Sept. 2018 Sharing Time – Never too young to serve!

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The September 2018 Sharing Time theme is “I Will Serve God with All My Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength.” In addition to the ideas for teaching service, help children to actually DO service with a service project during Sharing Time!

Think about someone in need in your ward or community: perhaps a homebound ward member, a sick child, local nursing home residents, hospitalized children, missionaries serving in your ward, missionaries serving elsewhere who grew up in your ward, firefighters or police officers who work around the clock every day of the year, etc.

Children can draw them a picture or make a card to cheer them up. Older children can write letters about what they’re learning in Primary about service. This can be simple (paper and crayons/pens) or elaborate (stickers, markers, buttons, lace).

Children can create holiday cards for upcoming regular holidays or for unusual holidays held throughout the year. For example, DaysOfTheYear.com says that April 15 was Microvolunteering Day! Even micro-people can help in micro-ways. There’s an occasion to celebrate for every month and every day of the year.

Here’s more ideas for service projects with kids, including great resources to share with Primary families as well: Pint-sized Service Projects and Creating a Culture of Service.

Never too young to serve!

-Marci

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Chalk talk – inside and outside!

thelittlesandme.com

Looking for interesting ideas for using a simple piece of chalk? Try these:

INSIDE:

  • Black construction paper makes a simple “chalkboard.” You can make visual aids ahead of time and post the construction paper chalkboards around the room, or one-by-one as your lesson unfolds. (Remember you can’t erase on black construction paper.)
  • Hand the chalk to the children! They can each have their own black construction paper chalkboard to draw a picture of what they learned. Or a child can draw on the classroom chalkboard what they learned, or write the answer to a question. Usually you can get at least 2 children at the chalkboard at the same time. The more children are involved in the lesson, the more they learn. Also see Singing Time – Art Class!
  • Colored chalk adds interest.

OUTSIDE:

  • With the permission of the Primary presidency and bishopric, and with plenty of adult helpers, bring the children outside to draw on the church sidewalk what they have learned. This is a good conversation starter on the way home for children to share gospel concepts they are discussing in Primary with their families. Be sure to have a backup rain plan!

Don’t forget the hand wipes for chalky fingers.

For more ideas for interesting lessons, see Potatoes every night: Variety in Teaching and 14 Bean Bag Ideas – Easy Kid Involvers!

-Marci

 

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Staffing, Training, Behavior Management, and more!

Calling all Primary leaders! Here are some ideas for making your Primary the best it can be.

LEADERS:

CHILDREN’S BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT:

God bless the faithful Primary leaders who work so hard to lead God’s children back to Him.

-Marci

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Sacrament Meeting Presentation ready-to-use resources for 2018!

Planning for the Primary sacrament meeting? Here’s some ready-to-use resources!

OUTLINE: Here’s one of our most popular posts each year: guest author Kim’s idea Primary Sacrament Meeting Program outline–click, print and go!

INVITATIONS AND PRINTED PROGRAM COVERS: Kids are natural missionaries and often love to invite neighbors, teachers, coaches to hear them sing and speak in church! See printed invitation ideas here: Invitations for Sacrament Meeting Presentation “I am a Child of God” (BTW – did you see that Jenn gave an invitation to a playground mom who ended up being baptized? Read about it here.)

OPEN HOUSE: As Jenn said, “We realized that when people invite their friends to the Primary program, it can be a little awkward when the program is over.  Members have to rush to Sunday School, and often visitors who might want to linger and visit about the program are ushered into the noisy foyer.  With approval from our bishopric, and with the help of the ward missionaries, we planned an open house reception.  After sacrament meeting was over, we invited everyone into the cultural hall for mingling and refreshments.  We also had some children’s artwork on display.”

INVITING AUDIENCE COMMENTS: Consider this idea: Inviting Audience Comments – Primary Sacrament Meeting Presentation

Is the Primary sacrament meeting presentation my favorite Sunday of the year?

Check.

-Marci

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August 2018 Sharing Time: “Heavenly Father Hears and Answers Prayers”

from “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids,” by Marci McPhee

The August 2018 Sharing Time theme is “Heavenly Father Hears and Answers Prayers.” Your children may enjoy this charming experience from Eva and Michelle: Faith and Miracles: A Child’s prayer can save a (duck’s) life

Your children may be ready for the next step: adding repentance to prayer. Instead of four steps of prayer (address Heavenly Father by name, thank Him, ask Him, and close in Jesus’ name), consider the FIVE steps of prayer (add repentance as a vibrant, daily part of prayer). Here’s a free downloadable handout from the book that was born on this blog, Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids! (See also “Personal Prayer Lesson Plan – with visuals for children, especially those with Special Needs.”)

Prayer – a lifelong habit that starts early.

-Marci

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Summer visitors made easy!

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With summer in full swing, you may be receiving an influx of visiting children. Here’s a few ideas on how to seamlessly enfold them into your Primary:

Welcome, visitors!

-Marci

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5th Sunday favorite ideas

lds.org

July and September 2018 have five Sundays — but just four lessons in the Sharing Time manual. Here are my favorite ideas for the 5th Sunday:

Any other favorite ways to fill 5th Sundays?

-Marci

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2018 Primary Sacrament Meeting Program – click, print and go!

lds.org

Today we are sharing a wonderful Primary Sacrament Meeting Program Outline idea contributed by our guest author Kim, former Primary President and mother of 6 children. She loves photography and hiking, camping, and biking anytime, anywhere.

Download this 2-page Primary Sacrament Meeting presentation outline – I am a Child of God (updated for 2018 by Marci). Feel free to adapt it to the needs of your Primary. Then read how Kim prepares the children for their successful program. Here’s how she does it:

We have the narrators read the themes and scriptures for each song, then we have each of the Primary children give a short statement from one of the questions listed in the outline.

To prepare, we assign each class  a monthly theme.  We find it is easiest to pull the kids out one at a time during singing time the month before and collect their answers (we usually have them say one sentence each). Then we email the part to their parents several times before the program and ask them to help their children memorize it.  Some classes have children answer the same question (usually the younger kids), while other classes have children answer different questions on the same topic.  Either way works great.

When we did the program last year, it worked very smoothly to have each class line up at the microphone while the narrator(s) spoke.  Then after each child said their parts, the class walked back to their seats while the introduction to the song was being played.

We gave a copy of the program to all the teachers so they knew when to take their classes up to the microphone.  The narrator(s) knew to start their part right after each song.  No cues were needed from the presidency, and the program ran all by itself.

A few other things that helped:  We put name tags on all the seats several weeks in advance so all the children knew where they sat.  We practiced several times having them come from the audience to their seats until they had it memorized.

We estimated about 5 minutes per class and with 8 sections, the program turned out to be 40 minutes.

We hope this helps make your program easier and more enjoyable.

~Kim, guest author

FYI: for more ideas, search for “sacrament meeting program” in the search box on the upper right. Watch for the 2018 printed program cover and invitation text, coming soon!

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“The Chapel Doors”: Primary reverence children

lds.org

Recently we shared an idea,  “Primary prelude music to increase sacrament meeting reverence.” We’re delighted that many have found it useful! Here’s another idea.

Some wards have a “reverence child” who stands by the podium with arms folded to set the example. Problem is, I seldom look at the stand when entering the chapel, and even when I do, it’s hard to spot the short children. Often I don’t even realize there is a “reverence child” until the meeting begins and the person conducting expresses appreciation and invites them to sit with their families. While it is nice to give children responsibility, I’m not convinced it helps reverence.

Instead of a reverence child on the stand, how about a reverence child next to the chapel doors, standing along with the usher? The child could wear a sign around their neck (like a sandwich board) or hold a sign, saying “The chapel doors seem to say to me, shh, be still.”

One reverence child at each chapel door could actually make a difference in the quality of worship. Children can lead the way to making a more serene setting to feeling the Spirit.

If you try this in  your ward, let us know how it goes in the comment section below!

-Marci

 

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All Kinds of Families are Part of Heavenly Father’s plan – and other topics

FRIEND magazine, April 2018

The July 2018 Sharing Time theme is “Families Are Part of Heavenly Father’s Plan.” The Sharing Time outline contains this wise advice:  “As you teach about eternal families, be sensitive to children who do not have both a mother and a father in their home. Also be sensitive to children who have parents or siblings who are less active or who are not members of the Church. Encourage all the children to live worthily and prepare so they can have eternal families of their own someday.”

Here are some ideas to prayerfully consider, in order to meet the needs of Primary children in all kinds of families.

For Week 1 “Heavenly Father planned for me to come to a family”: Try Nontraditional families (Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s message is timeless, even if Mother’s Day and Father’s Day may be over for this year.)

For Week 2 “Family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening can strengthen my family”: Even if parents don’t hold these family activities, children can lead the way! See “And A Little Child Shall Lead Them”

For Week 3 “The priesthood can bless and strengthen my family:” You might be looking for a way to answer girls’ question “Why don’t I get the priesthood too?” See ““The Priesthood and Me”,  Friend magazine, April 2018. Also see “Restoration of Priesthood AND Relief Society.”

For Week 4 “Heavenly Father wants me to marry in the temple and have an eternal family”: See “Primary Children Looking Toward the Temple.”

God bless the children – in all kinds of families.

-Marci

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