Wednesday, July 16, 2014

August 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

We love spending time together as a family!! This is my Maria at an Artown face painting event.

Monthly Theme: Participating in wholesome family activities will strengthen my family.
Monthly Scripture: "Successful... families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Week 1 Pray in your families unto the Father... that your families may be blessed 3 Nephi 18:21

* "But remember, the greatest schools on earth are individual homes. Yet how many homes voluntarily give up family prayer by allowing other less important things to take priority."
(John Groberg April Ensign 1982 The Power of Prayer)
Read this quote out loud to the children!
     Do you have a little people school?
I AM NOT SAYING GO OUT AND BUY ONE!!! I've had comments before saying we shouldn't bring in toys or that it can detract from the spirit. So here's my 2 cents, I promise I'm not trying to force you to do anything.
   If you do have one and you pray about it and feel good.... bring in the school and set it up in a fun way on the table. Attach numbers (1-10) to different pieces of your "school" set up. A reverent child can come up front to choose something to learn about family prayer.
   Van Gorder Elementary school (or one of your local schools) is one great school, but it's nothing compared to what we can learn at home!! When the child comes up front ask them something they could do without in order to have family prayer... perhaps a little less video games? Computer time? I phone time?? Then whatever # they choose, the following can correspond, or you can make up your own.
1. Can you think of a family in the scriptures that prayed together or for each other?
2. Sing Family Prayer CS 189
3. How do you feel when you kneel together as a family to pray?
4. Please read 3 Nephi 18:21
5. Why do you think it's important to pray together as a family?
6. Please share a time one of your prayers has been answered. (If they can't think of one that's OK. Is there another primary friend who has had a prayer answered??)
7. Sing Families Can Be Together Forever Hymns #300 Do you think prayer can help us have forever families... show me with a thumbs up or thumbs down.
8. Where are different places we can pray together as families?
9. Demonstrate with 3 other primary friends the proper way to kneel for family prayer.
(Point out the bowing of heads, closing of eyes.... or do we peek???, are we still or do we fidget fidget??)
10. Please read this quote by President Kimball, "No mother would carelessly send her little children forth to school on a wintry morning without warm clothes to protect against the snow and rain and cold. But there are numerous fathers and mothers who send their children to school without the protective covering available to them through prayer—a protection against exposure to unknown hazards, evil people, and base temptations. " (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 117-118)
What does this quote teach us about family prayer??

* "A return to the old pattern of prayer, family prayer‍ in the homes of the people, is one of the basic medications that would check the dread disease that is eroding the character of our society.” President Hinckley “The Blessings of Family Prayer,” Ensign, Feb. 1991 Highly recommend reading it!!!
     Have a large posterboard of a drawing of a person. Divide the primary into groups and give them scripture stories/and or from The Friend of prayer. After a few minutes of reading and discussion, have a representative come up front to share what they learned in their group. Give them a Band-Aid to put on one of the red dots.
Family prayer is the medicine that heals!!

* HERE is a great story from The Friend, Mac the Prayer Cat. Tell the story in your own words (or read animated) to the primary children. If your numbers are small enough, have them gather on a blanket as you tell the story. Have a stuffed kitty cat in your lap too! Did the children like that story? We'll pass our stuffed kitty cat to a friend who is sitting reverently who would like to share something they know to be true about family prayer. Does anyone have a time their family prayer was answered? Pass the cat each time to someone who wants to add something to the discussion!!
     Be sure to remind the children that sometimes just because we don't get what we want, doesn't mean our prayer hasn't been answered!!
     If you still have time, sing songs about prayer and invite one child to hide the cat, while another one finds it based on how loud or soft the primary is singing!!

* HERE is another great great great story from The Friend that is sure to capture everyone's attention.
If you have a fireman in the ward, perhaps you could ask them to bring in their uniform for the children to try on!! Have that person talk about the dangers of fire and to remember that prayer is a protection.

* HERE is a great song to learn this week!!! Nice and short and to the point!!

Week 2 Family home evening strengthens my family.

* Make family home evening suggestion boxes!! Call around your ward and ask for as many empty Kleenex boxes as you can ahead of time. Bring in construction paper, stickers, glue sticks, gospel magazines that are OK to cut for pictures.Once the children are finished they can write ideas for family home evening!!
     What will children do if they have siblings making boxes?? It's good to have plenty in case it gets
lost!!! Or... if someone is absent, perhaps they wouldn't mind making that box for our primary friend.
     From the Family Home Evening Resource Book, "Tell your family that you will leave it where they can put a question or suggestion in it whenever they get an idea. Tell them that they can suggest lessons they would like to hear, questions they want answered, and suggestions for improving family home evenings."

* Make a mock living room for primary children to pretend we're having a family home evening. Family home evening strengthens my family! But what are the best things we need to do during family home evening? Have case senarios for the children to act out in your living room, whisper in the ear of the children acting out and have the primary guess what they are doing right or wrong! Have a mother and a father and a couple children. You could even divide into groups so they could plan a couple ideas before they come up.
     For example, some things to act out:
- listening, answering, and asking questions
- helping with a baby who is crying
- praying to invite the spirit to Family Home Evening
- volunteering to help clean up
- really taking care of the scriptures
- singing nice and boldly!
- not keeping hands to self
- interrupting
- whining/complaining
At the end of the lesson, have the children choose something they can do better to help make sure Family Home Evenings have the spirit!
" We should not be discouraged if every family home evening is not ideal; it is important just to spend time together. The Lord promises that if we patiently continue to hold family home evening, He will strengthen our families." (Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood Lesson 13)

* Have the children plan a family home evening!!! Email me for a PDF copy of the lesson plan outline (or make your own) for them to fill out. For really young children, have teachers or older children help fill out and then they can draw pictures to show during their lesson.
* "The family home evening program can build love and peace in our homes. As this feeling grows, our families will desire to live the gospel, and much of the quarreling and contention in our homes will be eliminated. As our families pray, sing, and discuss the gospel together, the Spirit of the Lord can come into our homes and replace any spirit of contention found there." (Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood Lesson 13)
    Bring in some large building/lego type blocks. Invite primary children to build a strong home with the blocks!! Have questions, songs, scriptures, quotes from latter day prophets all about family home evening.... after a primary friend answers the question or reads the scripture... etc. have them add a few legos to build that strong home full of love and peace!!!

Week 3 Scripture study gives my family and I spiritual strength.

* "Unfortunately, most children do not generate the same enthusiasm for studying the scriptures as they do for watching a first-rate movie. But that can be changed."  (Sept. 1987 Ensign Family Scripture Study A MUST READ!!!)

Bring in the following popular movies. These are OK movies but when compared to scripture study, there is no comparison!! Have stories from the scriptures that have "words" having to do with the movie. Have the children try to figure out what scripture story matches the movie and will feed our spirits more than that movie!
     Scripture study is what gives our families spiritual strength!!
     I am in no way promoting DISNEY!! I am likening the scriptures. If you do not feel with prayer that this activity is appropriate for your primary, then DO NOT DO IT. Perhaps it'd be better used for a Family Home Evening!! However, the whole point of this activity is to show the children that movies are nice, but the scriptures are BETTER!!! ALWAYS!! Also, when they watch these movies, perhaps their minds can remember back to the story from the scriptures in which it was related!
Some examples movies/scripture story:

1. Disney's FROZEN / A Priceless Heritage Oct. 1992 " Also heroic were the rescuers who responded to President Brigham Young’s call in the October 1856 general conference. President Young called for forty young men, sixty to sixty-five teams of mules or horses, wagons loaded with twenty-four thousand pounds of flour to leave in the next day or two to “bring in those people now on the plains.” (LeRoy R. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion, Glendale, Cal.: Arthur H. Clarke Co., 1960, p. 121.) The rescuers went swiftly to relieve the suffering travelers.
     When the rescued sufferers got close to the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young convened a meeting on this block. He directed the Saints in the valley to receive the sufferers into their homes, make them comfortable, and administer food and clothing to them. Said President Young: “Some you will find with their feet frozen to their ankles; some are frozen to their knees and some have their hands frosted. … We want you to receive them as your own children, and to have the same feeling for them.” (Hafen, Handcarts to Zion, p. 139.)
      When the rescuers brought the Willie handcart pioneers into this valley, it is recorded by Captain Willie: “On our arrival there the Bishops of the different Wards took every person, who was not provided with a home, to comfortable quarters. Some had their hands and feet badly frozen; but everything which could be done to alleviate their sufferings, was done. … Hundreds of the Citizens flocked round the wagons on our way through the City, cordially welcoming their Brethren and Sisters to their mountain home.” (James G. Willie, Journal History, 9 Nov. 1856, p. 15.)
     These excruciating experiences developed in these pioneers an unshakable faith in God."
How does this story make you feel?
2. Disney's Lion King / Daniel 6:16, 18-22 Have you witnessed miracles in your family?

3. Disney's Snow White / Isaiah 1:18 How does repentance help strengthen our families? Can you name a time when "I'm sorry" really helped out a family member?

4. Disney's Jungle Book / Living Water in the Rain Forest Feb. 2006 Ensign By Bruce C. Kusch "
     While I was on a trip to Brazil with two colleagues from Brigham Young University–Idaho, we had the opportunity to spend several days in the Amazon Jungle on the Rio Negro. The river is enormous beyond imagination, and the vegetation in the jungle is thick. One could easily lose his way if he were to venture into it without a guide. Our guide, Moreno, was a native of Italy. He knew the jungle and the river well. Now in his late 30s, he had realized his childhood dream of living in the Amazon Jungle.
     Our small group boarded a canoe docked at our floating hotel and departed for the starting point of our hike. We were fascinated by what we saw and impressed by Moreno’s deep knowledge and his ability to lead us through the thick and imposing jungle. As we walked he would explain the various plants, animals, insects, and vegetation that surrounded us. He taught us about plants and insects that could be harmful if we were not careful. He also pointed out various plants that Amazon Indians had used for medicinal or other useful purposes. Deeper into the jungle we went. We truly had no idea where we were going. We merely followed Moreno and trusted that he would get us safely back to our canoe and eventually our hotel.
      At one point, Moreno stopped the group, and we all gathered around him. “This jungle is hot and humid,” he said. “We are at least a mile from the river, and a person cannot live here without water. You would die quickly. There is water right here, right now, where we are. Can any of you see it?”
We could not. All we saw were trees, vines, and shrubs. The mosquitoes seemed to be everywhere. None of us had any idea where there might be water nearby.
With a smile on his face, Moreno said, “Let me show you.” He grabbed his machete and walked to a vine, lightly covered with green velvet moss. After two quick swings, he was holding a piece of the vine in his hand. We still didn’t understand.
     “Water is right here,” he said, “right in my hand.” Just then he lifted the vine vertically and clear, cool water came dripping out! We were all amazed. As we looked around, we could now see similar vines everywhere. Some were large, others small. But once we were taught by one who knew, we saw that in this jungle there was an abundance of water. We each took turns drinking from the vine. As we hiked back to our canoe, we continued to see that water was everywhere. Now we knew where to look.
     I have since thought about this experience in relationship to the true vine, living water, and following one who knows. In John 15:1, Jesus teaches us that He is the true vine and His Father is the husbandman."
Do we thirst for family scripture study EVERY day?? The scriptures are always around us, we just need to take the time to read them!
5. Disney's Sleeping Beauty / Mosiah 24:8, 16-22
Do we read our scriptures each day before we go to sleep? Why is scripture study so important?

6/7. Dinsey's Cinderella & Beauty and the Beast/ Your Happily Ever After President Uchtdorf April 2010
     " For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.
     Cinderella has to endure her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. She is compelled to suffer long hours of servitude and ridicule.
     In “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle becomes a captive to a frightful-looking beast in order to save her father. She sacrifices her home and family, all she holds dear, to spend several months in the beast’s castle.
     In the tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” a poor miller promises the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king immediately sends for her and locks her in a room with a mound of straw and a spinning wheel. Later in the story she faces the danger of losing her firstborn child unless she can guess the name of the magical creature who helped her in this impossible task.
     In each of these stories, Cinderella, Belle, and the miller’s daughter have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their “happily ever after.” Think about it. Has there ever been a person who did not have to go through his or her own dark valley of temptation, trial, and sorrow?
Sandwiched between their “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” they all had to experience great adversity. Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy, and love?
     The scriptures tell us there must be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter. 2 Would the marathon runner feel the triumph of finishing the race had she not felt the pain of the hours of pushing against her limits? Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?
     In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy."
What are some hard things you have faced that have brought you closer to The Lord? During those times, did scripture study bring you peace?
8. Disney's The Sword in the Stone / 1 Samuel 17:4, 8-11, 32, 37, 40-50
Why do you think Heavenly Father blesses the faithful? Are children and youth important to Him?
9. Disney's Alice in WONDERland / Isaiah 29:14
What is The Lord's marvelous work and wonder?
10. Disney's The Fox and The HoundYour Personal Checklist for a Successful Eternal Flight
Elder Pinnock Oct. 1993 General Conference
      "Never feed the foxes! What does that mean? Breaking commandments is like feeding foxes. In England where we live, my wife and I had heard that foxes were right in town. We wanted to see a fox. A neighbor told us that if we left food for the foxes we probably would see one. Our butcher gave us some bones. Each night we would place some bones out in the backyard. Soon a fox came to eat. Then a few more. Now we have at least five foxes racing through our flower garden, digging up the lawn, and leaving a shamble every night, sort of like a furry Jurassic Park.
      What started out as a curiosity is now a problem, and sin is much the same. An indiscretion can begin a process that can make a mess of a whole life. Remember, if you don’t start feeding the foxes, they will never tear up your yard. If you avoid making the seemingly small and harmless mistakes, your life will be free of many larger problems later on. Be a courageous young man by living straight. Create happy memories for yourselves and those around you."
What are some things you can do to avoid sin?
11. Disney's Finding Nemo / Eduring Well Jan. Ensign 2014 By Elder J. Christopher Lansing
   " When our only daughter, Lindsay, was young, she and I enjoyed watching movies together. One that we enjoyed and watched together many times was an animated film called Finding Nemo. In the movie, Nemo is caught by a scuba diver and ends up in a fish tank in a dentist’s office. His father, Marlin, is determined to find Nemo. Marlin meets a fish named Dory during his journey. They face obstacle after obstacle as they try to find Nemo. Whether the obstacle is big or small, Dory’s message to Marlin is the same: “Just keep swimming.”
     Several years later Lindsay served a mission in Santiago, Chile. Missions are hard. Disappointments are many. Each week at the end of my email I wrote, “Just keep swimming. Love, Dad.”
     When Lindsay was expecting her second child, she found out that her unborn baby had a hole in his heart and that he had Down syndrome. As I wrote to her during this very difficult time, I closed my emails, “Just keep swimming.”
     Obstacles come into each of our lives, but to get through them and to get where we want to go, we must keep swimming."
How do the scriptures help us to keep swimming?
12. Disney's Monsters Inc. / Alma 19:16-31 (watch for the word in verse 26) 
Why would Ammon be called a monster? How will scripture study in families benefit you as a future missionary?
Week 4 The Sabbath is a day of rest and worship.
* D&C 59: 9-10 "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
   For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;"
    Have a posterboard picture/drawing of a person. Have removable spots (circles of paper) all over it's body. When we keep the Sabbath, we keep ourselves unspotted from the world!! Learn more about the Sabbath by inviting children to remove spots from the person! The dots could have scriptures, songs or questions pertaining to the Sabbath.
The Blessing of Keeping The Sabbath by Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie Oct. 2000 has some excellent ideas that would fit well the spots!!

* Exodus 31:16-17 " Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."
This is just a sidenote, but I wonder if we polled a bunch of bishops if they would consider Sunday a "refreshing" day?
     Bring in a large pitcher of lemonade or water. On a hot summer day, nothing beats an ice cold drink!! It's so refreshing!! Have little mini paper cups to give anyone in primary who would like a drink. (Be aware of allergies!!) As they drink have them imagine they are in a dry, burning desert... what does this drink do for them?
    All through the week we go, go, go! Sunday is our day to stop and be refreshed! Divide into groups and have groups come up with 3 things you can do on Sunday to make it a day of rest and worship! Have groups share!

* HERE is an idea from The Friend (by the lovely Sheila Wilson) with a good story and craft to make. I would adapt by bringing in a SMALL soccer ball and laundry basket. So first, tell the story, then invite children to come up front and answer a question (or read a scripture) about the Sabbath Day, then get 2 tries to kick the ball into the basket!
DO NOT MAKE CHILDREN FEEL BAD if they play sports on SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a personal decision they make with parents (STATE THAT!!!) and primary isn't the place to make them feel ashamed or unworthy. Heavenly Father gives us commandments and we do the best we can!!
* HERE is a very simple and wonderful story about Elder Koichi Aoyagi's gospel conversion. In the story he works hard to help with his father's rice fields every single day so that Sunday he can go to church. Unfortunately all the work does not get done... but his father still tells him to go to church! I would also bring in an image of a Japanese rice field... they are beautiful!!
    Bring in a bowl of cooked rice, some chopsticks, and a large cup. Have questions, scriptures, and songs about the Sabbath prepared. Invite a primary friend up front to answer a question about the Sabbath (or read a scripture). Then they have 2 tries to use the chopsticks to get as much rice as they can in the cup! Work together as a primary to see if we can fill the whole cup and learn all about this Holy Day together!


Kirsten boxx said...

Thank you for the great ideas!! I was recently called to serve in the Primary Presidency. I stumbled upon your blog through Pinterest and I am thankful that you put so much time and effort into helping others fulfill their callings. Thank you!!! :)

Diann R. said...

Yes, thank you so much! You are so amazing to put forth so much effort into helping so many primary presidencies all over the world. Thank you for all of your time and effort into making our lives a little bit easier and providing wonderful ideas to uplift,inspire, and teach so many children.

A Harlow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krista Payne said...

Great ideas!!! I'm excited to use them this coming month! Could I get a Pdf copy of the FHE handout?

Anonymous said...

Week 3 is actually Scripture study gives me and my family spiritual strength.

Karina Cuellar said...

Thank you so much for your Great ideas, I love them. May I please have a copy of the FHE plan?

Christy said...

I'd like a copy of the FHE planning sheet too. That is really well designed. Thanks!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Thank you so much everyone for your comments!

Anonymous - thank you for the clarification.

For everyone who would like a copy of the FHE outline, you'll have to email me because I have no way of contacting you to send it to you. Thanks!!

All my love to you!!

nicole said...

I've been using your website since I got called as President about a year ago and had no clue what I was doing. Thank you so much for spending the time to create this blog. Your ideas are amazing and I use them every month. On my own, I am about as creative as a doorstop. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hi - thanks for your great ideas - such a huge help each week.....

I have one thought reference this comment though and please don't take it badly ;)

* HERE is an idea from The Friend (by the lovely Sheila Wilson) with a good story and craft to make. I would adapt by bringing in a SMALL soccer ball and laundry basket. So first, tell the story, then invite children to come up front and answer a question (or read a scripture) about the Sabbath Day, then get 2 tries to kick the ball into the basket!
DO NOT MAKE CHILDREN FEEL BAD if they play sports on SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a personal decision they make with parents (STATE THAT!!!) and primary isn't the place to make them feel ashamed or unworthy. Heavenly Father gives us commandments and we do the best we can!!

From the "strength of youth " booklet it states
Sunday is not a day for shopping, recreation, or athletic events. Do not seek entertainment or make purchases on this day. Let others know what your standards are so they can support you. When seeking a job, share with your potential employer your desire to attend your Sunday meetings and keep the Sabbath day holy. Whenever possible, choose a job that does not require you to work on Sundays.

I totally agree it is personal choice but I do feel it shouldn't be encouraged or discouraged in primary. If the question is raised I would quote the above adding it is a matter for each family to decide.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all of your hard work! It makes it so easy for me and gives me wonderful ideas to follow! It has been a great help to me over the past year as I have been in the Presidency. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

LOVE the spotted idea! Using this one tomorrow. Thank you so much for your efforts.