I love love love our Primary theme for the year My Eternal Family. Please be sensitive to your children. Know them, talk to them. In our day and age many families are broken and tattered. Please be aware of each child's home situation and pray heavily over these lessons you prepare.
Week 1 Fathers preside over, provide for, and protect the family with love.
* Name that Father! Write the words preside over, provide for and protect the family with love at the top of 3 columns. Underneath have point values like 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 for each category. Do not make it into a competition, just see how many points the primary can earn together. Unity!! And please.... no buzzers. Have children choose a category and point value. Have different scriptural or examples of fathers in your ward/branch for the point values. And you can easily integrate songs about fatherhood by assigning the songs to a point value.
For example: Preside over 300... Try to name this father. He was a righteous prophet who lived in a very wicked Jerusalem. He presided over and LED his family to safety in the wilderness. Some of his children thought he was a visionary man, his other children believed his words and were brought closer to Christ because of him. Lehi!!!
Another example: Provide for 100... Try to name this father. He works very hard saving the lives of people who are in immediate danger. Sometimes work can get very very hot, but he knows that he needs to make sure his family is taken care of. He not only provides food for his family, but makes sure FHE and family scripture study and prayer are regular in his home. That's right... it's Brooke's dad!! What an awesome fireman and dad he is!
Another example: Preside over 200... Aha! You've picked a wonderful song I know My Father Lives!!! Let's earn those 200 points by singing like the tabernacle choir!
(And please be sensitive... if there are children who don't have fathers in the home then I wouldn't do examples of primary children's fathers... I would just stick to the scriptures, modern apostles stories)
* Have a drawing of a body on the chalkboard. Invite a child to come up and erase the head. What would happen to the body without the head? President Hinckley has said, "I plead with fathers to resume their role as head of their homes. Fathers have the basic and inescapable responsibility to stand as head of the family." (Standing for Something pg. 175)
* Have GAK picture 201 (The Nativity) and GAK picture 403 (The First Vision) displayed.
Ask the question, who was the Father of Jesus Christ? How did Heavenly Father and Joseph (as in Mary's husband) preside over (lead/direct), provide for and protect Jesus their son with love?
* Mystery Person. Have this mystery person stand outside the closed door. Give hints and see if the children can guess who it is. The hints would include: This person holds the priesthood. If you have a nightmare, this person can say a prayer with you so you wont be scared. This person works very hard. This person loves his children and loves Jesus Christ. Our primary friends Matt, Newton and Larry can be like this mystery person when they've grown up, served a mission and married in the temple. Our mystery person is..... a father!!!!! Invite the father in to share his testimony of fatherhood.
Week 2 Mothers nurture the family.
* Have a guest come in and sing the 3rd verse of O My Father (Hymns p. 292) Have them listen for the different family members mentioned and to share what they heard.
* "Wives and mothers are the anchors of the family." President Hinckley Standing for Something pg. 176 Have a boat with a family on it on top of the chalkboard. Have a picture of an anchor tied to some string. As the children read scriptures, sing songs and answer questions on motherhood they can move the anchor farther down/deeper in the water.
* Bring in a plant. What does the plant need to live? What will happen if the plant is not taken care of? How do you nurture a plant and help it grow? Invite the children to put some soil in it, put it by a window and add water. We are like plants. Who nurtures and loves us dearly? Our mothers/grandmothers! Send the children home with seed packets to plant with their mothers.
* Dress up a few little girls. While you tell the stories, have the girls act out the stories of Ruth and Naomi, Mary Mother of Jesus and Hannah. Also, I would be sure to mention how when Jesus was on the cross one of the last things he spoke was that John was to take care of his mother. (John 19:26-27)
Week 3 I will obey my parents.
* Lesson 14 in the Nursery Manual Behold Your Little Ones is a great resource for this week's theme. See HERE.
* Blindfold a child. Have one chair and a small table in their pathway. Explain that the primary friend will have to listen very carefully and do exactly as you say so they can safely get across the pathway. We need to listen and do what our parents tell us. Especially be obedient to Heavenly Father's commandments and we will find safety!
* Divide into groups. Pass out different scenarios where a child could make a choice to obey or not obey their parent. What would be the consequences of their choices? Have them come up and act out their situations. You can use examples from the scriptures for them to act out also, for example Alma the Younger rebelled and was visited by an angel. If Alma had obeyed his father then he wouldn't have had the pains of hell. (Alma 36:12)
* Linda Christensen, “I Have a Family Here on Earth,” Friend, May 2008, 14–16 had a wonderful times infinity sharing time activity that could easily be adapted to this theme. On the streamers write ways you can be obedient to your parents. See HERE for this awesome idea of Linda's.
* Sing a Quickly I'll Obey (CS p.197) but change a couple words and ask them to tell you what you sang wrong. For example sing, "When my mother calls me, slowly I won't listen." Sing the right way together. Or "When my father calls me, I wont do that fast." How silly it is if we don't obey our parents!
Week 4 I have many family members who can help me.
* I personally would stick to what was written in the outline for week 4 because it fills a Faith in God requirement!!!
* Bring in a doll. Have children pick other dolls out of a box to see the different members of a family and ward family that can help her. Have questions, songs and scriptures attached to these other dolls. (This could be adapted with paper sack puppets)
* Have a picture of a large family. Ask the children if they have a family like this. What if a person doesn't have a large family? Who would help them? Take a trip with the primary (if you have 100 children in your primary... this probably wont work, sorry) to the gospel doctrine class. Ask the gospel doctrine class by raise of hands if they are family to our primary children and would be willing to help them with whatever they needed. Thank them and be on your way.
* Have some ingredients to make cookies. All these different ingredients help make delicious cookies. So it is with many family members, we can all come together and help each other to make life happy.