Monday, January 28, 2013

February 2013 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Earth image courtesy creative commons license by Beth Scupham July 2012

Monthly Theme: The Earth Was Created for Heavenly Father’s Children
Monthly Scripture: "We will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" Abraham 3:24–25

Week 1 Jesus Christ created the earth under the direction of Heavenly Father.
* Matt & Mandy are a favorite part of The Friend at our home. HERE is one of their cartoons that talks about the creation and how it is a miracle. It would be a nice attention activity to introduce the week's sharing time theme.

* HERE is a felt board of the creation. It's from The Friend and entitled, "The Creation, Each Day a Gift". You could have 6 boxes wrapped nicely with a felt piece in each one. Ask children to talk about how each part of the creation was a gift.

*After you go over the account of the creation, play a game of charades! A primary friend has to act out one of their favorite creations while the others raise their hand and then guess!

* This could be a good follow up after you've gone over the account of the creation for SENIOR PRIMARY. I based all questions off of Chapter 7 of Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual.

*Break out some play dough and let children share what their favorite part of the creation is.

* Invite a couple members to sing "For the Beauty of the Earth,” Hymns, no. 92. After they sing, have them share a photo of something The Lord has created that they are very grateful for.

* There is a TV commercial (that I would never show the primary, but I would discuss) that has a man in nature. He is breathing the fresh air and climbing a mountain with the city in the back. He smiles and asks, "What more could I need?" Then he thinks about a certain TV show, and another one, and another one... pretty soon he is running back to the city where the ending shot is him super happy on his couch with a remote control in hand.
Ask the primary children the following questions. First off, what do you think about this type of commercial? How does it make you feel? Why would it be more important to enjoy the creations of Heavenly Father rather than watching TV?

Since the world thinks TV is more important than nature, take a posterboard and draw an outline of a TV. Cut out the middle so a child's face can be seen behind it. Divide the children into groups and ask the children to come up with commercials to teach the world about the creation and why we should enjoy it!

Week 2 The Fall was part of God’s plan.

* What do you personally know about The Fall?? HERE is a good read for preparation this week! Also from Preach My Gospel is the suggestion:
"When first teaching this doctrine, do not teach everything you know about it. Explain very simply that God chose two of His children, Adam and Eve, to become the first parents on earth. After their transgression they were subject to both sin and death. By themselves they could not return to live with Heavenly Father. The Lord spoke to Adam and taught him the plan of salvation and redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ. By following that plan, Adam and his family could have joy in this life and return to live with God (see Alma 18:36; 22:12–14)." (Lesson 2)

* Do you have a child that belongs to you in primary? Invite your own child to fall back and you catch them. What would happen if you weren't there to catch them? Heavenly Father knew that Adam would fall and He provided Jesus to be our Savior.

* HERE is a wonderful visual. It's an article by Sister Esplin and an account from President Hinkley. After sharing with the children, give them 10 strips of paper. Have them work in partners to come up with 10 facts about The Fall. If they need help, send them to the Bible Dictionary!!! Afterwards, they can glue stick the strips together to make a chain!

* Ask a primary friend how they got into the primary room. Did they walk through the doorway? Who else in the room did so? Could we get into the room without the door? (Someone is going to bring up the windows... they just are. Be prepared. Counter back with, who would want to break a window to God's house and get hurt!!) Just like it was necessary for us to walk through the door to get to primary, The Fall was a necessary and very important part of God's plan!!

* Bring in a basket of things that give you lots of joy!! Have questions, songs and scriptures having to do with the fall attached to the items. Invite a primary friend to come up and choose one of your favorite things. Explain that the only reason we are able to have these things that make us happy, is because of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior! Invite the children to draw a picture of one of their favorite things and copy the scripture below it!!
“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Ne. 2:25).

Week 3 I have been sent to earth to gain a body and to be tested.

* Bring in some measuring tools. Does anyone know how long a piece of paper is? What about the length of a primary friend's nose? We need a ruler, right?!?! How do we measure flour for a recipe? Is it important to measure? A little bit of a deeper question is, how do we measure knowledge? We cant put knowledge in a glass cup? If you are taught all about foxes and read 20 books about them.... how would a teacher measure how much you learned? A test!!! Heavenly Father sent us to earth to gain our body and measure how much we would learn and be obedient! In the pre mortal world we listened and prepared, now is our time to measure up!!
*  Display a picture of a human heart: "Have you ever thought to be thankful for your heart? Look at the job it’s doing. It’s pumping enough fluid every day to fill a railroad tank car, about 2,000 gallons (7,570 liters). Inside the heart are four sets of valves that open and close 100,000 times a day, more than 36 million times a year, and they don’t break. No man-made material—paper, plastic, metal, or steel—can open and close that many times, with that frequency, without breaking. Every organ in the body is so well designed and so marvelous in its function" Elder Russell M. Nelson Focus on Values Liahona Feb.2013
    Have about 15 paper hearts. On the back put different "tests" we might face in life. Invite a child to come up and pick a heart. They will have to say one thing they are grateful for about their body and then act out what they would do in that "test". For example: You are at school. A bully is picking on another student. What would you do?
    Our bodies are a miracle. Let's make sure we use them the best we can so we can return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus.
* What is earth life all about? This is more for Senior Primary. Have a picture of the earth cut up in 7 different puzzle type pieces. Have the following scriptures from Preach My Gospel, one on each piece:
Give a puzzle piece or two to each class. Once they have looked it up together, invite a primary friend to explain what their scripture talked about and put their piece on the board, trying to fit the puzzle together.

* Play a game of "My body can do that!" Of course, be sensitive to your primary needs!!! If you have a friend in a wheelchair or other special needs, DON'T PLAY THIS GAME. You don't want them to ever feel bad for something they don't have control over. Life is hard enough without common sense of teachers!!!
     With that said, the game is pretty simple.
----Can your body stand on one leg and put it's ring finger on the top of it's left ear?
----Can your body click it's heels 3 times, knees 3 times, elbows 3 times and nod 5 times?
----Can you roll your hands then quickly put them behind your back touching your pointer fingers?
    Why are we here on earth? Call on a primary friend who is REVERENTLY (it's OK to giggle, but it's not OK to be falling to the ground like a laughing hyena!) playing the game to look through the room for hidden papers about our life on earth. Once they read the paper, and answer a simple question about it, have them come up with something for My body can do that! Topics for the pieces of paper can be found from Preach My Gospel:
" - Our purpose in life is to find lasting peace, joy, and happiness as families and to prepare to return to live with God.
- We came to the earth to be tested (see Abraham 3:24–25).
- We gain a body of flesh and bones, but we are subject to physical death.
- God gives commandments. If we obey, we are blessed. If we disobey, we sin and receive the consequences.
- All sin must be paid for, either by ourselves or by Christ (see D&C 19:15–20).
- We make choices, and we all commit sin (see Romans 3:23).
- We have experiences that bring us happiness and also sorrow.
- We cannot overcome either physical or spiritual death without Christ."
Ask simple questions after they read the paper. (If they can't read, you say it and they repeat it!)
For example, Our purpose in life is to find lasting peace... what does that mean? What is something we can do to prepare to return to live with God?

* "Wow! That's amazing!! Game" Give everyone in primary a fascinating fact about the body. Give them about 3 minutes to reverently walk around the room and share their fact with others. If a primary friend can't read, walk up to someone who can!!! Invite friends to return to their seat and share a few amazing facts!!
Did you know the brain doesn't feel pain? Sneezes are faster than 100 MPH?!?!
Click HERE for more facts.
Wow! That's amazing!!!!! It's also amazing that Heavenly Father and Jesus love us so much. Invite primary friends to share times in their life when they've been "tested" and have succeeded with the help of Heavenly Father. To get thoughts started... has anyone ever had a rough day at school or had a time at home when they were tempted to do something and chose the right? Wow! That's amazing!! As children share, repeat some of the things they've said. Make sure everyone is listening while another child speaks!

Week 4 If I keep the commandments, I can live with Heavenly Father again.

*    From Gospel Principles Chapter 35, "
When Jesus was on the earth, a lawyer asked Him a question:      “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:36–40).From these scriptures we learn how important it is for us to love the Lord and our neighbors. But how do we show our love for the Lord? Jesus answered this question when He said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father” (John 14:21)." 
     Divide the primary into small groups. Give each group a heart. Have them come up with a way to show love for Heavenly Father and write down on the heart what commandment they are keeping. Have them come up with a way to act it out and have the primary then guess what commandment is on the heart. For example: A group of children kneel down in a circle together. On their heart they put family prayer!

* Similar to the Sharing Time Outline: What are some rules you have at home? School? What about traffic rules... is it good to drive through red lights? Did you know Joseph Smith had a rule?
    The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 160) 
    Have a couple paper bag puppets of examples from the scriptures who kept the commandments and some who didn't. Have children choose a puppet, put it on and briefly tell how that person did or didn't keep the commandments. What was their rule- The Lord commanded and I did it or I choose the wrong? Have paper bags for the children to make into themselves. Does anyone have a story they can share with their own puppet of a time they kept the commandments? Have them share. Bear testimony that if we follow the wise counsel of Joseph Smith's rule.... does anyone remember? That's right... when the Lord commands, do it! Then we will be able to live with Heavenly Father again.

* Have little envelopes with bows or if you want to be fancy, wrapped boxes. You'll need 11 total. In each box you will need to put one letter of the words ETERNAL LIFE. Invite children to come up and talk about different commandments The Lord has given us. Let them unwrap and put the letter on the blackboard. Invite the children to figure out the right order of the letters to find out what we can have if we keep the commandments!!
The Lord counsels us, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7)
* Invite 2 children up front. Tie one of their feet together, like a 3 legged race. Have them work together and walk across the room. When you tied their legs together did the other person HAVE to move their foot when the other person moved their foot?
D&C 82: 10 "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."
When we keep the commandments we're bound to get to heaven!!!

* HERE is a coloring page for younger children. It's always a great idea to review stories from the scriptures. Primary friends could easily act out the different ways Nephi kept the commandments!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Roll a Dice: Snowman Music Idea for LDS Primary

Here is a SIMPLE music idea!! 
What you'll need:
A die
Chalk & Eraser
Printed Out Game Sheet below
You can sing songs having to do with the week's theme. Invite a primary friend who was doing a great job singing to come up front and roll a die. On the first roll, that primary friend will draw a body corresponding to the number they roll on the chalk board. Sing another song! Invite another friend to roll the die and they will draw the corresponding face to the number they roll since they are second. 
It doesn't have to stop at one snowman! Build as many as you like.

This could also make for a simple Family Home Evening. Prepare some questions on any gospel topic you want. After a family member answers the question they roll the die and draw.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 2013 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Christina, a child of God. One of the most beautiful He ever created!
Of course, I am pretty partial!
Monthly Theme: I Am a Child of God, and He Has a Plan for Me
Monthly Scripture:  "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" Romans 8:16

Week 1 God is my Heavenly Father. He knows and loves me.

* Have a child pick up a stick at one end and lift it in the air. Did the other end lift up too? It sure did! Flip it and lift up the other end.

“We are the children of God. That doctrine is not hidden away in an obscure verse. It is taught over and over again in scripture. These clear examples are from the Bible:

“‘All of you are children of the most High’ (Psalm 82:6).
“And: ‘We are the offspring of God’ (Acts 17:29).

Doctrinal truths are interrelated. There is an old saying that if you pick up one end of a stick, you pick up the other end as well. If you concede that we are His children, you must allow that God is our Father” (President Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 82; or Ensign, Nov. 1984, 66–67).

* Have a volunteer come up front and start counting the number of hairs they have on their head.
Ok. If they can't count how many they have, at least tell us how many they have. They don't know?
Yet Heavenly Father knows!

D&C 29:25 "And not one hair, neither mote, shall be lost, for it is the workmanship of mine hand."
Matthew 10: 30 "30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

He knows us better than we know ourselves!!! Isn't that love... He wont even let a single hair of ours be lost!! Have a basket of things we use to do our hair- brush, comb, blow dryer, mousse, hair spray, bows, pins, gel.... Invite children to come up and choose an item. On it have questions, scriptures & songs about Heavenly Father for them to answer.

* Have some pictures of space. Ask the children if they have ever been star gazing. Invite a few to share their experiences. How did they feel? What was it like? Where did they go?

President Uchtdorf wrote a fabulous talk found HERE.
This quote especially applies:
"My dear brothers and sisters, it may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember—you matter to Him! Brothers and sisters, the most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love.
God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him. "
Invite children to draw pictures of themselves with Heavenly Father. Invite older children to write down things they would like to do with Heavenly Father or things they would like to talk with Him face to face. Remind the children that while we might not see Him face to face in this life, He will surely answer our questions we bring to Him in prayer!

* Write the following numbers on the board:
Does anyone have any clue why I'd write these on the board? What do you think these LARGE numbers might mean?
Well, according to google, the first number is how many people live on earth right now.
The second number is how many people live in America.
The third number is how many people live in Sparks, NV. (You can easily replace this number with how many people live in your city)

Is that a lot of people? If everyone in the world had a bottle of root beer and we sang that song backwards- 7,056,966,724 bottles of root beer on the wall... how long would it take for us to sing until we hit 1 bottle of root beer on the wall?? Probably a gazillion years!!!!! It's a huge amount of people on earth!!! And yet Heavenly Father knows EVERY SINGLE one of His children. Not to mention all those that have passed away before us!!!

Alma 26:37 "Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."

Week 2 & 3 Heavenly Father’s plan is a plan of happiness.

* What is the purpose of life? You can adapt THIS IDEA by taking a life cereal box, filling it with certain colored pom-poms and then having the children choose one from the box and talk about that part of the plan of salvation.
Blue- Pre Mortal World
Red- Earth Life & Repeat John 17:3
Orange- Spirit World
Green- Judgement & Kingdoms of Glory

* Here is a great video. It is pretty fast paced, but the visuals are really fun and neat!

* HERE is a lesson from The Friend with visuals. I like the way it talks about maps. I would have a treasure map up front marked with hidden clues to the plan of salvation. I would cut up the pictures provided there for the clues. When they use the map and find the picture, we’d read the scripture and decide what part of the plan it is. Put all the pictures in order on the chalk board up front. What is the treasure? Our knowledge of the truth of the plan of happiness!

* HERE is another lesson from The Friend. It has a plan of happiness booklet the children can put together. Also a great idea of having stations to demonstrate the plan of salvation.

* HERE is a very simple diagram of the plan of salvation from The Friend. I really think children are capable though of understand a little bit more about the plan. For senior primary, a more in depth version of the plan can be found at
I really like it because it’s thorough, especially the scriptures on the bottom!! I feel like it’s important to teach children exactly what happens when they die. One thing to note is that the spirit world is actually located on the same world as mortality.
(President Brigham Young said: “Where is the spirit world? It is right here” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 376). And another tid-bit I added a box for the words partial judgement before spirit world. (Alma taught that when we die our spirits are assigned to a state of happiness or of misery (see Alma 40:11–15).)

I created a quiz version for children to fill out based on the

 Some recycled ideas from previous posts:

* HERE is an Ensign Article on how the Apostles suggest we teach our children about the plan of salvation. Definitely suggest you read it and pray over what they suggest to do!

* Have a small box of Lincoln logs. Invite a child to come up and build a house. Ask them questions like, why don’t you put the green roof sticks on the bottom? Why do you put long logs on the bottom and shorter ones on the side? How will you make room for windows? How long will it take you to finish? Thank the child and ask if anyone has ever built a real home or knows what goes into building a real home? Show a picture of a real house. Do they just stop by home depot with $100 and window shop for things that look good or do you think they make a list of supplies they need? When you build a real home do you need a plan? What is a plan? What is Heavenly Father’s plan for me?At the end of the lesson, come back to the idea that you are grateful Heavenly Father took the time to carefully think out each piece of our lives (hold up Lincoln logs). He didn’t throw us together and hope for the best, but He perfectly designed (hold up a picture of the real home) a plan that would bring us happiness.
There are actually a bunch more, all you have to do is click on plan of salvation on the left under labels.

Week 4 I have agency, and I am responsible for my choices.
* "There is a story told of an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil: he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good: he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person too.”

wolf’s head, half dark and half light
Illustration by Allen Garns

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”By Elder Shayne M. Bowen (From the Sept. 2012 New Era)
Have 2 baskets. Put a picture of the wolf on each one, but label one “BAD” and the other “GOOD”. Have about 30 strips of paper cut individually. On them write things that would be either feeding the “bad” or the “good”. Pass out the strips of paper and let the children come up, one at a time, and share where they think it should go. A couple examples could include: “Dressing immodestly.” Or “Going to the temple often”

End with the question the grandson asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” and bear testimony we need to make choices that will always feed the good and help us return to Heavenly Father!!

*HERE is a crossword puzzle for the 2nd article of faith. You could easily break into groups to do.
*HERE is a Sharing Time from The Friend on choices and accountability. I like the idea for younger children where they draw a picture of a smiley and frowny face. You then give them situations and they have to hold up what feeling you’d get in consequence to the choice.

*Take a piece of masking tape and make a road from the door to the front. At the front of the room, make a fork in the road with one piece of tape leading to one side and another piece leading to the trash can.

2 Nephi 2:27 "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”

Using examples from the scriptures, let children walk the path and determine whether that example from the scriptures chose the path of liberty & eternal life, or the path of captivity and death. Examples could include:

Nephi gets the brass plates
Laman & Lemuel tie up Nephi on the ship to America
Enos prays for forgiveness and to know how to help his people
King Noah refuses to listen to Abinadi
The Nephites shoot arrows at Samuel the Lamanite

Invite the children to share an example from the scriptures you haven’t mentioned and then walk the path! What about in our own lives? Make up some scenarios and let the children follow the path. This could include:
I refuse to help out with family home evening
extra chores to help out my mother
I cheat on tests at school to get the best grade
I read my scriptures and pray daily

*Have a candle that is NOT lit. Ask a child to come up front. IF the candle was lit and they put their finger by the flame, what would happen? They would get burned!! Our choices always have consequences!! And we don’t want our choices to hurt us, we want them to help us!