Monthly Theme: My Body is a Temple of God.
Monthly Scripture: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? … The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” 1 Corinthians 3:16–17
Week 1 My body is a temple.
* Give each child a popsicle stick with a puff ball glue gunned to one end. Invite them to gently tap different places on our body (like elbows, knees, nose, shoulders, eyes, ears...) and think about why they are thankful for that part of their body.
Have different pictures of temples posted throughout the room. Have a picture of a person cut up into different pieces, with one piece attached to the back of each temple. Invite a primary friend to come up front with their special tapper and tap a temple. Depending on the piece on the back, have them share why that part of the body is important. Our bodies are temples!!
Throughout the lesson, randomly call out body parts for the kids to tap quickly- head, ears, heart, legs, toes!!!
* LOVE this sharing time by Sister Matsumori found HERE in the Friend.
* Have 5 different stations in the room for groups of children to rotate through. Have an adult at each station: sight, hear, touch, smell, taste. Take about 2 minutes at each station to talk about each sense and have a small demonstration. (And please be sensitive- if there are children who are blind or deaf, talk to parents to get input on how you could make this activity a successful one!)
Sight- bring in different pictures, objects, and a large pair of glasses. What are some things you like to look at? What is the most interesting thing you've ever seen? Take the time to talk about the blind. What would it be like not being able to see? Aren't we grateful for Jesus who will make sure all can see in the Resurrection!
Hear- Have a few different songs to play on a portable device. Ask the children to listen and then express what they feel after they hear that song.
Touch/Feel- Bring in different fabrics. Bring in sandpaper. Bring in something slimy. How important are our hands and skin? What protection does our skin offer us? Have some play dough for each child to build something. Could we create without our hands? (Actually, some do!!) Talk a little about Heavenly Father creating us all just the way we were meant to be in this life. He loves us and will help us with all we need! Our job is to do the same, love and help where needed!!
Smell- Bring in some scented candles (not lit!) or air fresheners or perfume. You could bring in some spices. Put them in a paper bag and have the children close their eyes while smelling. Then have them guess the scent!
Do all things smell pleasant? There is opposition in all things, poor skunks!!
Taste- Have bite size samples of things to taste. Who here loves to eat?? Why do our bodies need food? What are the best foods for our bodies? Have the children draw a SIMPLE picture of something healthy they love to eat!
Would we be able to do these things without a body? Nope! Our bodies are temples. They are absolutely amazing!! We need to treat them that way and love them!!
* Bring in different pictures of temples. What do they have in common? Are they all the same? What are some differences?
Just like temples, our bodies are beautiful. Our bodies are not the same though, just like temples!! And that is the way Heavenly Father created us! What a blessing!!
HERE is a story, that yes, made me cry... from The Friend. It is so important for us to love one another. To love ourselves. Share the story with the children. There is an excellent quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at the end.
Have everyone in the room stand up and play a round of compliment tag. Choose 5 primary friends by giving them a compliment, then they tag a person and give them a compliment and sit down in their chair. The person tagged chooses a person standing to give a compliment to, and the last ones tagged who don't have a seat give compliments to the most amazing Primary Pianist ever!!
* HERE is a great article to send the children home to read with families.
Week 2 Dressing modestly shows respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
* From the topic section of lds.org, under modesty, is a great question they ask- “Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord's presence?”
This is just a personal feeling I got one time after I was in a room for sharing time. A few little girls were wearing dresses (it was 100+ degrees, summer time) that didn't have sleeves. The primary was told that children were breaking a commandment when they wore sleeveless clothes and that they couldn't go to the temple wearing clothes like that.
I was a little speechless. My feeling is this, we need to teach doctrine and we need to show lots of love. We can read For the Strength of Youth!! Common sense though says parents are buying the clothes of these children and we should just be careful not to hurt the children's feelings. Our job is to help them feel beautiful and confident, not point a finger and shout SINNERS!!! There are many personal opinions, and that's OK, but opinions aren't doctrine! Our job is not to belittle or scare, that will NOT invite the spirit. So I think a great guideline with children on modesty is the question posed above, "Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord's presence?"
One other thought, if you have multicultural children in your primary be aware that their hair texture & styles are different from that of a white child. We are ALL beautiful how God created us!! Native American boys wear their hair very long, that doesn't mean it's an "extreme". In fact, it's a very inspiring tradition! Black children wear braids, or dreds, or fros.... again, these are not "extremes". Be sensitive!!! Many cultural traditions have been stomped out in history by white men. A huge one being CUT YOUR HAIR, wear it like ours! Why though? God has created us all, just the way we were meant to be. So all I'm saying is just be careful on what you judge "extreme"!!
* " Imagine that you are watching a play. An actor comes on stage dressed as a clown but starts playing the serious part of the lead. You might react by thinking that this is inappropriate—there must be some mistake in the costuming or casting.
Now think of how inappropriate it is to go out into the world or come to church dressed in clothes that do not represent who you really are in spirit. Our outward appearance and behavior give a message. What message are we sending? Does it reflect that we are children of God?" From Modesty: Reverence for The Lord by Elder Robert D. Hales August 2008Have the children talk in pairs about a couple of their favorite pieces of clothing. Why do they like those clothes? Have a fashion show!! Let a few adults know the week before that they will be strutting down the primary room runway... try to focus on neat appearance, clean clothes, clothes you feel comfortable in, and have each person share a scripture or personal experience in regards to modesty. Have a couple teachers in play dress up- giant sunglasses, silly hat, or feather boa. These are perfect for play or holidays, however, do these things reflect fun or respect? There is nothing wrong with fun!! There is just a time and place for everything, right?? Kind of like the quote from Elder Hales!! You can have 2 primary children hold flashlights as they walk and 2 more primary children hold old cameras to pretend like they are taking pictures. Of course, you are the announcer so be upbeat! "Here comes Sister Jones in a lovely ankle length skirt. Her beautiful shirt is a vibrant red, one of her very favorite colors. As she walks down the street in this modest outfit, people turn to notice. She's different. She's covered. She respects her body. But what is most noticeable? That radiant smile!! She is confident that she is a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father."
Week 3 Living the Word of Wisdom shows respect for my body.
* Have 20 plastic cups, with 20 different pictures relating to the word of wisdom. Put 10 pictures on the inside of 10 cups and 10 pictures on the outside of 10 cups. Set up the room with 10 cups facing up and 10 cups facing down. Have some questions to go along with the pictures- for example, picture of lots of candy... is that a good thing to eat on a regular basis? What does sugar do to our body? What does moderation mean?
Today we're going to learn all about the word of wisdom and how living it shows respect for our bodies. Invite 2 primary friends up front. 1 primary friend is going to try to turn as many cups down as they can while the other friends turns the cups up!! Make a tally on the board (give that job to a child who is a great mathematician and have them sit by the chalkboard, make them feel special!!) for ups and downs, after each round you'll have to count. Give them just 20-30 seconds each round! Then invite them to choose a picture from one of the cups and answer your question. Take pictures off the cups, so for the next round you don't repeat pictures.
Does that make any sense?? Here's a picture!! (Sometimes teachers play it for PE... so just remind the children that we can have fun, but we need to be reverent at the same time!! Hopefully by only having 2 kids up front it won't get too rowdy!) Also, wow.... there ended up more up cups than down! Fascinating! (It's not about winning! It was just about moving our bodies while we learned today! Thanks for all your help!!)
* Bring in a LARGE hula hoop. What? Am I crazy? No!! Yes!! Maybe!! Part of the Word of Wisdom is exercising our body to keep it healthy, right??
Have 5-7 primary friends come up front and join hands to make a circle. Have them think of something that is part of the Word of Wisdom. (Have small pictures to help inspire them if needed!) Using the Hula Hoop, have them pass it around (still holding hands) in the circle... they will have to step through it carefully!! See if the hula hoop can go ALL THE WAY AROUND while the primary sings The Word of Wisdom, Children's Songbook page 154. Great job!! If they didn't make it, no sweat!! We're just here to learn and enjoy the spirit!! Have them share what part they were thinking about in The Word of Wisdom.
Week 4 Reading, watching, and listening to wholesome things keeps my mind clean.
* Before the children come in, have the room semi-disorganized.
"Everything looks better when there is cleanliness." (May 1996 Ensign President Gordon B. Hinkley "Be Ye Clean")
Oh what a mess!!! How does it feel to not have our primary room ready? Do you think if someone was visiting they would feel happy seeing these chairs turned over or these pictures crooked?
Did you know that if we don't read, watch, and listen to good things... our minds become messy! Our minds would be cluttered with junk!! But when we do what's right- when we read, watch, and listen to wholesome things... it keeps our minds clean!!
Take a minute and have the children clean up the room. “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord” D&C 133:5 Break into partners or small groups and come up with a list of things that are good to read, watch and listen to! Share with the entire primary after a few minutes.
* Bring in an UNO game (if you have one!). Invite one primary friend up front to draw from the deck:
Yellow- Name something wholesome to read
Red- Name something wholesome to watch
Green- Name something wholesome to listen to
Blue- Give someone in primary a compliment
Action card- Whole primary make a statue pose and hold it for 10 seconds
You can write it on the board too so you don't forget what color is what.
“Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; …" Isaiah 1:16