Tuesday, August 27, 2013

September 2013 LDS Primary Sharing Time Ideas and Helps

Mormon Helping Hands Alabama from LDS.org Image Gallery

Monthly Theme: I will serve God with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.
Monthly Scripture: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him” D&C 59:5

Week 1 Jesus Christ taught us how to serve others.

* "Jesus Christ taught His followers to give meat to the hungry and drink to those who thirst. His is a gospel that includes taking in the stranger, loving neighbors as self, and visiting those who are sick or imprisoned. He taught that we are to love and care for each other, visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictions, and lift up those whose hands hang down and whose knees are feeble."

This quote is taken from The Humanitarian webpage of lds.org. found HERE. There are quite a few good videos about the service The Church gives throughout the world. It is very humbling to be a part of this great organization. You could easily share a video (watch beforehand!!) and ask the children why we do so much to help others? Because Jesus Christ taught us how to serve others. Read the previous quote to the children, have plenty of pictures, and pause between sentences. What stories do they think of when they hear that sentence? When they mention a story that you have a picture of, have a child come up front and hold it. How does that story make the child feel?

* Matthew 20:27 "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant."
     The words of Jesus, Himself, say that even the greatest must be a servant. The greatest person to ever live was Jesus Christ. Show a picture of Him washing His apostles feet. How was He a servant? How did He serve? Write down short descriptions of stories of Christ serving on post-it notes. Have 3 post-its (or more depending on your primary size) with the same description (for example Jesus heals a blind man or Jesus feeds 5,000) so primary friends can be in small groups. After you pass out the post its, have them find their groups and discuss what happens in the story. You can definitely include scripture references!! After a few minutes, invite the groups up to share how Jesus Christ taught us to serve others. Have pictures children can hold while retelling the story.

* BIBLE VIDEOS!! The Church made them for a reason, so let's use them!! There are many videos about the service Christ gave. Ask the children- How do these events make you feel? Why do you think Christ served others? Can we perform miracles too? Challenge the children to go home and make a list with their families of 20 different ways Jesus served others. If they bring that list next week to primary they can get a surprise!!

* Have the children make paper bag puppets of different people who Jesus served. Brainstorm and list ideas on the chalk board for the children! They could even make a puppet of themselves! Jesus served us by living a perfect life and then sacrificing it for us. Have the children come up front and share as time permits!

* HERE is a link to The Friend of a seek and find picture all about service. I found about 9. Have 9 different scriptures, songs, or questions about Jesus serving others for the children to do after they find a service opportunity in the picture.

Week 2 Prophets and Apostles show us how to serve.

* Invite a special guest, who's dressed for the part, to come in and read Mosiah 2:17-19. Thank King Benjamin for teaching us how to serve!! Next have King Benjamin's garden! It could be a basket of produce or paper pictures of things in a garden. Pass out a couple different garden items to groups of children. Have scriptures or stories about prophets and apostles that served. Have them make a group drawing to illustrate the story, then come up front and share!

* Have a panel of prophets! Moses, Joseph Smith, Peter, and President Monson. Invite 4 men to dress the part and come into primary to share a story or stories of how they served others. Each man will have 2-3 minutes to share! Afterwards, invite the children to ask them any questions they'd like to... the men will have to respond in character! Challenge the children to find at least 10 opportunities to serve others this week.

* Share a few stories of service from the life of President Monson. Then have the children make him a card to brighten his day. We who have been baptized covenant to mourn with those who mourn. Even though it's been a while since his dear wife has died, his heart and life will always be a little sadder until they are together again.
      Here's the address:
President Thomas S. Monson
The Office of the First Presidency
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

* In the last general conference, April 2013, Elder Christofferson said, "The greatest service we can provide to others in this life, beginning with those of our own family, is to bring them to Christ."
HERE is the complete talk.
     Have the children write down their testimony to give to a family member who perhaps doesn't know about Christ. If all their family members believe in Christ, then expand to our friends or neighbors. For smaller children, they can draw a picture and an adult or older child can write for them. Have a special envelope the children can decorate and then write the person's name on they want to give it to.

* In the last general conference- priesthood session, April 213, Elder Uchtdorf said, "As priesthood leaders, we are healers. As fathers, sons, brothers, and husbands, we should be committed and dedicated healers. We carry in one hand a vial of consecrated oil for blessing the sick; in the other we carry a loaf of bread to feed the hungry; and in our hearts we carry the peaceable word of God, “which healeth the wounded soul.HERE is the complete talk.
   While this quote talks about Priesthood, it can also apply to women. The prophets and apostles show us how to serve! Especially in their talks during general conference! What is a committed and dedicated healer? Someone who serves! Have the children trace both their hands on a piece of paper. Elder Uchtdorf talked about carrying in one hand consecrated oil and in the other a loaf of bread. Have the children draw or write on each hand something they can hold to heal, help, and serve others.

Week 3 and 4 When I serve others, I serve God.

*In the October 2011 general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Too often we notice the needs around us, hoping that someone from far away will magically appear to meet those needs. … When we do this, we deprive our neighbor of the service we could render, and we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to serve.” HERE is the complete talk.
     Have a black hat with a bunny rabbit. Sometimes people can wave a wand and make the rabbit disappear. But something more magical and more amazing is service!!! In the black hat, have little acts of service that the children can perform right then and there! Have them come up and choose a paper from the black hat.
     Examples could be smile at someone, say thank to a teacher, tell the primary pianist your favorite song they play so well, give the Bishop a hug, compliment a Primary friend... you could intersperse with scriptures, songs, stories and/or questions about service in the hat too!

* “We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness. … We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.” President Monson “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2009, 86
     Bring in a picture of The Savior with His arms outstretched. We are the Lord's hands here upon the earth! Have cut out construction paper hands. Invite the children to draw or write ways that they can serve others, and thus serve God! Invite them to glue in the shape of a wreath and hang somewhere to remind them this week of all they can do!

* "While driving to the office one morning, I passed a dry-cleaning establishment which had a sign by the side of the front door. It read, “It’s the Service That Counts.” I suppose in a highly competitive field such as the dry-cleaning business and many others, the differentiating factor which distinguishes one store from another is, in actual fact, service.
     The message from the small sign simply would not leave my mind. Suddenly I realized why. In actual fact it is the service that counts—the Lord’s service." President Monson Oct. 2009 The Joy of Service
     Have 2 chairs with a string hanging between each. Have wooden clips and some laundry hanging from the line. What is a dry cleaners? Somewhere they make clothes clean. Invite the children to name ways to serve someone who those clothes on the laundry line would fit... you could have a little sweater for Fido the dog, a baby sleeper, a granny dress, a man's tie, a woman's blouse...etc! Reread the quote at the close of your lesson. It's the service that counts! When we serve others we serve God!
Maybe someone could even help mom with the laundry this week!!
* Are you a BYU alumni? Whip out the old college photos and cougar t-shirts. Briefly tell the children about why you loved going to BYU and some of the blessings of a church education. Share the motto of BYU with the children, "Enter to learn, go forth to serve." What do the children think that means?
    Have pictures of certain jobs. Invite a child to come up front and close their eyes. Invite primary members to give them hints about that job so they can guess. Talk about ways a person in that job would serve. The last one would be a mirror that you reflect on all the children. Their job is to be a special friend and happy soul. We enter school, home, church and many other places to learn... what do we do today to go forth and serve?
* The Apostle Paul admonished, “By love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
Have hidden hearts throughout the room. On the hearts have questions, scriptures and songs about service. Do we serve others with happy hearts or with a sour attitude? Have hearts for children to write or draw messages on for someone who needs a little love. Invite them to hide the hearts where that person can find them!! You could even heart attack the bishop's door quietly if you had time!
* “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:21
     There is so much going on in the world right now! There are plenty of ideas for service.
      Have the children make thank you cards for all the brave fire fighters who are trying to put out the rim fire.
Tuolume County Fire Department
18440 Striker Ct  Sonora, CA 95370
     Send a letter to a soldier!! For more info click HERE
A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861
     Send a note to ward missionaries who are out serving!!
     Are there widows in your ward? Put together a beautiful art portfolio from the kids!
     Is there someone sick in your ward? Have the children write down their favorite jokes or happy thoughts to send to the person!
Remember to be careful, children don't need to sign their full names EVER on notes!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Faith In God... A learning/reflection packet for those new to the program

I love the Faith in God program!! There are great ideas for activities, yet room for creativity and individuality. Everything about it is inspired. On the cover of this packet children can put a picture of themselves.

I've thought very carefully about how to track progress. In the book there are small boxes to check, but those boxes don't tell us what the children did, how the children felt and when they accomplished their activity.

Is tracking that important? I don't know. But I do know that we underestimate the power of reflection. It could be just a few sentences, "I taught a family home evening on prayer. It was fun because we posed my dad in a way NOT to pray and he fell over. It felt nice." Having that record is precious.

The Articles of Faith are meant to be understood. If children take the time to write on Sunday and discuss with family vocabulary, then they are going to get it. Writing is that extra step in confirming what they know. In this program children aren't just supposed to memorize!

I also like a bigger space to write testimony. Usually children's handwriting isn't the neatest and at least with more space it won't be as hard.

I printed and made copies (WATCH THE END!!! The last 6 pages are EITHER for BOYS or GIRLS!!!)

Hopefully, the things the children write will inspire and help them in the years to come. Feel free to mouse over the right corner below, then print. Please do not use for commercial purposes.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Junk you never knew you needed!!! Sing for Junk Singing Time

Summer is full of many fun activities.... one being garage sales!!!!! With garage sales you discover junk that you never knew you needed... for CHEAP!!! The excitement of a bargain!! The thrill of finding!!

True story: 8AM my good lookin' hubby sees a George Foreman grill. This baby could get 10 steaks on it! It was huge!! I didn't know where on earth we would put it. They wanted $7. My husband only had $5 left of his money for the day. Was I willing to spare him $2? The problem is he gets junk fever!! He gets the junk and we end up selling it a year later at a garage sale at our house!! We drove away. 30 seconds later, being the compassionate/enabler wife I am, we went back.... but to our dismay it was gone. Sigh. Live life without regrets!! Today we sing!! Today you get junk!!

Clean out your house (and I had many teachers tell me they wish they would have known so they could have brought junk too!) and bring your junk that you're willing to give away. Set up with a sign that says "Sing for Junk".

Preface that at garage sales you have to be quick. What happens if you just stand there thinking... hmmm.... do I really need this? Someone is going to come and snatch it up!! Before we start, I need everyone to commit to a 5 second rule. You're at the Sing for Junk table 5 seconds, grab and go! Also, once you have your junk it goes UNDER YOUR CHAIR, in class too!! They can show their commitment by wiggling their nose, pulling their earlobes 3 times and clicking their heels 4 times.

Have a jar with all the names of the primary friends. After you sing a song, draw a few names to visit the table.

This is free junk!! All you have to do is sing with a smile!!

The children loved this activity. A boy got a barbie back pack and the children giggled but were humbled when he said his baby sister might really like it one day when she grew up! I also had one boy who was completely utterly disappointed with what he got. Ugh, crayons!! Major melt down. He was the only one in a primary of 70 who had a problem. I had some spare junk in another bag and let him rummage around AFTER singing time was over. I told him to cheer up, Jesus loves him and not to let small stuff make him feel bad.

Back To School Singing Time

*Recycled Post*

School's back in session!!!
Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do well..." and sing to learn!!

Poster board makes great puzzles. Just draw, color, cut & add cheapo magnets to the back that you get in your junk mail with hot glue. On the back of your puzzle add the songs you want to sing and the page number for a handy reference for your fabulous pianist.

I like to over-prepare. I'd rather have too much than not enough.

After a primary friend chooses a puzzle piece we have activities to do while singing or after singing, depending on the song! You be the judge of the fine line that runs between showing reverence and having fun too!

Balance an apple on your head or back of your hand
Art! Art! Art! Draw a picture on a piece of paper on your forehead of a cat.
Solve math problems on a calculator- as a  side note, the Holy Ghost is like a calculator! Yup! It's true, He just makes solving problems easier!
Book stacking & balancing into towers
Write the words of the song in the air with your finger pencil
Eraser toss into a pencil case
Pass the pencil using your elbows
And of course you can't forget P.E! Jog in place, knees high!!