Summer visitors made easy!

funsignfactory.com

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

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Visitors

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Sharing Time

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Sacrament Meeting Presentation

“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

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Transitions

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Sharing Time

And A Little Child shall Lead Them

aliexpress.com

Children are not the leaders of tomorrow. They are the leaders of today.

I repeat – children are NOT the leaders of TOMORROW. They are the leaders of TODAY. Here are two examples among many of children taking the lead and inspiring (provoking?) others to good works, fulfilling Alma’s words: “And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also.  Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.” Alma 32:23

From Elizabeth Smart’s book, Where There’s Hope, page 2, speaking about her brother: “When Andrew was a little boy, probably only about two years old, Mom had taken us shopping, and there was a lady standing outside the store smoking a cigarette. Without missing a beat, Andrew said to her, “Smoking is bad for you!” I think my mom died inside a little bit, and she quickly herded us into the store. When we were returning to the car with our groceries, the lady ran up to us and said to Andrew, ‘That was my last cigarette. I’ll never smoke again.’ Whether it was his boyish charm or his sweet face, I don’t know, but he got away with that sort of stunt. . . ”

Here’s another from the Ensign about a child in Peru:

A Seven-Year-Old Missionary

Late one Monday night when my husband and I were busily working in our home, our seven-year-old son, Sergio, appeared. “Well, nobody remembered family home evening,” he said. “I guess you’re not interested.”

My husband had come home late, and he tiredly explained that we had been too busy and still had much to do before we could turn in for the night. At that we continued with our work.

After a few moments we realized Sergio was reading his illustrated Book of Mormon Stories reader all by himself. My husband and I looked at each other and silently agreed that, even if it was late, we shouldn’t deny ourselves the chance to hold family home evening.

When we went into the living room, Sergio told us in all seriousness that we didn’t need to be concerned because he had already started his “individual home evening” and had sung a hymn, said a prayer, and now he was giving the lesson. We stayed and listened as our boy talked about the First Vision.

That night our son was a powerful missionary to us, testifying of the importance of family home evening. My husband and I realized that often we try to teach principles that we are not completely willing to obey. What a wonderful experience we would have missed if we had not participated in that individual home evening.

Cecila Lozada, Maranga Ward, Lima Perú Maranga Stake

 

When children sing “lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way,” (CS 2), I sometimes wonder who is teaching whom. Thank you, dear children, for showing ME the way.

-Marci

1 Comment

Filed under Life Lessons

Join the Journey: Children’s Pioneer Trek

Notice the oxen yoked together and the pioneer children hauling their laundry-basket-handcart.

Teens all over the church re-enact the 1847 pioneer trek. Youth are trekking in Taichung, Taiwan and across the pampas in Argentina. In fact, the Church News reported that “in recent years the two-wheeled wooden vehicles have made a comeback that likely outsizes their original numbers.” That is, more people have pushed a handcart in recent years than ever pushed handcarts across the plains in the 1800s. Youth have life-changing personal experiences, strengthen faith and build testimonies as they learn about these everyday pioneer heroes.

lds.org

But why limit this faith-building trek to youth? Children too will be inspired as they understand the Lord’s hand in guiding His people through wildernesses of all kinds, then and now. Click here for a simple “how-to” for a 10-minute pioneer trek for families, nursery, Junior or Senior Primary. You can trek on July 24 (Pioneer Day) or any day. This is a free chapter from the book that was born on this blog, “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids.

ldsclipart.com

See also Pioneer Experience – Frozen Feet and All and Black Mormon Pioneers.

God bless the pioneers of yesterday and today.

-Marci

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Activity, Lesson

The Power of Music, for Children “From One to Ninety-two”

The following is a free chapter from the book that was born on this blog, Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids.  Click here to learn more about how this blog became a book. Although this story is not about my own mother, I share it here in memory of my mother who passed away yesterday.

 

The low undertone of children’s chatter continued unabated as the woman stepped to the podium, punctuated by an occasional baby’s wail and parents’ “shh . . .”. Flipping her long brown hair over her shoulder with a practiced nod, she gripped the podium with both hands to steady herself, and began to speak.

“Many of you know my elderly mom has been getting weaker and weaker. We knew she couldn’t last much longer. Well, I got the call on Friday night that I’d better get to the hospital – it wouldn’t be long.” The woman’s soft dark eyes scanned the audience, as if she was gathering strength to continue.

“I rushed into her hospital room to see her lying there, perfectly still, her chest barely moving with each shallow breath. I took her hand and talked to her. She just kept lying there breathing in and out, but I know she heard me. I just know.”

The daughter took a deep breath and went on. “I said the things I needed for her to hear. When there was nothing left to say, I started singing. I wanted her to hear my voice, to know I was there.” The woman stopped to clear her throat, adjusted the microphone for no reason, and continued in a steady monotone.

“I started with ‘I am a Child of God,’ then sang through every Primary song I knew as the tunes and words came into my mind one by one. Then I started over with ‘I am a Child of God’ again. When I came to the last line, ‘to live with Him someday,” I thought ‘Someday? Maybe today.’ I kept singing softly until Mom slipped away, less than an hour after I arrived.”

She paused a moment to collect herself. “I know she’s at peace now, with God. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” She grabbed a tissue and went back to her seat.

I thought of the blessings that come from simple Primary songs for children of all ages, throughout their lives. As an elderly child of God lay quietly that day, her own voice spent, her daughter became her voice, asking God to “lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way.” This time, the way was completely uncharted: the way to the other side, to “live with Him someday.” At that moment, this beloved Primary song reminded this elderly child of God that she was simply going home.

 

Check out the rest of the book, with ready-to-use ideas for channeling boundless energy, teaching about ideal families to children who live in other-than-ideal families, staffing challenges, bullying, children’s music for a lifetime, kids with special needs, building a celestial nursery, pint-sized service projects, and behavior management. And you’ll find some of the best children’s lesson enhancements and activities of all time. Available on Amazon.comDeseretBook.com and wherever LDS books are sold.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Life Lessons, Music

June Sharing Time: Repentance for kids

lds.org

Even kids can learn the joy of repentance (and many parents and leaders sure wish they would!). Week 4 Sharing Time theme is “When I repent, I can be forgiven,” part of the June theme “I will follow Heavenly Father’s plan by being baptized and confirmed.”

Leaders can take this foundational gospel principle of repentance and put it in kids’ terms, teaching them that repentance is a positive, joyful principle of change and turning to the Lord. See these ideas:

For other ideas for June Sharing Time, see “All Are Alike Unto God” – a timely Sharing Time or family night lesson at the 40th anniversary of 40th anniversary of OD 2.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Sharing Time

Singing Time Improv!

pixabay.com

Today’s guest author is Brenna, a mother of 3 and a piano teacher who loves  reading, hiking, and volleyball.  She writes: 

Our Primary chorister had a family emergency and wasn’t able to come on Sunday. Luckily, we have an amazing chorister Craig that was released about a year ago, but he was more than happy to fill in last minute. He always has fun ideas.

He taught the kids “Thanks to Our Father” (CS p. 20). It’s a short, two-line song with three simple verses. After the kids got the melody, then he asked four kids to come up front and tell him something that they are thankful for, and to be specific! He then had the whole Primary sing those words to the melody (and if possible, Craig would make them rhyme). For example: “Super Lego Racetrack”, “family that I love”, “pepperoni pizza”, “Jesus up above!”

Three kids said “family” and didn’t give any specifics, so that verse went: “Fa-a-a-a-a-mi-ly, Fa-a-a-a-a-mi-ly, Donuts on Saturday, Fa-a-a-a-a-mi-ly!”

The kids loved it and it was perfect for a last-minute singing time!

Over the summer, Craig did a similar game with the song “Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?” (CS p. 245). He taught them the first verse and then had a few kids come up to tell one thing they did in the summer. He tried to get them to rhyme and then we would sing them to the melody. It was a lot of fun.

These ideas work for last-minute fill-ins or when you have time to plan ahead!

-Brenna

Leave a comment

Filed under Music