiver’s perspective. The story is chiefly about a boy who excels at gardening…but if you step back and consider what it would mean to make parenting/loving/learning choices for Ping, the story may have some instructive or reflective value to you.
Click here to get the wondering questions for The Empty Pot.

The Empty Pot

The Mustard Seed

Presented by Jo Anne Hennigan
This story is a parable, one of the many stories Jesus told to help people understand a Big Idea. In this parable, someone asked Jesus what Heaven is like, and in classic Jesus fashion, he goes off on the finer points of growing mustard plants. It’s truly puzzling – which is why it’s perfect as a parable and ideal for asking our wondering questions.
Click here the get the wondering questions for The Mustard Seed.

The Mustard Seed

The Deep Well

Presented by Lesley Lindstedt-Sullivan
This is a story from the Hebrew tradition – and we’re proposing something a little different. We’d like you to try on an alternate ending to the story. In the alternate ending consider the traveler deciding to leave the well except instead of leaving the rope ready for the next person to use, imagine that the traveler returned everything back to the way they found things. Perhaps the traveler did this because it was like a puzzle and they want the next person to come by and have fun solving the challenging puzzle.
Click here to get the wondering questions for The Deep Well.

The Deep Well

Hey, Little Ant!

Presented by Lesley Lindstedt-Sullivan
This story is from the Violet Promise. It’s an open-ended story. We don’t resolve the conflict at the end, so you can be okay with that or you can try on your own endings.
Click here for the wondering questions for Hey, Little Ant!

Hey, Little Ant!

Dory Story

Presented by Lesley Lindstedt-Sullivan
This story is called Dory Story – but it’s not about Finding Nemo. The dory we’re talking about is a small boat, kind of like a row boat. It’s about a curious child who goes out to sea in a dory to discover how the sea creatures are part of a food chain, from the microscopic plankton on up to…killer whales!
Click here for the wondering questions for Dory Story.

Dory’s Story

The Lazy Bear

Presented by Amber and Violet Galea
This story is called the Lazy Bear – and we’re excited to share something a little different because this story does not come out of a basket. It does not come out of a box. This week’s story comes out through colorful chalk and some help from one of our very own friends, Violet!

We’ve all heard different forms of this story – about someone who takes advantage of friends. Mark Twain wrote about it in the story of Tom Sawyer who “tricked” people into painting a fence. Many times, when we hear stories, a friend will mistreat another friend and it’s a very small part of the story. Sometimes the friend lets it happen and the story doesn’t discuss it after that. Sometimes the story tells us about a friendship that’s broken and it is funny. We can have fun with these stories, but it’s a good thing when we learn how the friendships get fixed if they become broken. The most important part is how we fix our relationships that are broken – to make sure that the mistreatment won’t happen again.
Click here for the wondering questions for The Lazy Bear.

The Lazy Bear


Fry Bread

Presented by Amber Galea
This week’s story is one of our holiday/holy day explorations where we depart from diving into our Seven Promises to pay attention to the sacred moments people around us are celebrating. This coming week holds forth the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s complicated – as complicated as…bread. Amber and Victor Galea – and their children – welcome us into their kitchen this week to introduce us to the story Fry Bread (and all that that entails)!
Click here for the wondering questions for Fry Bread.

Fry Bread

Go to Children and Youth Religious Exploration.