2. Alchemy of the Heart (Ages 6 to 10) Lesson 2

Stretching Muscles

Overview of Lesson 2 for Children Ages 6 to 10

  • You can learn to love more
  • Love more by opening your heart
  • When someone needs help, do something

MUSIC:  Harp music, such as: Bridget Cruise/Jon O’Connor/George Brabazon Celtic Treasure:The Legacy of Turlough O’Carolan, Narada Collection Series.

CHAPTER: Stretching the Muscles of the Heart from Lesson 1, Section 3.


  • Pink index cards (the ones used in lesson 1 and enough extras to make duplicate cards)
  • Crayons and colored pencils

Note: There are a number of sections in these lessons that include discussion with your child. Discussion is a time for reflection. There are no right answers or wrong answers. The purpose of discussion is to provoke thought and gently lead your child into more practical and spiritual ways of thinking about life.

Learning to Love More

There was once a little girl who was in 4th grade. There was a boy in the class that nobody played with. He was very pale and his lips were a little blue. He never ran around on the playground and people in his class ignored him and played their games. During class time everyone knew he was very smart because he always knew the answer when the teacher called on him even though he never raised his hand.

The little girl decided to go sit with him one day at recess. His name was Randy. Her friends teased her about liking the blue-lip boy and she almost decided not to go sit with him. But she knew in her heart that he needed a friend and no matter what her friends might say, she wanted to sit with him, day after day. She chose to open her heart to this lonely little boy instead of close it. He was very nice to talk to and invited her to his birthday party.

On a beautiful spring day, just before school got out, the little girl attended Randy’s party. The little girl saw that she was the only child from their class, but it was fun anyway. 

After they had cake and ice cream, Randy’s mother came over to talk to her. Randy’s mother thanked her for coming and told her that Randy had a heart condition and that is why he could not play outside. She also said that Randy would probably not live very long and that having her for a friend meant a great deal to him. She was very glad the little girl had become Randy’s friend. The little girl was glad too. She had a hard time understanding that he might not live very long.

After summer vacation, the little girl went to fifth grade and immediately looked for Randy. She was hoping they could still be friends. He was not there. She asked her teacher and her teacher told her that Randy had died during the summer.

The little girl knew that because she had opened her heart, she had given Randy a few months of special friendship. She also knew that it was because of him that she had learned to open her heart and love more. She remembered him many times as she grew older.

How Saint Francis
Learned to Love More

Saint Francis, who lived nearly 800 years ago, is known and loved by millions around the world for his loving heart. He loved all of God’s creation so much that birds and animals came around him as he sang to them and gave them food.

Long ago, when Saint Francis lived, there was a terrible disease called leprosy. Leprosy causes the skin to become very sick, turning white and sometimes coming off in patches. It is not pleasant to look at and it is contagious so people with leprosy were usually kept separate from the rest of the people in their town. People with leprosy were called lepers.

Saint Francis, born the son of a wealthy man, was terrified of lepers. One day as he rode his horse along a path, he saw a leper. He wanted to turn his horse and ride away as fast as he could. But he could not. He had learned to love God very much and he suddenly realized he could not say he loved God and turn his back on any part of God’s creation.

So he stopped his horse and overcame his desire to run away. He gave the man some money and then he gave the man a hug and a kiss on the cheek. You can imagine the man must have felt so grateful since most people turned away and would not even look at him.

Francis wrote about that day later in his life. He said it was a turning point in his life and after that, things that had seemed impossible to overcome became easy and even pleasant for him. He had learned to love more than he ever believed possible and it have him great joy inside. 

Maybe there is someone in your life who is like Randy or the leper, someone who needs you and your loving kindness. Have the courage to open your heart and try being kind.

 Don’t just think about it, do it!

 Have you ever been on the playground when someone fell and hurt themselves? They don’t need you to ask them if you can do anything for them. They need you to help them up or get a wet paper towel to wipe their cut.

It is the same is someone is feeling sad. They may or may not want to talk about it. Maybe they just need you to go give them a big smile or a hug or tell them a joke.

Practice giving more of yourself whenever you see someone in need.

Activity 1: Opening Your Heart

Think of someone in your life that

might need a little extra kindness.

Think of something nice you can do for that person.

Activity 2: How to Love More

Draw a picture or act out a scene
of someone opening their heart
and being kind to someone
everyone else is ignoring.

Activity 3: "Go Love!" (A Version of "Go Fish")

Make a duplicate set of the index cards you and your child made of the qualities of love in lesson 1, so you have two of each. Children may wish to decorate the back of the cards like a regular deck of cards.

Shuffle the cards and deal four cards to each player. Put the remaining cards face-down in a pile to draw from. The object of the game is to match pairs of qualities of love. If you have a matching pair, lay it down and share a story of that quality of love. Then ask the other player for a card that matches one of the cards that you have in your hand.

If the player does not have the card, the player says “Go Love,” the player draws another card from the pile and the play goes to the next person. Take turns selecting cards from one another’s hand. Whenever a player gathers a matching pair, that person tells a brief story about that particular quality of love. The game is over when all the cards are matched.

Lesson 1   |   Lesson 2   |   Lesson 3  |   Lesson 4   |   Lesson 5   |   Lesson 6