Friday, August 29, 2014

A good reminder....

Gustav Klimt Three Ages of Woman Mother and Child (detail)

"We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don’t say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child’s view of himself or herself.

But it is even more important in shaping that child’s faith in us and their faith in God.

Be constructive in your comments to a child—always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may struggle for years trying to forget—and to forgive.

And try not to compare your children, even if you think you are skillful at it.

You may say most positively that “Susan is pretty and Sandra is bright,” but all Susan will remember is that she isn’t bright and Sandra that she isn’t pretty.

Praise each child individually for what that child is, and help him or her escape our culture’s obsession with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are “enough.”"

President Jeffrey R. Holland The Tongue of Angels April 2007 General Conference

Friday, August 15, 2014

September 2014 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

I know this is going to sound odd, but I really couldn't find a picture for this month's post. So, I decided to post this random good looking man's picture and tell him how grateful I am that he goes into Nursery every single Sunday to help out. How he gives the most wonderful father's blessings. How I'm grateful that he is the only LDS volunteer who makes gyros at Greek Fest... 9 years now? He is pretty awesome and his only flaw is that he is not an organ donor. He is desperately attached to his organs for some reason. ??  However, he lives the gospel and it definitely blesses our family!!

Monthly Theme: Living the Gospel Blesses My Family

Monthly Scripture: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is
anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” Articles of Faith 1:13

Week 1 I show my gratitude by offering thanks for all my blessings.

*  "But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding. As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to “thank the Lord [our] God in all things,” to “sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,” and to “let [our] heart be full of thanks unto God.”
Grateful in Any Circumstances President Uchtdorf April 2014 General Conference
   Have a fancy decorated goblet. Pass around the "gratitude goblet" and have children say things they are thankful for. You could even make paper (I'd use cardstock) goblets and have children color/decorate with sequins. The children could be encouraged to pass them around at dinner time with their families and share things they are thankful for.

* HERE is a wonderful sharing time idea from The Friend. I really love
" Draw large palette on piece of poster board. Divide children into six groups, and assign a different color to each group. Have each group draw pictures of blessings associated with assigned color; cut out and attach to poster."
     as well as-
" Play (a) game using poster. While childrens’ eyes are closed, remove one blessing, then have children open eyes and guess what’s missing. Discuss what it would be like without that blessing. Continue removing and guessing blessings as time permits."

* You really just can't beat The Friend. They are so inspired!
HERE is another great sharing time idea. I really like the one idea where children play a game of saying what they are thankful for, then the next child repeats what the previous friend said and adds what they are thankful for. By the last child, they will have to remember a lot!!

* Have the children act out the story of the 10 lepers. According to the handbook children do not portray deity, so just have one child hold a picture of Jesus and answer questions about what The Savior did.
Luke 17:11-18 Afterwards, you can have the children make thank you notes for someone who has done something they are thankful for!
Week 2 By giving service to others, I give service to God.

* Make some notes for older friends in a Senior Citizen Home!!

* Have the primary children make coupon booklets for their family of things they are willing to do this week to serve them!

* Have the children write thank you notes to local fireman!

* Make a candy bar card for The Bishop.

* I made a game entitled Primary Service Bingo. A child will come up and choose a square, do the service act, then get to X it out. See how many bingos you can get!! If you'd like the PDF file, feel free to email me. You could also divide the room in half and put up two sheets if you like a little competition!

Week 3 We believe in being honest.

* I love President Hinckley. I just love love love him!!!! His words are always so straight forward. HERE is a talk he gave that really drives home the point of what it means to be honest. It would be a good read to prepare for your lesson.

* “A man … went one evening to steal corn from a neighbor’s field. He took his little boy with him to sit on the fence and keep a look-out, so as to give warning in case any one should come along. The man jumped over the fence with a large bag on his arm, and before commencing to take the corn he looked all around, first one way and then the other, and not seeing any person, he was just about to fill his bag. … [The boy then called out]:
     “‘Father, there is one way you haven’t looked yet! … You forgot to look up.’” (I Believe in Being Honest and True by Ann Dibb April 2011 General Conference)
Cornhole is basically the same as a bean bag toss! Have some questions, scriptures and songs about honesty on pictures of corn all over the room. Once they choose one and answer, let them toss a few bean bags into the corn hole (you could use an upside down box with a  hole) that you've brought in. 1 point if they can land it on the board, 3 points for in the hole. How many points can you earn as a primary??
* "I have observed three common characteristics of the priesthood holders who are my heroes. One is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to be honest." (The Priesthood Man Elder Eyring April 2014 General Conference)
   Bring in a rock collection!! Let the children observe the rocks and pass them around. What does it mean to have "a rock hard decision to be honest"? Have 3-4 cups. Place a rock under one cup and shuffle around. Let the child choose a cup and see if the rock is under that cup!! Have different case scenarios about honesty for the child to answer after!
For example:
    Brenda went to the movies with friends. After they wanted to see another movie and sneak into the next theater. How can Brenda be honest?
    Marty broke his mom's favorite lamp after she told him not to play soccer in the house. No one saw what he did. How can Marty be honest?
    Sally studied hard for her spelling test, but it was the wrong list! She didn't know any words, but it looked like the person sitting next to her did. How could Sally be honest?
    End by talking about what it would be like to be an apostle's hero! We can do that if we make the firm, rock hard decision, to be honest!!
*All aboard!!!  HERE is a really cool honesty train the children can make from The Friend. I can choo-choo-choose to be honest!!!

Week 4 By living the gospel I set a good example for others to follow.

* A good read HERE to prepare for the week's lesson. I especially like picturing the grandma bent in a V shape!! Sweet patient woman!

* 1 Timothy 4:12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
    Divide the primary into 6(ish- depending on how many children you have in primary) groups. Prepare in ADVANCE!!! Call parents and get some stories of children from your primary who have set good examples. Give a story to each group and have them try to guess who it might be from your primary.

* "We best serve our Father in Heaven by righteously influencing others and serving them. The greatest example who ever walked the earth is our Savior, Jesus Christ. His mortal ministry was filled with teaching, serving, and loving others. He sat down with individuals who were judged to be unworthy of His companionship. He loved each of them. He discerned their needs and taught them His gospel. He invites us to follow His perfect example." ("I Have Given You an Example" Elder Richard G. Scott April 2014 General Conference... great read!!)
     Invite 5 children up front. Have them share a way they can be a good example. Then have each child choose a motion to do. Have the primary watch carefully, then when all the 5 children have spoken and done their motion, the primary tries to remember all 5 motions and follow/do them.

* "I am inspired by the examples being set by the righteous members of the Church, including the noble youth. You courageously look to the Savior. You are faithful, obedient, and pure. The blessings you receive because of your goodness affect not only your lives but also my life and the lives of countless others in profound but often unknown ways.
     A few years ago, I was in line to make a purchase at my local grocery store. Ahead of me stood a young woman, about 15 years old. She appeared confident and happy. I noticed her T-shirt and couldn’t resist talking to her. I began, “You’re from out of state, aren’t you?”
She was surprised by my question and replied, “Yes, I am. I’m from Colorado. How did you know?”
I explained, “Because of your T-shirt.” I made my accurate supposition after reading the words on her shirt, “I’m a Mormon. Are you?”
I continued, “I must tell you that I’m impressed by your confidence to stand out and wear such a bold declaration. I see a difference in you, and I wish every young woman and every member of the Church could have your same conviction and confidence.” Our purchases completed, we said good-bye and parted.
       Yet for days and weeks after this random everyday moment, I found myself seriously reflecting upon this encounter. I wondered how this young girl from Colorado came to possess such confidence in her identity as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I couldn’t help but wonder what meaningful phrase I would figuratively choose to have printed on my T-shirt reflecting my belief and testimony. In my mind, I considered many possible sayings. Eventually, I came upon an ideal statement I would proudly wear: “I’m a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it.” (Sister Ann Dibb October 2013 General Conference I know it. I live it. I love it.)
     Make copies of a blank T-shirt on a piece of paper for the primary children. After reading the above mentioned story, invite the children to design their own T-shirt. What would they put on it to show that they can be a good example?? Maybe you could even make a real t-shirt and give it to the Bishop to wear with a slogan the primary children come up with!!