Hello Song in multiple languages made easy!

Here’s a twist on the popular welcome song in Primary! Children love the “Hello Song” (Children’s Songbook, 260) Laura S. shared how growing up in many countries gave her exposure to different languages which she uses for a variation on the welcome song.

Looking for an easy way to do it? Sister D. shares this idea. She prints flags from the different countries on one side with the words and phonetic spellings on the back side. She adds a popsicle stick for a “flagpole” and laminates it. Voila! An easy-to-stuff-in-your-Primary-bag prop for children to choose a language to sing the welcome song!

Not only does this add variety to keep children’s interest, but it exposes them to the idea that there are many children, many languages, and many different sounds in the world. They’re never too young to learn that people are different but all seek the same Heavenly Father.

Welcome to ALL children in Primary!

-Marci

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In Case of Emergency – being prepared at church

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Today in church, a service project was announced: bringing meals to families of victims of a recent shooting in a church of another faith within our stake boundaries. It was a chilling reminder that we are in the last days, with many challenges — but the Lord’s promises are sure.

I thought of this post: Planning for Safety: a fire drill in Primary

The ideas are useful for emergencies of any nature. We need not alarm the children, or become alarmed ourselves, just make sure we are prepared. We put our trust in the Lord, but He expects us to do our part to make sure we and our children are safe.

These issues need not be discussed in Primary, but you may also want to let families know about these ideas: Helping children understand violence and tragedy.

God bless us all in the last days.

-Marci

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5th Sunday Strikes Again!

As you look ahead for the year, watch for those 5th Sundays that give you an extra week to do something special. In 2018, fifth Sundays occur in April (but the first Sunday will be General Conference, so no Primary), July, September and December. But each monthly outline in the Sharing Time manual only has 4 weeks? What to do?

  • Use the time for your favorite lesson or activity on the monthly theme or another gospel principle. My personal favorites: “Simple Pioneer Trek” (not just for Pioneer Day on July 24!), “Lesson from a Laundry Basket” (suitable for Junior Primary as well as nursery), and Women and Service in the Kingdom: a Sharing Time or family night lesson for girls AND boys (about the power of women and girls, what children might like to know about Relief Society, etc.) Each of these is featured in the book that was born on this blog: read more here about “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids“! For more ideas, click on the “Categories” box to the right here, and select “lessons” or “sharing time.”
  • Review one of the lessons for the month on the theme. Or review all 4 lessons, tying them together to reinforce the monthly theme.
  • Teach a lesson missed because of Stake Conference, General Conference, or a snow day.
  • Involve the children in a service project during Sharing Time. Ideas here and here.
  • “Children’s Choice – Songs & Scriptures.” Ask a child to choose his favorite song. Look up the song in the Children’s Songbook (CS) or Hymns. Sing the song, then go to the bottom right corner of the page in the songbook for two scriptures that relate to the song topic. Easy. For example, a child chooses “Baptism” (CS, 100). The bottom right corner of the songbook page leads you to Matthew 3:13-16, the story of Christ’s baptism, and the 4th Article of Faith. Teach about that principle, bearing testimony as you feel prompted, perhaps asking a child to share an experience. Repeat as time allows.
  • Practice the Articles of Faith. Here are 3 fun ideas: Learning the Articles of Faith: 3 fun ideas
  • Watch one of the marvelous videos for children on lds.org, Scroll down past the videos for teachers, leaders and parents to the videos for children. The children might enjoy the “One in a Million” videos of LDS children around the world, or perhaps a video of a favorite scripture story. There are games and activities on that site as well.

Any other favorite ways to fill 5th Sundays?

-Marci

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Our “Overheard in Primary” series: go ahead and smile sometimes!

If you sometimes feel like this in your Primary, here’s a lift!

We call our series of clever kid anecdotes “Overheard in Primary.” Type “Overheard in Primary” in the search box at the right to see them all. Here are a few of our favorites:

Also check out this 1975 Ensign article called “Mirthright,” including these gems:

My Primary class of 11-year-old boys had just received the lesson on the 13th Article of Faith. Each boy groaned over how long this article was, but tried hard to memorize it. Boy after boy recited it and received his emblem until one little redheaded boy got stuck. He struggled on: “… If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we … we … ,” he faltered. I hinted, “We sss …” He looked puzzled for only a moment and then finished triumphantly, “We celebrate!”  — Caroline Harper Spanish Fork, Utah

My four-year-old son decided he wanted to write a letter to Heavenly Father after seeing his mother write a letter to her parents. He wrote diligently how thankful he was for the beautiful flowers, birds, and trees. My wife addressed and stamped her envelope, and my son wanted to do the same. His mother explained that we can talk with Heavenly Father directly through prayer, which is better than writing, but that we cannot send him a letter because he has not given us his address. Very patiently, he continued, “Well, Mommy, if Heavenly Father lives in the sky, we could just send it airmail.”  –  Don L. Searle, Jr. Orem, Utah

What crazy, touching or offbeat things have YOUR children said in Primary?  Send your favorites in to us (primaryinzion@yahoo.com) to be spotlighted in next month’s round up of some of our favorite Overheard in Primary gems!

-Marci

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January Sharing Time: agency and choices

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A new year, a new manual, a new theme! The theme for Week 4 is “I have agency, and I am responsible for my choices.” This is such a critical concept for children to understand as they begin to experiment with their God-given power to choose in this mortal life. The manual reminds us on every page, “Supplement the ideas provided here with some of your own.” Here are some supplemental ideas to try:

 

-Marci

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Pray for women church leaders – setting an example

I paused in my prayer. I had just prayed for my bishop and ward Relief Society President, stake president and stake Relief Society President, and the prophet. For the first time, the thought occurred to me that I could pray for the General Relief Society president also.

I often pray for my ward and stake leaders (both men and women) and their counselors. They need our prayers, and we are blessed by their leadership. It meant a lot to me when President Thomas S. Monson said, “I have felt your prayers in my behalf and have been sustained and blessed” (April 2008).

Both boys and girls are blessed when they understand that there are strong, righteous men AND women leading the kingdom on every level, from their own ward or branch to the worldwide level. Setting the example by praying for these men and women blesses their lives and ours.

Guest author Christanne suggests: “Point out women leaders to your children. As I have had a calling as Stake Relief Society president, I noticed that every time I was on the stand or speaking, a mother in the audience was pointing at me and whispering something to her children. After one meeting in which I was conducting, I walked over to talk with this woman and her son. The son saw me and said, “Mom, there she is.” The mother explained that she specifically pointed out women leaders to her children and explained the role they had in that setting. Her children had seen me speak in stake conference, translate a woman’s testimony from Spanish into English during stake conference, and conduct a fireside. Her son had seen me often enough that he started pointing me out to his mother. People appreciate seeing women leaders and children benefit from seeing women leaders in various roles.”

Children might enjoy this story about a bird from General Relief Society president Sister Jean B. Bingham (video above):

“One beautiful spring day I left the door open to enjoy the fresh air. A small bird flew in the open door and then realized this was not where it wanted to be. It flew desperately around the room, repeatedly flying into the window glass in an attempt to escape. I tried to gently guide it toward the open door, but it was frightened and kept darting away. It finally landed on top of the window drapes in bewildered exhaustion. I took a broom and slowly reached the bristle end up to where the bird nervously perched. As I held the head of the broom next to its feet, the bird tentatively stepped onto the bristles. Slowly, very slowly, I walked to the open door, holding the broom as steady as I could. As soon as we reached the open door, the bird swiftly flew to freedom.

“Like that bird, sometimes we are afraid to trust because we don’t understand God’s absolute love and desire to help us. But when we study Heavenly Father’s plan and Jesus Christ’s mission, we understand that Their only objective is our eternal happiness and progress. They delight to help us when we ask, seek, and knock. When we exercise faith and humbly open ourselves to Their answers, we become free from the constraints of our misunderstandings and assumptions, and we can be shown the way forward.” (“That Your Joy Might Be Full,” October 2017)

Children may have had a similar experience where they wanted to pet or help an animal that was frightened of them, even though they were only being kind.

Children (of all ages) are blessed by strong, righteous women and men leaders. Praying for them blesses our leaders, our children, and ourselves.

Related posts:

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Ready for a new Primary year?

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As we come to the close of one year and look ahead to another, it’s time to prepare for the big transition! You can help the children take it in stride by taking steps to help them know what to expect. Here’s our readers’ favorite posts for doing it smoothly and with love:

You might also enjoy this resource from the Friend magazine about helping children get ready for Sunbeams. Click on the image above to read the article in the January 2017 Friend.

Happy New Year – a little early!

-Marci

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How the Christmas Story DIDN’T Happen, aka “What’s Wrong with this (Christmas) Picture?”

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We’re so used to the Christmas story that we forget how startlingly unusual it is. The Son of God, born of a woman? The King of Kings, arriving from heaven in a stable? No room at the inn for the newborn Son of God? You can help children think about this remarkable story by telling it the way it might have happened, if Jesus had been given the princely treatment He deserved at His birth.

I love telling the Christmas story this way with a completely straight face with no warning or prelude, waiting for the children to discover, one by one, that this is no ordinary retelling of the Christmas story.

Click here for the downloadable 1-page pdf, complete with references that correct the errors in this fascinating lesson, Sharing Time or family night lesson, “What’s Wrong with this (Christmas) Picture?” Senior Primary children might each read a scripture reference and correct the errors. (Hint: one of these facts below actually IS true, just slightly disguised.)

“Boys and girls, I know you’ve heard it before, but I love telling the Christmas story. I’ve written it down here so I don’t forget any of the details.

“It starts with Mary who was about to have her first baby, who was Jesus. Because He was the Son of God, King of the Jews, King of Kings, everyone in the entire country of Israel knew He was about to be born. His mother Mary and his stepfather Joseph were well known throughout the land. Joseph was a wise and good governor of Judea.

“Jesus was born in the royal palace, wrapped in the finest linen and laid in a cradle of the most prized Lebanese cedar wood overlaid with pure gold, fitting for the Son of God.

“The first to hear of Jesus’ birth were the governors of all the provinces. Angels appeared to all the provincial governors to announce that their King was born. Everyone knew the way to the palace where Jesus was born. The provincial governors scheduled a visit to baby Jesus when Mary had a little time to recover from giving birth. The governors were very pleased to meet their King.

“In fact, three kings from the East came to bring Jesus gifts: which were gold and two different kinds of tree resin, which is like tree sap only a thicker.

“That’s the way the Christmas story happened, right?”

Click here for the downloadable 1-page pdf, complete with references that correct the errors

 

 

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Sharing Time ideas for December: “Jesus Christ Is the Son of God”

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While we think and talk about Jesus often, it’s particularly sacred to think of Him in December, when we join with the rest of the Christian world and celebrate Jesus’ birth. Here are some special Sharing Time or family night ideas to celebrate Jesus:

Enjoy this sacred season! Merry Christmas to you from all of us at Primary in Zion!

-Marci

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Primary Secretaries – try “You’ve Got Mail” and indestructible assignment slips

Today’s guest idea is from Cathleen. She decorated an inexpensive mailbox for Primary, and put slips of paper inside inviting children to do the talk, prayer or scripture for the following week. When it’s time to pass out the slips of paper, she dramatically announces, “You’ve got mail!” She opens the mailbox and passes out the slips of paper.

Another idea is to use indestructible paper bracelets to put on the child’s wrist, to make sure the notice makes it home! Search online for “paper event bracelets” — they cost as little as 5c each and are made of Tyvek, a thin, strong paper.

Here’s more ideas for secretaries:

We appreciate our Primary secretaries for all their good work!

-Marci

 

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