A New Year's Wish for the World

Activity Objective

To encourage the children to identify specific actions that they can do to show God's presence to some part of the world that they are particularly concerned about

Lesson Outcome

The children will identify one wish that they have for our world and then commit themselves to doing something practical in order to help bring it about.


  • Chalkboard or flip chart
  • Strips of colored paper (approximately 2" x 9"), one per child
  • Markers
  • Stapler or tape


  • Remind the children that it is customary for many people to make New Year's resolutions near the beginning of a new year.
  • Encourage them to identify as many social concerns as they can think of (violence, war, hunger, poverty, greed, discrimination, and so on) and list these on the board.
  • Next to each concern, write a wish for the world that your group of children has concerning that need. (For example, next to hunger you could write: "Our wish is that no child will go hungry tonight.")
  • Then brainstorm with your children as many practical things to do as they can think of in order to help bring about each of the wishes that you have written on the board. (If possible, write two or three practical ideas next to each wish.)
  • Finally, have each child decide on one practical thing (from all the ideas listed on the board) that he or she is willing to do in order to make their wishes come true and to be an instrument of God's presence to the world.
  • Distribute the paper strips and ask each of them to write down on their paper their wish for the world and the one practical action that they will do in order to help make their wish happen.
  • When the children have finished writing their wishes and actions on their paper strips, combine the strips into a chain by linking them together and then stapling or taping the ends of each strip together.
  • Put the chain in your prayer center as a visible reminder of each child's commitment to action on behalf of the world.

Learning Styles

Art/Space Smart, Self Smart, Word Smart

Approximate Time

15 minutes


Keep the paper chain in a visible place until the season of Lent starts, and then break open and read one link during your Lenten sessions as a group action that the children could do during Lent.


If there are children in your group with special needs (physical, visual, hearing, language, or behavioral disabilities), adapt the activity accordingly.