Teaching about the Sabbath Day through Activity & Music: August Sharing Time Idea

Here’s an idea for August 2014 Sharing Time, week 4′s theme: “The Sabbath is a day of rest and worship.”

The Sabbath day concept is a little tricky for kids to grasp.  In a recent Sharing Time lesson about this topic it was obvious the kids didn’t quite  have an understanding of the Sabbath day when they answered the question, “What do we do on Sunday?” with things such as: “Only wear a dress,”  “Pay our tithing,”  “Be nice,”  “Don’t drink beer” (It’s OK to drink beer the other 6 days of the week, I guess?).  Not once was “Go to church” or “Think about Jesus” ever mentioned.

Everyone has their own interpretation about what it means to keep the Sabbath day holy.  Making a list of what one should or should not do on the Sabbath is not very effective and where one family might choose not to watch TV on Sundays, others may.  What we can and should teach is the doctrine from the scriptures.  And of course, a fun activity to accompany good doctrine always goes a long way with Primary children.

Often, children are more likely to remember something when it’s taught through music!  It’s a win-win situation really; it’s more fun and more memorable for the kids and also makes it easier on you!

Here’s an idea for you, compliments of my mother-in-law Cindy who still has her music time visuals from 20 years past. She continues to share wonderful ideas that engaged children back then and still do today!

Clothesline Activity:

  1. Create some simple visuals to go with the lyrics of the song Saturday (see lyrics and visual ideas below).
  2. Gather a clothesline and clothespins for singing time.
  3. As you teach the song you can hang up each picture on your clothesline across the front of the Primary room, or call on children to help you do so.  You can also add key words to the front of each visual, for your readers.
  4. As you learn the song you can take down the visuals.  Or after the children are familiar with the song you could mix up the visuals and ask the children to put them back on the clothesline in the correct order.

Courtesy of Peg Stock Photos

Lyrics/Visual Ideas:

Saturday is a special day  (a big smiley face)
It’s the day we get ready for Sunday. ( a picture of a church building)
We clean the house, and we shop at the store, (a picture of a home or a simple drawing of dollar bills, or both)
So we won’t have to work until Monday.
We brush (wash) our clothes, and we shine our shoes, (picture of clothing and/or shoes)
And we call it our get-the-work-done day.
Then we trim our nails, and we shampoo our hair, (picture of a nail trimmer, bottle of shampoo, or bathtub)
So we can be ready for Sunday! (another picture of the church)

Saturday (CS 196)


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Listening to the Savior with Your Whole Body

You may have caught this post, Teaching to a Child’s Whole Body:  Resources for reaching children of all learning styles. Perhaps you noticed the connection to the recent ENSIGN article about teaching children with different learning styles, titled Helping Children Recognize the Holy Ghost.

I came across a scripture that shows that children of God of all ages need to listen with their whole bodies. Remember when the Nephites were gathered around the ancient Bountiful Temple after Christ’s death, and they heard a voice from heaven? Notice how they finally were able to hear it: “And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did 1) open their EARS to hear it, and 2) their EYES were towards the sound thereof; and they did 3) LOOK steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.” (3 Nephi 11:5, emphasis and numbering added.) I think the Nephites listened with their whole bodies, so that “the third time they did understand the voice which they heard,” followed by this powerful message in the next verse: “Behold my Beloved Son.” I think God’s children — and that’s all of us — are enormously blessed when we listen with our whole bodies, so we too can hear God’s voice.


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Ready or Not, Here They Come!


Photo from 123rf.com

Imagine my surprise when I saw this line in the sacrament meeting program. I highlighted it in purple below:


Sacrament Meeting

Opening Hymn                       Choose the Right #239

Invocation                               By Invitation

Closing Hymn                         Be Thou Humble #130

Primary teachers may be excused to prepare their classes during the hymn.

Benediction                               By Invitation

I realize there are two ways to start Primary: 1) either beating the kids to class so you can set the tone, or 2) having the children beat you to class so that THEY set the tone (gulp). It made me think of the following two guided meditations that we used in a Primary training meeting, showing the results of each. Hold onto your funny bone, and read the two meditations here.


Thanks to Heather for this line lifted from her sacrament meeting program. 

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Child Whisperer: “I can know the truth through the power of the Holy Ghost”

Father Son & Holy Ghost(NOTE: This is a revised version of this post.)

I dare any child to be noisy during this activity, in which a child whispers which box holds the trinket. Get ready for the quietest Primary you’ve ever heard. Download the lesson plan for July 2014, week 4, here: Holy_Ghost_lesson_outline

While preparing this lesson, I came across an answer to something I’ve been wondering for a long time:  “The Holy Ghost is properly referred to as ‘he.’ The gift of the Holy Ghost is properly referred to as ‘it.’” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 257). It underscored for me that the Holy Ghost is actually a personage, not just a vapor or a feeling. I love thinking about Him as my constant companion — a real personage — who can walk with me and steer me around bumps in my journey. I can love the Holy Ghost the way I love God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


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Activity Day girls in the Friend! Healing Hearts Through Helping Hands

adThe Activity Day girls of the Marlborough and Framingham Wards in Massachusetts, USA cut and sewed 162 squares for a quilt to help those in need after the Oklahoma City tornadoes last year. Their beautiful faces and quilt can be found in the Friend this month in the “Show and Tell” section. Little did they know how important and appreciated it would be. Anna Hooper, the Activity Days leader in the Marlborough Ward recounts what happened after they sent off their blanket.

“The contact’s name that I had in Oklahoma City was Maria. She had me send the quilt to her and then she delivered it to a family in need. In the box with the quilt, I put that picture (featured in the Friend) of the Activity Day girls and let the family know that we were from the Boston Stake and thinking of them in their time of need. In return I got pictures of the family with the blanket; a single mom with kids of her own AND kids of a family member that she has taken in as her own- 10 kids in all. They lost EVERYTHING temporal and cried when they received a HOMEMADE blanket. I get tears and chills still when I think about it. It was such a touching project! I later gave each of the girls a copy of the letter from this mom and the pictures of the family that received of their service. We were honored to be just some of the helping hands during this tragic time in Oklahoma City.”


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David Archuleta Live in English and Spanish



Why should Primary children miss out on an opportunity like this? Senior Primary children would be a wonderful audience and David Archuleta (recently returned missionary and singing star) should be an inspiration to future missionaries everywhere.

On Tuesday, June 24, David Archuleta is teaming up with Young Men General President David L. Beck and Young Women General President Bonnie L. Oscarson on the LDS Youth Facebook Page and chatting live! If Facebook isn’t your thing, the event will also be streaming live on the Youth Activities website and the Mormon Channel on YouTube. Even better is that it is in two languages – Spanish and English (Spanish, 5:30pm MDT, English, 7pm, MDT)!

In this article on LDS.org, youth are encouraged to participate in the event at home, for an activity or with friends.

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Never Say Amen



Children’s fears often present most intensely when they are in their beds not wanting their parents to leave the room.  I was such a child and wanted to overcome my fears. My mom had taught me to pray, to find comfort in speaking with my Father in Heaven each evening.  This comfort would ease my fears and help me to go to sleep.  I would start my prayer as I was taught with  “My Dear Heavenly Father,” then thank him for all I had been blessed with, next, ask for those things I needed or desired.  I would then often discuss my day and I would find comfort in knowing He was there to listen.

I did not want Him to leave me. I wanted Him to stay with me all night so I could be protected. I would purposely not close my prayer, “I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen” until I would wake up in the morning.  This way I knew nothing could happen to me during the night. God would have to be waiting in case I had anything else to say, and therefore stay with me the entire evening.  I knew He would protect me, so I would be safe in the morning to say the close of my prayer.

I did this for years until I was a teenager.  At that age I came to understand more about the power of prayer, so I would finish my prayers the same time I would start them.  Now as an adult with a busy life and many things to pray for I sometimes fall asleep as I pray, so in the morning I  have to say, “Sorry for falling asleep, but I know You understand, In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Many times in Primary we teach lessons regarding the power of prayer.  It is important that children understand how to pray but even more significant is its purpose.  It is a way for them to stay in communication with their Master from their heavenly home they left just a few short years ago. They need to feel close to Him and form the bond again they had there.


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