Choose the Right Journal and other Primary Incentive Ideas

Today’s guest author Heidi is a fabulous primary president!  I visited her ward and saw some great ideas that I thought other primaries might want to implement.  I especially love the idea of a CTR Journal and a child being able to share how they Choose the Right that week with everyone.  I know from personal experience (4 children) that sometimes teachers and leaders put a tremendous amount of work, thought and prayer into projects designed to encourage choosing the right, etc.  that usually most children ignore, after an initial burst of enthusiasm.  By creating one CTR Journal for junior and one journal for senior primary Heidi gave children the opportunity to be examples to the other children, strengthened their desire to choose the right by letting them know they are not alone in making difficult choices and ensured that everyone could, and probably would, participate even if coming from a less active home. ~Marjorie

Bring your Scriptures to Church:

The Incentive: Chocolate chips
The Purpose: To create the habit of bringing scriptures to church
To encourage the children to bring their scriptures each week, we put one chocolate chip into a 2 cup container for each child that brings their scriptures.   We chose 2 cups because that is the average measurement in a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  On a typical week, we add about 40 chips into the measuring cup. It took us about 6 months to fill it last time and we then made cookies for the kids and gave 2 cookies in a baggie to each child.  It was such a hit and such a motivator, we emptied the cup and started all over again.  Every week kids come up to me and just show me their scriptures.  We are liberal in our counting.  They can bring just a Book of Mormon, or they can borrow them from the library.  It has really gotten our Junior Primary in the habit of bringing them – I’d say the numbers have doubled since we started.

Choose The Right Journal:

The Incentive: Take a turn telling everyone about something you did during the week
The Purpose: To think about the choices we make each day and support one another in choosing the right
To promote this year’s theme we started a CTR Journal in both Junior and Senior Primary.  We put blank paper and plastic page protectors in a 3 ring binder (which we then put in a big zip-lock bag to protect it).  A child takes the journal home with them and writes on a page (or draws a picture) about something they did that week to Choose the Right.  Then on Sunday they return the binder and they read or share what they put in the binder during Sharing Time.  They then pick the name of the child to take the journal home the next week.  I have been so impressed with the things the kids are writing about.  They are showing lots of courage to make the right choices when others around them aren’t.  It helps all the children see that they aren’t alone when faced with tough choices.  The final books at the end of the year will be priceless!  And best of all it encourages family involvement, which we love.
~Heidi, mother of 3 spirited little angels.  When not doing laundry, volunteering at schools, driving the after-school shuttle service or monitoring homework and piano, she can be found reading, baking cookies and dreaming of the next beach vacation.
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