Tuesday, August 30, 2016

September 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

Elder Anderson holds a really special place in my heart. I feel like everything he says resonates bold and true. If you don't remember the amazing and inspiring story of these missionaries pictured above, I highly recommend reading THIS!! I think this talk/wisdom/gift from God is absolutely crucial to understand and apply in Primary callings.

Monthly Theme: The Gospel will be Preached in All The World
Monthly Scripture: “This gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” D&C 133:37

Week 1 The scriptures teach that the gospel will be preached in all the world.

* HERE and HERE are some AMAZING videos put together from lds.org about the gospel in Africa and Asia!! But wait, there's more!! HERE are more videos of different members, in many different parts of the world, and some travels of the apostles!! Look through and see what you'd like to share with the kids! Aren't people around the world beautiful!! God loves ALL His children!!

* President Ezra Taft Benson has said, "You are needed in the service of the Lord today as never before. “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few.” (Luke 10:2.)" May 1984 Ensign Our Commission to Take the Gospel to All the World
    What does harvest mean? How can we labor in the field? Why will the gospel be preached in all the world?
      Have 10-12 questions about missionary work. Divide into groups and give each group a box of straws or toothpicks. After a person from the group answers a question, they have 20 seconds to pick up as many straws or toothpicks... with ONE hand (the other hand behind their back) and put it in a cup. Try to make sure everyone in the group gets a turn to answer a question and pick up straws!
    Was it fun to see how many straws you could get??  D&C 18:15, "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" We do our best to help as many people as we can, but like the scripture says, even if it's just one person who we help, our joy will be great!!!

* Studies have shown the more senses you involve in the learning process, the more concrete the lesson learned will be. Rarely do we get to use the sense of smell in teaching, but today's our lucky day!
     Bring in different spices in a Ziploc bag. Now, when we smell, it's NOT a big sniff, just a little one!! We don't want spices in our nose!! You can have pictures of the place and it's flag on the board for the children to point to when they guess. You can also invite a super helper to very carefully walk around the room holding the bag of spice, so others can smell. ONLY that super helper gets to touch the bag!!!
Oregano - Greece
Onion Powder- Hungary 
Chili Powder- Mexico
Curry Powder- India
Jerk Seasoning- Jamaica
Basil- Italy
Soy Sauce (careful!! don't spill!!)- China
     Choose a primary friend who is sitting quietly, hands to themselves, feet still, eyes up front, and ready to learn! Is everyone in the world the same? Why do you think Heavenly Father created us all different? Do you think He loves all His children? Where are some places you have traveled? What are some delicious foods you enjoy??
     Around the world, our brothers and our sisters enjoy different meals. We have some spices used in cooking and if you'd like to smell them and guess what country, then please raise your hand. I'll ask you a question about missionary work or have you read a scripture, because today we are learning, "The scriptures teach that the gospel will be preached in all the world." (And of course, have about 10-12 questions and scriptures prepared ahead of time about missionary work.)

Week 2 Missionary work blesses everyone.

* Beforehand, have some children do detective work!! They are going to search out and find all about how missionaries have blessed people in their family.
    Bring in a brown trench coat, sunglasses, and a hat. Tell the primary friends that we have some detectives that did some digging this week and are going to share how missionary work blesses their family. Invite them to dress up if they like!
     After a few children who dressed up have shared, hold up a small stone. What happens if we throw this in a pond? There are tiny ripples that spread through the whole pond!! It's the same with missionary work. Missionary work spreads and spreads and spreads!! It blesses everyone!!
     Invite a primary friend to hide the stone. Invite another person to dress up as the detective and leave the room, then come back in once it's hidden. Have them find the stone. How have missionaries blessed your life? Ask the children and write down their thoughts on the chalkboard. Keep on playing and inviting new answers or experiences!!

* Invite a few adults to dress up and come in as special missionary guests- Alma the younger, Ammon, and Paul. ABISH was one too!! Have them speak about 3 minutes to tell their story and encourage others to serve missions. Open it up for any questions that they can answer in character!! Missionary work blessed a lot of ancient people and that blesses us today!!

* HERE is a story about how sharing The Friend with her grandma helped a little girl to be a missionary. The gospel is for both the young and the old!!!
    Bring in enough activities from old Friend magazines to pass out to the primary children. Invite them to do the activity, ask an older child or teacher if they need help!! Give them plenty of time and then ask them to share how they could use the gospel knowledge from that Friend activity to help them be a missionary!!

Week 3 I can prepare now to serve a mission.

* “More of you young men and women will catch this wave as you strive to be worthy of mission calls. You see this as a wave of truth and righteousness. You see your opportunity to be on the crest of that wave.” President Russell M. Nelson, Catch the Wave, April 2013
     Give each child a piece of paper with a surfboard outline. Invite them to design their own gospel surfboard! What are some principles they know are true? How can they prepare to serve a mission? They can draw pictures of that or write it down. Draw a visual on the chalkboard too. What is the crest of the wave??
       Bring in a boogie board if you have one. Invite the primary children to come stand on it and share their work! If there is time see if you can do a human wave (where kids stand up and raise their hands above their head, then sit down and the friend next to them stands up and you go down to the other end of the room- the human wave that people do in stadiums). If that is too difficult have one person give the next person a high five and then that person gives a high five to the next person, etc.

* “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him.”—President Thomas S. Monson, “Welcome to Conference”  
    When is the time?? NOW!!! Bring in a basket of garden tools and a shade hat. What is the Lord's vineyard? Why do you think Jesus taught in parables?
      Arrange the tools a certain way and invite a primary friend to step out. Take 2 tools away. Invite them to come back in and guess what's missing. We want to serve missions!! How can we prepare?? What do we need to not forget about being a missionary?? Have some questions prepared about preparing for missionary work to ask the children in between each round of the guessing game.
       End with the question, when is the time as President Monson said for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, and to labor in the vineyard?? NOW!!!

* Bring in about 6 Preach My Gospels, you can ask other teachers to bring their copy in and get some from the library. Divide into groups, and put some younger children who can't read with older children.
   Tell the children that this is a very special book that helps missionaries! Have them look through the pictures, have them read a paragraph each- just open the book wherever!!! Have them decide on something to share with the primary as a group about something from Preach My Gospel.
    Invite the children to go home and for scripture study, a couple days this week, read from Preach My Gospel. If you still have time, turn to Chapter 6:How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes? Have the children tell you what the attributes are. List the attributes on the board and invite the children to draw a picture of something they can do to strengthen that quality in themselves!!!

Week 4 I can be a missionary now.

* HERE is a link to an article talking about how family home evening was a missionary tool for some people. Have the children prepare a family home evening, they can write a simple outline (older children can write for younger ones or they can just work together) and then challenge them to be a good missionary NOW and invite someone special to their family home evening!

HERE is a great friend article about a girl who was a missionary on a bus. She told a man about the articles of faith, and he was so impressed he went home, looked up the church and was baptized.
      Have numbers 1 through 13 on the ground. Invite 8 primary friends to come up front and walk AROUND the numbers (if they walk on, the paper will get ruined) while the primary pianist, who is quite possibly the world's most talented piano player!!!!! plays missionary songs. When she stops, the children stop. Can each primary friend fill in the blank, answer a question about that number, or even recite it?? 
        For example, We believe in God the eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in who else?? The Holy Ghost!!
         Article of Faith #8 talks about believing in the Bible and Book of Mormon as far as they.... what? What does translated correctly mean?
      When we know are articles of faith it helps us to be a missionary now, because we know the doctrine!!!

* Invite primary children to act out some case studies having to do with being a missionary, not later... but now!!!
    Case studies are just scenarios. You'll probably have time for 10-12 depending on the actors/actresses! You can even have some simple jackets or hats for them to put on if they like, and a couple props (having to do with the scenario) to use. Here are a few:
- Helen just moved to town with her 3 brothers. She is your new next door neighbor. She seems very shy. How can you help her and be a missionary now?
(One child acts as Helen, the other acts out what they would do to help!)
- Your teacher at school wants to show a PG-13 movie that you have heard has some bad language in it. You don't feel comfortable watching it, but she is your teacher and you really like her.
(One child plays the part of the teacher, the other acts out what they could do to be a missionary now!)
- At the grocery store, an old lady falls down and drops a bag of her food. There really aren't a lot of people in the store and no one seems to notice.
(One child plays the part of the fallen old lady, the other acts out what they would do to be a missionary now!)
   Hopefully through these examples, we can see that missionaries share the gospel AND help! help! help!! They are examples of Christ like love to others. We may not have a badge yet, but we can have one written on our heart like Elder Anderson has said!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August 2016 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps & Ideas

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 2008
      Have 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