Sunday, June 28, 2009

Candyland The Spiritual Version?: Family Home Evening Idea

My little ladies LOVE to play candyland. So I decided to make a "special" version, one that is sweetness for the soul. I used one sheet of posterboard and markers. I also drew on a few of our candyland cards for the "special" cards and will use the color cards and people markers when we play. (I was going to attach our faces to the people markers if I can find small enough pictures, to make it more personal!)

I started out with the pre-mortal existence and a sign with an earth and baby on it that says "birth".

The "special" cards of the game include:

* CTR (which when chosen you SING Choose the Right) There is a special fruit and CTR shield tree with the scripture 3 Nephi 14:20 "Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them."

* Temptation Tower (Lose a turn! Yuck!) There is a tower with windows with things that tempt us. The scripture is 2 Nephi 4:27 "And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?"

* Baptism by Water (SING Baptism)
* Baptism by Fire
The scripture that goes along with these 2 are Mormon 7:10 "...If it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen."

* Heart (SING I love to see the Temple) There is a picture of a temple.

There is a "prophet's path" that if you land on a certain spot will skip you forward lots of spaces. (If landed on SING Follow the Prophet)

Before you can receive eternal life you have to choose a red card twice (because the last 2 spaces are red). This is to help us remember the atonement of Christ is the reason we can have eternal life.

Talk throughout the game! Ask questions! Let the children say whatever they are thinking about! Have fun!

The game isn't complete until the entire family has eternal life!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fear Not: Family Home Evening Idea

(Sorry the picture's a little blurry! Having too much fun to pose for the camera!)

Scripture: Isaiah 41:10, 13 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."

Song: 2nd Verse of How Firm a Foundation
Activity: Role play the 3 Billy Goats Gruff. Video tape your performance!
What are things we are afraid of? Should we be afraid though?
Point: Just like the Big Billy Goat's brother saved his family, so will our elder brother Jesus Christ save us! We never have to be afraid because He is with us.
Additional Scriptures:
* Psalms 34:4 "I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."
* Luke 12:32 "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
* Deut. 31:6 "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
* 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear..."
Aren't familiar with this story? Trip Trap Here and read the Norway version.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stick to the Basics

(Am I saying going out and buy this to use for primary? ABSOLUTELY not. Read on Brothers and Sisters. Read on.)

Recently I received a comment (in response to June sharing time helps week 1):

Anonymous said...
"be careful bringing something commercial, the Fisher Price Noah's Ark set into Primary...we need to use materials provided and approved by the Church...just something to consider, not reprimanding, just stick with the basics"
June 13, 2009 11:47 AM
Exactly! We need to stick to the basics. I think sometimes we can get "too into" the presentation and set-up of a lesson instead of sticking to the basics. So what are those basics?
These are 3 questions I ask myself when thinking up "starting points" for other people to expand upon. I want you to know that I pray... a lot. I have a simple prayer and that is to be able to make a difference in children's lives and help whoever I can, myself included, be closer to our Father and Jesus Christ.

1. Is the lesson Christ centered?
2. Will this lesson set up an atmosphere for the Holy Ghost to teach and testify?
3. Do these follow church rules and do I feel correct in posting them?

Again, I go to President Boyd K. Packer. "We all have the right to inspiration and revelation, and oh, how we need it in this world, especially in the great challenge of raising a family... I've always felt that the ultimate end of all of the activities and programs of the Church rests in a man and a woman and their family being happy at home." (Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting Building Up a Righteous Posterity 2/9/08 pages 4-9)

That is basic! And couldn't be more well put! But yet he continues so profoundly (emphasis added), "All of the activities of the Church are calculated to strengthen the family... Sometimes we may move a little away from our position of supporting families to having the families responsible to support the church."

Anonymous has a very good point about "being careful... using materials provided and approved by the church". Veggin' out to Veggie Tales during sharing time is not the best use of time. If there is any question about visual aids, GO TO YOUR PRIESTHOOD LEADER. That's what all the leadership manuals say.
At the same time the manuals also say use a VARIETY of teaching methods. A 3-D object that you have lying around the home or (know someone who does) is perfectly fine to use, in my opinion... as long as focus is kept on the weekly principle from the sharing time outline. In one manual (full link found here) it says, "What ordinary objects can you use to help class members better understand gospel principles?"

We will always have to work with people whose opinions differ. When we stick to the basic principle of what the organization of primary is for... to strengthen families (I heart Boyd) then these differences won't matter much. When we align our wills to that of the Father everything will turn out OK. He will inspire us. He will guide us. (Of course, we need to be doing all that He asks to be doing... REGULAR scriptures, prayer, temple attendance...) Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't nit pick... especially each other and the children. Love your God and love the children. That is sticking to the basics.
** Also, just as a personal philosophy in life. If you're going to say something (And I quote James Brown) "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud." Speak your mind, say who you are and let the record stand. Can I get an amen? Happy Juneteenth a little early everyone! **

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

August 2009 Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

The Road to Eternity image courtesy creative commons license by dkzoffy March 2008

Month Theme: Temple blessings unite families.
Month Scripture: “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever
thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

Week 1 The temple is the house of God.
* There are flannel board cut outs you can order here or get from your library. There are different homes. Talk about the people that live in the different homes, where the homes are located, what people do in their homes, etc. Then of course have the Temple which is the house God.
*Panel Discussion. Invite a few Young Men and Young Women to come in and share an experience of when they've been to the temple to do baptisms. Let the children ask them questions. Ask the panel members to describe what the temple is like and how it made them feel to enter.
* Make a path on the chalkboard with the temple at the end. Have a paper child that can move a space on the path according to the roll of a large paper made dice (with numbers 1-6). Have another paper dice with sides like ?, song, scripture, compliment a primary friend, stretch!!... etc. It's like a big board game. They have to roll the dice and do what it says to move the child to the temple. Make up questions, songs and scriptures having to do with the weeks theme.
*Just as an added suggestion to what they have listed in the sharing time outline for this week I would have children draw pictures of what they think the inside of a temple might look like.

Week 2 I will prepare now to go to the temple.
* Have the Bishop come in if he has time and share with the children some of the questions he asks for people to get their temple recommend."Every member who wants to go to the temple, regardless of age, needs to prepare for this sacred experience." Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "See the End from the Beginning," Ensign, May 2006, 44
* Put your temple recommend in a package of sorts. Have the children try to guess what is inside. Hints could include: It's something money can't buy and more precious than anything money could buy. It's smaller than my shoe. I need it as much as I need water. I have to prepare diligently to receive it. Once they guess, read the following:
"I urge our people everywhere … to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein” (Gordon B. Hinkley“Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 53).
* Have a bunch of paper stand up figures (teaching no great call page. 176). Make figures that you would take preparing for a camping trip and on the backside pictures of how to prepare for the temple. Just like we wouldn't go out into the wilderness unprepared we don't go into the temple unprepared! For example... On one paper stand up figure you could have a picture of the tent. Turn it around and have a picture of the church. The shelter of the church and security of the sacrament and attending our meetings helps us prepare for the temple. On another have a picture of a campfire or matches and on the other have the words HOLY GHOST. We need a campfire to stay warm and we need the Holy Ghost to burn inside us and strengthen our testimonies of the temple. Also, don't feel like you need to explain everything... have the children come up with analogies of why they think that picture would be on the back or why you'd need that for camping.
* President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:"The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. Curiosity is not a preparation. Deep interest itself is not a preparation. Preparation for the ordinances includes preliminary steps: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, a maturity and dignity worthy of one who comes invited as a guest into the house of the Lord” (“The Holy Temple,” Tambuli, June 1992, 17). **As a side note, I heart Boyd. He is my absolute favorite and if you haven't read The Holy Temple... go! Do!**

Have stepping stones with the words faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, dignity - leading to a picture of a temple. Make up case studies of children preparing for the temple and then invite a child to come and point to what stepping stone the case study focuses on.

* Invite a child to come up to the front. Give them a copy of the book War and Peace (Or some big book) Tell them you'd like them to give a 10 minute book report about this book. They can't do it? Neither could I! If we aren't prepared then things are NOT going to happen! We need to prepare for the temple so that it is the best experience of our lives!

*Good coloring handout to take home for this week found HERE. Scroll to the very bottom!

Week 3 My family can be together forever through the ordinances of the temple.

* Have a child come up to the front and invite them to take a picture of the primary. What? They don't have a camera? Take a fake picture then. Click. Next. Invite another child to come up and take a picture, this time using a real camera. Show the children how the camera has taken a picture (I assume everyone has digital these days...) The ordinances of the temple are like having a camera, it's real and makes it so our family can be forever. Everything else and other thoughts/rituals of men are fake and will produce nothing because they don't have the camera! They don't have the ordinances of the temple.
* Have family, together forever, ordinances and temple scrambled on the board. Have the pianist play Families Can Be Together Forever while they come up and unscramble the words. Little ones can do this with the help of older children! Divide the primary into groups and have the groups come up with other words that have to do with temples. Invite them to come up to the front and write their word scrambled for the other groups to figure out. Have plenty of pictures to display in case they go along with the word the group chose.

* This is an enrichment activity from the Primary 1 manual (Lesson 26: Families Can Be Together Forever,” 84)
"Help the children understand that forever is a long time. You might tell them that it is longer than the time they have to wait until their birthday or the next holiday; it is longer than the time the oldest person they know has been alive; it is longer than back to the time when Adam and Eve were alive. Explain that forever means that something will never end.
Help the children do the actions to the following verse as you say the words:
How Long Is Forever?
How long is forever (point to head, as if thinking)?
It’s longer than a year (put fist under chin, rest elbow on other hand).
It’s longer than the time it takes (put other fist under chin, rest elbow on hand)
For Christmas to be here.
How long is forever (point to head, as if thinking)?
It’s not too long to spend (shake finger back and forth)
With families that you love (hug self), For it will never, ever end!"
*Bring in 2 mirrors for children to hold. Line them up so the mirrors face each other. Does the reflection ever end? Neither does our family because of the ordinances of the temple. You might need to define ordinance! In the Primary 3 Manuel (“Lesson 35: Temples and Eternal Families,” Primary 3: Choose the Right B, (1994),171) an additional verse to “A Happy Family.” is given. Very fun! "I love Jesus, He loves me. He loves families, yes sirree. We build temples, so you see, We can be together eternally."
*Vicki F. Matsumori (Is she stellar, or is she stellar!), “Sharing Time: Together Forever,” Liahona, Feb 2002, 4–5 is a great link to check out.

Week 4 Family history and temple work bless all the generations of my family.

*Invite a child to come up to the front to give you a hug. Show a picture of someone who has died that you have done temple work for. Just as surely as the primary friend has given you a hug, so will your deceased ancestor give you a hug when you are reunited in heaven!

* Talk about what happens when you throw a rock into a pond. The water ripples on and on and on. Family History and temple work have the same effect of blessing our families. Have a large box of small rocks. Invite the children to come and get 5 each to keep. Have them talk in pairs or groups about family members they love and 5 ways to show love for them. Have questions and scriptures prepared for each group to talk about also.

* Vicki F. Matsumori (Seriously, I wonder if she would ever consider being my best friend.) “Sharing Time: ‘The Heart of the Children’,” Friend, Aug 2002, 36. This has the absolute best ideas ever! Especially #2!! How clever is that to do a pedigree of a scripture family.

* Whisper something into someones ear and then have them repeat it to the next person. See what the message is by the end of 12 primary children. If you had written the message down and passed it around would the message have been confused? Hold up a journal!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

LDS Primary Bulletin Board Ideas 2009

Image courtesy creative commons license by erstwhile ungulate 2/9/07

I received a very nice email and thought I'd share.

" I love LOVE your blog. Thank you so much for all the help and ideas. I was wondering if maybe you could add a section for bulletin board ideas? I find myself in a slump and can't always come up with cute ideas for each monthly theme. Thanks so much for considering." -Sister Bessey, Primary Secretary, Sequim Washington

Wow! How blessed to have a bulletin board! My first thoughts in creating a bulletin board are these:

1. Will this bulletin board strengthen someones testimony in Christ?

2. Think about the children's needs. If you have a child that is ADD and the board is covered in neon patchwork with rotating pinwheels... you probably won't have them singing during singing time... And that's not their fault.

3. Will the bulletin board be an effective teaching tool?

Since the year is almost out, I'll just post a few ideas for July on out and anything extra that comes to mind. I love to see children's work and am not artistic hence most of the ideas rely upon the children. Post scriptures! Be creative! These are just starting points. Pray for help and guidance... it will come!

-July- I will strengthen my family.

* Call up the children and write down their answers to How can I strengthen my family? Type up their answers large enough to read. Post GAK pictures to go along with their answers.

* Have a large milk carton with the letter I on it. Next to it write "Do my family good!" Have milk glasses with responses from the children how they help strengthen their family. Scriptures and pictures of Christ can be put on additional glasses.

* Have different pictures of individuals from the scriptures that strengthened their family. Number them. Have the words Who can strengthen their family? posted. Have a pocket with slips of paper for the children to fill out who they think the individuals are. Also have an 8X10 piece of foil that will show their reflection (or simple hanging mirror)... because they too can strengthen their family!

-August- Temple blessings unite families.

* Have pictures of different parents who were sealed in the temple. (Be careful, you don't want to make any children feel bad!!) Or you could just do pictures of the different primary teachers and presidency members that were sealed there. Have each person pictured write a short testimony statement of how temple blessings have united their families.

* Have some of the older children do FOREVER poems. (Fills a Faith in God requirement) Give them a sheet of paper with the letters FOREVER and they have to start each line of the poem with that letter. (For example... F-Families can be sealed in temples. O-Our Heavenly Father is very happy when we make the choice to go to His temple. R- Reno, Nevada's temple is awesome and the best! Etc.) Post different pictures of different temples.

* Have different members of a family holding a paper chain. Post different scriptures on temples. Have a challenge sign up sheet for the children to sign. The challenge is for them to look up all the scriptures and memorize one!

-September- Prophets teach me how to strengthen my family.

* Have the children draw pictures of their favorite prophet and why!

* Have the children write letters to President Monson on why they love him and what a prophet is. Display the letters and a large picture of President Monson. Then send the letters to him! (For younger children, write what they say and let them sign/scribble their name!)

* Mystery Prophets. Do 2 a week! Cover their picture, read a short blurb/quote on something they have said about families and then reveal during opening/closing exercises.

* Make paper children and write your primary children's name on them. Put a little paper clip on the back. Have them all accessible for the children to interact with. Take a small pole with a paper prophet attached (Like a fishing pole) with a small magnet on back. Have a small path for the prophet to lead the child to a family and temple. While waiting to start primary, children who are being reverent can do this one at a time. Great way to encourage reverence! Of course have the theme and scripture posted too.

-October- “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” teaches me about families.

* Talk to the activity days leader. Have the activity days girls do a simple flower origami project. Display all their flowers and a proclamation. Post the words "Different flowers, Different families... One truth."

* Try to make the proclamation readable to little children! Post the words and pictures for words so the little ones can try! (For example in the May 2009 Friend there is a story on page 37 Jesus Christ teaches at the temple... it's a story but some pictures substitute the words) There is a technical term for this type of reading, but it's not coming to mind. Anyone? Anyone?

* Have a pumpkin family with the theme displayed. Have little pumpkins with quotes from the children about why they love their family.

-November- My family and I can serve others.

* Have a giant turkey. On the feathers write down the children's ideas on how their family can serve others.

* Don't forget the ward family! Have pictures from different auxiliary service projects!! Have a member from that auxiliary write a short blurb on what they did and send you something to put up!

* Make a giant illustration of King Benjamin and a few of his words on service and being children of Christ. Have children who are reverent come up and color the bulletin board while you are waiting to start.

* Have a large paper rake. Make paper leaves and put the children's ideas on different ways their family can serve. Have a paper family that can play in the leaves.

-December- My family is blessed when we remember Jesus Christ.

* Post a variety of pictures of Christ in a neat and orderly way. Post the theme. Simple.

* Have a picture of a child and a LARGE thought bubble. Children that are being reverent can come up and draw or write different ways to remember Jesus in the thought bubble.

* Have the words posted, "Heavenly Father's gift to us. Jesus Christ." then the theme. Have a LARGE picture of Christ. Make square gifts to put up along quotes from the children and children's family on how they remember Christ and blessings that have come from the gospel.

Extra Just for Fun:

* Post pictures and testimony statements from the children on things they've learned from Primary Activity Days.

* Have the children draw pictures to teach the song of the month!!

* Have some older primary children come up with an idea and make the bulletin board to fulfill a Faith in God service or talent requirement.

* Have the articles of faith posted and let the children (And primary workers) who can recite them sign their names by that article! Invite the Bishopric in to see if they can sign by any of the articles of faith.

* Have all the words to the song "I am like a star" posted. Then add stars with the children's pictures on them.

* HERE is a link to sugardoodle for 2009 bulletin board ideas.