Warm Fuzzies & Cold Pricklies

The following activity was written for Valentine's Day.  However, it can be easily modified and used throughout the year.  Afterall, why should spreading love be saved for only February! 

Supplies required for activity: Warm Fuzzy story, pom pom balls of various sizes and colors, googlie eyes (optional), glue, blank index cards, markers/crayons, Bible [Matthew 22:37-38], candle, matches

1.    Gather as a family in a comfortable place to hear a story
2.    Light a candle
3.    Read Matthew 22:37-38
4.    Remind all that the month of February is known for Valentine's Day and the feeling of love. Explain that, as Christians, we are called by Jesus to a special kind of love, agape. Agape is a Love given to us by God. It is unlike anything we have ever known. Ask children what happens when we give our candy away. (It is gone). Ask about our money or gum? (Again, gone) This Love from God is different as it never ends. It is given to us freely and when we share love it seems to grow! We are asked by Jesus to give this Love to God, ourselves and our neighbor. There is a story that can help us understand this even better.
5.    Read the tale of the Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies given below:

Once upon a time there was a village. All of the people in the village cared about each other very much and were very friendly. The village was full kindness, love, compassion, and justice. All who lived there felt safe and loved.

Every person in the village was given a special bag when they were born. Inside this bag were hundreds of soft, cuddly, little puff balls called, Warm Fuzzies. The villagers gave each other Warm Fuzzies anytime they wanted to let someone know they were loved, and when a Warm Fuzzie was given the person receiving it felt warm and fuzzy inside their heart. All the Villagers kept the Warm Fuzzies they received in a bag so they could easily share their Warm Fuzzies at anytime during the day or night.

One day, an evil Witch came to town. She saw everyone giving out Warm Fuzzies and she didn't like it. She noticed one villager happily giving out Warm Fuzzie after Warm Fuzzie and she said, "Why do you keep giving away your Warm Fuzzies? You will surely run out! Are you not afraid? What will you do when all of your Warm Fuzzies are gone? You should save some for yourself! Lock them away safely." The young village was confused and said, "What shall I give away to show people how I feel?" "Here," she smiled, "take this bag of Cold Pricklies and give them to the people in your village. They will work just fine." The villager took the bag of Cold Pricklies. He had never seen a Cold Prickly before, but they sure looked shiny. Kind of sharp and hard to hold, but shiny nonetheless.

The next day he ran into a friend, he handed him one of the Cold Pricklies from his new bag. The Cold Prickly made his friend feel cold and prickly inside, as if he were swallowing a pin cushion! "Ouch!" The friend was mad and his heart was full of anger. He went to the Witch to get his own bag of Cold Pricklies. After all, he did not want to be the only one without Cold Pricklies. He would not fall for that again! Quickly, the news of the Cold Pricklies spread throughout the village, and all the villagers asked the Witch for their own bag of Cold Pricklies. They were afraid to be without them.

At the same time, these Cold Pricklies were hard to keep. They were not soft like the Warm Fuzzies. They were not warm. In fact, once you had a cold prickly, you wanted to give it away to someone else as fast as possible. That's just what the villagers began to do.

The Witch was happy. Her plan was working perfectly. Now the village was full of fear, hate, and panic. Everyone started avoiding each other so they wouldn't be given a Cold Prickly. They locked themselves in their homes afraid of seeing their friends and family. The hid any small supply of Warm Fuzzies and didn't give them out to anyone anymore. If they did give out a Warm Fuzzy they made the person EARN it by saying something clever or performing a good trick or task.

The villager was dark. The people were alone and no one was happy anymore.

One day a Prince, a Prince like no other, arrived in the village. Almost immediately someone handed him a Cold Prickly. The Prince, recognizing the Cold Prickly, refused to take it. He looked deep into the eyes of the frightened villager and handed him a Warm Fuzzy from his own bag instead. The villager was surprised, and a little ashamed.

The Prince put his arm around the villager and called all to the middle of town. He addressed the crowd and asked, "Why do you give each other Cold Pricklies? Where are your Warm Fuzzies? Why not give them to one another?" One villager said, "We are afraid we will run out of Warm Fuzzies if we simply hand them out to one another. They are so precious we do not want our bags to be empty." The Prince sighed and said, "Oh, no. It is not like that at all. You cannot run out. Don't you see every time you give away a Warm Fuzzy a new one is
created." With that the Prince began to toss his Warm Fuzzies over all the villagers. Soon all were covered with them. They felt warm and fuzzy in their hearts. So did the Prince and the Warm Fuzzies continued to grow.

Then he asked everyone gather their Warm Fuzzies from their homes. He asked them to hand a Warm Fuzzie to a neighbor. They did, and as they did they noticed their the Warm Fuzzies continued to grow. Just like the Prince, they
never ran out of Warm Fuzzies. There were indeed enough Warm Fuzzies for everyone.

Angry, the Witch tried to stop the villagers and the Prince. But the villagers didn't want to listen anymore. They threw all their bags of Cold Pricklies into a wagon, placed the Witch inside of it, and pushed her out of town. All cheered.

The smallest Villager tugged on the sleeve of the Prince. "Yes?" asked the Prince as he bent down to hear the small child. "The more we give away, the more we have." whispered the small voice. "You are right, child. You are right," smiled the Prince, and hugged the little one.

6.    Ask your family the following questions:
            What happened when Warm Fuzzies were given away to all in the village?
            What happened when the Cold Pricklies came?
            How are the Warm Fuzzies like God's love?
            Who does the Prince remind you of?
7.    Explain that as a family you will make Warm Fuzzies to give to those you love along with a simple Valentine card.
8.    Each family member chooses a designated number of pom poms. Family members are welcome to glue small googlie eyes on the pom poms as these will represent the Warm Fuzzies.
9.    On the index card write a Valentine's Day message such as: "You are loved by me. You are loved by God. Receive and Share! Happy Valentine's Day! Love, ________" (A different personal message is welcome as well)
10.   Have children deliver or mail these valentines to family members, friends, and neighbors.
11.   End with the Lord's Prayer

An Option to take the fun a little further out:
a)   Choose two families in your neighborhood or apartment building.
b)   Make Warm Fuzzies for each family and set aside.
c)   On a piece of paper draw a picture of a Warm Fuzzie and hang in a font window of your home.
d)   Make another picture of a Warm Fuzzie and set aside.
e)   On an index card write:
"We give this Warm Fuzzy to freely so you know that you are loved. Place this picture in your window so the Love can be seen by others. Read the Warm Fuzzy story as a family. Then create your own Fuzzies, copy the story along with these instructions and give them to two more families in our neighborhood without getting caught. Let's spread Love everywhere!"  Set aside.
f)    In a small bag place:
            two pom poms,
            two sets of googlie eyes,
            the card and picture as described above,
            a copy of the Warm Fuzzy story for each family
            a copy of the instructions
g)   Fasten bag together and place the Warm Fuzzie you made for the family on top of the bag.
h)   At dusk walk to your neighbors' homes, ring the bell, and leave the Warm Fuzzy package on their doorsteps without getting caught!
i)    Look for Warm Fuzzie photos in neighborhood windows and see how many Warm Fuzzies can be spread in thanks to you and the power of God's LOVE!