Popsicle stick puzzles – for a lesson or for a service project!




Ready for some fun? You can make a popsicle stick puzzle to go with your lesson OR let kids make them as a service project. Completed popsicle stick puzzles can go to homeless shelters, refugee assistance organizations, or just a kid in their lives who needs something to smile about.

Here are a few easy ways to make popsicle stick puzzles:

  • Write, draw or paint directly on the craft sticks. You can decorate the sticks with pictures or words, religious or non-religious. You can write the words sideways like this photo, so the words themselves come apart, or one word or phrase per craft stick. First tape the sticks together with masking tape, then go wild with markers or acrylic paint. (Detailed instructions here.)
  • Paste a photo or picture (cut from a poster or magazine cover for durability) on the popsicle sticks. First tape the sticks together with masking tape, then use Mod Podge to glue the photo or picture, and cut it apart when dry. (Detailed instructions here.)

That’s it! If you’re using these puzzles to teach a lesson, you can make a single puzzle that children make together, or make individual puzzles for each child in a ziploc bag.

For more kid-to-kid service projects, see Pint-sized Service Projects and Serving as Jesus Served: Class project or family activity




Leave a comment

Filed under Activity, Lesson

News about Primary sacrament meeting invitation and program designer

CatholicStudyFellowship on Facebook

When eagle-eyed readers started asking for it, intrepid guest designer Pierrette designed the 2019 Primary sacrament meeting program invitation and printed program cover for us using Greg Olsen’s gorgeous art. (Thank you, Pierrette!) When she and I were going back and forth about it, she said “Sorry, I had a very difficult month. I will work on it again.” I expressed my support but didn’t think much of it — we all have months like that from time to time.

Just a few weeks later Pierrette found out that it was brain cancer. Thankfully, the tumor operation was successful, followed now by radiation and chemo. Our prayers for you continue, Pierrette.
So when we think about the Primary sacrament meeting presentation, and we think about the children sharing their thoughts about what it means to obey Jesus when He says “Come, follow me,” we know that all of us are facing struggles large and small on that covenant path every day.
God bless us every one.
Working on content for your Primary sacrament meeting presentation? Try this: Preparing for the Primary sacrament meeting presentation 2019
are both in Microsoft Word, hoping that that will make it easily adaptable to your own ward or branch’s details.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life Lessons, Sacrament Meeting Presentation

Tender lessons about death and resurrection for children: ideas to enhance “Come Follow Me”

“Garden Tomb” by jkirkrichards.com

Sept 2-8 in Come Follow Me includes Paul’s writings about the afterlife and resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:29-57. Children may have little personal experience with death, or they may have indeed far too much experience with death. As always, follow the Spirit to adapt the lesson ideas to the capacity of the children to understand.

Some children may have experienced the loss of a pet. Talking about God’s eternal plan for all his creations, even beloved animals, can help children understand basic concepts about this life and the next. See Do Pets Go to Heaven? Finding comfort through scripture and Primary songs

Some children will know someone who has passed away, perhaps in their own family. These verses from Paul may be worth repeating aloud together, perhaps even memorizing: “O death, where is thy sting? Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57)

If children have specific questions, the best article I’ve ever found is from the New Era, March 2013, “What Happens After We Die?” In a simple Q&A format, the article answers questions such as “Where is the spirit world? What is it like?What are spirits doing? Can they see us?”

Finally, for specific suggestions, see “Coping with Grief” in the March 2018 “Friend Connection” section of the Ensign.

Any of the Easter songs in the Children’s Songbook would be a memorable, singable addition to your lesson:

“Did Jesus really live again after he had died? Oh yes! And so shall I!” And you. And all God’s children everywhere.

How have you talked to children about death and resurrection? Comment below!

Leave a comment

Filed under Lesson, Life Lessons

Submit your child’s story or picture to the FRIEND magazine!


I was astonished to open the FRIEND and see photos of children I knew who had moved to England! I emailed my friend, their mother, saying “I’d recognize those faces anywhere!” She replied, “The magazine editors are eager to get more art from children around the world, so if you know anyone, urge them to submit!” Of course children from Utah and the USA are invited to submit as well.

Since this blog has international readership, I thought I’d pass along the word to YOU! (In fact, much to my astonishment, this blog has readers from 183 countries and territories, including 9 of 10 provinces in Canada and all 50 states in the USA. See What’s Primary like in Nepal or Bahrain? I’m baffled how this happens, but delighted that you’re here reading this!)

This could be a home project or a Primary project, if you get the permission statements by parents/guardians.  Here’s the full guidelines for submitting to the FRIEND (at the bottom of the page, under “Submit Your Material,” with these relevant excerpts:

Children’s Submissions: We welcome children’s submissions. In “Friends by Mail,” children share their feelings about the magazine. “Show and Tell” includes art, poetry, and experiences about children following the example of Jesus Christ. Submissions should include the child’s photo, age, and address. Submissions should not exceed 200 words. “Written by You” stories are child experiences that are longer (up to 300 words) and have a plot. The Friend does not pay for children’s contributions. Due to the number received, they cannot all be published, nor can they be returned. Please note that children’s submissions must include a written statement by a parent or guardian giving permission to publish the child’s submission and photo.

Submitting your work
Mail: Please print your submission double-spaced on one side of 8 ½- x 11-inch white paper. Include your name, address, and telephone number with each submission. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you would like your manuscript returned. Address submissions to Friend Magazine, 50 East North Temple Street, Room 2432, Salt Lake City, UT 84150-0024, USA.
E-mail: Send your submission to friend@ldschurch.org, or use the “Submit Your Material” link on churchofjesuschrist.org/friend

Leave a comment

Filed under Activity

Printed program cover – Primary sacrament meeting presentation!


Guest designer Pierrette strikes again! Click here for her invitation template to the Primary sacrament meeting program, so kids can invite neighbors, friends, teachers and coaches to hear them present their thoughts about Jesus Christ.

Here’s the matching program cover, using Greg Olsen’s breathtakingly detailed artwork: Come Follow Me Printed Program Cover  This is a 2-page word document for ease of customizing, which can then be printed back-to-back and folded.

Here’s an idea to put together the content of the program: Preparing for the Primary sacrament meeting presentation 2019

I can’t help but think that Jesus is pleased that the children have been learning, well, to come follow Him this year. And the Primary sacrament meeting presentation? My favorite Sunday of the year, as children teach the gospel in its purity and simplicity.


1 Comment

Filed under Sacrament Meeting Presentation

Popcorn Popping – Dates Popping


Blog co-founder Michelle left her home on O’ahu for a family trip and spotted this date palm tree on the Big Island of Hawaii! It reminded her of the way children in the country of Israel sing “Popcorn Popping.” There are no apricot trees in Israel, but the date palm trees pop with blossoms too!

I looked out the window and what did I see?

Dates are popping on the date palm tree.

Israel has brought me such a nice surprise.

Dates are popping right before my eyes.

I could take an armful and throw them in the sea;

A great big wave would bring them back to me.

It wasn’t really so, but it seemed to be

Dates are swimming in the Sea of Galilee.

Read more here, including ways to teach scriptures about the Sea of Galilee as you sing this fun variation to a beloved favorite song!

Leave a comment

Filed under Music

Interfaith Visits or Service Projects for Kids!


There are many positive outcomes for exposing children to other faiths. Breaking down barriers, building genuine relationships in the community between people of good will, positive peer pressure to live high standards, exposure to world religions: these are all good reasons to reach beyond the walls of one’s own home and place of worship. It is about people of faith cooperating to build stronger youth and stronger communities.

Paradoxically, one of the strongest reasons for interfaith work is retention in one’s own faith. That is, ideally children will have the tools to engage in interfaith discussions early, while they are still at home and have direct support from family & youth leaders. “Churches are good at teaching youth how to be good Christians, Muslims and Jews in church, but interfaith youth work is about teaching youth how to be good Christians, Muslims and Jews in the world,” said Noah Silverman of the Interfaith Youth Core. In my experience, children and youth who have direct experience with other faiths develop a greater love for their own faith as well as a greater appreciation for others’ faith.

Like Henry D. in the July 2019 Friend magazine (above), children can go on an adventure to visit another worship service. Another idea is coming together to do a joint service project, with service as a value that all faith traditions share. “Religious young people can strengthen their own faith identity and learn about the faiths of others through a lens of the values that they share. They put these values to work in cooperative projects that serve the common good.” (“Methodology,” 2007 DIYS Organizer’s Toolkit, 10, from Interfaith Youth Core ifyc.org)

Looking for service projects that kids can do? Check out Jackie’s Pint-sized Service Projects.

Comment below if you’re interested in exploring this further: how to handle prayers and songs in an interfaith setting, how to create a safe space, etc. We’d also love to hear your experiences and ideas about multifaith engagement!

Also see

Leave a comment

Filed under Activity

New Primary Presidency? New to this blog?


Just called into Primary? New to this blog? WELCOME!!! We’re glad you found us. While there are a lot (a LOT!) of resources on this blog, here’s a place to start:

You can use the search box for a particular concern (children with special needs, music ideas, pornography prevention materials for parents, January transitions, and more — including”Overheard in Primary,” a collection of lighthearted wisdom from children).

Feel free to “follow” the blog (click on the right here) or “like” us on Facebook to be notified when we post each Monday!

We’re always looking for guest authors, so feel free to comment below and share your idea! We’ll work with you to polish it.

God bless the children and their devoted leaders,


Leave a comment

Filed under Primary Presidency Administration

“We are the offspring of God” – concepts to enrich “Come Follow Me”

“Worth of a Soul” by Liz Lemon Swindle

What do you call the son or daughter of the King of the Universe?

Walk with me on this one for a moment. The July 22-28 lesson in “Come Follow Me” includes Paul’s bold declaration: “We are the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29). Few gospel concepts resonate with children like the idea that they have eternal Parents in Heaven and that each is a child of God. One beautiful way to reinforce this concept is this:

  • Who is the father of  your body? (earthly father) You can briefly describe his father (the child’s grandfather) and HIS father, back through the generations as long as you like.
  • Who is the father of your spirit? (Heavenly Father) How many generations in between you and Him? None! God is the direct ancestor of our spirit. As the manual asks, “How is being a child of God different from being just one of His creations?” For starters, God is the King of the universe, and what do you call the son or daughter of a King?             Exactly.

See also “Is he REALLY a child of God? And who has sent him here?”

You might like this book, “Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Family.”


by Caitlin Connolly, Bethany Brady Spalding, McArthur Krishna


Leave a comment

Filed under Lesson

Invitation: Primary Sacrament Meeting Program!


Guest designer Pierrette is a Partridge in a pear tree!  She has two teenage Partridge birds that she guides them to find their own path while also supporting the dad Partridge bird to lead his own passions.  She leads other birds all over her large district in education to be rock stars!

Earlier we posted this: Preparing for the Primary sacrament meeting presentation 2019.  Click on the link to see the email that Lindsey is to the parents. Feel free to adapt this to YOUR children’s needs. This year’s Primary sacrament meeting program is new territory, with the “Come Follow Me” manual and the home-centered, church-supported curriculum.

Then, when you’re ready, try this invitation that Pierrette designed, using Greg Olsen’s beautiful art featured above.

Customize page 2 with the details of YOUR presentation, print double-sided (in color or black & white), cut in half, and give several invitations to each child.

Children are natural missionaries, and can sometimes almost effortlessly invite a neighbor, friend, teacher, or coach to hear them speak or sing in church. The Primary Sacrament meeting presentation is a golden opportunity! The message of the invitation — following Jesus Christ — is a positive one for nonmembers, whether or not they come to church.

Jen gave an invitation to a playground mom who ended up being baptized! Read about it here.

Watch for the matching printed program cover coming in August!


Filed under Sacrament Meeting Presentation