Saturday, October 3, 2009

November 2009 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

The young man in the white shirt made my baby a blanket- blue with yellow ducks on it. He spent a lot of time making it. It was crafted with hard work and love. I, as a mother, was beyond grateful to be able to bury my child's body wrapped in the warmth of the Christ-like service of that young man. It wasn't just a blanket... it was safety, it was everything good in this world wrapped around my sweetheart Joe. This young man exemplified walking after the Messiah in true service. You never know how much the things you do will mean to another. And then, as if that wasn't enough, he came with the entire young men's and young women's to clean our backyard even though we weren't in that ward anymore. I would be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity to again thank all my brothers and sisters who have taken the time to serve my family by offering good deeds, words of sincerity, prayers and fasting. I pray every night that God will bless you for the loving kindness you've offered me in my hour of need.

Monthly Theme: My family and I can serve others.
Monthly Scripture: "By love serve one another" Galatians 5:13

Week 1 I am thankful for my family. I will serve them.

* The ward is our family too! Go to the Young Women or Young Men (or whatever auxillary you choose) and as a primary serenade them with beautiful songs. Singing and uplifting the soul is service. Designate one child to ask the young women if there is anything the primary can do to help serve them. If not, then tell them you love them and be on your way to spread more good cheer! Is that someone sitting on the couch in the hallway? Sing on Primary friends! When you get back, ask the children to describe how they felt singing and serving others.

*Teach the children "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" (Hymns 252). Verse 2 says, "The Church has need of helping hands, And hearts that know and feel. The work to do is here for you;
Put your shoulder to the wheel." Have a string stretching tight across the primary room. Have 10 clothes pins attached to it with pictures of different wheels. Have questions, scriptures and songs pertaining to service on the backs. Let the children come up and pick the wheels.

If possible demonstrate the difference of something on wheels verses something without. For example a toy car with wheels will roll farther than a toy car that is missing wheels. Service is like a wheel because it makes the world go round! Service makes living easier and happier for people and just like the car with no wheels, without service you won't get anywhere in life!

* "We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of ourselves--giving of the riches of the heart and mind--and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store." (President James E. Faust, "A Christmas with No Presents," Ensign, Dec.2001, 4) Bring in the wrapping paper, after Christmas clearance bows, tape and scissors. Have children write down some things they can do for their family to serve them. Put the ideas down in an envelope and LET THE CHILDREN wrap the envelope... be sure to have plenty of tape.

* Project WAVE. If you have a smaller primary take a walk outside and every person you see smile and WAVE to! (Set your expectations clearly before you leave- walking slowly, soft voices... etc) Mahtma Gandi said, "You must BE the change you wish to see in the world." (A personal all time favorite quote) Really the whole world is our family, we are all brothers and sisters. What are the small and simple things we can do to make a difference and serve them? Challenge the children when they are in the car running errands with mom or whoever... to try to smile and wave to other people driving! Thich Nhat Hanh once said, "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile and sometimes your smile is the source of your joy."

Week 2 My family will serve others.

* Bring in a small lunch size milk carton, frosting, graham crackers, small candies to decorate... etc. Have little strips of paper with questions, scriptures and songs on service. As the children choose and do the things on the paper invite them to help build a home! Service makes life a little sweeter and my family will serve others!! Joshua 24:15 "Choose you this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

* You be the Judge! Have a black sheet and little gavel for a primary child to dress up as a judge. Give different scenarios for the child to judge if that family (scripture or church history) did a good job serving. For example Nephi had to build a boat... what did his brothers do? Was that a good example of service? Why or Why not? Another example could include the people in the city of Enoch were so righteous they were taken to heaven. How were they a family and what do you think they did to serve each other? You'll need to prepare plenty of questions for the judge and the judge of course can get as much help as he needs from the jury (his primary friends!).

3 Nephi 27:13-15 "I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given you- that I came into the world to do the will of my Gather, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be JUDGED OF THEIR WORKS, whether they be food or whether they be evil- And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be JUDGED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS." Judged of what? Our works! So my family WILL serve others!!

* You are loved! Help the children color and cut out a bunch of hearts and write the words, "You are loved" on them. Have them put into envelopes to give out to random people WITH their family throughout the next week.

* Elder Russel M. Nelson said, "Joy is a journey, not a destination...Today while we are able, we may turn our hearts to parents and predecessors and bless them with our love- AND LABOR."
(The Gateway We Call Death,1995, pg. 106)

Temple work is extremely important and while we as primary children aren't old enough to go inside we can help our parents or older siblings to prepare to attend. We serve our family and our family will serve others! Make little booklets for the children to draw spiritual pictures on. Type out some scriptures for them to cut and paste (or for the senior primary, encourage them to look up and copy scriptures that are meaningful to them) These booklets are for their family members to take to the temple and look at before they enter to help them feel the spirit

Week 3 I can be a good example for my family.

* "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (from Matthew 5:14-16) I was somewhere (of course I can't remember where) but I saw little tea light candles that were flameless. You could turn these little candles on and then hide them throughout the room with questions, songs or scriptures attatched about being good examples. Turn off the lights and let a child go find a candle.

* "Be thou an example of the believers" (1 Tim. 4:12) Have a piece of paper for the children to make poems (this fills a Faith in God requirement) Have them write the letters BELIEVER and incorporate the letters into phrases of HOW or WHY we should be good examples to our family. For example

Baking cookies for my father
Reading scripturEs every night
A good example Loves others
In Every day of their life
Obedience and Virtue
I will always try to show
To my family I love dearly
EteRnally we will grow.
(Sofia Lykes October 2009 Feel free to use this example ONLY after you've tried writing your own poem! :) Who knows, maybe you're the next Frost!! )

* Who are some great super heroes and what makes them great? I've always thought Superman was pretty fly for a guy wearing blue spandex and red underwear over it. I mean really, I wish my thighs looked that good. Super Heroes do good, setting an example for all to follow. Some Super Heroes are fake, but there are some that are very very real! Bring in a "Good Example" cape and gloves for children to wear during a role play situation. Make up different family situations where you can help "save the day" by being a good example. For example, you are at the store with your mother and little brother. You are bored and really want some gum but mother is saying no. What do you do good example you! (Have them pretend like they are pushing a shopping cart and invite another child to play the silent mother who will listen to what the good example has to say)

The greatest Hero of all times and the greatest example of all times is Jesus Christ. Invite a special guest to come to primary and sing "Never a Better Hero" (by Kenneth Cope)

* Make 3 dioramas out of shoe boxes. (Teaching No Greater Call pg. 165) Choose 3 stories from the life of Christ where He showed us His divine example. For example, you could depict the story of when Satan tempted Him after fasting for 40 days. However, leave little things out of the diorama for the children to find and put in and complete the story.

Unless you have a primary with 5 children, you can't bring in shoe boxes for every child to make dioramas of how they can be good examples to their family. However, the primary can make 3-d pop up scenes. Here is a link on how to make the pop-up paper, then just let them create an artwork of how they could be a good example to their family! Just as Jesus is an example to us, we can be examples to our family!

Week 4 I will prepare now to become a mother or father.

* Invite 3 mothers and fathers in from the ward. Divide up into groups and have the children be news reporters! They will interview those people on how and what it takes to be a good mother or father. Have paper microphones (toilet paper roll with a scrunched up paper balled taped on top) for each group to conduct the interview. Have them report their findings with the primary on what they learned. Then switch the tables, have the guest mothers and fathers ask the children on how they will prepare to become great mothers and fathers!

* Make a fake time capsule box. On the box have the quote by President Monson, "Parents, live your lives in such a way that your children will find you an example worthy of emulation."
( Constant Truths for Changing Times, Liahona, May 2005, 21)
Talk about the quote and what it means. I'd be sure to bring up the point not everyone has the greatest parents "worthy of emulation", but YOU CAN BE!!! That's what really matters! What are things the children would put in the time capsule to help them be great parents in the future? Have a large pile of stuff for them to choose from.

With time capsules, you seal it up and bury it, then open in the future. But we're not going to do that today, we'll use the things we put in the capsule NOW to help us prepare to be great mothers and fathers!

* Prepare means to "plan in advance" according to Merriam-Websters Dictionary. Make a giant road map on the blackboard together as a primary. Start with a primary child stick figure at the beginning and have a "great" mother/father stick figure at the end. Have the children come up and draw simple things along the path they need to do to become that in the end.

Alma 7:19 "For I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness; I perceive that ye are in the path which leads to the kingdom of God; yea, I perceive that ye are making his paths straight."

* Have a bowl with all of the children's names folded on pieces of small paper. Tell them in the bowl are some of the names of the greatest mothers and fathers that will ever be!! Sing The Dearest Names (Children's Songbook pg. 208) Invite the children to come to the bowl and draw a name. Then have those 2 children play Name that mother! Name that Father! For example: What were the names of Nephi's parents? What can you learn from Lehi/Sariah to help you prepare to be a mother/father? And of course, have plenty of GAK pictures. I also think it would be appropriate to have the children name other primary friends who'd be good parents and why. Let's build each other up!!

Just as a side note, don't be afraid to ask children hard questions. For example, some parents can't have children... how can they be good mothers/fathers? Some people don't end up married, is that OK? Let them answer and think about these things.


The Fredericks said...

what a sweet boy- I really do feel so sorry for your loss- I will keep praying for you- thank you so much for your blog- I really use it every week- you are a blessing in my life!

Tressa Card said...

I have used your sharing time ideas often and really appreciate all you do for others. I am amazed by your strength. I used to live in Sparks in the highland ranch ward but right now I live in Fernley. We moved because of my husbands job but kept our house out there hoping to return some time soon. I just wanted you to know we all appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog. I would not enjoy my calling as much as I do without your help! Maybe so day we will have a chance to meet and I can thank you in person for all you do!

Melissa said...

I love that boy. I love that you appreciate his sweet service to you and that you bear your testimony. I think of you and your family often and hope that sweet thoughts of your baby Joe fill your heart.

I appreciate these ideas. I'm the chorister right now, but I am going to use some for FHE's. November is the perfect time to get the service ball rolling for the holidays! Thanks!

Michelle said...

My heartfelt gratitude for your wonderful service in sharing your ideas. Without fail they invite the spirit while engaging the childrens'interest and make for a wonderful day of learning in Primary. My love and prayers to you and your family.

beckyandsamfam said...

I look at your blog every month I have sharing time and would be lost with out it. You are truly a dedicated and wonderful woman who I DEEPLY THANK! Deepest and warmest wishes to your family!

Amy Gomez said...

I want you to know that some people in life are blessed with incredible gifts. It is the truly special people that share those gifts with others. Your ideas inspire me, but more importantly, they inspire the 70+ children in our primary. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!

Buffy said...

I just have to say, your are so awesome. I love this blog! You get my sharing time brain jucies going! Thanks for all your hard work and planning!

What A Dish! said...

Thanks again for so many great Sharing Time ideas- your blog is great; so much thought and work goes into it!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Fredericks- Thank you! YOU are a blessing in my life and I appreciate you taking the time to brighten my day. Loss is easier when you know it's only temporary! :)

Sister Card- Next time you are in Sparks, look me up in the phone book (Sofia Lykes) and we'll do art projects with our kids at my house! I hope life is treating you well in Fernley. They should rename it to Fern-lay so you can have it rhyme when you say Hey. Fernley sounds homely. Just not as fun. Anyways, I'm off my rocker. Thank you for your kindness!

Sister Melissa- You are so wonderful. I always enjoy hearing from you. I wish I was in primary with you to see all the wonderful things you do as Chorister!

Sister Michelle- You are an articulate and fine lady. Thank you so much for that thoughtful comment. I hope God sends beautiful butterflies your way because of it!

Sister Becky- I can't keep up with all you wonderful and thoughtful souls! Words fail me! Thank you so much! And deepest and warmest wishes to you and your family too!

Sister Gomez- The Holy Ghost is the one who inspires, I'm just a whacko with too much time on my hands! You are the one who is truly special because you are living your life in a way to channel the spirit so that the primary children can have beautiful experiences at church. Thank YOU for being such an example!

Sister Buffy- I honestly love the name Buffy. It makes me want to do a push up. But I'll eat a kit kat instead because it's easier. You are wonderful and thank you so much for your kindness!

Sister Dish- Thank you! I love your picture looking into the great wide ocean. I wish I could be at the beach :)

The Shields Family.... said...

Ok I have to tell you that you are so wonderful and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to serve in Primary with you!! :-D I use your blog Oh so often!! :-D And just recently gave your web site to our two new councilors!! I also have to tell you I recently shared your story with my husband. I think you must be a wonderful strong women to face your trial with such a wonderful out look!! I know our Heavenly Father is smiling down on you now!! Thank you so much for your service to me and my presidency!!

Fia said...

Aloha Sofia-Just wanted to let you know that I used your idea about being a "Judge" with the judge's robes and everything in sharing time today. It was a hit. Boy did I have an attentive audiene! Thank you for your blog, it is so helpful! Mahalo! Sis. Fia Emerson, Kahuku 2nd Ward Kahuku, HI

Tori said...

I LOVE the Judge idea. I think my little primary will have a great time with this. Thank you for sharing such wonderful ideas.
Also, you and your family are continually in my thoughts and prayers. Your little man is very handsome. All my love. BIG HUG.

Shelly Beth said...

Thank you so much for all the time, effort, and spirit you put into your sharing time ideas. I always come here immediately when I am assigned sharing time and the lessons are always a success. A big thank you and an even bigger hug for everything you do/are! You inspired me with your faith and you are always in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot from Bolivia. You are a great help with my teaching efforts. you are great!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your fresh, wonderful ideas. I come to your site every week to prepare our primary´s sharing time in Germany...usually without a clue of how to approach the theme. Your great ideas bring the topics to life and help me prepare spiritually and touch the children in our ward. Thanks so much for your caring and encouragement, even to people like me who you don´t know. You are making a difference and helping us (half a world away) to feel the Spirit and learn about Jesus Christ´s love for us. :o)