Our Stake asked us for some ideas for leadership training. I thought I'd post my response.
Their questions are in blue and my ideas in black.
Any Sharing Time Thoughts? : I feel like if you are going to do a "game" you should not make it a competition between girls or boys, right verses left hand side... Try to use the whole primary! See how many points you can get as a single body and make sure to praise the children, "Wow. Look at what a great job everyone did working together!" I feel like we should do everything possible to encourage unity.
Any Quarterly Activity Ideas? : The Primary Sharing Time Outline for the year has monthly themes and the following ideas are based off each month's theme.
1. General Conference Review : Have different stations with activities based on talks from general conference.
2. Meet and Greet the Prophets: Have a luncheon where kids come dressed up as different prophets and share their knowledge of those prophets. Play getting to know you games as children have to do it as those prophets.
1. A Loving Home: Let the children role play and record them as they demonstrate what a loving home entails. Divide the kids into groups of 4 or 5 (depending on the # there) and give them costumes and situations. (E.G. It's FHE! show us how a loving home would do a FHE, or It's time to get ready in the morning. How does a loving home work in the morning?) Make sure to have plenty of situations. Encourage kids to be as creative as possible. Show the videos at the end.
2. Gingerbread homes: Help the children create and decorate gingerbread homes (graham crackers and cans of frosting work perfect!) Have a small lesson on what makes a happy home and have a paper for them to contract 3 things they will do to make their home a better place.
1. Go to visit the Reno temple.
2. Family History Day: Have the ward geneaology specialist come in and talk to the children. Have them make a family tree type craft, have the kids do interviews with some of the older members of the ward and scrapbook family pictures. Be creative.
1. Culture Day: Have different stations teaching about different children of the world. Have different food and fun facts prepared and an activity or game for them to play about that different culture.
2. I hope they call me on a mission: Do different games based on missionary lifestyle. (E.g. Scripture reference look up speed challenge, knock on door race- put a door a good ways away and then have them run and come back to tag their partner, 3 legged get to church race, find the investigator- hide and seek)
1. Make sacrament books to help remember baptismal convenants. Have some of the children who have been baptized share their experience.
Look for volunteer opportunities in the area! Schedule leaf rake ups for different members. Find a service project for the children to do!
What are we doing every week to teach scriptures to the kids? Recitation of the monthly scripture found in the sharing time outline. Using scriptures in sharing times as much possible.
What are ways to help the children develop testimonies? :
1. Make sure primary is a place where the spirit can be felt. Primary should have a loving atmosphere and be orderly.
2. Let them share. It's called sharing time for a reason. Adults tend to talk to much, remember you are a guide not a lecturer. Plan ample opportunity for them to share answers to questions or personal experiences. Repeating a little back what they have said validates that you are listening and that what they have said is important.
What are ways to involve children and encourage participation? :
1. Stop talking. Let them talk.
2. Be energetic and excited. You don't have to be irreverant or loud or boisterous. But when they see you are enthused, they will be enthused. You get what you give.
3. Don't put them down. If you are constantly telling them how irreverant they are or how disappointed you are that they can't listen they will believe you. You are the one who needs to learn how to get attention and keep it. Church is 3 hours, don't waste their time by being negative because they will then follow suit. Also, validate their answers to questions... it may not be the right answer, but so what... it's close! You can correct without being negative ( Where did Jesus atone for our sins? Child: Bethlehem! E.g. Wow! What a good memory. Jesus was born in bethlehem! Where did Jesus atone for our sins? Can anyone help? Child: Galilee! You are so smart! That is where Jesus taught during His ministry! He atoned for our sins in a place called the Garden of Gethsemane)
What are ways to prevent misunderstandings, especially for little children? :
1. Watch the words you use.
2. Explain simply.
3. Make things very visual for them. If you have a lesson about Joseph Smith, show them the picture of him, they might be thinking Joseph of Egypt. Always have the GAK (gospel art kit) handy.